Panini Group

The Panini Group was founded in Modena, Italy in 1961. It specialises in producing trading cards and collectable stickers - much loved by schoolboys who view tham as a kind of currency, even though they have no ability to store any value at all - in fact exactly the opposite.

In the early 1970s they seem to have produced a range of cards dedicated to leading cyclists. In Britain we did not get to collect cyclists - we had to be happy with dodgy footballers playing for equally dodgy teams - usually based in the West Midlands. I seem to remember spending the best part of a year buying an endless sequence of little sealed envelopes that all contained cards featuring either Jeff Astle or Tony Hateley.

The Panini Group have recently been in the news again when Professor Paul Harper, of Cardiff University's School of Mathematics, estimated that completing the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 set of Panini stickers, would cost a trifling £773. That's probably a couple of week's pocket money these days, blah, blah, blah...