James Cotton and Jim Donnelly have supplied me with individual photos of the transfers and a breakdown of all the players. I'll let James explain...
Our recent sale represented to my knowledge the first opportunity for collectors to acquire any of the 31 transfers individually, one sheet and one half sheet having previously appeared on eBay a few months ago. I believe you are supposed to wet the transfer with water and it will then stick to a particular surface, however I have not, for obvious reasons, tested one!!
These are extremely rare anonymous issue football transfers issued on a sheet of 31 footballers almost certainly dated 1932-33. We know this due to the players on the sheet and the clubs they were at when the sheet was published. The identity of the issuer is not known, and the sheet was issued with serrated edges between each of the eight strips of four players, designed to be torn off some kind of pad or board, stapled at the top, perhaps designed to sit on the counter of a newsagents.
I only know of a handful of complete sheets in existence, which to my knowledge are in the hands of collectors. One was seemingly sold recently on a rare cards website for £250.
Clearly a sheet designed to be split into strips of 4 players, lovely & utterly charming. You can see the staple marks at the top so it was obviously designed to be torn off from a pad or something akin. You can see that the middle fold is a bit delicate with some separation of the serrations. I suspect it was folded in two at some stage which is why some serrations have come apart. There’s also a tad of age marking around Harry Bedford and Aussie Campbell.
The dimensions - the whole sheet is 15.5cm x 26cm, each player transfer is 3x3.75cm, so the total sheet is by length and width a bit short of A4 size.
As you see I’ve flagged up the exceptions/notables with ***. These are the ones whose appearance on the sheet is really either strange or definitively establishes likely issue date, in particular Dix and Bedford in the strips of teams they only played for that season. I don’t see Matthews being anyone but Stan, so it really looks like a '32-33 issue. But baffling why they’d put in 4 virtual unknowns (Twine, Wilkinson, Pritchard and Cartwright) from 3 or 4 years before. Jock McNab - by comparison a well known Scottish International player having also won the League Championship with Liverpool - had also finished in 1930.
Those of you who don't know me may well know my jamescot65 seller account (100%, 1300 star), which from now on will only be doing occasional Buy It Now listings, I suspect. You can see my photo library here - www.vintagefootballers.com, or go to Facebook and type in Vintage Footballers. Please note I am not a professional dealer but I am a keen collector and I appreciate both clear accurate descriptions and well packed and protected items, and excellent customer service, and I try to provide that for all my customers.
James' Player analysis:
Upper half L-R
Warney Cresswell, Everton (also Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, South Shields & Sunderland)
Reg Wilkinson, Brighton & Hove Albion (1924-1934, 361 appearances) - updated 12-08-2020
Tom Cooper, Derby County (also Port Vale & Liverpool)
Vic Watson, West Ham (also Southampton)
George Waterfield, Burnley (also Crystal Palace)
*** Stanley Matthews, Stoke (also Blackpool) - NB Stoke debut March 1932
Frank Twine, Middlesbrough 1926-28 (also Rochdale), that was basically the extent of his career, definite Middlesbrough shirt
Eugene "Taffy" O’Callaghan, Tottenham Hotspur (also Leicester City & Fulham)
Joe Hulme, Arsenal (also Blackburn Rovers & Huddersfield Town)
David Jack, Arsenal (also Bolton Wanderers)
Jack Allen, Newcastle United (also Leeds United, Brentford, Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol Rovers & Gateshead)
Ernie Blenkinsop, Sheffield Wednesday (also Liverpool & Cardiff City)
George Briggs, Birmingham (also Plymouth Argyle)
Tommy Pritchard, Wolverhampton Wanderers (1927-29, 58 appearances) also Stockport County, Newport County, Preston North End, Thames, Charlton Athletic & Mansfield Town)
Jimmy Hampson, Blackpool
Dixie Dean, Everton (also Tranmere Rovers & Notts County)
Ronnie Dix, Blackburn Rovers 1932-33 one season, before that at Bristol Rovers so this could be a Pirates shirt (later Aston Villa & Derby County)
Charlie Jones, Arsenal (also Cardiff City, Stockport County, Oldham Athletic & Nottingham Forest)
Mike Keeping, Fulham (also Southampton)
Jack Weddle, Portsmouth (also Blackburn Rovers)
*** Harry Bedford, NB Bradford Park Avenue shirt, played for them only in 1932-33 (also Nottingham Forest, Blackpool, Derby County, Newcastle United, Sunderland & Chesterfield)
Percy Mills, Notts County
*** Jock McNab, Queens Park Rangers (1928-29 and 1929-30) (also Liverpool)
*** Bob Kelly, Huddersfield Town (NB left in summer 1932), (also Burnley, Sunderland, Preston North End & Carlisle United)
Bob Gurney, Sunderland
Peter O'Dowd, Chelsea (also Blackburn Rovers & Burnley)
Hughie Gallacher, Chelsea (also Queens Park, Airdrie, Newcastle United, Derby County & Notts County)
*** Cartwright - almost certainly:
Phil Cartwright, Bradford Park Avenue as shirt seems to be but only 1927-28 and 1928-29, (also Middlesbrough, Hull City, Lincoln City & Carlisle United)
George Hunt, Tottenham Hotspur (also Chesterfield, Arsenal, Bolton Wanderers & Sheffield Wednesday)
Almost certainly George Brown, at Aston Villa 1929-35, (also Huddersfield Town, Burnley, Leeds United & Darlington)
Aussie Campbell, Huddersfield Town (also Coventry City, Blackburn Rovers & Hull City)