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1965 Philadelphia Football Cards

1965 Philadelphia Football Cards

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The 1965 Philadelphia Football card set consists of 198 cards, measuring the standard 2-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches. Similar in design to the company's freshman release the previous year, one noticeable addition was made, giving the cards a distinct and official look. For the first time in football trading card history, the NFL logo was placed on the front of the card. Its presence also served as a reminder to consumers that it was the Philadelphia Gum Company and not their New York-based rival, Topps, that had the rights to produce NFL trading cards. Topps was relegated to printing cards of AFL teams and its players.

The set marks the debut release of cards for six future Hall of Fame players; Paul Warfield (#41), Mel Renfro (#53), Dick LeBeau (#64), Carl Eller (#105), Paul Krause (#189) and Charley Taylor (#195). Veterans serving as the foundation for the set include Johnny Unitas (#12), Mike Ditka (#19), Jim Brown (#31), Bob Lilly (#47), Paul Hornung (#76) and Bart Starr (#81), to name a few.


1965 Philadelphia Football fronts are dominated by the player image itself. Posed action photographs were predominately used but without the player wearing their helmet. A solid-colored box at the bottom left of the card features the player's name, position and team. Three colors were used on the text (as opposed to two in 1964) and each team has its own color scheme. The easily recognizable NFL shield logo appears in the bottom right corner, separate from the box with the player's info.

The card backs are printed with red, which makes them harder to read than any of the other Philadelphia football card sets. A box at the top includes the player's name, team, position and vital statistics. Below that, a red box contains either a line of Year/Life stats (for the impact players) or a short biography. The rest of the card features a game designed to encourage collecting the entire set. A picture of a player was designed to show up once a coin was rubbed across the card, and collectors had to find the answer of who he was on a different card. The bottom right corner has the card number inside a shield that is shaped like the one on the NFL logo.

Checklist Notes and Errors

Once again, the Philadelphia Gum Company utilized a very collation friendly numbering system. The cards are numbered according to team, with players arranged in alphabetical order by their last name. There are 14 cards for every team, with 12 players, a team photo and a play card that shows a drawing of the play as if it was on a chalkboard, the team's coach and the home stadium. In addition to the Hall of Fame veterans and rookies, the play cards are of particular interest to collectors. They feature Hall of Fame coaches like Don Shula (#14), George Halas (#28), Tom Landry (#56) and Vince Lombardi (#84). Two checklist cards bookend the set.

Distribution and Oddities

1965 Philadelphia Football was distributed through numerous retail channels in nickel packs and ten-cent cellos. It is believed that the 1965 Philadelphia cards were printed on two 132-card sheets  which would make 264 total cards. If veteran hobbyist's theories are correct, than the 198 card set, would have to have 66 that cards were double-printed. While this has not been officially verified, collectors cite the easily found cards of Doug Atkins (#17), Herb Adderley (#72), Paul Hornung (#76), and the first checklist (#197) compared to those of other players, as one piece of evidence supporting the double-printed theory.

Errors and Condition

A few uncorrected errors exist within the set including the Dallas Cowboys team card (#43), which lists the team name as being the "Cowboys Dallas". Also, for the second straight year, the company misspelled Herb Adderley's last name. In addition, several players are also photographed wearing a jersey of a team they no longer played for, having been traded in the off-season.

The most commonly cited condition issue for the 1965 Philadelphia Football card set is poor centering. It can also be difficult to find cards with the rub-off area unscratched on the card's reverse. This subtle nuance can cause drastic fluctuations in price. The relatively thin cardboard stock used in the printing of the cards is also notorious for corner fraying as the result of less than high-tech cutting procedures used during the time period.

1965 Philadelphia Football Cards 1Making purchases through affiliate links can earn the site a commission

Key Cards

Key 1965 Philadelphia Football Cards

Jim Brown #31

1965 Philadelphia Football Cards 22

Paul Warfield RC #41

1965 Philadelphia Football Cards 23

Charley Taylor RC #195

1965 Philadelphia Football Cards 24

Checklist 2 #198

1965 Philadelphia Football Cards 25

Mel Renfro RC #53

1965 Philadelphia Football Cards 26

Bart Starr #81

1965 Philadelphia Football Cards 27

1965 Philadelphia Football Cards 28

Set Checklist

1965 Philadelphia Football Set Checklist

Base Set Checklist

Featuring 198 cards

1 Colts Team
 2 Raymond Berry
 3 Bob Boyd
 4 Wendell Harris
 5 Jerry Logan
 6 Tony Lorick
 7 Lou Michaels
 8 Lenny Moore
 9 Jimmy Orr
 10 Jim Parker
 11 Dick Szymanski
 12 Johnny Unitas
 13 Bob Vogel RC
 14 Colts Play of the Ye
 15 Bears Team
 16 Jon Arnett
 17 Doug Atkins
 18 Rudy Bukich RC
 19 Mike Ditka
 20 Dick Evey
 21 Joe Fortunato
 22 Bobby Joe Green RC
 23 Johnny Morris
 24 Mike Pyle
 25 Roosevelt Taylor
 26 Bill Wade
 27 Bob Wetoska
 28 Bears Play of the Year
 29 Browns Team
 30 Walter Beach
 31 Jim Brown
 32 Gary Collins
 33 Bill Glass
 34 Ernie Green
 35 Jim Houston RC
 36 Dick Modzelewski
 37 Bernie Parrish
 38 Walter Roberts
 39 Frank Ryan
 40 Dick Schafrath
 41 Paul Warfield RC
 42 Browns Play of the Year
 43 Cowboys Team
 44 Frank Clarke
 45 Mike Connelly
 46 Buddy Dial
 47 Bob Lilly
 48 Tony Liscio RC
 49 Tommy McDonald
 50 Don Meredith
 51 Pettis Norman
 52 Don Perkins
 53 Mel Renfro RC
 54 Jim Ridlon
 55 Jerry Tubbs
 56 Cowboys Play of the
 57 Lions Team
 58 Terry Barr
 59 Roger Brown
 60 Gail Cogdill
 61 Jim Gibbons
 62 John Gordy
 63 Yale Lary
 64 Dick LeBeau RC
 65 Earl Morrall
 66 Nick Pietrosante
 67 Pat Studstill
 68 Wayne Walker
 69 Tom Watkins
 70 Lions Play of the Year
 71 Packers Team
 72 Herb Adderley
 73 Willie Davis
 74 Boyd Dowler
 75 Forrest Gregg
 76 Paul Hornung
 77 Henry Jordan
 78 Tom Moore
 79 Ray Nitschke
 80 Elijah Pitts RC
 81 Bart Starr
 82 Jim Taylor
 83 Willie Wood
 84 Packers Play of the Year
 85 Rams Team
 86 Dick Bass
 87 Roman Gabriel
 88 Roosevelt Grier
 89 Deacon Jones
 90 Lamar Lundy RC
 91 Marlin McKeever
 92 Ed Meador
 93 Bill Munson RC
 94 Merlin Olsen
 95 Bobby Smith
 96 Frank Varrichione
 97 Ben Wilson
 98 Rams Play of the Year
 99 Vikings Team
 100 Grady Alderman
 101 Hal Bedsole RC
 102 Bill Brown
 103 Bill Butler
 104 Fred Cox RC
 105 Carl Eller RC
 106 Paul Flatley
 107 Jim Marshall
 108 Tommy Mason
 109 George Rose
 110 Fran Tarkenton
 111 Mick Tingelhoff
 112 Vikings Play of the Year
 113 Giants Team
 114 Erich Barnes
 115 Roosevelt Brown
 116 Clarence Childs
 117 Jerry Hillebrand
 118 Greg Larson RC
 119 Dick Lynch
 120 Joe Morrison RC
 121 Lou Slaby
 122 Aaron Thomas RC
 123 Steve Thurlow
 124 Ernie Wheelwright RC
 125 Gary Wood RC
 126 Giants Play of the Year
 127 Eagles Team
 128 Sam Baker
 129 Maxie Baughan
 130 Timmy Brown
 131 Jack Concannon RC
 132 Irv Cross
 133 Earl Gros
 134 Dave Lloyd
 135 Floyd Peters RC
 136 Nate Ramsey
 137 Pete Retzlaff
 138 Jim Ringo
 139 Norm Snead
 140 Eagles Play of the Y
 141 Steelers Team
 142 John Baker
 143 Gary Ballman
 144 Charley Bradshaw
 145 Ed Brown
 146 Dick Haley
 147 John Henry Johnson
 148 Brady Keys
 149 Ray Lemek
 150 Ben McGee
 151 Clarence Peaks
 152 Myron Pottios
 153 Clendon Thomas
 154 Steelers Play of the Year
 155 Cardinals Team
 156 Jim Bakken RC
 157 Joe Childress
 158 Bobby Joe Conrad
 159 Bob DeMarco
 160 Pat Fischer RC
 161 Irv Goode
 162 Ken Gray
 163 Charley Johnson
 164 Bill Koman
 165 Dale Meinert
 166 Jerry Stovall RC
 167 Abe Woodson
 168 Cardinals Play of the Year
 169 49ers Team
 170 Kermit Alexander
 171 John Brodie
 172 Bernie Casey
 173 John David Crow
 174 Tommy Davis
 175 Matt Hazeltine
 176 Jim Johnson
 177 Charlie Krueger RC
 178 Roland Lakes
 179 George Mira RC
 180 Dave Parks RC
 181 John Thomas RC
 182 49ers Play of the Year
 183 Redskins Team
 184 Pervis Atkins
 185 Preston Carpenter
 186 Angelo Coia
 187 Sam Huff
 188 Sonny Jurgensen
 189 Paul Krause RC
 190 Jim Martin
 191 Bobby Mitchell
 192 John Nisby
 193 John Paluck
 194 Vince Promuto
 195 Charley Taylor RC
 196 Redskins Play of the Year
 197 Checklist 1
 198 Checklist 2 UER
1965 Philadelphia Football Cards 29

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Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.

User Reviews

Michael Mencer
Michael Mencer

I find this great except it’s confusing on how to view what I want like team sets from all years pre 1969. 1925 or even before. Also how to buy either single or team or sets. Cards someone on a fixed income can afford would be nice.


I recently purchased a retail box that promised a graded card and several misc. packs. From the retail box, my interest was focused on a hanger pack of Philadelphia cards. These were from the 2009 series. My first thoughts were these were some type of throwback cards. After I searched for information regarding these cards via CCW, I realized the importance.

I’m a strong proponent of older cards depicted in current products. As an example, last years Topps Chrome and one of my favorite inserts, the “Tall Boys” and the ’84 cards. For young collectors and first time collectors like my self, these type of cards allows me to look into and research vintage cards.

Foster Flint
Foster Flint

Contains numerous hall-of-famers in the NFL–stars such as Jim Brown, John Unitas, Ray Berry, Bart Starr, Jim Taylor, Paul Hornung, Merl Olsen are legendary.
The pictures are clean and interesting and there is a challenge to completing the set. Not all cards are actually that readily available. Definitely a 5-star set!!

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