The chances are, if you wore football-related jewellery in the medallion-man 1970s, then it was made by Coffer Sports…
In the days when no item of bling was complete without a little football badge, Northampton- and London-based Coffer were the jewellers to a nation of kids.
They had a wonderful range of pendants, identity bracelets, rings, sew-on patches, lapel badges and key-rings, all tastefully* crowned with enamel club badges. The epitome of mid-Seventies cool was undoubtedly Leeds United’s iconic ‘Smiley’ necklace, which somehow almost atoned for the ‘Scowling’ sins of McQueen, Bremner, Giles and Hunter.
A&R Coffer Ltd. started up in the souvenir business just after the war and early boosts to the, er, coffers included the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and Beatlemania. However, afterEngland’s World Cup win in 1966, football soon overtook royal shindigs and pop idols.
“Metal club badges are probably our biggest selling line,” Arthur Coffer explained to the Football League Review in 1973. “For many fans the collecting of these lapel badges has developed into almost a cult. But rosettes are not far behind. We make more than half a million of them a year, in all sizes and all colours, and I cannot see them losing their appeal even though there are signs that the soccer souvenir market is slowly changing.”
Perhaps realising that the ‘slow change’ was towards replica shirts, Coffer entered the competitive world of kit manufacture in the early Eighties, producing strips for Swindon Town, Bristol City and Rochdale. And then, sadly, they went bust.
* According to our taste in the Seventies.
The above is an extract from ‘Got, Not Got – The A to Z of Lost Football Culture, treasures and Pleasures’ available online here just in time for the wet weekend…