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Albion stars on '70s collectible cards

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: December 21, 2013

By Dan Shaw

  • Jim Cumbes

  • John Kaye

  • Alan Merrick

  • Bobby Hope

  • Tony Brown

  • John Talbut

  • Asa Hartford

  • Programme from the Wolves v Real match of 1957

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LAST week we printed a selection of pictures of Wolves star players from a set of collectible cards from the early 1970s. This week we print some of their Albion counterparts.

The cards were collected when he was a lad by dyed-in-the-wool Baggies fan Peter Hill of West Bromwich. They were printed by IPC Magazines in 1970 and '71, under the heading My Favourite Soccer Stars, and given away with copies of their comics Tiger, Buster, Lion and Thunder, Smash, and Valiant and TV21.

Again we reprint the short biographical note printed on the reverse of each card.

How many of these Throstles do you remember and were any of them your favourite soccer star?

"Jim Cumbes: Top-class goalie who cost Albion £35,000 when they signed him from Tranmere Rovers in August 1969. He comes from Manchester and played over 130 games for Tranmere in three seasons. Has also done well as a fast bowler with Surrey and Lancashire. A six-footer.

"John Kaye: Once a goalgetting centre-forward but now a powerful wing-half. Comes from Goole and was leading scorer for Scunthorpe before he joined Albion in May 1963 for a fee of £42,500. Has now made more than 200 appearances for Albion and won a Cup medal in 1968 playing at left-half.

"Alan Merrick: Fine young defender as full-back or midfield who really hit the headlines last season. A Birmingham boy, he joined Albion aged 16 straight from Coleshill Grammar School and gained an England Youth cap in 1968. He made his first team debut in September 1968.

"Bobby Hope: Brilliant ball-playing Scot who has won Schools, Youth, Under-23 and Senior caps. He joined ground staff in 1959 and made his League debut in 1960 aged 16½. Has now played in well over 300 League games and won FA and League Cup medals.

"Tony Brown: One of the finest attacking wing-halves in the game. He has scored 68 goals in the last four seasons. Born in Oldham, he played as a schoolboy at Manchester before becoming an apprentice with Albion. Has since won a Cup medal and Youth and Senior caps for England.

"John Talbut: Tall, powerful centre-half and 1968 Cup-winner. As a South Shields schoolboy he won an England cap in 1955 and joined Burnley. After nine years at Turf Moor he moved to Albion in 1966 for a £30,000 fee. Has made over 100 appearances for Albion and has captained England Under-23 teams.

"Asa Hartford: Dashing little striker who is a Scottish international star of the future. Born in Glasgow, he went to the same school as Bobby Hope, now his Albion team-mate. He signed for Albion as an amateur; turned professional in 1967 and made his first team debut in February 1968."

Have you any collectible cards or old pictures of Black Country soccer stars? Contact dshaw@blackcountry bugle.co.uk or write to us.

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