1928-29 Player and Sons Footballers Set Combined Soccer and Rugby

Large UK issue included two sports and two series

1928-29 Footballers Player and Sons Soccer Back1928-29 Player and Sons Footballers Soccer1928-29 Player and Sons Footballers RugbyWith the site covering cards from eight different sports, it’s generally tough to do much more. As I said during the last major site update, I don’t anticipate adding something like soccer just because of the massive amount of international issues. But what I do want to do is occasionally cover some sets from soccer and other sports just because there’s a lot of great pre-war stuff out there.

One of the soccer issues I love the most is the 1928-29 Player and Sons Footballers set. This set includes both soccer and rugby. Even if you don’t know the players necessarily, you can see that just from the pictures as some of the players are dribbling the ball with their feet and others are carrying it like a running back in American football.

I love the colorful drawings of these cards. Backs include detailed writeups of each player, providing some background into their history. The back layout is similar to other 1930s Players sets.

If you are familiar with international issues from the UK, you have almost certainly heard of the Player and Sons name. Player and Sons cigarettes were a brand under the Imperial Tobacco Company of Great Britain & Ireland, Ltd. name. Player and Sons issued a few hundred pre-war sets. Many were non-sports issues but the company also produced a good amount of sports sets, including issues in tennis, soccer, boxing, and golf.

As was the case with other cigarette cards, these were used as stiffeners in the packages of cigarette products.

Two Series’

While this is called the Footballers set, it’s really two sets rolled into one. More specifically, it includes two series’.

The first series included a total of 50 cards and was printed in 1928. This site actually nails down the month, saying it was printed in October. The second series was produced the following year in 1929 only a few months later in February. For whatever reason, that series includes only 25 cards. Why that series was shorter is a mystery. But it is worth pointing out that many Player and Sons sets included either 25 or 50 cards.

Series 1 cards are numbered 1-50 while Series 2 were 51-75, essentially making this one big set.

B.O. Male Variations

B.O. Male 1928-29 Footballers Variations Player and Sons RugbyI haven’t seen many variations in this set but at least one does exist on the card of B.O. Male. B.O. stood for Benjamin Oswald and he was typically known as Ossie.

Male is No. 24 in the set and found in the first series. He is cited in his biography on the back as one of the best fullbacks in Wales, despite suffering major injuries. The Welsh rugby standout was said to be a ‘safe player with good hands’ that has a ‘brilliant place kick.’

For whatever reason, Male has two different cards in the set. Both utilize the same pose but he is wearing different colored clothing. On one version, he is wearing white shorts with black and red socks. On another, he is seen in dark shorts with black and white socks.

Male’s hair color is also slightly different between the two cards. On the card with white shorts, his hair appears black while it is more brown on the other card.

The white shorts version is the easier one to find.


Like many 1930s sets from the UK, this is a pretty affordable set. If you buy the complete sets, you can often get it at around $.50 a card. Singles are usually sold for a few bucks a piece so, unless you really just want one as a type card, you’re better off buying a complete series.

Series 1 cards seem to sell for a little less than Series 2 issues.


  1. Tom Bradshaw
  2. George Briggs
  3. W. Coggins
  4. J. Cookson
  5. R. Cove-Smith
  6. Sam Cowan
  7. Warneford Cresswell
  8. Bert Denyer
  9. Sir T.G. Devitt
  10. W. Dinsdale
  11. John Duncan
  12. Leslie Fairclough
  13. J. Fort
  14. J. Fowler
  15. David Halliday
  16. C.J. Hanrahan
  17. Harry Healless
  18. Gordon Hodgson
  19. David Jack
  20. Fred Keenor
  21. Michael Keeping
  22. Windsor H. Lewis
  23. G.P.S. MacPherson
  24. Ossie Male
  25. Frank Mann
  26. T. McDonald
  27. L. McPherson
  28. Hugh McVicker
  29. Paddy Mills
  30. Dr. V.E. Milne
  31. Paul Mooney
  32. David Morris
  33. J. Oakes
  34. E. O’Callaghan
  35. E. Oliver
  36. T.R. Parker
  37. F.J. Penn
  38. J. Priestley
  39. Moses Russell
  40. Ian Smith
  41. Clem Stephenson
  42. Harry Storer
  43. E.G. Taylor
  44. J. Trotter
  45. Fred Tunstall
  46. R. Turnbull
  47. F. Twine
  48. G.S. Waterfield
  49. J. Weddle
  50. T.P. Yews
  51. G. Caddick
  52. P. Cartwright
  53. T. Cook
  54. W. Dean
  55. Charles Dennington
  56. Stanley Earle
  57. J. Jacking
  58. J. Hampson
  59. C. Jones
  60. C. Keetley
  61. W.J. Kirton
  62. S.C. Littlewood
  63. G. Maddison
  64. R. Maloney
  65. V. Matthews
  66. J. McNab
  67. A.L. Messer
  68. T. Pritchard
  69. J. Seed
  70. P. Shevlin
  71. Joe Smith
  72. W. Thompson
  73. H. Thoms
  74. J. Townrow
  75. Charles Wilson

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