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February 29 2024 1.43am

Football fans' lust for memorabilia

November 29 2023

Crystal Palace Fan Treasures

Crystal Palace Fan Treasures

Collecting football stickers, programmes or ticket stubs is one of the joys of being a football fan, writes Gordon Law.

Most Palace supporters will have a memorabilia collection of sorts tucked away in the loft or maybe on display in the 'man cave'.

It harks back to the playground ritual of "got, not got" while sifting through a pile of stickers and the accomplishment of completing a Panini sticker album.

Panini is the best known sticker brand and the company was created in 1961 in Italy by brothers Benito and Giuseppe Panini.

They were not the first on the scene as FKS Publishers began making player 'stamps' in the 60s which you had to glue into an album.

The first Crystal Palace set arrived in 1969/70 with action images of stars such as Cliff Jackson, Mel Blyth and Tony Taylor in glorious colour.

The origins of the first football cards in Britain goes right back to the 1880s. Cigarette companies began issuing images of generic players in team colours with tobacco advertisements on the reverse to promote brand loyalty.

In 1908, Palace’s first famous Wilf – Wilfred Innerd – featured in London tobacco firm Cohen Weenen's ‘Football Club Captains’ series.

If you weren't counting your 'doubles' in your stack of football cards or playing Subbuteo, you were probably reading Match, Roy of the Rovers or Shoot!

The popular magazines provided unlimited posters of your favourite stars or a squad photo, stuck on the bedroom wall with blue tack or sticky tape. It was a sad moment, pulling down the Ian Wright poster after his transfer to Arsenal in 1991.

Who remembers 'league ladders'? The sheets of cardboard with brightly coloured t-shaped team tabs that were slotted into its corresponding league place on a wall chart.

You'd insert Palace in the fantasy place top of the ladder, though most fans gave up arranging the positions two months into the season.

Over the years, a fan would typically build a collection of shirts, hats, scarves and even rosettes. You'd be extra lucky to have these signed by your hero.

Coin sets, the autograph book and pin badges may be a thing of the past, but that won't stop most from holding on to valuable keepsakes.

It's a reminder of the thrill of ripping open a pack of stickers to get your first 'shiny' of the season. How big is your hoard of Palace treasures?


Crystal Palace FC Fan Treasures

The Holmesdale Online's Gordon Law takes a nostalgic journey through the world of Crystal Palace with this magical collection of memorabilia. Crystal Palace Fan Treasures will bring you back to a football golden era of Subbuteo, Shoot! and stickers. Available for £8.99 on Amazon. Buy it now.

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