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Pepys Card company were quite well known for their range of playing cards in the 30’s and 40’s. In 1948 they produced a set of International Football Players, with each of the Home International teams having a suit each. It’s not all that clear which suit Scotland were meant to be and there was only 44 in the pack with eleven players each.

As to the cards picked, it does seem a bit random going by internationalists, as Partick Thistle legend Jackie Husband is among them and he only won one cap, Tommy Kiernan of Celtic also featured, only ever played for the Scottish League XI which suggests that it was maybe based on a League representative side. Overall there are 5 Rangers players, 2 Hibs, two Partick Thistle and one each from Aberdeen and Celtic. However, these were lean times for Celtic and in season ’47-’48, Hibs won the league with Thistle coming in third.The full line up is Bobby Brown (Rangers and future Scotland manager), Jackie Husband (Partick Thistle), Davie Shaw (Hibs), Willie Waddell (Rangers), Willie Thornton (Rangers), Gordon Smith (Hibs), George Young (Rangers), Hugh Brown (Partick Thistle), Willie Woodburn (Rangers), Tommy Kiernan (Celtic) and George Hamilton (Aberdeen).

They are quite a nice wee set and generally don’t cost too much as single cards on ebay, although I haven’t seen a full set on sale. As for the cards shown. Jackie Husband was well known for his long throws for Thistle and so it is suitable that he is shown in that pose, although why team mate Hugh Brown is shown like that also I don’t know (Is that all we were good for). The other player is the great Gordon Smith who surely must be ranked among the best we have ever produced in this country. Gordon not only won the League title with Hibs three times as part of the ‘Famous Five’ but then at the twilight of his career won the League with Both Hearts and Dundee. A truly remarkable man and I recommend that you read his biography ‘Gordon Smith’ by his son Tony.

David Stuart

First posted on Facebook May 1st, 2015