Nigel's WebSpace - English Football Cards - Esso
World Cup Coin Collection

In 1970 Esso commissioned 30 coins depicting the England squad for the World Cup. The coins are made of solid metal, and were wrapped for distribution through petrol stations. You were given a coin each time you bought four gallons of petrol, or two coins if you bought eight.

Two options were available for storing and displaying the coins. The free red card provided 30 slots to hold the coins. The blue mounting board could be bought from Esso petrol stations for 2/6. The board was made of thick card and the coins pressed into holes.

There is a special, very rare, set of these coins made of solid bronze by the Franklin Mint for presentation by the Esso Petroleum Company Ltd. These coins come in a blue presentation folder (see picture).

Rarer still there is also a Sterling Silver set by Franklin Mint, presented only to Sir Alf Ramsay, each player, plus each Director of Esso Petroleum (this fact confirmed by the son of one of the Directors). The sets presented to the players have the player name embossed on the front of the presentation folder, the sets presented to the Directors do not.

A special gallery of these coins is available below, including special statistics of the appearances and goals of each of the squad members at the World Cup.

Number in set: 30
Gallery: Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist, Team checklist


The curiously named Squelchers were a set of 16 booklets produced 'to squelch arguments about football'. The books were edited for Esso by Leslie Vernon and printed in Holland by Sackville Smeets. A blue plastic folder is available to hold all 16 booklets.

Number in set: 16
Gallery: Set gallery
Checklists: Set checklist

Football club badges

A set of foil badges which could be stuck onto a large collectors card. You could start off your collection by purchasing a special starters pack which included 26 badges for only 20p. After that I guess that you had to get your parents to buy some petrol.

Number in set: 76
Gallery: Set gallery
Checklists: N/A

F.A. Cup Centenary Medals

Another coin collection from Esso, this time with heavier coins. 30 of the coins (silver) represent the 30 teams who had won the cup up until 1972. A larger, bronze coin commemorated Leeds win over Arsenal in 1972.The coins could be presented on a dark blue mounting board.

I used to date this set to 1972/73 until I saw an advertisement which promoted the coins, and the fact that the 1972 F.A. Cup Final winner coin would be available 'at Esso stations a few days after the cup final', which means that the coins were available during the regular 1971/72 season.

Apparently there is an anomaly coin in this set with the Tottenham crest on one side and the Everton cup wins on the other. Quite rare though!

Number in set: 31
Gallery: N/A
Checklists: N/A

Top Team Collection

A strange though attractive set of small, thin metal disks, referred to as 'photo-discs' by Esso. The 22 'Soccer Superstars' could be mounted on a card by moistening the back of the photo-disc and pressing it firmly onto the ready-gummed circle on the collection card. The collection cards originally came with tissue paper in the middle to stop the pages of the card sticking to each other.

The photo-discs were presented in small sachets obtained each time you bought 3 gallons of petrol or 1 pint of Esso motor oil. When opened the sachets exposed pictures of players. The sachets and their pictures (stamps) have also become collectable (see below).

Number in set: 22
Gallery: Set gallery
Checklists sorted by card number: Set
Checklists sorted by team: Set

Top Team Collection Packets

Printed inside the sachets were small photos of players. The backs of the sachets indicated that each sachet should contain two footballer stamps, but they were from a continuous roll which was cut according to the needs of the sachets. There are therefore many different combinations of players.

Number in set: 22
Gallery: Set gallery
Checklists sorted by card number: Set
Checklists sorted by team: Set