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  • Writer's pictureDan Keane


Updated: Sep 3, 2022

If you are interested in learning more about vintage card collecting, here is the book that I believe is a must-read!

An A-to-Z of Football Collectibles: Priceless Cigarette Cards and Sought-After Soccer Stickers - Carl Wilkes:

The Author:

A big part of today's football card scene can be attributed to Carl Wilkes. A soccer card writer, he penned articles in the 1980s. A soccer cards journal was published by him as early as the 1990s. He launched the world's first football card website in 1996. Besides founding and publishing Football Card Collector Magazine, he has written numerous articles for newspapers, periodicals, and books. It was in 2018 that he appeared on TV in the documentary Stuck On You: The Football Sticker Story.

My Review:

It is a wonderful piece of collectible literature that any collector should have on their bookshelf!

There is an extensive introduction to the book explaining all of the prominent football card manufacturers their company history and some of their important cards of all types including rare international releases.

In each chapter or section, the reader is presented with an eye-catching double page spread of various cards from various issues, all of which are definitely worth taking a moment to admire. My first reaction to picking up the book was to look at all the pictures from front to back before even reading a word. These pictures are of outstanding quality! Finding pictures of cards you own, have seen on eBay or are on your wish list is certainly a lot of fun! As a Fulham fan and collector, I particularly enjoyed finding a 1962 Johnny Haynes Card produced by the Italian firm Mira, of Piacenza.

In my opinion, there is no right or wrong way to read the book. It doesn't matter if you are reading from front to back or selecting chapters from sets you are already familiar with. I chose the latter option and then read about card sets and manufacturers I had never heard of before.

Almost every set discussed is discussed in detail in the following chapters, which are arranged alphabetically by number of cards in each set, design features, variations, and a rough price guide. This book offers a wealth of information, demonstrating how much time and effort the author has put into it.

Last but not least, there are appendices relating to the purchase process. Among them are websites to keep an eye on for different categories of cards, as well as tips on how to use them. Tips and tricks on selling and pricing cards to maximise sales are detailed in the last few pages. Since reading this book, I have used a number of the websites I first learned about, and I can honestly say they are worth the purchase by themselves.

As a minor improvement, I would suggest some of the values are already outdated due to the rise in card prices. However, that's the card market for you. The references to how easy it is to obtain cards are also slightly inaccurate when compared to the current market. I believe the reason, is that I have never seen some of these cards at card shows, fairs or even on eBay before. This is the result of the popularity of the card market recently and the rare vintage cards that are less likely being offered for sale. There are some sets that aren't included however the author has addressed the second book may cover any designs, manfucatourors not included in this issue.

As a collector or as a gift, I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about cards. Additionally, it has a lot of nostalgic and interesting pictures throughout, along with information about prices and buying and selling cards.

Written By:

Dan Keane

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