Football has featured on stamps throughout the years for past World Cups. Assistant Curator Georgina shares her favourites from our collection.

14 June marks the beginning of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, I’m not really a football fan but there are a lot of people out there chomping at the bit and we can all appreciate world-class football. Does England stand a chance? Well if past form is anything to go by then no, but who knows this year could be our year.

Football has featured on stamps throughout the years for past World Cups, including when England won in 1966. Within our collection, we also have the intended artwork to commemorate if Scotland won the World Cup in 1978. However these are simply British stamps, I wanted to also look at how other countries depict football or their football stars. England has been placed in Group G with Belgium, Panama and Tunisia, how do their stamps look?

Belgium

The below stamp was part of three issued by Belgium in 1994, featuring the national team at the Los Angeles Football World Cup, the centenary of the first Olympics and that year’s Winter Olympic Games which was held in Lillehammer, Norway.

Stamp depicting two football players to commemorate the Los Angeles Football World Cup.

Belgium stamp for the 1994 Football World Cup in Los Angeles, 1994

Panama

Panama are here commemorate the Argentinian victory at the 1986 Mexico Football World Cup, held at the Estadio Azteca stadium in Mexico City were they won 3-2 against Germany. The 30¢ stamp also identifies Germany as the runner-up.

Two stamp depicting football players at the 1986 Football World Cup.

30¢ & 37¢ Panama stamps for the 1986 Football World Cup

Tunisia

And finally, in our group we have Tunisia. Instead of World Cup stamps, those below are the 1994 African Cup of Nations. 1994 saw the 19th Cup being held in Tunisia where Nigeria took the title beating Zambia in the final 2-1.

Stamp depicting two football players and the African Nations Cup.

180, African Nations Cup Football Championship, 1994

Stamp depicting a football player and a map of Africa.

450, African Nations Cup Football Championship, 1994

England

England during my lifetime have never come close to winning the World Cup but that wasn’t the case in 1966 when Bobby Moore led his team to victory against Germany in the final. David Gentleman produced stamps for the World Cup and after the win adapted the 4d stamp to feature ‘England Winners’ in celebration.

Two stamps showing the change in the 4d World Cup stamp after England won.

4d, Football World Cup and England Winners Stamps of 1966

6d, World Cup Football Championship, 1966

1/3, World Cup Football Championship, 1966

In 2013 a stamp issue was released to commemorate some of Britain’s greatest ever footballers. The below artwork was produced, measuring in at a huge 8 by 5 foot. The full design was used for the miniature sheet and the portraits of the players for the issued stamps. Players to feature in this issue were the World Cup winners Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton along with more modern players such as John Barnes.

Painting of British football players through the years sat together to form a team.

Football Heroes painting by Andy Kinsman, 2013

Scotland Winners

Royal Mail had high hopes for Scotland in the 1978 Football World Cup. These two designs were produced by Barry Wilkinson as potential stamps to release after Scotland won the tournament. Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be. Scotland failed to get out of their group and Argentina came home with the victory, leading to these images being added to the numerous stamp designs that were produced but never issued.

Proposed design for stamp of Scottish football players raising the World Cup.

Proposed Scotland Winning the World Cup Stamp, 9d, Players and Cup, 1978

Proposed design for stamp of the World Cup next a rampant lion.

Proposed Scotland Winning the World Cup Stamp, 9d, Cup and Lion, 1978

So why don’t we have a little more faith, keep a positive attitude and cheer on our boys in June, who knows it might be England lifting that cup.

– Georgina Tomlinson (Assistant Curator, Philately)