1958/59 Footballers
Different cartoons

I'm aware of two variations in the 1958/59 set of 92 cards. Each card has a quiz and a cartoon on the back, but cards 83 and 84 are known with two different cartoons. For card 84, Stan Mortensen is the answer to the quiz, so the cartoon with his surname jumbled is considered the 'correct' card. For card 83 Jerry advises that the player with his eyes covered is probably the correct cartoon answer to the question 'Who is the Burnley half-back whose nickname is Geordie', since the other cartoon is printed on another card with an appropriate question.

1968/69 Footballers (Yellow backs)
Football next to team name variation

Some of the cards in this set have a picture of a football on the front, next to the team name, while others do not. This is considered a variation, rather than an error. Perhaps the cards were produced in two lots, with the football forgotten from one of the lots.

The two cards shown have been randomly selected to show this feature. The cards which do not have the football are numbers 2, 12, 19, 25, 32, 40, 44, 47, 48, 63, 65, 77, 78, 79, 82, 83, 86, 87, 88, 89, 91, 92, 93, 95, 96, 100 and 101.

Card number 71, Joe Baker, is known with both a football and a non-football version. The version without the football is rarer, is therefore considered the error card.

Card number variations

Card numbers 6 and 48 appear to have their card numbers printed in a smaller font than all other cards in the set (see pictures). There is not an obvious explanation for this.

1969/70 Football (Green backs)
Card number variations

Green back cards from Series 1 and 2 (numbers 1 to 117) have a card number on the rear without a full-stop, with the exception of cards 85 and 95, which have small full-stops. Cards from Series 3 all have a full-stop after the number.

Duplicate cards 117

There are two cards in this set with number 117. The David Woodfield card does not have the full-stop after the card number, and is included on the Series 2 checklist. This card is therefore accepted as being part of Series 2. The Tommy Lawrence card does include the full-stop, and is included on the Series 3 checklist, and is therefore accepted as being part of Series 3. This means that the green back set has a high card number of 170, but includes 171 cards plus three checklists.

Series 2 checklist variation

The 2nd series checklist begins a sequence of variations in A&BC Gum checklists lasting until 1973/74! It appears as if A&BC Gum produced an early or trial version, and then updated it closer to the actual production run of the cards, often making last minute changes. A number of cards mentioned on the checklists may therefore never have been produced.

For the Green backs the 2nd series checklist reflects a change in style from Series 1, where the player name and team was printed, to the Series 3, where only the player name appears. One version of the Series 2 checklist includes the team name (the 4-column version), while the other doesn't (the 5-column version). Perhaps surprisingly the more accurate checklist of the two does not include the team names.

4-column version checklist
66 A. Lochhead (Leicester City, transferred to Aston Villa February 1970)
68 John Toshack (Cardiff City, transferred to Liverpool November 1970)
105 Willie Morgan (Manchester City)

5-column version checklist
66 Chris Cattlin (Coventry City)
68 Ernie Hunt (Coventry City)
105 John Dempsey (Chelsea)

To the best of my knowledge the three cards in the table above from the 4-column version were never produced.

Allan Clarke reprint (card number 29)

Allan Clarke was transferred from Leicester City to Leeds United in June 1969 in a high profile, £165,000, transfer. It is likely that this transfer coincided with the production run of the Green backs in time for the 1969/70 season. In order to ensure that they captured the event A&BC produced a second version of the Allan Clarke card with the text 'Transferred to Leeds United' on the front. There was no change made to the back of the card.

Colin Suggett reprint (card number 54)

Colin Suggett was transferred from Sunderland to W.B.A. in July 1969. A&BC reflected this transfer through a second version of this card with the text 'Transferred to West Brom. Alb.' on the front. There was no change made to the back of the card.

David Sadler reprint (card number 125)

David Sadler played for Manchester United from 1963 until 1973. Although he was not transferred within the timeframe of the A&BC print run there are two completely different versions of this card. The two cards have different front pictures, and different text on the rear. One of the cards has the full-stop after the card number, and uses the same image from the 1968/69 Yellow backs (though resized and reversed, an old trick, see pictures). However, the green back text is quite different and his place of birth has been changed, from Yalding to Maidstone. The other green back card has no full-stop after the number, has the same place of birth as the yellow back card, and a similar (though different) biography. This card tends to be rarer than the 'full-stop' green card. It is not clear which of these two cards came first. The 'full-stop' card suggests that it was part of the original Series 3 run. The fact that it uses the same image as the previous year's yellow backs also suggests that they were struggling with their Sadler card. Perhaps it was replaced when the new image became available, although if this were the case why would they change the place of birth, biography and Football Quiz?

Frank McLintock reprint (card number 132)

There appears to be no reason for this reprint. The photo stays the same (though is resized) and the text is changed. The original card starts "Arsenal's captain,...", while the newer version starts "The brains behind...".

One possibility is that A&BC mixed up the Scottish Blue back set, which includes the larger photo and text which begins "Arsenal's captain". Interestingly, and wrongly, the Scottish card lists McLintock as a centre-forward!

Bobby Moncur reprint (card number 145)

Two versions exist of the Bobby Moncur card. The pictures are similar, though different. The text on the rear of the cards is the same, though one has 'Football Facts' and the other a 'Football Quiz'. The original Series 3 card has the team name 'Newcastle United' printed on the front and rear, as does every other Newcastle card in the set (view here). However, the apparently 'newer' version has the team name 'Newcastle'. Does this mean that a new error was introduced in the reprint? To add further to the confusion, the image used on the original, 'full-stop' version of the card is the same as used for the following year's orange back series (see picture).

John Sissons reprint (card number 151)

The Johnny Sissons mystery is similar to that of David Sadler. He was not transferred during the period of the production run, so there is no obvious reason to reprint the card. The photo has been changed, the biography changed and there is a different 'Football Fact'. This one defies all logic...

1970/71 Footballer (Orange backs)
Brian O'Neil reprint (card number 98)

Brian O'Neil was signed by Southampton from Burnley for £75,000 in the summer of 1970, just about the time A&BC would have been preparing and printing the cards for the Orange back series. In response to this A&BC coloured in his shirt (you can tell this as there is a player in Burnley colours in the background) and changed the team name on the front of the card, but apparently forgot to change the team name or text on the back. In a later reprint they changed the team name and rewrote the player biography.

2nd Series checklist

The 2nd Series checklist, card number 85, has cards listed wrongly in the sequence 144 to 160. The checklist has Terry Alcock as 144, through to Neil Young as 160. John Angus is actually card 144, and Alcock is card 145. All of the cards listed in the checklist from 144 to 159 are numbered +1 on the actual cards e.g. Peter Dobing is 155 on the checklist but is card number 156. Neil Young appears on card 218 (not 160), and is correctly listed as 218 on the 3rd Series checklist. So, in summary, there is a numbering error on the 2rd Series checklist where these numbers do not match the actual card numbers.

The Checklist has card 169 as David Tayne, whereas it should be David Payne.

3rd Series checklist reprint (card number 170)

The Series 3 checklist card comes in two varieties. The first references cards to 255, the other to 256. There are differences in the players listed on the cards, summarised in the table below. The cards listed on the 255 version e.g. Hill, Barnard, Howe etc. are not known to exist. At the bottom of the 255 version is printed 'Subject to change'. Card 256 (Checklist) is not known to exist.

255 version
175 Alan Hill (Nottingham Forest)
178 Chris Barnard (Ipswich Town)
181 Bobby Howe (West Ham United)
184 Ian Bowyer Manchester City)
189 Dennis Clarke (Huddersfield Town)
192 Mike Pejic (Stoke City)
193 Nobby Stiles (Manchester United)
196 Michael Coop (Coventry City)
198 Jimmy Lindsay (West Ham United)
215 Roger Hynd (Crystal Palace)
220 Henry Mowbray (Blackpool)
222 Micky Hill (Ipswich Town)
227 Jimmy Thomson (Burnley)
228 Richard Krzywicki (Huddersfield Town)
230 Bill Bentley (Blackpool)
234 Mike Lambert (Ipswich Town)
245 Mike Docherty (Burnley)
247 Sandy Brown (Everton)

256 version
175 Jim Barron (Nottingham Forest)
178 Keith Weller (Chelsea)
181 Trevor Brooking (West Ham United)
184 Derek Dougan (Wolves)
189 James Pearce (Tottenham Hotspur)
192 Phil Parkes (Wolves)
193 Denis Law (Manchester United)
196 Mike Coop (Coventry City)
198 Derek Parkin (Wolves)
215 Mike Bailey (Wolves)
220 Les Wilson (Wolves)
222 Mike O'Grady (Wolves)
227 Mike Lambert (Ipswich Town)
228 Keith Newton (Everton)
230 Dennis Bond (Tottenham Hotspur)
234 John Winfield (Nottingham Forest) 245 John Ritchie (Stoke City)
247Thomas Jackson (Everton)
256 Check List III
Jimmy Greenhoff / John O'Rourke reprint (card numbers 174 and 216)

The John O'Rourke / Jimmy Greenhoff error is one of the more obvious A&BC ever made by simply mixing up the photos of the two players. Click to see the Tony Coakley letter explaining this variant. The letter states 'this mistake was spotted and immediately the printers corrected it, but unfortunately a certain amount of cards were manufactured and released into the shops'. In a later reprint A&BC corrected the photos.

1971/72 Footballer (Purple backs)
2nd Series checklist (card number 170)

This Series 2 checklist is an amazingly inaccurate reference. What was going on at A&BC? Did they allocate this task to the work experience boy? The checklist covers cards from 110 to 153 on the front, and then 154 to 219 on the back, plus it lists 302 as the Series 3 checklist? Series 3 only ran to 290 cards (though A&BC may not have designed it by the time they were producing Series 2), and the checklist ended up being card 277 (see entry below). The many differences between the checklist and the actual cards are listed below. To the best of my knowledge the errors on this card were never corrected by a reprint.

135 Alan Foggon (transferred to Cardiff City, August 1971) issued as Ian Gibson (Cardiff City)
136 Peter King (struggling for a place with Cardiff City early in the 1971/72 season) issued as Brian Kidd (Manchester United)
150 Ian Bowyer (transferred to Orient, June 1971) issued as Neil Young (Manchester City)
173 John Tudor (Tudor ended up in Series 3 as the last card, 290) issued as Jack Charlton (Leeds United)
183 Trevor Whymark (not in the Ipswich Town side in early 1971/72) issued as Bobby Stokes (Southampton)
193 John McAlle (never appeared in an A&BC card?) issued as David Wagstaffe (Wolves)
206 Roger Wyle (did they mean John Wile?) issued as Geoff Blockley (Coventry City)
211 Bernard Shaw (another Wolves player who never featured for A&BC) issued as David Woodfield (Wolves)
217 John Brindley (Notts County, in what would have been his only appearance in football cards) issued as Charlie George (Arsenal)

3rd Series checklist reprint (card number 277)

The purple back series numbers up to 290. However, A&BC produced a Series 3 checklist which numbered up to 293. It appears that they produced the 293 checklist first, then realised the error (or changed their mind about how many they were going to produce), and so issued a new checklist (labelled 'New Checklist!)'.

Stamp Album checklist

The Footballer Stamp Album , issued to store the Club crests and Superstar stamps has a 'complete checklist' of the Purple Back set on the back cover. There are some interesting anomalies between this checklist and the actual cards.

150 Ian Bowyer (Manchester City, transferred to Orient in June 1971) issued as Neil Young (Manchester City)
183 Trevor Whymark (Ipswich Town) issued as Bobby Stokes (Southampton)
193 John McAlle (Wolves) issued as David Wagstaff (Wolves)
206 Roger Wyle (Sheffield Wednesday?) issued as Jeff Blockley (Coventry City)
211 Bernard Shaw (Wolves) issued as David Woodfield (Wolves)
217 John Brindley (Notts County) issued as Charlie George (Arsenal)
245 Colin Addison (Sheffield United) issued as David Walker (Southampton)
291 David Walker (Southampton) not issued...

1972/73 Footballer (Orange/Red backs)
Series checklist reprint (card number 154)

Two versions of this checklist exist, one numbering up to 218 and another numbering up to 219.

The 219 version checklist is the later edition (it has the words 'Revised checklist' on the back), including players from the promoted clubs from 1971/72 (Norwich and Birmingham) and removing some players from the relegated clubs (Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town). The updated checklist also has the spelling corrected on card 204 from Malcolm McDonald to Malcolm MacDonald, and card 213 Jack Witham corrected to Whitham.

It is not thought that any of the cards which appeared on the 218 version checklist and which were replaced on the 219 version were ever printed i.e. you will not find a card number 112 with Terry Dolan. 218 version
112 Terry Dolan (Huddersfield Town)
125 Steve Smith (Huddersfield Town)
134 Alan Mullery (Fulham)
136 Mick Fairclough (Huddersfield Town)
139 Jim Barron (Nottingham Forest)
141 Gordon West (Everton)
144 Rodney Marsh (Manchester City)
149 Ollie Burton (Newcastle United)
152 Liam O'Kane (Nottingham Forest)
160 John Osborne (W.B.A.)
163 John Winfield (Nottingham Forest)
164 Alan Merrick (W.B.A.)
170 Harry Redknapp (West Ham United)
181 George Best (Manchester United)
219 (no card)

219 version
112 Malcolm Page (Birmingham City)
125 Graham Paddon (Norwich City)
134 Alan Gilzean (Tottenham Hotspur)
136 Alan Campbell (Birmingham City)
139 John Craven (Crystal Palace)
141 David Lawson (Everton)
144 Willie Donachie (Manchester City)
149 Bobby Moncur (Newcastle United)
152 Bobby Kellard (Crystal Palace)
160 Bobby Gould (W.B.A.)
163 Tony Byrne (Southampton)
164 Alistair Brown (W.B.A.)
170 John McDowell (West Ham United)
181 John Ayris (West Ham United)
219 Denis Law (Manchester United)

Roger Morgan reprint (card no. 179)

There are two versions of the Roger Morgan card, though it is not clear why. One shows his head and shoulders only, while the other shows the head and torso. The backs of the two cards are identical.

1972/73 Footballer - Scottish
Card number 178

For the only known time A&BC produced a set with two different coloured backs. Series 1 (cards 1 to 89) had blue backs, while Series 2 (90 to 179) had orange/red backs. However, card number 178 is known with both coloured backs.

1973/74 Footballer (Blue backs)
2nd Series checklist (card number 182)

Two versions of this checklist exist, one numbered to 264 and the other to 261. The '261 version' is the later, and therefore more accurate version though it is still not an accurate checklist for the actual set. Cards 262 (George Armstrong) and 264 (Billy Ingham) from the '264 version' were never produced. The Marvin Hinton card is numbered 263, so there is no card number 235 in the set. The cards in the table below from the '264 version' e.g. Giles, Macari, Holton etc. are not known to exist.

264 version
138 Johnny Giles (Leeds United)
160 Lou Macari (Manchester United)
184 Jim Holton (Manchester United)
189 Colin Suggett (W.B.A., transferred to Norwich City)
193 Roger Davies (Derby County)
211 Colin Stein (Coventry City, transferred back to Rangers)
235 John Craven (Crystal Palace, transferred to Coventry City)
237 Trevor Hockey (Norwich City, transferred to Aston Villa)
262 George Armstrong (Arsenal)
263 Marvin Hinton (Chelsea)
264 Billy Ingham (Burnley)

261 version
138 Paul Reaney (Leeds United)
160 Sammy McIlroy (Manchester United)
184 Jimmy Rimmer (Manchester United)
189 George Armstrong (Arsenal)
193 Terry Hennessey (Derby County)
211 Bobby Parker (Coventry City)
235 Marvin Hinton (Chelsea)
237 Kevin Keelan (Norwich City)

John Toshack reprint (card number 241)

In a remarkable coincidence with the previous set, one card (John Toshack) has two versions, a full body shot and a head and shoulders only shot. The two cards have different text and cartoons on the back. Interestingly, the 'head and shoulders' card has a section 'Goals', which appears on the rear of the 1st series cards but not the 2nd series cards, suggesting that the Toshack head and shoulders card was originally intended as a Series 1 card.