• Peter Berthoud

Penalty! (All Editions)

Updated: Sep 12

Penalty! The World Famous Football Game, A Pepys Card Game


First Published: 1960, Pepys Series Games/Pepys Games

Illustrator or Designer: "K.B" & John Armstrong


Contents: 52 Cards, Pitch, "Football" + Rules Booklet


Penalty! 1st Edition Box Lid Front
Penalty! 1st Edition Box Lid Front

Penalty! 2nd Edition Box Lid Front
Penalty! 2nd Edition Box Lid Front

Penalty! 3rd Edition A Box Lid Front
Penalty! 3rd Edition A Box Lid Front

Penalty! 3rd Edition B Box Lid Front
Penalty! 3rd Edition B Box Lid Front

Card description there are 52 cards in the pack, 1 Penalty card, 5 Goalkeepers, 4 Corners 4 Free Kicks and 38 cards representing a "Kick" or "Movement". No two cards have the same image.


Penalty! 1st Edition cards: Penalty, Goalkeepers and Corners
Penalty! 1st Edition cards: Penalty, Goalkeepers and Corners

Penalty! 1st Edition cards: Corner, Free Kicks and Movement
Penalty! 1st Edition cards: Corner, Free Kicks and Movement

Penalty! 1st Edition cards: Kicks and Movement
Penalty! 1st Edition cards: Kicks and Movement

Penalty! 1st Edition cards: Kicks and Movement
Penalty! 1st Edition cards: Kicks and Movement

Penalty! 1st Edition cards: Kicks and Movement
Penalty! 1st Edition cards: Kicks and Movement

Penalty! 1st Edition cards: Kicks and Movement
Penalty! 1st Edition cards: Kicks and Movement

Penalty! Later Edition cards: Penalty, Goalkeepers and Corners
Penalty! Later Edition cards: Penalty, Goalkeepers and Corners

Penalty! Later Edition cards: Corner, Free Kicks and Movement
Penalty! Later Edition cards: Corner, Free Kicks and Movement

Penalty! Later Edition cards: Kicks and Movement
Penalty! Later Edition cards: Kicks and Movement

Penalty! Later Edition cards: Kicks and Movement
Penalty! Later Edition cards: Kicks and Movement

Penalty! Later Edition cards: Kicks and Movement
Penalty! Later Edition cards: Kicks and Movement

Penalty! Later Edition cards: Kicks and Movement
Penalty! Later Edition cards: Kicks and Movement

The boxes on the top row use the same painting. The boxes on the bottom row use another painting. The two paintings are similar but there are many small differences.


The top row's painting is signed "KB" in white to the bottom left corner. The goalkeeper's right leg obscures a defender. The goal keeper's shirt is unnumbered, his shorts are black and long. The slickly Brylcreemed striker has his left hand in a fist. The sky is gently shaded from light to a darker blue. The only difference between the top two images is the addition of a white border frame and the words "New Improved Edition".


The painting used for the bottom row is unsigned but was by John Armstrong you can see another version of this work at Down the Tubes . It seems that John Armstrong was commissioned to update the first unknown illustrator's artwork. He updated the ball and all the player's strips, the goalie now sports the No 1. shirt and blue shorts and the striker is now more a pointing Peter Beardsley than a fist clenching Teddy Boy. The defender now has an unimpeded view of his team conceding a goal beneath a banded sky.


The 2nd Edition with the words "New Improved Edition" clearly follows the 1st Edition. Which came first of the two 3rd editions is open to debate. Most people would call what I have labelled 3 (A) the 4th Edition. I doubt that. Most games or products only use the "As Seen on TV" line whilst a promotion is taking place or shortly after. To do so a decade or more after a TV promotion would likely be counterproductive.


The game was being promoted by Pepys until at least 1974, they put ads on the back of Speed 12th Edition rules then, but I cannot find any evidence that a T.V. campaign for the game ever existed at all. For my money 3 (B) looks like the last printed version. Whichever view is right I don't think the text on the box is enough to deserve recognition as a new "Edition", I think it is just a variant.


Penalty! - First Edition Pitch Left Half - 2nd/3rd Edition Pitch Right Half
Penalty! - First Edition Pitch Left Half - 2nd/3rd Edition Pitch Right Half

Penalty!: 1st Edition Pitch Showing Watermark
Penalty!: 1st Edition Pitch Showing Watermark

The 1st Edition pitch is much lighter in colour than the three subsequent pitches and it is watermarked " Spicers Super Strong" with an image of St George and the Dragon to the centre. Later pitches have no watermark.

Penalty!: 1st Later Edition Balls
Penalty!: 1st & Later Edition Balls



The very earliest of the 1st editions came with a metal coin-like "ball". Maybe Pepys had old stock left over from International Football Whist? Later 1st Editions and all subsequent versions came with a spherical wooden football












The 1st Edition rules are on a bluey green paper. They were produced by a different uncredited printer to the other three sets of rules, those were all produced by A&M Weston Printers. The rules of the 1st Edition also have one additional sentence in the opening paragraph. "It is now produced in the English Language for the first time".


All four boxes have identical sides.


In short there is nothing at all to differentiate Edition 3 (A) for 3 (B) apart from the words "As Advertised on T.V." on the box. The 3rd Editions only really differ from the 2nd in the box's painting.


The 1st Edition differs in many ways from all the others, a different box top without a white border, blue cards, a small amount of text in the rules, a metal ball & a lighter pitch


The only publication detail to be found in Penalty! is the "Pepys" device on the box and "Pepys Games" or "Pepys Series Games" on the rules, there is no mention of Castell Brothers and no address is given in any of the rule books.



Goal! Box Front - Lagoon 2009
Goal! Box Front - Lagoon 2009

In 2009 The Lagoon Group reissued and renamed the game as Goal! In the rules they state that "This is an authentic reproduction of a game believed to have been produced in England in the 1950s. Efforts have been made to identify copyright owners. Further information would be welcome."





Board Game Geek has examples of several other international versions of games based on Penalty: Gazza!, Rigore, Chuta, Buteur, Kick-Off and Golazo.



Game & Version Details


​Penalty! 1st Edition - Box Contents


​Penalty! 3rd Edition - Box Contents



Penalty! - Card Back



​Penalty! 1st Edition - Rules Front



Penalty! 1st Edition - Rules Back



​​​Penalty! 2nd Edition - Rules Front



​​​​Penalty! 2nd Edition - Rules Back



Penalty! 3rd Edition A - Rules



Penalty! 3rd Edition B - Rules Front



Penalty! - Box Top Side



Penalty! - Box Side Left



Penalty! - Box Bottom Side



Penalty! - Box Side Right