Australian rules football card

A 1906 Port Adelaide card produced by Sweet Nell cigarettes portraying Sinclair Dickson

An Australian rules football card is a type of trading card relating to Australian rules football, usually printed on cardboard, silk, or plastic. These cards feature one or more Australian rules football players. Cards are almost exclusively found in Australia as no top-level leagues are present outside the country.


The first Australian rules football cards were produced in conjunction with Goodwin & Co's Old Judge Cigarettes in the late 1880's.[1] In the set were Australian celebrities which included Australian rules footballers from Victoria and South Australia.[2] The known players featured in the set were:

  1. Norman Richards - Adelaide (SAFA)
  2. George Rowley - Adelaide (SAFA)
  3. George McKenzie - Ballarat
  4. Tommy Allen - Carlton
  5. Tommy Leyden - Carlton
  6. John Daly - Norwood
  7. Dick Houston - North Melbourne
  8. Joey Tankard - North Melbourne
  9. William Hannaysee - Port Melbourne
  10. Peter Burns - South Melbourne
  11. Sonny Elms - South Melbourne

Other companies that issued earlier football cards were W.D. & H.O. Wills in 1905,[3] and Sniders & Abrahams (featuring scenes of matches in 1908 and then releasing other sets with portraits of football players in the 1910s, all in full color).

W.D. & H.O. Wills also released illustrated sets displaying clubs flags and colors (1908 and 1913) through the Capstan brand.

In the 1930s, the Australian division of British Godfrey Phillips Co. released a set of football cards. By the same time, Hoadleys, a local confectionery company, released a set of illustrated cards. Another confectionery company, Clarke-Ellis, also released its own set of cards.[4]

Other companies that launched cards sets in the 1930s were Pals Periodical, Plaistowe & Co., Carreras (two illustrated sets in 1933, the first of them with footballers caricatures by Bob Miram), Giant Licorice Cigarettes, MacRobertsons and W.D. & H.O. Wills, among others.[4]

Popular sets[edit]

The most popular set of Australian rules football cards are often the considered to be the Scanlens cards.

Current producers[edit]

  • Select Australia: The present oldest producer of Australian rules football cards.
  • AFL Team Coach: AFL Team Coach cards are part of an annual set with numbers allocated to each card for games. These cards are often targeted specifically to kids.
  • Regal Trading Cards: High end cards focusing on signature inserts and limited production runs. Unlike the other manufacturers Regal is an unlicensed producer of football cards.
  • Acheron Mint: Produces limited runs of sketch illustration cards.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Is this football's oldest footy card? -". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  2. ^ Green, Damien (28 March 2018). "Goodwin & Co (Old Judge Cigarettes) Celebrity Series".
  3. ^ The History of Football Cigarette Cards by John Simkin, on Spartacus Educational, September 1997
  4. ^ a b List of Australian football cards manufacturers, 1931–940

External links[edit]