N is for… Nabisco England Soccer Stars Tactic Cards

This set of 8 football cards with psychedelic illustrations of top England players on the front, and black and white illustrations of tactical hints on the back, were issued in 1977.

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You had to collect the tokens from boxes of Shredded Wheat and send them off (enclosing a stamped addressed envelope – very important that) to the Nabisco marketing department.

In return, you got a small set featuring 8 large cards (2 x 4 footballers – Mike Channon, Gerry Francis, Kevin Keegan, and, somewhat bizarrely, Colin Todd) plus a cardboard folder to keep the cards in.

The folder has a message from Gerry Francis on the back, plus a printed facsimile autograph of the player.

I picked mine up for a reasonable sum from an ebay seller, as a postage saver for a badge I wanted (an old brass and enamel Halifax Town badge).

My cards came with provenance – a letter from R Davis, Brand Manager at Nabisco, who apologised for the delay in sending the cards out:

I apologise for the delay involved in sending these to you, but unfortunately you did not enclose a stamped addressed envelope with your application. We have a limited amount of cards and wallets and we felt it was fairer to give priority to those applications with a s.a.e. enclosed. We have now dealt with all properly completed applications and I am pleased to enclose your requirements.

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