"Vanity Fair" Series
W.D. & H.O. Wills
While looking through my database I came across this set. There aren't any footballers featured but two of the characters included in the set of 50 cards have football connections. C.B. Fry (Oxford Athletics) played for Southampton and Corinthians during a long and distinguished sporting career. Lord Baden-Powell, here still just Major-General Baden-Powell, played football for Charterhouse School where the Football Annual for 1876 recorded that he is "a good goalkeeper, keeping cool, and always to be depended upon."
The cards can be found numbered and unnumbered. Although everyone seems to list this set as being issued in 1902 I presume the unnumbered cards were issued before the company decided to issue a second series and then reprinted the first series to distinguish them from the second set of cards. The images used on the cards were first published in Vanity Fair and drawn by Spy (Sir Leslie Matthew Ward). The C.B. Fry print first appeared in 1894.
"Vanity Fair" Series - unnumbered
"Vanity Fair" 1st Series - numbered
"Vanity Fair" 1st Series - 1998 reproduction - The Card Collector's Society
11. "Oxford Athletics" - Mr. C.B. Fry
37. "Mafeking" - Major-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, C.B.
"Redrag" - General Sir Redvers Henry Buller, P.C., G.C.BS. K.C.M.G., V.C.
"Self-Reliant" - Major-General Sir Herbert Charles Onslow Plummer, C.B.
"From the Old Bailey" - The Earl of Halsbury, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
"Shamrock" - Sir Thomas Lipton, K.C.V.D.
"Ladysmith" - General Sir George Stewart White, V.C., G.C.B., G.C.S.I., G.C.M.G., G.C.I.F., G.C.V.O.
"Ranji" - Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji
"Canada" - The Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfred Laurier, P.C., G.C.M.G.
"Little Bo-Peep" - The Earl of Rosebery, K.G., K.T., P.C., LL.D., F.R.S., F.S.A.
"Mr. Speaker" - The Rt. Hon. Wm. Court Gully, P.C., K.C., M.P.. (The Speaker)
"Easy Execution" - Ignace Jan Paderewski
C.I.V. - General William Henry Mackinnon, C.B.
"an Admiral of the Fleet" - Admiral of the Fleet The Earl of Clanwilliam, G.C.B., K.C.M.G.
"A retired Leader" - Sir William George Granville Venables Vernon-Harcourt, P.C., M.P.
"Partnership" - The Rt. Hon. Nathaniel Lord Lindley
"Khartoum" - Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., Commander in Cief, South Africa
"The Oppostion" - The Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, P.C., M.P., G.C.B., LL.D.
"U.S.A." - Theodore Roosevelt President of the United Sates
"Aubrey Tanqueray" - Mr. George Alexander
"A Flannelled Fighter" - The Hon. Frank Stanley Jackson (Yorkshire C.C.C.)
"Dover and War" - Mr. George Wyndham, M.P.
"Our Soldier Prince" - H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, K.G., K.T., K.P.
"Hard Head" - Sir R.B. Finlay, K.C., M.D., M.P.
"London" - The Rt. Rev. Arthur Foley Winnington-Ingram, Bishop of London
"Dr. Jim" - Dr. L.S. Jomeson, C.B.
"The Croucher" - Mr. Gilbert Laird Jessop (Gloucestershire C.C.C.)
"Smith's Leading Cases" - The Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Penn Collins
"Fair if not beautiful" - Lord Justice Cozens-Hardy
"The new French President" - President Loubet
"The Colonies" - The Rt. Hon. Joseph Chamberlain
"Westminster" - His Emminence Herbert Alfred Vaughan
"Yorkshire Cricket" - Lord Hawke (Yorkshire C.C.C.)
The Commercial Traveller" - Adimral Lord Charles William De La Poer Beresford, C.B., M.P.
"High Commissioner" - Lord Milner, G.C.B., G.C.M.G.
"Dick" - The Lord Chief Justice of England, Baron Alverstone
"Jacky" - Adimral Sir John Arbuthnot Fisher, G.C.B.
"Thanet" - The Rt. Hon. James Lowther, P.C., M.P.
"Canterbury" - Randall Thomas Davidson
"Forbie" - Mr. Johnston Forbes-Robertson
"Frank" - Major H.S.H. Prince Francis Joseph Leopold Frederick of Teck, K.C.V.O., D.S.O.
"From the Army to the Church" - The Rt. Rev. Dalrymple Maclagen, D.D., Archbishop of York
"P.R.A." - Sir Edward John Poynter, K.B.
"United Sates Embassy" - Joseph Hodges Choate
"Australia" - Sir Edmund Barton, P.C., K.C.
"Dublin University" - The Rt. Hon. Sir E.H. Carson, P.C., K.C., M.P.
"Birdseye" - Sir William Henry Wills Bart
"Bobs" - Field Marshal The Rt. Hon. Earl Roberts K.G., K.P., G.C.B., G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., V.C., Commander-in-Chief
"Peking" - Sir Ernest Mason Satow, G.C.M.G. British Minister at Peking
"Sammy" - Mr. S.M.J. Woods (Somerset C.C.C.)