With a series as large as this, there were always going to be a few differences! Numerous print runs led to the variations in backs on the cards, but in addition they were responsible for other major differences such as the size of the picture, the colour of the background or shirt, the player’s name or initials and also the team changed when a player was transferred. On occasion there were even clangers dropped with the picture of the player himself!

So let’s start with the different backs, identified amongst collectors as ‘black oval’, ‘brown oval’, ‘double-line (or frame)’, ‘Address Photo’ and ‘Address Pinnace’ …

Black Oval  Brown Oval  Double line  Photo back  Pinnace backOccasionally there are cards which display no team name on the front, either at the top or at the bottom. In such cases, the team name was usually glued to the back of the card in the form of a little strip of paper, as below. Sometimes these were peeled off.

Team name on back

The picture and text on the front was often different from series to series. Here we have examples of the same player appearing for two different teams – same picture, different team name …

00050005-sheff-weds   07580758-huddersfield

… sometimes the player name was right and the team was the same, but the team name was printed differently … and the picture is a slightly different size too …!


… sometimes there was simply no team at all …


… and here are examples of a different background …

02990299b   05170517b

… occasionally the printers got the name or the initials wrong …

04060406-error   02960296-error


… and here both the team and the player picture size are different!



… sometimes it’s a completely different person …


… sometimes it’s the same person with a completely different picture …

06730673-casuals  07970797-luton   09621093

… sometimes they got the right name but the wrong player …


… sometimes it was COMPLETELY wrong …


… occasionally it was as simple as a number in a different position …


… or even just a full stop added after the number …


… and finally, the most famous card of all! Card 1328 A.R. Darvill (Ilford) should be 1828; that’s why there is NO number 1828 in this series


As you can see, it is the fact that there are so many anomalies that makes this such a difficult collection to complete! 😦


8 Responses to Variations

  1. Brian houghton says:

    According to Half time, a cabinet size team group could be obtained by sending off 100 k size cards in exchange for one. Only two are known to exist, crystal palace and your Huddersfield town!!!

  2. Chris Collings says:

    G.H.Douglas, card no.134, is available as Oldham, Burnley and Leicester. I have all three!

  3. Rob Ford says:

    Card 304 WJ Smith I have as Queens Park Rangers. Hence the hooped shirt I guess

  4. Brian Houghton says:

    Yes I have a few Manchester city cards that are also listed with other clubs ie Pringle (st mirren) and Meredith (Manchester United ) I’m after George Utley who I think is usually listed as Sheffield United.

  5. Sebastian Zaleski says:

    I have two for card no. 695 which are different players, both Preston: J. Elliott (which you have listed) & R. Woodhouse (who, btw, is also no. 316, but a different pic of him). Anyone heard of this variation?

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