Early Football Cigarette Cards (Collectables)

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History Of Association Football (Soccer) On Cigarette Cards (Collectables)

I've been collecting and selling collectors cards, cigarette cards and related collectables for over twenty years. Before you read this guide please subscribe to my card collecting newsletters for updates on rare cards and tips on buying by Clicking Here, thank you.

The rules of modern association football were established in the 1860s in the public schools of England. Prominent soccer players and teams were vividly portrayed on cigarette cards from the late 19th century through to just before WWII. Association football's popularity snowballed throughout the world and demand for early soccer memorabilia is increasing rapidly. It would be impractical to list every soccer set issued and so I've listed a selection of the more unusual and rare soccer card sets that I've come across in my six years of trading on eBay. I've provided colour scans of a sample card from each set and where possible, I've tried to include the names of players and their respective football teams. 

Soccer Card Sets

  • Name Of Set: Famous Footballers
  • Manufacturer: Ogdens
  • Issue Year: 1908
  • Card Number: 50
  • Names of Players: A. Bridgett - Sunderland FC, W. Meredith - Manchester United FC, W. George - Aston Villa FC, T.H. Crawshaw - Sheffield Wednesday FC, W. Foulke - Bradford FC, W. Wedlock - Bristol City FC, J.D. Taylor - Everton FC, A. Dunkley - Blackpool FC, R. Crompton, Blackburn FC, R.M. Owen - Swansea FC, J. Lewis - Bristol Rovers FC, J. Pennington - West Brom FC, A. Griffiths - Nottingham County FC, R. Morris - Grimsby Town FC, W.A. Silto - Barnsley FC, A. Shepherd - Bolton FC, J. Ashcroft - Woolwich Arsenal FC, E. Needham - Sheffield United FC, D. Cunliffe - New Brompton, G.R. Hilsdon - Chelsea FC, W. Beats - Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, J. Conlin - Manchester City, C.M. Veitch - Newcastle United FC, R.M. Hawkes - Luton Town FC, P. McBride - Preston NE FC, A. Smith - Bristol Rovers FC, A. Common - Middlesborough FC, H. Robinson - Birmingham FC, A.G. Raisbeck - Liverpool, L.R. Roose - Stoke City FC, G. Clawley - Southampton FC, J. Raeside - Bury FC, H. Smith  - Reading FC, T. Baddeley - Wolves FC, B. Warren - Derby County FC, H. Bromage - Leeds City FC, W. Bull - Tottenham Hotspurs FC, A. Cartlidge - Bristol Rovers FC, E.G.D. Wright - Hull City FC and J.W. Sutcliffe - Plymouth Argyle FC.

  • Name Of Set: Football Club Colours
  • Manufacturer: Ogdens
  • Issue Year: 1906
  • Card Number: 51
  • Names of Clubs: Reading FC,Bristol Rovers FC,Notts County FC,Southampton FC,New Brompton FC,Brentford FC,Sunderland FC,Derby County FC,Fulham FC,Swindon FC,Sheffield United FC,Everton FC,Aston Villa FC,Queen's Park Rangers FC,Northampton RFC,Middlesbrough FC,Lutton Town FC,Woolwich Arsenal FC,Watford FC,Bristol Rugby FC,Gloucester RFC,Richmond RFC,Wolverhampton Wanderers FC,Notts Forest FC,Tottenham Hotspur FC,Newcastle United FC,Blackburn Rovers FC,Swansea RFC,Devonport Albion RFC,Blackheath RFC,Cardiff AFC,Stoke FC, Newport RFC,Bury FC,Sheffield Wednesday FC,Portsmouth FC,Man U FC,Bolton Wanderers FC,Manchester FC,Bristol City FC,Exeter RFC,Millwall Athletic FC,Preston North End FC,Northampton Town FC,Birmingham FC,Brighton and Hove FC,West Ham United FC, Plymouth Argyle FC,Liverpool FC,Penarth RFC and South African Captain.

  • Name Of Set: Footballers (Colour)
  • Manufacturer: WA & AC Churchman
  • Issue Year: 1914
  • Card Number: 50
  • Names of Players: R Crompton - Blackburn Rovers, JV Bache - Aston Villa, R McFadden - Clapton Orient, H Fleming - Swindon, TW Boyle - Burnley, W Lacey - Liverpool, JT Brittleton - Sheffield Wednesday, W McCracken - Newcastle United, G Wall - Manchester United, J Pennington - West Bromwich Albion, VJ Woodward - Chelsea, W Wedlock - Bristol City, JG Peart - Notts County, RG Williamson - Middlesbrough, F Walden - Tottenham Hotspur, A Mitchell - Queen's Park Rangers, C Thomson - Sunderland, G Lillycrop - Bolton Wanderers, C Roberts - Oldham Athletic, A Lee - Southampton, T Browell - Manchester City, R Downs - Barnsley, H Colclough - Crystal Palace, Lloyd Davies - Northampton Town, Francis Womack - Birmingham, John English - Sheffield United, Percy R Sands - Woolwich Arsenal, Walter Otto Davis - Millwall, Thomas Randall - West Ham, Joseph Mercer - Notts Forest, Robert Torrence - Bradford City, R Mercer - Heart of Midlothian, TS Little - Bradford, Samuel Stevens - Hull City, Fred Fayers - Huddersfield Town, Ernald Scattergood - Derby County, JH Spiers - Leeds City, Thomas McDonald - Bury, J McCall - Preston North End, JS Maconnachie - Everton, H Woods - Norwich City, W Booth - Brighton and Howe, J Smith - Reading, HJ Pearce - Fulham, A McNair - Glasgow Celtic, W Reid - Glasgow Rangers, R Orrock - Falkirk, AE Knight - Portsmouth, Alfred Bishop - Wolverhampton Wanderers and S Atterbury - Plymouth Argyle.

  • Name Of Set: English League (Div. 1) Footer Captains
  • Manufacturer: Amalgamated Press
  • Issue Year: 1926
  • Card Number: 24
  • Names of Players: Frank Hudspeth - Newcastle United, Frank Barson - Manchester United, Charles Buchan - Arsenal, William Gillespie - Sheffield United, Joseph Smith - Bolton Wanderers, James Blair - Cardiff City, Frank Moss - Aston Villa, George Kay - West Ham United, William Flint - Notts County, Charles Pringle - Manchester City, Charles Parker - Sunderland, Frank Reed - West Bromwich Albion, Clement Stephenson - Huddersfield Town, Frank Womack - Birmingham, Hunter Hart - Everton, William Stage - Bury, Harry Healless - Blackburn Rovers, Donald Mackinlay - Liverpool, John Duncan - Leicester City, John Hill - Burnley, William Wainscoat - Leeds United, Arthur Grimsdell - Tottenham Hotspur, Hunter Hart - Everton and William Stage - Bury.

  • Name Of Set: Footballers In Action
  • Manufacturer: Gallaher
  • Issue Year: 1927
  • Card Number: 50
  • Names of Clubs: Manchester United,Bury,Huddersfield Town,Leicester City,Blackburn Rovers,Boton,Albion,Swansea,Sunderland,Notts Forest,Queen's Park Rangers,QPR,Southampton,Burnley......


  • Name Of Set: Famous Footballers, Green Back
  • Manufacturer: Gallaher
  • Issue Year: 1925
  • Card Number: 100
  • Names of Players: J. Kelly - Barnsley, James Chambers - Newry, H Burnison - Distillery, E Carroll - Glenavon, W Burns - Glentoran, S Moore - Belfast Celtic, J Cochrane - Portadown, J Doran - Shelbourne, W Simpson - Cliftonville, T Frame - Linfield, F Tunstall - Leeds United, J McKay - Blackburn Rovers, W Emerson - Glentoran, D. Rollo  - Blackburn Rovers, A Harland - Everton, F Keenor - Cardiff City, P Nelis - Wigan Borough, JC Cock - Portsmouth, V Watson - West Ham United, FG Morgan - Nottingham Forest, JR Smith - Bolton Wanderers, E Islip - Birmingham, WT Roberts - Burnley, H Bedford - Blackpool, W Butler - Bolton Wanderers, ET Vizard - Bolton Wanderers, J Duncan - Leicester, W Stage - Bury, TWilson - Huddersfield, P. Barton - Birmingham, AL Kennedy - Arsenal, S Wadsworth - Huddersfield, RH Pym - Bolton, AR Dorrell - Aston Villa, W Robb - Glasgow Rangers, WE Rawlings - Stoke City, F Womack - Birmingham, J Gill - Cardiff City, A Gray - Oldham Athletic, A Pape - Manchester United, F Roberts - Manchester City,J Bradford - Birmingham, WGB Moore - West Ham, E Scott - Liverpool,M Russell - Plymouth, W Gillespie - Sheffield United, E Fletcher - Manchester City, R Kelly - Burnley, D Shea - Clapton Orient, R McCracken - Crystal Palace, J Smith - Bolton Wanderers, R Irvine - Everton, TG Farquharson - Cardiff City, DBN Jack - Bolton, WH Walker - Aston Villa, W Cook - Sheffield United, JA Mackie - Arsenal, M Hammill - Manchester City, EW Hine - Barnsley, A Chandler - Leicester,JAC Mehaffy - New Brighton, W Chadwick - Everton, N. Harris - Newcastle United,F. Heap - Bury, A Pynegar - Oldham Athletic,A Morton - Glasgow Rangers, A Troup - Everton, C Stephenson - Huddersfield, A Matthieson - New Brighton, N McBain - Everton, B Howard Baker - Chelsea,W McCleery - Blackburn, JA Cringan - Birmingham, J Dawson - Burnley, T Clay - Tottenham Hotspur, and GC James - West Brom.


  • Name Of Set: Famous Teams
  • Manufacturer: Sherman's Pools Ltd.
  • Issue Year: 1938
  • Card Number: 37
  • Names of Teams: Aberdeen FC, Aston Villa FC, Arsenal FC, Birmingham FC, Bolton Wanderers FC, Brentford FC, Blackburn Rovers FC, Blackpool FC, Coventry City FC, Derby County FC, Charlton Athletic FC, Chelsea FC, Everton FC, Fulham FC, East Fife FC, England Team, Huddersfield FC, Ireland Team, Glasgow Celtic FC, Heart of Midlothian FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester United FC, Kilmarnock FC, Leeds United FC, Newcastle United FC, Newport County FC, Middlesbrough FC, Millwall FC, Sheffield United FC, Stoke City FC, Portsmouth FC, Preston North End FC, Tranmere Rovers FC, Wales FC ,Sunderland FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC and West Ham United FC.

  • Name Of Set: Football Caricatures
  • Manufacturer: Ogdens
  • Issue Year: 1935
  • Card Number: 50
  • Names of Players: J.W. Barker - Derby County FC ,J. Bray - Manchester City FC ,C.S. Britton - Everton FC,EF Brook - Manchester City FC,W. Copping - Arsenal F.C.,A. Geldard - Everton FC, R. Gurney - Sunderland FC, E.A. Hapgood - Arsenal FC, H. Hibbs - Birmingham FC, GC Male - Arsenal FC, RW Westwood - Bolton Wanderers FC, D.J. Astley - Aston Villa FC,W. Evans - Tottenham Hotspur FC, T.P. Griffiths - Middlesbrough FC, DO Jones - Leicester City FC, JP Murphy - West Ham FC, W. O'Callaghan - Leicester FC, C. Phillips - Wolves FC, D. Richards - Wolves Fc, J. Connor - Sunderland FC, D. Duncan - Derby County FC, H. Gallacher - Derby County FC, P. Gallacher - Sunderland, J. Jackson - Chelsea FC, A. Massie - Hearts FC, C. Napier - Derby County, J. Coulter - Everton FC, DK Martin - Wolves FC, W. Mitchell - Chelsea FC, AE Stevens - Everton,L Adams - Castleford,S. Brogden - Leeds,G. Carmichael - Bradford,DM Davies - Huddersfield,JRP Dawson - Hull,W. Dingsdale - Warrington,A. Ellaby - Wigan,B. Evans - Swinton,J. Feetham - Salford,AE Diddes,E. Herbert - Hull,M. Hodgson - Swinton,W. Little - Barrow,H. Lockwood - Halifax,E Pollard - Wakefield Trinity,AJ Risman,J Sherburn - Keighley,S. Smith,J. Sullivan,J. Walkington

  • Name Of Set: Footballers
  • Manufacturer: Carreras
  • Issue Year: 1934
  • Card Number: 75
  • Names of Players: Alex James at Arsenal,J. McDougall at Sunderland,W. Amos at Bury,G. Hunt at Tottenham Hotspurs,J. Arnold at Fulham,T.B. Hetherington at Burnley,W. Lowton at Wolverhampton,J. Bruton at Blackburn,O. Jones at Norwich City,D. Tremelling at Bury,L Stoker at Birmingham,H. Pearson at W.B. Albion,J. Allen at Newcastle United,S. Cowan at Manchester City,A. Campbell at Huddersfield,J. Beresford at Aston Villa,J. Barrett at West Ham United,G. Camsell at Middlesbrough,R. Barclay at Sheffield United,G. Taylor at Bolton Wanderers,R. Kelly at Preston North End,G. Henderson at Barnsley,H. Gallacher at Chelsea,H. Hanford at Swansea Town,J. Bestall at Grimsby Town,W. Thompson at Notts Forest,E. Blenkinsop at Liverpool,W. Tabram at Hull City,J. Nichol at Portsmouth,W. Evans at Tottenham Hotspur,S. Crooks at Derby County,E. Hine at Manchester United,E. Hart at Leeds United,Dixie Dean at Everton,H. Davies at Stoke City,J. Spence at Bradford City,H. Adcock at Leicester City,J. Brown at Sheffield Wednesday,David Jack at Arsenal,A Black at Leicester City,R. Goodall at Huddersfield,H. Hibbs at Birmingham,J. Gilfillan at Portsmouth,D. Astley at Aston Villa,J Holliday at Brentford,M. Webster at Middlesbrough,J. Connor at Sunderland,J. Allen at Aston Villa,J. Bowers at Derby County,J. Smith at Portsmouth,J. Cookson at Plymouth,W. Mcgonagle at Celtic,E. Glover at Grimsby Town,R. Mcphail at Glasgow Rangers,W. Porter at Oldham,C. Wharton at Norwich City,H. Scriven at Southampton,E. Brook at Manchester City and J. McClelland at Bradford Park Avenue, G. Hodgson at Liverpool, V. Woodley at Chelsea, E. Critchley at Preston, J. Milburn at Leeds, J Hampson at Blackpool, T Cooper at Derby, J McGrory at Celtic, J. Weddle at Portsmouth, G. Mills at Chelsea, Stanley Matthews at Stoke City, J Hulme at Arsenal, JA Johnston at Hearts, W Cresswell at Everton E Rimmer at Sheffield Wednesday, C Bastin at Arsenal, and T Glidden at West Brom.
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