James Taddy & Company was founded in 1740. By the end of the 19th century it was one of the most important tobacco companies in Britain. It first produced cigarette cards in 1897 with a set entitled Actresses. In 1907 the company issued a set of 595 football cards entitled "Prominent Footballers". The oval shaped images were in black and white. Further sets were followed in 1908 (403) and 1913 (406).
In 1920 tobacco workers were called upon by their trade union to go on strike in order to win higher wages and better working conditions. The Taddy management warned their workers that if they went on strike they would close the business down for good. The union refused to back down and Taddy carried out its threat and the company ceased trading.