Nigel's Webspace - Galleries of English Football Cards 1965/66 - 1979/80  Home pageMaster indexFacebookVisitor memoriesNewslettersSwaps & WantsFAQLinksSend me email
1954
'All Sport' series. A set of 120 black and white photograph cards with plain backs. The chewing gum was issued in a wrapper which said 'All Sport, Picture Bubble Gum'. There was a coupon on the wrapper which you could use to send away with 1/- to 'All Sports", 59 Oak Grove, Cricklewood, London, NW3. The coupons could be used to acquire an album 'Send 1/- and only 5 coupons for your super giant 20 page album containing a full history of all the sportsmen and sportswomen in this series'.

Number in set: 120 (36 footballers)
Gallery: Set gallery
Checklists: N/A

1958/59
Topstars - Famous Footballers. A&BC Chewing Gum's first dedicated football card sets. There are two series of these cards, numbers 1 to 46 (Series 1) and 47 to 92 (Series 2).

For Series 1 there are two versions of the set, commonly referred to as 'Planet', due to an offer printed at the top of some of the cards. In Series 1, the 'Planet' cards have black and red backs, while the non-Planet cards have blue and red backs. Interestingly, there are also two different card printing sizes for the Series 1 non-Planet cards, with some cards slightly larger and with a larger printed image than other cards in the set. Click here for a discussion and images of the card size variations.

All cards in Series 2 have, or originally had, the Planet offer at the top and therefore have black and red backs. The text of the offer is 'Send your name and address with 1/- P.O. for 32 page FOOTBALL ALBUM to PLANET LTD., 50 Hampstead Road, N.W. 1.

The wrapper has text which states 'Send 1 wrapper and 1/- P.O for your TOPSTAR ALBUM'. Write your name and address on separate paper. The address on the wrapper is A&BC Chewing Gum Ltd., London N.W. 9. Click to view the Topstars Album of Famous Footballers.

Number in set: 92
Gallery: Series 1, Series 2

Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
Special: Wrappers gallery
Special: Topstars Album of Famous Footballers
Special: Card size variations


1959/60
 
Footballer. A set of 98 red backed cards issued in two series, Series 1 (1 to 49) and Series 2 (50 to 98). The backs have a 'Football Quiz', which is how this set is often referenced.

There were two wrappers for this set. One card for 1d, or four cards for 3d. There are two known shop display posters for this set, one for each of the Series.

The wrappers do not have an album offer, but state 'Manufactured under licence with Topps Chewing Gum Inc., N.Y., U.S.A.'. This ties in with the A&BC history which reports that Topps bought in to A&BC in 1959 (see A&BC Chewing Gum history Part 2).


Number in set: 98
Gallery: Series 1, Series 2
Checklists: Series 1, Series 2, Team checklist
Special: Wrappers gallery

1960/61
Footballer - Black backs. A set of 84 cards issued in two series, Series 1 (1 to 42) and Series 2 (43 to 84).

The Shop Poster header shown above relates to this set of cards, and has the A&BC address as Romford, Essex, indicating that A&BC had moved from London following the fire at their Colindale factory.

The cards were available for 1d and 3d, one card for 1d or four cards for 3d (plus a piece of gum).

The wrappers state 'Send 5 wrappers and 1/- postal order with your name and address to A.& B.C. Chewing Gum Ltd., Harold Hill, Romford, Essex for your album'.

Number in set: 84
Gallery: Series 1, Series 2
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
Special: Wrappers gallery





1961/62
Footballers. A set of black and white photograph cards with signatures printed over the photos, plain backs. Issued in two series, Series 1 (1 to 32) and Series 2 (33 to 64).

It is not clear whether or not there was a one card for 1d wrapper available for this set. There are no known shop display posters for this set.

Number in set: 64
Gallery: Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
Special: Wrappers gallery
1962/63
Footballers - Bazooka. An attractive set of 80 cards plus two checklists, repeating the 'colour-framed' style from the 1960/61 black backs. I'm not sure whether this was issued as two series (i.e. one half of the cards issued at the start of the season and the other half later), but they do have two checklists.

While it is thought that there may be one or two wrappers for this set (one card for 1d and three cards for 2d) there are no known images of these wrappers, making them extremely rare. The wrappers are believed to have blue and orange rectangles.

Number in set: 82
Gallery: Cards 1-40, Cards 41-82
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist

Special: Wrappers gallery
 
1963/64
 
Footballers - Make-a-Photo. Issued in two series, Series 1 (1 to 55) and Series 2 (56 to 110).

The shop display poster header above is from a poster which features mainly Series one cards.

Number in set: 110
Gallery: Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist

Special: Wrappers gallery
1964/65
Footballers - Quiz. A&BC continue to grow the size of the sets, this time issuing the cards in three series, Series 1 (1 to 58), Series 2 (59 to 103) and Series 3 (104 to 149).

Number in set: 149
Gallery: Series 1, Series 2, Series 3
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
Special: Wrappers gallery
Special: A&BC counter boxes gallery
1966/67
Footballers. A set of 220 black and white cards in two series (1-110 and 111-220) issued in pairs, but most often seen as singles. The 2nd series differs in that the player name is printed on the front of the card. There are 8 checklist cards for the 1st series, all being parts of a picture of the 1966 England World Cup Winning Team. The 8 checklists from the 2nd series form a picture of the runners-up - West Germany.

The sets must have been produced in September 1966, since they include details of transfers which occurred early in the 1966/67 season e.g. Card 95 Colin Dobson but not October transfers e.g. Card 177 Dominic Sharkey.

Number in set:
220
Gallery: Series 1 (1-110), Series 2 (111-220)
Checklists: Series 1 (1-110), Series 2 (111-220), Team checklist
Special: Wrappers gallery

World Cup Footballer Stickers (also known as World Cup Stamps). 50 stickers/stamps sold by A&BC. These are very, very rare.

For the price of 1d. you received a piece of bubble gum, plus one sticker.

Some stamps depict players (vertical), while others depict players and their teams (horizontal). Many thanks to one particular website visitor who contributed most of these images.

Number in set:
50
Gallery: Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
Special: Wrappers gallery
   
Promotional badges. These badges include the text 'Featured in A&BC's Footballer Bubble Gum'. Douglas Coakley, one of original founders of A&BC Chewing Gum, tells me that the badges were produced as promotional items to giveaway at sales and marketing events to promote the bubble gum packs and football cards. He can't recall the exact dates, but the featured players strongly suggest the 1966 World Cup Squad. Originally throw-away items, these badges are now very collectable. They are surprisingly small, being 18mm or 0.7" diameter.

Number in set:
12
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
Special: Wrappers gallery
 
1967/68
Footballer (Star Players). A small set of colourful cards, sometimes referred to as 'Black backs'. No checklists.

Number in set:
55
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
Special: Wrappers gallery
Special:
A&BC counter boxes gallery
England's Stars pin-ups. An attractive set of 'pin-up' posters given away in the packets of Star Players. Since these pin-ups were squeezed into the bubble gum packets they always have the creases.

Number in set: 12
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
Special: Wrappers gallery
Special: A&BC counter boxes gallery
 
1968/69
Footballer - Yellow backs. My own all-time favourite set of football cards. A neat, classy set with a Football Quiz and Magic Answer on the back. Series 1 comprises cards 1 to 54 (Checklist is card 1), and Series 2 comprises cards 55 to 101 (Checklist card 55).

Number in set: 101
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Series 1 (1-54), Series 2 (55-101), Team checklist
Special: Wrappers gallery
Special: A&BC Chewing Gum variants and error cards
Special: A&BC counter boxes gallery
Team pennants. Team pennants folded in the yellow back card packets, hence the folds whenever you see these attractive pennants. The pennants have instructions to 'Cut out Pennant along black line' but thankfully not too many boys seem to have done this. They were issued with Series 1 of the Yellow Backs in 1968.

Number in set: 26
Gallery: Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist
Team emblems. These shiny cards don't scan too well. They were issued with Series 2 of the Yellow Backs in 1968.

Number in set: 20
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist
Special: Wrappers gallery
1969/70
Football - Green backs. Another popular A&BC set. The backs included a Football Facts quiz. Series 1 comprises cards 1 to 64, Series 2 cards 65 to 117 and Series 3 cards 117 to 170. The 3 checklist cards are unnumbered. Two players (Lawrence and Woodfield) have card number 117.

Number in set:
174
Gallery:
Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Coventry City, Derby County, Everton, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Checklists
Checklists: Series 1 (1-64), Series 2 (65-117), Series 3 (117-170), Team checklist
Special: Green-back wrappers gallery
Special:
A&BC Chewing Gum variants and error cards
Special: A&BC counter boxes gallery
Crinkle-cut photographs. Attractive black and white photograph cards with a crinkle-cut edge. Numbers 1 to 18 were issued with Series 2 of the Green Backs. Numbers 19 to 36 were issued with Series 3.

Number in set: 36
Gallery:
N/A
Checklists: Series 1 (1-18), Series 2 (19-36), Team checklist
World Cup Posters. A super set of posters. You bought the posters through buying the bubble gum packets (6d each). The player photographs (see below) came for free with the posters.

Number in set: 16
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist
Special: A&BC counter boxes gallery
World Cup Footballers. Super attractive cards for the 1970 England World Cup Squad. Available in two forms - with or without an embossed Jules Rimet trophy. These cards were issued with the World Cup Posters above.

Number in set: 37
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
 
1970/71
Footballer - Orange backs. A large set of attractive cards, issued in 3 sets. Series 1 comprises cards 1 to 84 (checklist), Series 2 cards 85 (checklist) to 169 and Series 3 cards 170 (checklist) to 255. The galleries available for this set include full player appearances for 1970/71 plus team results home and away, with goalscorer.

An interesting feature of this set is that it includes 21 of the 22 sides playing in the First Division in 1970/71. Huddersfield Town, promoted from the Second Division in 1969/70, are not included.

Number in set: 255
Gallery:
Arsenal, Blackpool, Burnley, Chelsea, Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Derby County, Everton, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Checklists
Checklists: Series 1 (1-84), Series 2 (85-169), Series 3 (170-255), Team checklist
Special: Orange-back wrappers gallery
Special:
A&BC Chewing Gum variants and error cards
Special: A&BC counter boxes gallery
Pin-up posters. An attractive set of 'pin-up' posters issued with Series 1 of the Orange Backs.

Since these pin-ups were squeezed into the bubble gum packets they always have the creases.

Number in set:
14
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist
 
Action Transfers. Very small stickers which include the instructions 'Peel off back and rub picture with ball point'. Most of these transparencies would have been so attached to school books and other surfaces, so very few have survived intact. These transfers were issued with Series 2 and 3 of the Orange Backs.

Number in set:
72
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist

1971/72
Footballers - Purple backs. Perhaps not one of A&BC's better designed sets. The backs are stylish, but the fronts don't have the same appeal as in previous years. Series 1 comprises cards 1 to 109 (checklist 57), Series 2 cards 110 to 219 (checklist 170) and Series 3 cards 220 to 290 (checklist 277).

Number in set: 290
Gallery:
N/A
Checklists: Series 1 (1-109), Series 2 (110-219), Series 3 (220-290), Team checklist
Special: Purple-back wrappers gallery
Special:
A&BC Chewing Gum variants and error cards
Special: A&BC counter boxes gallery
Football club crests. A set of strange looking stickers which were issued with Series 2 of the Purple backs. They belonged in an album (cost 8p) which could be ordered from:

A&BC Footballer Album
A&BC Chewing Gum Ltd.
Spilsby Road,
Romford, Essex

The set includes 23 crests, being the remaining 20 First Division teams from 1970/71, the two teams promoted from the Second Division (Leicester City and Sheffield United), plus Cardiff City who finished 3rd in the Second Division. In the album Cardiff are stuck at the back, with the note 'Always one of the leading clubs in the Second Division, Cardiff narrowly missed promotion last season'.

Number in set: 23
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist
Footballer Superstars. Attractive stickers which were issued with Series 3 of the  Purple backs. These stickers, like the crests, advertise the A&BC Footballer Album to stick them in.

The 23 Superstars are from the 23 clubs featured in the Crests (above). In the album you stuck the Crest and the Superstar alongside the club information.

Number in set: 23
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
1972/73
Footballers - Orange/Red backs. A&BC back to basics with a well-designed set of attractive cards. This set comprises 2 series: cards 1 to 109 (checklist 45), and 110 to 219 (checklist 154).

Number in set: 219
Gallery: Arsenal (9), Birmingham City (7), Chelsea (10), Coventry City (10), Crystal Palace (11), Derby County (10), Everton (10), Huddersfield Town (2), Ipswich Town (10), Leeds United (11), Leicester City (9), Liverpool (11), Manchester City (11), Manchester United (11), Newcastle United (10), Norwich City (6), Nottingham Forest (5), Sheffield United (10), Southampton (10), Stoke City (10), Tottenham Hotspur (10), West Bromwich Albion (10), West Ham United (10), Wolverhampton Wanderers (4) and Checklists (2)

Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
Special: Orange-red-back wrappers gallery
Special:
A&BC Chewing Gum variants and error cards
Special: A&BC counter boxes gallery
Football card game. I have no idea what A&BC thought they were doing issuing a card game. The quality of the printing is terrible, as you can see from the scan. The images are printed in all different directions and often off the sides of the cards!

These cards were issued with Series 2 of the Orange/Red backs. The images on the cards appear identical to the images on the Footballer cards, without the backgrounds.

Number in set:
22
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
1973/74
Footballers - Blue backs. A&BC entered the era of scary hairstyles with a classy and popular set. The set was issued in 2 series: cards 1 to 131 (checklist 36) and 132 to 264 (checklist 182). Quality control was still not a priority for A&BC with cards 235, 262 and 264 never issued.

You received 4 cards for 2p.

Number in set:
262 (including the two variants of the checklist)
Gallery:
Arsenal, Birmingham City, Burnley, Chelsea, Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Derby County, Everton, Ipswich Town,
Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Norwich City,
Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Southampton, Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United

Checklists: Series 1 (1-131), Series 2 (132-263), Team checklist
Special: Blue-back wrappers gallery
Special:
A&BC Chewing Gum variants and error cards
Special: A&BC counter boxes gallery
Crinkle-cut photographs. Another A&BC set of black and white photographs, similar to the 1969/70 set but these tend to be action, rather than head, shots. Quality is again an issue, with the paper tending to age and therefore make this set appear older than they really are. These cards were issued with Series 2 of the Blue back set.

Number in set: 32
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
Giant Team Posters. Large posters of the top English and Scottish teams, each with 12 player portraits. The posters were collectable from packets of gum costing 4p each.

Number in set: 16
Gallery:
Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist
Special: A&BC counter boxes gallery
1974/75
Footballers - Red backs. The last ever A&BC Footballers production before the takeover by Topps. A small set, only 132 cards, and no special giveaways. Checklist card is number 13.

Number in set: 132
Gallery: Arsenal, Birmingham City, Burnley, Chelsea, Coventry City, Derby County, Everton, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Queen's Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Southampton, Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Checklist. Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist
Special: A&BC counter boxes gallery
Special: Red-back wrappers gallery
Cup Winner, Bag of Fun. Over the years there has been much speculation amongst collectors about whether or not A&BC ever issued 'Lucky bags', which were, allegedly, paper bags containing an assortment of football cards leftover from previous issues.

The images shown at right, kindly sent in by a couple of website visitors, are of a paper bag from a previously unknown company called 'A&BC Novelties' albeit from the same address as A&BC Chewing Gum Limited. What these bags contained is not clear, but at least one visitor has confirmed that they included 1974 World Cup souvenir posters (each measuring 6" x 4"), forming a set of 12. Frustratingly these posters do not include the A&BC name.

What is going on here? Well, by this time A&BC had been in dispute with Topps for some time and were heading towards their unfortunate demise late in 1974. The World Cup was held in June/July 1974 so it is not clear what A&BC Novelties were trying to do, or who was running the 'new' company. Douglas Coakley does not remember issuing these Cup Winner, Bag of Fun bags, though he does recall 'Lucky Bags' (date unknown).

Click for an image gallery of the set of 12 1974 World Cup souvenir poster cards.

The copyright of all images used on this site remains with the copyright holders. No commercial gain is made from the use of the images on this site.
The copyright of the overall layout, design and textual content of the site is asserted to reside with its creator, Nigel Mercer.