25 November 2020

Taddy

James Taddy & Company first issued a set of football cigarette cards in 1907 when a series named “Prominent Footballers” was released. The set consisted of 595 black and white football cards featuring an oval shaped picture of the footballer concerned, this design remained constant through every football cigarette card series Taddy  issued.

The teams covered in this first series were – Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Bradford City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Hull City, Leeds City (not yet United), Liverpool, Man Utd, Middlesbrough, New Brompton, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, Portsmouth, Preston North End, Queens Park Rangers, Reading, Sheffield United, Southampton, Sunderland, Swindon Town, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Woolwich Arsenal.

Strangely enough the Sheffield United cards featured two of the same player – Johnson, why? One was with moustache and the other was clean shaven !!

Most of the teams had 15 players featured with the exception of New Brompton and Wolves (13 each) and Nottingham Forest who had 14.

The astute among you will have noted that there is 30 teams and with the 13s & 14s the total would only be 445 cigarette cards in total and yet the series contained 595?

The answer to who are the missing footballers is simple, they actually weren’t players but were football officials !!

Taddy & Co went on to release a further two series of football cigarette cards. The first in 1908 consisted of 400 cards, there was a larger number of teams in this series (39) but each team had various numbers of cards so we wont bore you with those facts.

The teams though were Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bradford City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Bristol City, Chelsea, Clapton Orient, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Hull City, Leeds City, Leyton, Liverpool, Luton Town, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Millwall, New Brompton, Northampton Town, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, Plymouth Argyle, Portsmouth, Preston North End, Queens Park Rangers, Reading, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Sunderland, Swindon Town, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham Utd, Wolves and Woolwich Arsenal. .

A subsequent series was released in 1913 but there is some mystery surrounding the exact numbers (none of Taddys football cigarette cards were numbered) in the series, it is thought to be approx 435 but unfortunately not all of them have been identified so it is impossible to say with any certainty.

The teams that have been identified as having cigarette cards in this series are – Aston Villa, Birmingham, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Bradford City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Bristol City, Chelsea, Clapton Orient, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Millwall, Portsmouth, Preston North End, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Sunderland, Swindon Town, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham Utd and Woolwich Arsenal.

A sad footnote to the Taddy story is that the company closed down in 1920 when tobacco workers went on strike for higher wages, Taddys management had warned the workers that if they walked out they would simply close the business down, well the workers did strike and Taddy carried out its threat …… so that was the end of that !!

So there you are, a quick overview of another set of interesting cards for football cigarette card collectors.

We do have some of these for sale on our own Footybits site as well as occasional auctions onEbay if your interested in adding them to your collection.