Churchmans had a very close connection to football ever since it opened in 1898, the reason being its factory was situated in Portman Road, the home of course of Ipswich Town. In fact the company actually has a tobacco processing factory built alongside the football ground and the club even named the adjoining stand “The Churchmans” because of this connection with the tobacco company.
One of its first products was called “Top Score”, yet despite these obvious football connections it wasn’t until 1909 that it published its first set of football cigarette cards. Titled “Football Club Colours” the set consisted of 50 footballers in their team kits.
“Churchmans Football Club Colours”
It followed this up the next year with another series of 50 cigarette cards called “Footballers Portraits”
“Churchmans Footballers Portraits”
In 1914 it bucked the trend slightly and produced 50 “action” shots showing a hand drawn picture of the featured player in action, a head portrait of the player also appeared in an inset on the card, the name of this set … “Footballers” !!
The company then ignored football cigarette cards for almost 25 years until in 1938 it released a set of 50 black and white action snaps of top footballers.
“Churchmans Association Footballers”
The following year another similar set of 50 cigarette cards was issued with exactly the same format.
“Churchmans Association Footballers Series 2”
We do have some complete sets and individual Churchman football cigarette cards for sale on our own football memorabilia site at Footybits if you are interested in adding them to your collection.