Sunday, June 22, 2014

Another Park Another Sunday


I coached soccer for many years and I still have a love for the game. But I don't follow much of the comings and goings. I'm a Manchester United fan and watch their English Premier League games regularly (Thanks, NBC!) but the rest of the machinations of international soccer make my head swim. I can't get my head around teams playing for several different championships simultaneously. But I am interested in the World Cup. And I'll remain interested as long as one of my four rooting interests remain alive....Germany, Portugal, Italy and the USA. Those three European clubs represent (most of) my blood, the USA is, well, America!

And today the US takes on Portugal. Looks like a crucial game for both teams. They both are looking for that second spot in their group behind Germany. I'll be watching at a park in downtown Houston probably. Watching in a group, with a couple of brews, is a lot of fun.

Anyway, that's a drawn out intro to these fabulous Manchester United cards from the Topps English football set of 1975/76 sent by Chris of Diamond Cuts and Wax Stains. Obviously they are based on the colorful 1975 Topps baseball design. Even the various color schemes match, at least in the cards I've seen.

These cards came out in the wake of Man U's season of relegation to Division 2 of English football. The club spent one season mired in the lower echelon as they struggled to recover following the end the 'glory days' of Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law.



I'm showing the back of one of the cards to point out a unique aspect of the set. The stat line for the previous season (74-75) is blank and below the totals is an instruction to 'fill in season's record'. Kind of a do-it-yourself card edit. I don't know if the fact that this is Topps' first foray into English football has anything to do with that little quirk (they took over the work of A&BC Footballers).

I know next to nothing about English soccer cards but I do know where to go to find info...this neat little site has all the background you'd ever want.