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Published April 02, 2023 Updated April 02, 2023

Philosophy Football playing cards

Philosophy Football playing cards, United Kingdom, 2002

2002 United Kingdom Richard Edward Ltd Fashion & Costume Football Add to Collection

Philosophy Football is the name of a London-based sportswear outfitter “of intellectual distinction” (self-proclaimed). It was founded in 1994 by Mark Perryman & Hugh Tisdale who had the idea of creating t-shirts with quotations from well-known philosophers and other social commentators about the game of football.

This pack was produced in 2002, on the company’s eighth anniversary, and printed by Richard Edward, London. The pip cards are standard, but the court cards display t-shirts with the football-related quotes. So, for example, the immortal words of Albert Camus "All that I know most surely about morality and obligations I owe to football" adorn the t-shirt on the king of clubs. Quotes from Kierkegard, Germaine Greer, Shere Hite, Jean-Paul Sartre as well as footballers such as Lev Yashin and Eric Cantona also appear on the court cards. There are two jokers and an extra card headed “Twelve for Eight” (i.e. twelve quotes for the eighth anniversary).

‘Philosophy Football’ playing cards, 2002 ‘Philosophy Football’ playing cards, 2002

Above: ‘Philosophy Football’ playing cards, 2002.

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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