Saturday, 12 December 2015

A. & J. Donaldson - DON-060-1/DOZ-1-1 Sports Favourites ~ John Barr Unissued Designs

DON-060-1/DOZ-1-1 Sports Favourites ~ John Barr Unissued Designs
A. & J. Donaldson
21 designs

For all his Sports Favourites cards John Barr first produced a black & white drawing on white paper (double the size of the card as issued), with the name and club on the reverse. As production reached the printing stage he added the desired colours by hand, sometimes in watercolour, sometimes in crayon or pencil.
In the case of these 17 unissued designs he had noted the colours on tracing paper glued to the drawing.
To show roughly what the cards would have looked out if they had been issued, I have hand coloured scans of the line drawings and added the players’ names at the foot.
The first four pictures show various views of the Dugdale (Everton) sketch - Black & white line drawing, Hand coloured line drawing, Tracing paper colour key, and Reverse with name and team.
Going by the dates of the players’ careers with those clubs, all 17 sketches would seem to date from 1948, (as do most of the issued 'wee heads' designs). For example, Juliussen (who had already appeared as a big head no.66 as a Dundee player) is noted by Barr as “Everton (ex-Portsmouth)”, and he moved to Everton in September 1948.
The preponderance of North of England and Midlands clubs reflects Donaldson’s drive to open up new markets there to try to ward off competition from Baytch and other Glasgow producers. I have established the players’ positions and added them to the R.T. Muat list below.
Bob Peden

A. Black (Inside Forward)  (Manchester City)
A. Brown (Centre Half)  (Notts County)
G. Curtis (Inside Forward)  (Southampton)
G. Dugdale (Left Back)  (Everton)
C. Edwards (Left Half)  (Bristol City)
M. Finlayson (Goalkeeper)  (Millwall)
E. Hinton (Goalkeeper)  (Fulham)
A. Juliussen (Centre Forward)  (Everton (ex-Portsmouth))
Horace Lindrum (Snooker)
D. Lishman (Inside Left)  (Arsenal)
L. McDowall (Centre Half)  (Manchester City)
J. McKenzie (Outside Right)  (Partick Thistle)
J. Pemberton (Right Back)  (West Bromwich Albion)
H. Potts (Inside Forward)  (Burnley)
W. Walsh (Wing Half)  (Manchester City)
W. Wardle (Outside Left)  (Blackpool)
J. Wharton (Forward)  (Manchester City)

Later unissued designs

Going by dates when the players were with these clubs, the other four sketches could have been produced at any date between 1964 and 1972, so possibly Barr drew them around the time he self-published a sheet of 16 Scottish players in 1968? His sketches were all roughly shaded in blue pencil.

G. Hurst (Centre Forward)  (West Ham United)
R. Charlton (Centre Forward)  (Manchester United)
D. Law (Centre Forward)  (Manchester United)
P. Osgood (Centre Forward)  (Chelsea)


  1. Alan

    The drawing of Geoff Hurst shows him wearing the West Ham away kit. After a short internet search I found two cards issued with that kit being worn by Geoff. The Barratt A13 Famous Footballs set issued in 1965 card no. 19 has him wearing something very similar.

    Also the Lyons Maid Soccer Stars card no. 30 issued in 1971 also shows Geoff wearing again a similar kit.


    John Levitt

    1. Thanks John,

      As John Barr originally coloured the Law and Charlton cards in blue (the colour they wore when Manchester United won the European Cup in 1968) and Geoff Hurst is shown in the West Ham United change kit that was used in 1967-68 (he's on the front cover of a June 1968 issue of Jimmy Hill's Football Weekly) I think I would also suggest 1968 as the year in which the four later drawings were created.

    2. PS. It's the 26 July 1968 issue of Jimmy Hill's Football Weekly with Geoff Hurst wearing the kit with the two hoops.


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