8.4.12

The Football Stamps of Great Britain

Given that this year the British postal authorities have for the first time ever issued two separate football-themed issues in one year perhaps it is a good time to take a look back at the football stamps issued by the United Kingdom.


First up here are the two football stamps issued in 2012. The England World Cup winners stamp was part of the House of Windsor minisheet released in February 2012 that commemorated four notable events during the reigns of the various Windsor monarchs. The following month in March another football stamp was issued as part of the Comics set. This featured an image of Roy of the Rovers on the stamp commemorating the Tiger comic. Below it is shown with a lovely first day of issue counter date stamp.

GB House of Windsor minisheet 2012
GB - House of Windsor minisheet 2012


GB - Roy of the Rovers - Tiger Comic 2012
GB - Roy of the Rovers - Tiger Comic 2012
So those two stamps above are the latest football-themed stamps issued by Great Britain but what about the others? Surprisingly given that it was Britain that issued the first stamp in 1840, the iconic Penny Black, it wasn't until 1966 that the UK had it's first football stamp. No prizes for guessing that it was the World Cup of 1966 that provided the theme for the first British commemorative football stamps. Of the three stamps that made up the set it is the 4d value that has perhaps become amongst the most iconic football stamps of all time. The stamps were issued in June of 1966 and the 4d value is shown below on a first day cover postmarked Wembley with the cachet showing a scene from the England v Scotland match of 1879. When England won the cup the 4d stamps was hastily reissued in August overprinted with England Winners.

GB - 1966 World Cup



GB 1966 World Cup FDC
GB 1966 World Cup FDC


GB 1966 England Winners Overprint
GB 1966 England Winners Overprint

It was to be another 22 years before the UK again issued a football stamp. This time it was one stamp amongst a set of four issued in 1988 to commemorate various British sporting organisations. Here it is on a Football League centenary first day cover with a Tottenham Hotspur pictorial postmark. Can you identify the two players shown on the cachet?

GB 1988 Sports - Football League Centenary
GB 1988 Sports - Football League Centenary


Next up in 1996 came a superb set of stamps issued to coincide with the Euro 96 football championships hosted by England. These five stamps each featured an English football legend.

GB Football Legends 1996
GB Football Legends 1996

In 1999 Bobby Moore was again the subject of a British stamp. This time he was the only footballer featured in the Millennium Series set entitled The Entertainers Tale. He shared the philatelic stage with Freddie Mercury, Charlie Chaplin and .. err .. a Dalek! It's a cracking stamp - the design based on the iconic image from the 1966 World Cup Final as he holds aloft the Jules Rimet trophy in front of the Wembley's twin towers.

GB 1999 Bobby Moore
GB 1999 Bobby Moore
As we entered the new decade the football stamps started coming thick and fast relative to the time between previous issues. Royal Mail had been banging out various Millennium sets since January 1999 and as we entered the year 2000 these continued apace. The 10th series of the Millennium Projects sets called Body & Bone was issued in October 2000 and featured this stamp showing a football scene from a match at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

GB 2000 Body & Bone Football at Hampden Park
GB 2000 Body & Bone Football at Hampden Park
The English national team qualified for the World Cup Finals of 2002 which were jointly hosted by Korea and Japan. For the first time since the 1966 World Cup stamps Royal Mail issued a set to commemorate the finals. Here they are on a matchday cover dated 7th June 2002 the day that England beat Argentina 1-0 thanks to an emphatic penalty kick driven home just before half-time by David Beckham.

GB 2002 World Cup
GB 2002 World Cup

It was to be another four years before the next football issue but it was well worth the wait with this 2006 set featuring previous winners of the World cup. 


GB 2006 World Cup Winners
GB 2006 World Cup Winners
The final two stamps which are shown below complete this look at the football stamps of the United Kingdom. One of the greatest football folk of all-time was the subject of a stamp in the Eminent Britons set that was issued in 2009. Sir Matt Busby, who needs no introduction I'm sure, was immortalised on a stamp for his services to football.

GB 2009 Sir Matt Busby - Eminent Britons
GB 2009 Sir Matt Busby - Eminent Britons
In 2010 the second series of the 2012 Olympic sets was issued and it contained a stamp that was British philatelic footballing first - the first to feature womens football. It is shown below with a lovely clear socked on the nose cancel.

GB 2010 - Football - 2012 Olympic Games
GB 2010 - Football - 2012 Olympic Games
So that concludes our look at the football stamps of Great Britain. I hope you've enjoyed looking through that lot and if you have then using the buttons below please do share to your favourite social network. Cheers.
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