In 1871 the American company of Allen and Ginter began inserting pieces of card to protect the cigarettes from being damaged. It was not long bef… Read More
In 1871 the American company of Allen and Ginter began inserting pieces of card to protect the cigarettes from being damaged. It was not long before tobacco companies had the idea of printing advertisements on these cards, or "stiffeners" as they were called in the trade. In about 1876 companies began producing a series of cards that the smoker could collect. It was believed that this would encourage the smoker to continue using that particular brand.
The tobacco companies discovered that these sporting cards were a great way to obtain brand loyalty. In 1896 the first football set appeared. Footballers & Club Colours was published by Marcus & Company, a small firm in Manchester. These cards are extremely rare and individual cards are valued at £170. This is true of all the early football sets that were issued at this time: Footballers & Club Colours (Kinner, 1898); Footballers (J. F. Bell, 1902); Footballers (F. J. Smith, 1902) and Footballers (Percy E. Cadle, 1904). The cost of individual cards of these sets vary from £40 to £160.
In 1902 W.D. & H.O. Wills published a set of 66 football cards. This included George Clawley (Tottenham Hotspur), Matt Kingsley (Newcastle United), George Hedley (Sheffield United), Jimmy Crabtree (Aston Villa), Ernest Needham (Sheffield United) and Fred Spiksley (Sheffield Wednesday). Interestingly, most of the players were photographed in suits.
For the 2011-2012 La-Liga Season,these vintage style cards have been recreated with the first team squad of FC Barcelona,including Lionel Messi, who for the third year running has been voted World Player of the year & Pique,Xavi,Ineista and Puyol European and World Cup & Club Champions of Spain.