The Triple Crown

I’m guessing that you have arrived at this page because you were intrigued by the link in the menu above; you were thinking what on earth is the Triple Crown?

Well, in terms of football cigarette card collecting it refers to what were probably the best three sets of cards ever produced…

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Cope’s ‘Clips’ “Noted Footballers”

Taddy & Co. “Prominent Footballers”

Godfrey Phillips ‘Pinnace’ “Footballers”

These three sets belong to the Golden Age of football card manufacturing and present collectors with a wonderful opportunity to open a window onto Edwardian and early modern football and its heroes.

But beware! It’s incredibly easy to get sucked into collecting two of these series as both Pinnace and Copes cards can be picked up for a pittance – and I mean a pittance; small lots of these cards can be had for just a few pounds. But once you get towards the meaty end of the stick you will find that the harder to find cards – especially in good order – will drive a huge hole through your wallet. I myself began collecting just the small k-sized  Pinnace cards about ten years ago and am still short of over 600 cards, mostly the rugby and high numbered cards. They are out there but, being a true Yorkshireman, I am reluctant to cough up the necessary right now, not that the values show any signs of falling any time soon.

Here are a few figures for you to consider should you be wanting to collect the three sets mentioned here…

PINNACE = 400 “black oval” backs, 112 “brown oval” backs, 390 “double-line (frame)” backs, 905 “Photo” backs, 2350 “Pinnace” backs = 4157 cards in total. (But that’s not including the 1000+ variations of picture size, number position, etc. And then there were the Large and Cabinet-sized cards…)

CLIPS = 120 (issue 1), 153 (issue 2) and 469* (issue 3) cards = 742 cards in total.
*This number comes about because of the three rugby teams losing a card, even though the backs say that they are in the set.

TADDY = 595 “Grapnel/Imperial no footnote backs, 404 “Grapnel/Imperial with footnote backs, 401 “London Mixture” = 1400 cards in total.

So all in all, that’s THREE collections, ELEVEN sets and a staggering 6299 cards for you to collect. You’d better start saving up…


And the good news is that I have websites dedicated to each of these sets!

You are already looking at one of them, but here are links to the other two where you will see images of every card within that set.

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Go and have a look at them now – you know that you want to! 🙂