Cigarette card hunter bags target

Another mission impossible has been cracked thanks to Colin Murgatroyd of Holmwood Drive in Meanwood. For almost seven months Colin, who has an extensive cigarette card collection, has been on the trail of one particular card that was issued by the Ardath Tobacco Co Ltd that had a factory on Kirkstall Road.

It showed the RL team of Leeds City Transport with the silverware they won in the 1935/36 season.

Not that Colin was missing that particular card – it was already tucked away in his albums – but he read in Yorkshire Diary about the search of 83-year-old Bert Whittaker who was born in Leeds but who lives nowadays in the Aussie town of Brightwaters and whose father, Albert, was connected with the Leeds City Transport RL squad.

Bert had only ever been told about his father's sporting connections but had never seen any proof he was the team's assistant trainer. That was rectified when Colin allowed his cigarette card of the team to be photographed and used in this column.

Bert now had the evidence in black and white and he expressed his thanks to Colin. But Colin wanted to go one better and send a card for Bert to keep.

At every cigarette, stamp and postcard fair Colin has visited this year he's asked the question only to be told those dealers present didn't have a card showing the Leeds City Transport RL team in the 1935/36 season, but he was determined not to be beaten.

Colin's persistence paid off the other day when he attended a fair in Pudsey Civic Centre. He hit the jackpot, a dealer from York had the cigarette card Colin wanted to send to Bert in New South Wales. Colin quickly snapped it up and he got several other cards from the same collection which he'd been seeking for ages to complete his own full set.

After his Pudsey sortie, Colin is only one short of the 110 in the Ardath set of Yorkshire Football teams – soccer, rugby league and rugby union.

"The one I'm missing is number 90 but I've no idea what team is featured", said Colin.

Yorkshire Diary

John Thorpe MBE