I would just like to say that I was converted to Everton Football club by my older mate's total indifference way back in the late '70s.

At that point in time, the footie trading cards were huge among Norwegian youngsters, and I think those were British (?) in origin, anyway. My equally adolescent friends liked Leeds, Sunderland, Stoke, Man Utd and that lot over there...

I remember I asked my next-door friends about these cards they were so obsessed with, and they put me at elbow's length since I was too young to 'get it'. In the end, they gave me a bunch of cards that they could never hope to trade, and then I buggered a few more as I hoped they'd give me enough to understand this thing that I needed to know to be accepted...

In the end, I think I had a full set of Everton trade cards, and almost as many Man City ones (but not a full set there!). As I eventually realized I had by accident collected a full set of Everton cards, that became my team to watch in the Saturday games broadcast from England.

As luck would have it, that was either the year before, or after, our FA cup win. I have no idea today... Childhood memories are not to be too trusted, I guess!

So, who else found their final team this way? Am I just silly to be so impressionable?

Reader Comments (13)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 30/08/2016 at 01:05:34
Lev, don't care how you found Everton, or how Everton found you but you are one of us now and if you are one of us there is nothing silly about you, but there are thousands of silly Norwegians who follow you know who.
Dick Fearon
2 Posted 30/08/2016 at 11:00:24
When I was a lad, footy cards were very popular with 50 in a set. To collect a complete set we swapped those we had multiples of for those we needed.

Everyone had loads of Trevor Ford but Ivor Alchurch cards were like hens teeth.

John Daley
3 Posted 30/08/2016 at 11:09:03
"..they gave me a bunch of cards that they could never hope to trade, and then I buggered a few more"

Admittedly, football trading cards were way before my time but I never dared dream they were so sought after that people would go to such extreme lengths to get their hands on them.

Dick, I shudder to think what you went through to acquire a set of fifty.

Terry Underwood
4 Posted 30/08/2016 at 11:13:31
Anybody else remember the old TyPhoo tea packets? they had pictures of first division teams on the side? You could send off a certain number of these pictures and get a colour 8 x 12 photo of your chosen team... Happy days.
Brent Stephens
5 Posted 30/08/2016 at 11:31:31
Lev, a nice story on becoming a blue! It was always "in the cards"!

How about:
1. Sweet cigarettes
2. Coffee shops with juke boxes
3. Home milk delivery in glass bottles
4. Party lines on the telephone
5. Newsreels before the movie
6. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning.
(There were only 2 channels [if you were fortunate])
7. Peashooters
8. 33⅓ rpm records
9. 45 rpm records
10. Hi-fi's
11. Metal ice trays with levers
12. Blue flashbulb
13. Cork popguns
14. Wash-tub wringers

Jan Erik Lloyd
6 Posted 30/08/2016 at 12:07:15
Lev, that's my story also! Back in the late '70s "everyone" in Norway supported the dark side and were always hoping for a Keegan or a Clemence card. The footycard packs were expensive so I remember one time we decided to share the cost among us at our local store.

After some time we had collected a huge pile of cards and it was sharing time... I had seen a certain Mr Latchford on Match of the Day and found out that they also were located in the city of Beatles, so when everyone else got in a fight over Liverpool and Leeds, I picked up the Royal Blue ones and knew this was to be my lifelong football-love.

I have several hundred Everton cards from the '60s up to this date, and my wife let me have an "Everton room" with framed cards on the walls some years back...

Eugene Ruane
7 Posted 30/08/2016 at 12:26:49
With the 1960s football card 'scene' which I was very much part of (and which was like being part of The Bloomsbury Group) collecting them was only half of it.

All over the school play yard, there'd be 'swaps' going on.

You'd hear one kid saying "Gorrit-gorrit-gorrit-gorrit..." as another flicked through his card collection with the speed of one of them cash-counting machines so popular with directors of films like 'Blingy Bling, The Dead Big Coke Dealer.'

On the word ''ave'nt', time stood still and a deal might be done.

Billy Bremner for Pat Stanton?

Alan Ball for Tommy Smith? (as if!)

Trevor Hockey for Clyde Best?


But there was a much quicker way of getting what you wanted IF you had the nerve (nerve was needed coz you could lose what you had).

There were games that involved flicking your cards against school-walls against an opponent.

You'd flick yours, he'd flick his - closest to the wall came back with both cards.


There were two variations you could play 'short dizzy' (distance) and 'long dizzy.'

If you lost three or for cards on the bounce, your nerve tended to go and you could make your excuses and leave ('gotta go for a poo' then offski doing a pretend 'I've got the wildies' walk).

However there was another version that once started, there was no out and it could leave a sensitive kid distraught, in tears and with a decent card collection..gone.

One card (usually a fixture list you both had) would be placed on the ground, leaning against the wall at an angle.

Then you both threw/flicked cards at it to knock it flat.

This could end up with a hundred cards on the deck and the thing still standing.

Then one accurate card flicked and that flicker copped for the lot.

I played it a few times and came away happy with 10-15 new cards.

But eventually (and inevitably) I was hit for a pile and felt like a shire horse had hoofed me in the plums.

Mentally scarred, never again.

Peter Lee
8 Posted 30/08/2016 at 12:39:10
Lev, on a visit to Norway a few years ago I asked my Norwegian mate, an older generation than you perhaps, why there was such interest in English football, enough to have Norwegian supporters clubs for lots of English teams, several of which were in the lower reaches of the Football League at the time.

According to him, when he was much younger, betting was illegal in Norway but loads of people did Littlewoods or Vernons football pools. This provided the link into English football and allegiances grew from there.

Indirectly we could argue that the benefits of football tourism seen in the city are down to John Moores.

Eric Myles
9 Posted 30/08/2016 at 12:52:53
Brent #5, I don't remember newsreels before the movie but when I was a lad there was a 'B' feature and you had to stand up for the national anthem.

Remember the rest of you list though, and what about Mojos and collecting Robertson jam-jar labels to get the minstrel badges??

Jeni Wareing
10 Posted 31/08/2016 at 19:13:38
Lev, A wonderful story.

I was born into a Blue family, so a permanent connection has always been there. But I still do collect Everton cards and stickers, which remind me of some of the great players we have had, and also some players who should never have worn the Royal Blue shirt.

I came across a website last week, which was doing a special offer of 15% off all Everton cards and stickers called www.premierfootballcards.com it would have been wrong of me not to add to my collection, which I duly did, the quality of cards and service was brilliant. Just like our motto Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

Lev, keep collecting – don't give up the bug.

Brian Wilkinson
11 Posted 08/09/2016 at 06:50:20
I lost count how many Geoff Twentyman cards I had, can still here it as we opened our cards, not bad good, Jesus not Geoff again.

Another popular one cropping up was the wolves player with a big Afro hairdo, think it was Berry.

Brian Wilkinson
12 Posted 08/09/2016 at 06:56:33
George Berry Wolves
Lev Vellene
13 Posted 09/09/2016 at 19:35:00
Peter #8. Been a while since I checked in fully, so sorry for the late reply. But the main reason so many Norwegians found English clubs to become fans of, was that the Norwegian Broadcasting Company (NRK) starting showing the English Saturday afternoon games in the late 60's (same as was broadcast in the UK, I understand, only with Norwegian commentators).

Until the TV football saturation following the PL start, and satellite TV coverage from all over the world, we had our own 'pedestrian' football, and English football at Saturday afternoon. Not sure if I remember this correctly (I was born in 1967), but my mother told me the first televised match she watched was between Wolverhampton and Tottenham in the late 60's. To this day those are her two teams... I had a lot of juvenile (and then older...) pleasure reminding her of that... ;D

You may have misunderstood your friend a bit, unless they had more 'underground' gambling connections during those early years than I'd think. But the national (!) 'gambling' agency lived and breathed off the English League most of any year (The Norwegian season starts in the spring, and ends in the autumn due to climate): -> Predict the 10, 11 or 12 correct results out of 12, get a nice monetary reward. I remember being sent down once a week to the local shop having that service to get my parents' coupons delivered! :)

Eugene #7: I remember that when we knew a season was coming to a close, and a new set of cards would be incoming soon, we would gamble to complete our old sets by throwing 'challenged' cards simultaneously (thumb and middle finger on the short ends, then index finger on one long side), so that the card would flip several timed until it hit the ground. And then some variation of heads or tails from that flip.

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