Taddy & Co. produced three sets of cards in their Prominent Footballer series. This is now the seventh QPR card that I have featured from the first series in 1907.
They issued another set the following year and a number of these cards would have included the same players.
I have two cards for Alf Gittins, one of which is an original and the other one is from the re-printed set that was issued in 1992. The pictures are both exactly the same and the only noticeable difference to these cards applies to the tobacco advertising on the backs. One refers to ‘Imperial Tobacco’ and the other is as detailed below.
This original card was issued with ‘Myrtle Grove’ cigarettes and on the back it reads: ‘A delightfully cool Pipe Tobacco, combining the sweetness & fragrance of the better class Virginia Tobaccos with the rich flavour of Latakia. Rather a full-flavoured, but an eminently pleasant mixture.’
Alfred George Gittins was born in Salford on 3rd July 1886. Rangers signed him from Luton Town in 1907 and he made his league debut against Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day of the 1907/08 season, scoring two goals in the 3-3 draw at Park Royal.
His surname was often spelt as ‘Gittens’ and was described as ‘an artistic dribbler and an expert at sending the ball low and hard into the net.’
Rangers went on to win the title and Alf collected a Championship medal. He then played in the first FA Charity Shield match against Manchester United on 27th April at Stamford Bridge. The game finished 1-1 and was later replayed as a curtain raiser before the start of the following season.
After completing 46 first team appearances and scoring 17 goals, Alf moved on to Aston Villa and between 1909 and 1910 he played for Croydon Common. He went on to play for a number of Scottish sides and finished his career at Stenhousemuir. He died in 1949.
(My thanks to Gordon Macey and for further information I would recommend a visit to the Croydon Common FC website which includes extensive details and a number of superb pics)