Card of the Day - 2022-03-12

ZB7-10 Anonymous "Football Fame Series" (1936) Un/32
Anonymous / Amalgamated Press / The Pilot [trade : periodicals : UK] "Football Fame Series" (1936) Un/32 - PIL-040 - ZB7-10

Our first clue card was this one, of T. (Thomas) Cooper of Liverpool, whose club nickname is “The Reds” – that was how we got the starter clue word.

He was born in 1904. Hill`s “Popular Footballers – Season 1934-5 Series B No.35 tells us that he was a right back, and had recently transferred from Derby County who secured his services from Port Vale in 1926. He is also described there as “one of England`s most stylish and reliable defenders”. Carreras “Famous Footballers” (1936)  24/48 tells us that “Last season was transferred from Derby County at a fee said to exceed £6,000. He played in almost four hundred and fifty games and represented England fifteen times; the Carreras card says the first of the Internationals was against Ireland in 1928-9.

Like many footballers, the Second World War saw him moving to fields of war not play, and sadly he was killed in June 1940 aged just thirty-six, when his motorcycle was involved in a collision with a lorry. England Football Online has this slightly differently, saying it was “a double decker”, which seems to suggest a bus, not a lorry, and they also have him as aged only thirty-five not thirty-six.

The incident happened in Suffolk, whilst he was serving as a despatch rider for the Royal Military Police, and as a result of his death there was an inquiry at which a ruling was made that military despatch riders were no longer to be allowed to ride their motorcycles without a crash helmet. 

In our teaser, we asked who issued these cards, for in our British Trade Index part one, issued in 1962 they were simply listed as anonymous, hence the Z code. They were actually issued by Amalgamated Press Ltd of London in their weekly magazine called "The Pilot", and they were printed and inserted in strips of four cards. There was also a special album issued, plus something else exciting, as The Cartophilic Information Exchange tell us that with the first issue, “The Pilot” gave away the first strip of four cards, plus a hundred page book “The Pilot Guide to Better Football”, edited by none other than W. R. “Dixie” Dean, whose picture appears on its cover.

There is also something else to correct, as if you look at that edition of the magazine it is dated 5 October, 1935, and this means our date is wrong, because issuing eight strips of cards would only take eight weeks, and eight weeks on from 5 October 1935 would only go to the 23rd of November 1935, not into 1936. 

In our updated British Trade Index, issued in 2006, these cards have been moved from anonymity and “The Pilot Magazine” has its own entry under PIL, where there are four sets listed, starting with PIL-020 “Britain`s Defenders”, and going on through our set, PIL-050 “The King`s Air Force”, and PIL-060 “Wings over the Empire” (It seems odd that this football set was issued, for all the rest are of, or include aviation subjects, which are much more fitting for the magazine title), whilst our album is revealed to be called “The Pilot Album of Football Fame”, with twenty pages and spaces for thirty two cards, trimmed to fit. This explains why some of the cards found today can be a bit out of square, and how the frequent creasing also occurs. They ought to measure 69 x 38 m/m. By the way there is another page of the Cartophilic Information Exchange to visit, and this actually shows that album along with the names of those included and two complete strips of the cards.