“Footballers” (Nelson Lee)

Year of issue: 1922
Issued by: “Nelson Lee Library” (Amalgamated Press)
Trade reference number(s): NEL-030 / NEL-2
Number of cards in set: 15 pairs
Size: MF (approx. 70mm x 45mm)
Approximate value (per card): Murrays £4.50; FCCM £4.00

Yet another set of cards issued in pairs which are extremely difficult to find as such these days; they are far more usually bought and sold as ‘singles’. The prices above are for complete pairs; cut-down single cards can be had for around a pound each.

The backs of the cards provide an interesting little story as they seem to chop and change around across the fifteen cards. Cards 1 to 14 certainly have the numbering on the back left to right, but by cards 17 and 18 the numbering is right to left. Card 25 and 26 is back to left to right, but 27 and 28 are right to left! Also, the first eight cards have the information on the back in one large frame but from card 17/18 the player information switches to become contained within two separate frames, one per player. The name of the publication also appears in each of these small frames which makes it quite clear that the publishers knew fine well that boys were cutting these cards up and so were determined to ensure that the publication details would be complete on each card!

Finally, Huddersfield Town were first-time winners of the FA Cup in April 1922, exactly one week prior to publication of the first pair card, and a feat recognised by the inclusion of three of their players although, strangely enough, Colin McKay of card #2 was not a member of the team which played that day. Bizarrely, losing finalists Preston North End have four of their players included; perhaps the publishers had expected them to win and the set had been prepared some time previously?

NEL-030 NEL-2 McKay & DimmockNEL-030 NEL-2 McKay & Dimmock backnel-030-nel-2 Roberts & McAteenel-030-nel-2 Roberts & McAtee backnel-030-nel-2 Jefferies & Jaques1922 NELSON LEE NEL-030 NEL-2 Jefferies Jaques backnel-030-nel-2-chipperfield-mcphailnel-030-nel-2-chipperfield-mcphail backNEL-030 NEL-2 Mann & HamiltonNEL-030 NEL-2 Mann & Hamilton back1922 NELSON LEE NEL-030 NEL-2 Bowie MarriottNEL-030 NEL-2 Bowie & Marriott backNEL-030 NEL-2 Seed & SmithNEL-030 NEL-2 Seed & Smith back1922 NELSON LEE NEL-030 NEL-2 Woodhouse Ferguson1922 NELSON LEE NEL-030 NEL-2 Woodhouse Ferguson backNEL-030 NEL-2 Rawlings & LongworthNEL-030 NEL-2 Rawlings & Longworth backnel-030-nel-2-Torrance & McInallynel-030-nel-2-Torrance & McInally backNEL-030 NEL-2 Silcock & MatthiasNEL-030 NEL-2 Silcock & Matthias back1922 NELSON LEE NEL-030 NEL-2 Morton Utley1922 NELSON LEE NEL-030 NEL-2 Morton Utley back1922 NELSON LEE NEL-030 NEL-2 Shaw McNairNEL-030 NEL-2 McNair & Shaw backNEL-030 NEL-2 Morris & DownsNEL-030 NEL-2 Morris & Downs back1922 NELSON LEE NEL-030 NEL-2 Meiklejohn Hutchins1922 NELSON LEE NEL-030 NEL-2 Meiklejohn Hutchins back

1. Dimmock (Spurs) & 2. McKay (Huddersfield Town) – issue #361, dated 6th May, 1922
3. Roberts (Preston North End) & 4. McAtee (Celtic) – issue #362, dated 13th May, 1922
5. Jaques (Spurs) & 6. Jefferies (Preston North End) – issue #363, dated 20th May, 1922
7. McPhail (Kilmarnock) & 8. Chipperfield (Notts County) – issue #364, dated 27th May, 1922
9. Hamilton (Preston North End) & 10. Mann (Huddersfield Town) – issue #365, dated 3rd June, 1922
11. Marriott (Notts County) & 12. Bowie (Rangers) – issue #366, dated 10th June, 1922
13. Smith (Huddersfield Town) & 14. Seed (Spurs) – issue #367, dated 17th June, 1922
15. Ferguson (Falkirk) & 16. Woodhouse (Preston North End) – issue #368, dated 24th June, 1922
17. Rawlings (Southampton) & 18. Longworth (Liverpool) – issue #369, dated 1st July, 1922
19. McInally (Celtic) & 20. Torrance (Fulham) – issue #370, dated 8th July, 1922
21. Silcock (Manchester United) & 22. Matthias (Wales & Manchester United) – issue #371, dated 15th July, 1922
23. Utley (Sheffield United) & 24. Morton (Rangers) – issue #372, dated 22nd July, 1922
25. Shaw (Arsenal) & 26. McNair (Celtic) – issue #373, dated 29th July, 1922
27. Morris (West Bromwich Albion) & 28. Downs (Everton) – issue #374, dated 5th August, 1922
29. Meikeljohn (Rangers) & 30. Hutchins (Arsenal) – issue #375, dated 12th August, 1922

There is one reported error card with an inverted back…

7. McPhail (Kilmarnock) & 8. Chipperfield (Notts County) – issue #364, dated 10th June, 1922