True North’s football hero stamps

Manchester agency True North has created a set of Royal Mail stamps, illustrated by Andy Kinsman, that celebrate eleven carefully chosen heroes of the British game…

Manchester agency True North has created a set of Royal Mail stamps, illustrated by Andy Kinsman, that celebrate eleven carefully chosen heroes of the British game…

“We were commissioned by Dean Price, design manager at Royal Mail to produce a set of stamps to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Football Association,” explains creative director Ady Bibby,” and which would celebrate the heroes of the British game. As a football mad agency, this really was a dream job.

“It became clear that we couldn’t suggest players simply based on the number of honours they achieved or the amount of goals they scored,” Bibby continues. “It was about their achievement on the pitch at both club and international level and also their place in the hearts of British football fans. The final list was decided by experts at the National Football Museum.

“We then scoured the archives to find images of the players in team photograph pose. We also wanted to reflect each player at their pomp. Some of the imagery was great quality, others images weren’t as good so we needed to commission an illustrator that could help us manipulate the ages of the players, and also ensure consistency across the painting. We commissioned Andy Kinsman who worked full-time on the painting (below) for six months.”

Creative director Ady Bibby, True North
Senior designer Adrian Newell, True North
Illustrator Andy Kinsman

More info on the set of stamps can be found at

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  • Char

    Fucking great


    Very Nicely Done

    i assume the ‘others’ are just there to clean George Best’ boots

  • Yes the stamp with footballer looks awesome.

  • How cool is it to have your face on a stamp

  • Great choices and nicely presented. No Stanley Matthews though?

  • Barry

    Agree with Pickle, to choose Robson or Keegan over Matthews is a very poor choice. If you’re not aware why this is the case, read this:
    “England vs Brazil, 1956: In Stanley Matthews, England had their very own samba star”

  • Re: Pickle and Barry

    Thank you for the comments on the Stamps.

    Stanley Mathews was actually featured on a Stamp released in 1996 to commemorate football legends. We agree he would have been a good choice to feature in this set but the task was to create a set than spanned different eras up to the 80’s, as this set wasn’t meant to commemorate the modern day footballers. Bobby Moore does feature in both sets but he would have been a very odd choice to leave out.

    All in all after working closely with the National Football Museum we have come up with a good squad to rival any, we could have came up with a squad that was between 30 – 50 players and thats the great thing about these stamps, they are creating a healthy debate.

  • James

    Stanley Matthews isn’t in the 1996 set, it’s Dixie Dean, Bobby Moore, Duncan Edwards, Billy Wright and Danny Blanchflower. Matthews was still alive in 1996 whereas all the other weren’t.

  • Adam

    Kenny Dalgleish, I mean come on, where is he?

  • Sorry James, I got my information wrong, I thought I’d remembered him being featured in that set.

  • Brinley Clark

    Brilliant, but what is Kevin Keegan and John Barnes doing in there

  • I think arguing over who is or isn’t included is missing the point a bit… There’s only 11 spots available after all.

    Here’s a novel idea, maybe the comments could focus on the idea and execution instead?

  • Niels

    Nice idea, but (and sorry to be so negative) there are some pretty poor likenesses there – especially considering the artist worked on them full time for 6 months.

  • David

    John Barnes solely for the rap on the NO England single!!!

    No manager!!!!

  • Can’t stand football, don’t collect stamps, but I’d buy just because it looks stunning as a set.

  • Adam

    Arguing over who would be in your perfect 11 is one of the delights of football. No need to get all dull about it.

  • Ben L

    The selection of personnel was always going to be dubious with fans of a particular club or nation. The work is fantastic!

  • graham duncan

    thease look stunning well done all,
    i have seen large prints of then as promo items on the odd TV show, am i able to buy on of thease large promo ones, i want to try and get a John Barnes one,
    i may have a chance to get one signed by him then frame for a future charity night i put on,

  • Hi Graham,

    Thanks for the comments. If you would like to drop me a note at with a few more details I can ask the client for you.

  • On the whole, very nicely done. Anything involving football will always cause debate no matter what. In our part of the world, everyone is up in arms about there being no Billy Wright… elsewhere Stanley Matthews etc. etc. Impossible to please everyone.