The 1907/08 Cohen Weenen Cigarette Card Featuring QPR Captain William Yenson

The tobacco company Cohen Weenen & Co. issued a series of cards for the 1907/08 season which depicted football club captains. This set of 60 included captains in Division 1, Division 2 and also from the Southern League. This particular card features William Yenson and is from series No.5.

I don’t know what the current valuation is, but the book price for these cards was stated at around ¬£13.00 each. These sets were re-printed in 1998 by Card Promotions. The cards are also sold separately and this one is currently available on ebay for a ‘Buy-It-Now’ price of ¬£1.25 plus postage.

The reverse side of the card reads: ‘W.Yenson , Queen’s Park Rangers, (Half-back), also plays forward. Has assisted his club with marked ability for several seasons. Is a hardworking player and consistent scorer.’ The photo was taken by W. Whiffin of Kensal Green.

He also appeared on at least three other cigarette cards including another QPR one in the Taddy & Co. ‘Prominent Footballers’ series roughly about the same time. Then a few years later he was featured by the same company as a West Ham player. In 1910 there was the Croydon Common card which was issued by Gallaher Ltd in their ‘Association Football Club Colours’ series.

William Yenson was born in Kingston Bagpuize, Oxfordshire, in 1880. There is some confusion regarding his Christian names as according to a census return years later he was registered as ‘Philip Owen Yenson’ ?

He joined West Ham in 1902 and Rangers signed him from Bolton Wanderers in 1905 where he had appeared in the 1904 FA Cup Final against Manchester City. He made his debut for the R’s on the 2nd September 1905 against New Brompton and went on to make 94 Southern League and FA Cup appearances, scoring 4 goals.

Yenson returned to the Hammers and later joined Croydon Common in 1909 where he also had a tobacconist shop which he conveniently advertised in the Club Handbooks.

He died in Ilford in 1944.

Steve Russell

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