Footballers in Your Back Pocket: From the Cigarette Card to Match Attax

The True Ball

Growing up, one of my favourite diversionary pursuits on the playground was collecting and swapping Premier League stickers. There was almost nothing quite like getting the packet in Pat’s shop, opening it up to find a shiny club crest nestled in among the Southampton players that would almost immediately find their way into the ‘swapsies’ pile. The familiar words all around the playground were ‘have, have, need, swap’. These stickers were effectively a kind of playground currency, along with pogs (remember them?) and conkers . Today kids don’t collect stickers, but instead more solid cards called Match Attax produced by Topps, but long before any of these came the humble cigarette card…

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