Striking designs – A look at football themed UK coins

EURO 2024 kicks off today (14th June 2024), so we’ve taken a look back at some of the UK coins that have been issued to celebrate the beautiful game.

1996 Football Single Metal £2

The single metal Football £2 was issued in 1996 to celebrate England hosting the 10th European football championships.

Before 1997, £2 coins were struck from a single-coloured, nickel-brass and were mainly produced for collectors and reserved for very special occasions.

The reverse design resembles a football, and is accentuated by an unusual concave surface of the coin. The year of 1996 is prominent, and the sixteen small rings represent the teams who competed in the tournament. Only 5,141,350 1996 Football £2 coins were ever minted.

2011 Olympic Football 50p

In 2011, a year before London hosted the Olympic Games, 29 new 50p coins were issued, each representing a different Olympic sport.

The football 50p was possibly the most publicised of them all, as it features the hotly debated offside rule in the form of a simple diagram. Designer Neil Wolfson, a sports journalist by trade, chose an image which he felt would encapsulate the sport whilst also provoking discussion.

The Olympic Football 50p is also the rarest of the Olympic 50ps with a mintage figure of just 1,125,500.

2022 150th Anniversary of the FA Cup £2

To mark 150 years of the FA Cup, The Royal Mint issued this £2 coin in 2022. Designers Matt Dent and Christian Davies created a design featuring the famed FA Cup Trophy in the centre.

Ribbons on each side of the trophy represent the first staging of the Football Association Challenge Cup (1871-72) and the 141st season which marked the 150th anniversary (2021-22).

2023 Pride of England £5

In 2022, England won the Woman’s EURO 2022 after beating Germany 2-1. The following year in 2023, the team embarked on their biggest competition to date – the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

To celebrate the Lionesses and their successes, The Royal Mint struck this £5 coin in 2023. The reverse of the coin features the iconic ‘three lions’ emblem in a design by Norman Sillman.

The England team made it to the final of the 2023 World Cup, but unfortunately Spain took home the cup.

An honourable mention…

Although not technically a football coin, the 1997 Three Lions £1 does feature the heraldic three lions design which has become synonymous with English football, so we thought it was worth a mention!

The three lions date back to Richard the Lionheart (1189-1199) who used three golden lions on a scarlet background as a powerful symbol of the English throne.

The design of the 1997 £1, by Norman Sillman, was actually the original design that inspired the 2023 Pride of England £5.

Vote for your favourite football coin

We want to know which of these football themed UK coins is your favourite, so cast your vote below and come back on 14th July (the EURO 2024 final) for the results!

Kick off your football collection

If you’re missing either the 1996 Football £2 or the 2022 FA Cup £2 from your collection, you can secure the pair for just £25 (+p&p) here >>

Celebrate over 250 years of Royal History with the Buckingham Palace £5

When visiting London, there’s one place that’s most likely to be on everyone’s sightseeing list…Buckingham Palace! And as one of the most recognisable buildings in the world, it’s only fitting that it now features on a UK £5 coin!

2024 UK Buckingham Palace £5
2024 UK Buckingham Palace £5

A design fit for a King…or Queen!

The 2024 UK Buckingham Palace £5 was first issued in January as part of the 2024 Annual Coin Set, but it’s now been individually released!

The design on this new £5, by Henry Gray, pays tribute to the building that carries so much history, with a beautifully detailed depiction of the front of Buckingham Palace. If you look closely, you’ll see the Royal Standard flying, which signifies the presence of a British Monarch, and the whole design is encircled in a floral ring, tying in with the King’s love of nature.

The Royal Standard can be seen flying atop the Palace
The Royal Standard can be seen flying atop the Palace

The History of the Palace

Buckingham Palace has been in the Royal Family since 1761, when George III bought it as Buckingham House for his wife, Queen Charlotte, to use as their family home. It wasn’t until 1826 that George IV transformed the house into a palace, however the project took much longer and cost much more than expected and was finished by his successor William IV, although he never actually moved in.

Illustration of Buckingham House
Illustration of Buckingham House
Public Domain

Queen Victoria was the first monarch to take up residence in Buckingham Palace in 1837, and it remained the royal residence and place of official business until the end of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. It now serves as King Charles III’s administrative headquarters, although he doesn’t live there.

Many a state visit and national celebration have taken place at the Palace, most recently the King’s Coronation celebrations and Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. It also facilitated significant moments in history, such as the signing of The London Declaration in 1949 that created the Commonwealth as we know it today.

Buckingham Palace in 2009
Buckingham Palace in 2009
Credit: Diliff, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know…Buckingham Palace boasts 775 rooms, a cinema, swimming pool, post office, police station, a doctor’s clinic and a cash machine! It also has the largest private garden in London, covering 42 acres and including a helipad, a lake and tennis courts!

Secure your Buckingham Palace £5

With its rich history, it’s surprising that this is the first time that Buckingham Palace has ever featured on a UK £5 coin. What’s not surprising though, is that the Buckingham Palace £5 was voted your second favourite coin design from the 2024 Annual Set.

This is your chance to hold more than 250 years of royal history in your hands, so click here to secure your 2024 UK Buckingham Palace £5 for just £13.99 (+p&p) >>

A Legendary New Coin – The Maid Marian £5

They say behind every great man is a great woman…and that’s true for the Myths and Legends series, as the Robin Hood £5 is followed by the 2024 Maid Marian £5!

2024 UK Maid Marian £5
2024 UK Maid Marian £5

A striking design

The reverse design, by Jody Clark, shows the heroine framed amongst the foliage of Sherwood Forest, with native English foliage including oak leaves and ferns encroaching from the edge of the coin. Marian was known to be a skilful archer, and so she’s pictured with her bow and arrow upon her back.

When talking about his design on the Maid Marian £5, Jody Clark said ‘I wanted to show the connections between each legendary outlaw’s persona and the forest, which serves as both a sanctuary and a strategic ally’.

2024 UK Maid Marian £5 Reverse and Obverse
2024 UK Maid Marian £5 Reverse and Obverse

To highlight the dynamic design, your 2024 UK Maid Marian £5 has been struck to a Brilliant Uncirculated quality – the standard favoured among collectors.

Who is Maid Marian?

Maid Marian didn’t actually feature in any early, medieval versions of the Robin Hood legend, but began to appear in plays and stories in the 1600s. However, despite being a late-comer to the story, Marian has become a very important part of the Robin Hood legend.

Illustration of Maid Marian from Wood 401(21)
Illustration of Maid Marian from Wood 401(21)
Credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Known as Robin Hood’s one true love, English folklore depicts Maid Marian as courageous and independent as well as beautiful and loyal. It’s thought that her name was derived from her refusal to marry until Robin Hood and his merry men had received a King’s pardon, as before the 17th century, unmarried women were called maids.

Maid Marian has been portrayed in countless plays, movies, TV shows and other media, usually in human form, but some of you may remember Marian best as Hood’s foxy love interest in the 1973 Disney film ‘Robin Hood’.

Previously in the Myths and Legends series…

The 2024 Maid Marian £5 coin follows on from the Robin Hood £5, however the first three coins in the series focused on Arthurian Legends. The series kicked off with King Arthur, followed by mythical wizard Merlin and the Arthurian Legends collection concluded with shapeshifter and witch, Morgan Le Fay.

2024 Robin Hood £5
Arthurian Legends £5 coins 
King Arthur, Merlin and Morgan le Fay
Arthurian Legends £5 coins
King Arthur, Merlin and Morgan le Fay

Continue your Myths and Legends collection

Secure your 2024 UK Maid Marian £5 for just £13.99 (+p&p) >>