Ardath Tobacco Co began life way back in 1896 but it was almost 20 years later (1914) when it first started issuing cigarette cards and a further 20 years before its first set of football cigarette cards !!
The series was named Famous Footballers and featured 50 of the periods “top” footballers, these particular cigarette cards weren’t actually photos however, instead they were very well painted portraits and were a very high quality reproduction.
Unfortunately they only produced the one set of cigarette cards featuring individual players and instead, in 1936, released several series of team pictures. These included North West Counties (110), Yorkshire (110), Scotland (165), Midlands (110) and London & Southern Counties (110).
As you can imagine with these sorts of numbers there would be more than just the usual League teams featured, indeed some very strange teams gained their place in football cigarette card history, for example …… Dumbarton Harp, Coltness United, Hayes Wharf, Newton Solney, Huntley Gordon and Arbroath Victoria were just a few of the lesser known teams who had their own card.
Ardath then left the football cigarette card market and went on to other subjects, however their legacy is some great sets of cards, albeit expensive ones, some of which we do have for sale on ourFootybits site. Of course individual cards and sets can also be picked up on Ebay as well.