Friday, October 30, 2009

Are You Ready For Some Football?

No, not real football, I'm talking about Soccer. Last week I scored a lot of about 20 assorted and old tobacco cards of English Footballers, and will be sharing them with you over the course of 2 or 3 posts.

One of the things that surprised me was how cheap non-baseball tobacco cards are on eBay. All of the cards you will see in these posts were had for less than the cost of a single pack of SPx at my local card shop, including shipping.

If you frequent the Custom Card Blog, you may recognize the following design from a Woody Guthrie card I recently created. These might be the oldest cards in the whole bunch, and date from around 1900.
J.L. Jones, Captain of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, who won the English Cup in 1901

There's no first name listed anywhere on this card. We know his name is Livingstone, and that he played for Glasgow Celctic Football Club. My Great-Grandfather played professional soccer in Scotland, but not until about 15 years after after these cards were released. It would have been absolutely awesome to pull a card of him, if there even is one.

Here is an awesome team card of Tottenham Hotspur. It's hard to tell, since all these guys have truly bitchin mustaches, but I think our ol' buddy Capt. J.L. Jones can be found right smack dab in the middle of the second row. This card is already on it's way to PSA, and I am anxiously awaiting my gem mint 10 grade. Population: 1.

Next we have several trophies with confusing names. This is one of those things I've never really understood or liked about how the Europeans do things. Why can't they just have 1 champion, and 1 trophy? Instead, you have several, which can lead to some confusion as to who is really the best. I guess it's to be expected from a sport that allows games to end in a draw. Please excuse the American in me, but that's just not how we do things on this side of the pond. These cards were produced by Churchman's Cigarettes, and were released around 1927 (not sure of the exact year).

The Scottish F.A. Cup was first given out in 1874

The Amateur F.A. Cup was won for the first time in 1907 by the Corinthian Football Club.

Contrary to what the back of this card says, this is where things get confusing. The previous card, the Amateur F.A. Cup is the control of the Football Association, while this card, the F.A. Amateur Cup, is under the control of the A.F.A.

The First Division Championship Cup was the bees knees during this period of Association Football. This was the cup that was won by teams you have actually heard of. Teams like Burnley in 1921 and Liverpool in '22 & '23. I'm not sure if this cup is still around, but it should be; it's the nicest looking one of the bunch.

How would one go about winning one of these prestigious cups you ask? Well, I would assume playing in the championship game at Wembley Stadium would be one way to go about it. The 2 card below were released by W.D. & H.O. Wills Co., but I have absolutely no idea what year they came out.
1924 Cup Final won by West Bromwich Albion

1925 Cup Final won by Newcastle United. Check out King George VI shaking hands with the players. That's pretty damn cool.

Well, that wraps up part one. Be sure to check back for part 2, which will feature a bunch of guys you've never heard of who once upon a time played for teams you've definitely heard of. If you're lucky, there may even be another trophy card or two. I also scanned the backs of few cards, so you've got that to look forward to as well, ya know, if that's your thing and all.

The reasoning behind stretching these out over several posts is essentially pure and unadulterated laziness. I've been doing a horrible job of keeping up with anything lately, and blogging has been no exception. Not only have I hardly been posting, I've hardly been trading either. That's not to say that people haven't sent ME cards, but in order for it to truly be a trade, I actually have to mail cards back in return, which is something I just have not been doing. Another thing I haven't been doing is posting all the great cards that have been sent to me over the past few weeks. I am about a month behind in posting trades, and feeling more and more like Motherscratcher every single day. To everyone out there who is waiting to either receive cards from me, or to see the great cards they sent me featured in a most excellent trade post, I am truly sorry. It'll happen sooner than later (hopefully early next week).


  1. Wow, those are really cool. I should look into getting some older cards like that, even if they aren't baseball. They look like most of them are in really good condition too.

    Do you know if the cups are still around? Do they still give them out or are they in a museum somewhere?

  2. Those are great. It was cool to be taken back to a time when it wasn't just the same four teams in contention for championships every freaking year.