1966 World Cup GB Stamp Issues In Detail
To mark the hosting of the competition a set of three stamps was issued on June 1st 1966. The stamps were produced using both ordinary paper and phosphor banded paper and today they command only very modest prices. Converting to today's decimal currency the set of three values had a total face value of 10.5p and yet, 45 years on, they can still be purchased for less than the price of a single second class stamp! So hardly a great investment you might think. However, if it is the scarcer and more valuable items that interest you, then take a look at the 1966 World Cup first day covers which now, depending on condition (very important) and postmark can be far more expensive. It's also worth keeping your eyes peeled for signed World Cup covers as these can make eye watering prices for a rare autograph!
Let's look at the three stamps in detail:
The 4d Value was designed by David Gentleman who is well known among GB collectors for his numerous contributions to British stamp design over many years. Gentleman based his design on live action photographs taken by Peter Boyce resulting in a design that, while simple in concept, managed to capture and illustrate the competitiveness of the game. Nearly 130 Million 4d value World Cup stamps were issued plus a further 16 Million on the phosphor coated paper.
The 6d value was designed by William Kempster, perhaps better known for his murals and lecturing. Mr Kempster’s stamp design depicts a goalmouth scene with the goalkeeper clearing the ball. Over 17 Million of these stamps were issued (3.35 Million Phosphor).
The 1/3d Value stamp was designed by David Caplan and again depicts a goalmouth scene. Caplan, a photographer and typographer who also lectured in graphic design, originally had a very different design approved but this was switched in the later stages of production. The stamp was to have featured the flags of all 16 nations taking part in the World Cup finals that year but that would have meant publishing the North Korean flag on a British Stamp! About 7 Million stamps were issued (and around 1.75 million phosphor).
Less than 50,000 1966 World Cup presentation packs were issued meaning these have appreciated better than the stamps they contain and you will do well thesedays to buy a pack for around £6.50/£7.00 from UK stamp dealers.
England’s victory over West Germany in the final on July 30th 1966 merited another stamp issue which the Post Office hadn't planned for in the same detail as the original issue. With no time available for the normal commissioning process, an "ENGLAND WINNERS" overprint on David Gentleman's 4d value design was used.
These "England Winners" stamps were issued by the Post Office on August 18th 1966 and nearly 12.5 Million were sold. Again the value tends to be with covers as the stamp itself can still be purchased mint for just pennies.
For those collectors with an eye for close up detail, the 1966 World Cup stamps also featured a number of constant varieties and some dramatic missing colour errors also found their way in to circulation.
Alas, following the FIFA vote to award the next two World Cup's to Russia and Qatar respectively, it seems I will probably never have the chance to write about the stamps issued for another Football World Cup played in Britain!
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