In 1894 Ogden’s, one of the biggest tobacco companies in the UK, began adding free cigarette cards into its range of cigarette packets, however it wasn’t till 1906 that they released its first set of football cigarette cards, named “Football Club Colours” they featured the star players of 50 football and rugby clubs.
In 1910 Ogden’s published a set of Football Club Badges, these were a strange move away from the normal football cigarette cards as they were simply coloured bits of card to signify your allegiance by using them as button holes or on your cap. As the use of them for this purpose rendered them bent not a lot have survived and they now command quite a high price when they become available. There was apparently 43 in the set but we havent been able to find any confirmation of this.
The next set after that was issued in 1926 and was named “Captains of Association Football Clubs and Colours” and consisted of 44 cards, these don’t seem to be photo cards as such but look more like paintings.
There was then a series of 50 football player caricatures drawn by “Mac” (Douglas Machin) which Ogdens published in 1935. “Mac” seems to have been a very popular artist as he also created a set of caricatures for Players.
In 1935 Ogdens produced a new series of Club Captains, again numbering 50 and like most companies at the time they didnt only include footballers in the card collection but rugby players as well.
One of the more interesting football cigarette cards issued by Ogdens was a series of caricatures of various football clubs nicknames, these were a set of 50 issued in 1933. They were however reprinted in 1997 and we actually have some of these cards for sale on our main Footybits site.
As you can see Ogdens were quite active as far as football cigarette cards were concerned and hopefully this page will have given you a quick insight into the sort of work they did.