Leicester Fosse trading cards

Links With The Past: Leicester Fosse Trading Cards

Club Historian John Hutchinson's Links With The Past series continues with trading cards featuring Leicester Fosse players that are between 110 and 117 years old.
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They are in remarkably good condition. There were three series of Copes ‘Clips’ which included ‘Noted Footballers’ cards. These were published in 1909, 1910 and 1911. The Copes cards illustrated here date from the 1910 and 1911 series.  

The same nine Leicester Fosse players were chosen for both series. The cards featuring Edward Travis and Fred Osborne are from the 1910 series. Travis’ name is misspelt. It should be Travers. A winger, he played 12 games for the Fosse in 1910/11.

Fred Osborne was a centre-forward. The Fosse Football Album for 1911/12, which is in the Club’s archive, describes him as ‘a clever forward with a fine shot.’

The remaining Copes ‘Clips’ cards are from the 1911 series. Fred Threlfall was a winger. Andrew Aitken, a Scotland international captain, was a big name signing in 1909. He had made his reputation with Newcastle United. He was the Fossils-player manager between 1909 and 1911.

Arthur Randall was described in the Fosse Football Album as a right-half who was a ‘genuine worker who never gives up. Rarely plays a bad game.’

The Fosse Football Album described Inside-right Tommy Benfield as being ‘very smart.’ He was killed on the Western Front by a sniper in September 1918.

William Williamson, an outside-right also didn’t survive the First World War. Captured at Ypres in October 1914, he died in a prisoner of war camp in Germany nearly four years later. The cards featuring Edwin King, who played for Fosse for 18 seasons, and inside forward David Walker are missing.

Finally, the colour card was found in W.D and H.O Wills ‘Scissors’ Cigarette packets. It dates from 1907 and was part of the ‘Football Club Colours’ series. It features an artist’s impression of a player wearing the Fosse blue shirt which was introduced in 1902/03

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