Cigarette card collecting, or cartophily to give the hobby its correct name, is such a massive subject that there is no way any one website could cover it in any detail.
One of those is of course football, which is what this site is all about.
Cigarette cards came about when tobacco manufacturers realised that they could put advertising messages on the bits of cards they used to protect the cigarettes in the packets. They were originally known as “stiffeners” for obvious reasons.
However it wasn’t until years later that companies realised that these cards gave them an opportunity to also encourage brand loyalty if the cards were in some way collectable ….. hence the sets that we are so familiar with nowadays began life.
It is thought that Ogdens were the first British company to try and encourage repeat business this way when they issued what became known as “Guinnea Golds” in 1894.
Of course it wasn’t long before the “brand loyalty” of football fans was used as a marketing tool and the first set of football related cigarette cards appeared in 1896, issued by a company called Marcus & Co these were named Footballers & Club Colours and are worth in excess of £200 per card now !!
A selection of cards I have for sale on my football memorabilia site Footybits
Since then there have been millions of football cigarette cards issued which makes it an absolutely brilliant area for football memorabilia collectors to get stuck into, whether its collecting complete sets, individual players or specific team related cards there is plenty of scope for anyone.