FKS 1967/68 - Wonderful World of Soccer Stars - is this the original packet?
The rarest of all football sticker packets?
From 1968/69 onwards FKS Publishers became one of the best-known producers of football stickers in England. Their Wonderful World of Soccer Stars became instantly popular, challenging the more traditional card and gum offerings from A&BC Chewing Gum. They continued on for 14 years, finishing up in 1982 before being taken over by Quadriga, who then quickly disappeared.
Very little is known about FKS in England, except that they were the representatives of a Spanish printing and publishing company FHER, based in Bilbao. They produced many, many stickers across many parts of Europe, for many subject areas, not just football.
They started in England with a strange set of pictures already printed in an album for the 1966 World Cup. The Full Colour Picture Gallery of World Cup Stars didn't offer anything to collect, except the album itself.
The existence of their first set of collectable stickers in England in 1967/68 is still subject to some conjecture. There is a story that the stickers were issued 'in the North East of England' only, as a trial, but Greg has contacted this website to advise that he collected them from his home town in Nottinghamshire. What is known about this set is that the stickers were very basic, with the club name and player name only on the back. The spaces in the album are also blank i.e. there are no player biographies on either the stickers or in the album. There were also no instructions about what to do with the stickers, so most children stuck them into the spaces in the album, gluing the whole of the back of the stickers, making them almost impossible to remove without serious damage to the stickers (as opposed to the later editions, which provide instructions to glue only the tops of the stickers).
Pictured at right are the only images I've ever seen of what is being suggested as a packet for the 1967/68 FKS stickers. It has been very kindly supplied by Barry from London who has been on the hunt for it for some time. Barry has provided a scan of what we think is the 1967/68 packet alongside a 1968/69 packet, both to scale, which shows you that the 1967/68 packet was significantly larger, though using the same text and image. The images of the backs of the packets also show that in moving from 1967/68 to 1968/69 FKS decided to reduce the number of stickers (which at the time they called stamps), from 8 to 7 per packet.
The suggestion that this is a 1967/68 packet is plausible, since we know that very little else changed between the 1967/68 and 1968/69 issues. The album covers were identical (except for the different years), and most of the sticker images remained the same (except for a few transfers which were reflected in the stickers). Fulham and Sheffield United were included in the 1967/68 set, but were replaced by Ipswich Town and Q.P.R. in the 1968/69 edition, representing the teams relegated from the First Division and promoted from the Second Division at the end of the 1967/68 season.
So, while there is nothing on this packet which tells us that it is from the 1967/68 FKS issue, it is possible. I must admit that I remember 'give-away' packets of FKS stickers from my childhood, but can't remember if they were the same size as the proper sale packets. In the absence of contrary evidence, I'm prepared to accept Barry's suggestion that this is a 1967/68 packet, which makes it perhaps the rarest English football card/sticker packet from the period covered by this website. A very significant find, and thanks again to Barry for discovering it and making it available to this website.
If you have any views on this FKS packet, either to confirm or deny the suggestion, please drop me a line here.
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