Monday, July 7, 2014

Collecting Football (Soccer) Lapel Badges


During the 1970s and 1980s -- when I was coaching youth soccer and playing in an adult league -- I discovered football (soccer) lapel badge collecting.  Football supporters from around the world -- I discovered -- collect lapel pins (called badges) to support their national team and favorite football clubs. 


That is all the world except the United States.  At the time a professional league called the North American Soccer League (NASL) existed, but the souvenirs offered were usually felt pennants and large tin buttons.  Eventually -- before they folded -- NASL clubs started creating lapel badges, but they were very difficult to obtain.


Over the course of a dozen years I obtained football magazines from around the world -- and through advertising -- made contact with 24 different collectors from around the globe.  I corresponded with these collectors and traded United States souvenirs for football badges from their countries.


In time I collected team badges from Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, Eire (Ireland), England, Finland, France, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, North Ireland, Norway, Peru, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United States, Uraguay, Wales, West Germany and Yugoslavia. 

In addition I had obtained Football Association badges from many other counties and conferences across several continents. 


In all I had collected nearly 800 badges which I organized in three-ring binders with plastic insert pages designed for coin collecting.  It was one of the most delightful experiences in my life, and I learned a great deal about people and culture in many foreign lands.


Over time I moved on the renew my interest in the American West and horses, so the lapel badge collection gathered dust in a box in my garage.  With the advent of the world wide web in the 1990s I found means to sell my collection.


Not surprisingly the English and American badges were the first to go, and finally just last year I sold the remaining badges to a collector and dealer in the Ukraine. 


I wonder if my grandsons generation will discover a hobby as much fun as this?

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog, thanks for sharing the information. I will come to look for update. Keep up the good work.
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    ReplyDelete