I've been meaning to pop a short feature on here about the propensity in the late forties/fifties to 'copy' programme designs from other teams. Not something that would be dreamt of today.
The strange thing is that although almost identical the examples shown have slight variations meaning they can't have come from the same plate and therefore each was individually made. It's quite remarkable that such small features, such as the lacing on the ball, the clenched fists, the players' expression etc are so close to each other but don't match exactly. For instance, the background players are of differing designs.
The programme layouts themselves are also almost identical with the wide strip to the top and match details to the lower right with similar fonts used.
The Torquay United programme Timbo shows here is from 1952 so it is obvious that ours comes after the Exeter City design which is from the late forties whilst the Rotherham programme is from the late fifties and, as can be seen, has lost the player in the background.
The last programme is from Ipswich and datewise comes in the middle of this bunch, 1950, and is another variation, albeit rather less basic, and although close in design doesn't quite have the 'identical' features seen in the others.