Football shirts, trophies, boots, cards and other collectibles have always commanded a high price. Recently however, there has been an increased demand for anything which is football related and has a piece of history in it.
There is something for every type of collector on the memorabilia market. And for a certain prize everyone can feel like a winner, be it by buying an FA Cup trophy or a shirt of a famous goal scorer.
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1966 World Cup Winners Medal – £184,000
When in 2007 Nobby Stiles decided to sell his World Cup winning medal from 1966 many people were left wondering as to why would a football legend part from one of the most sought after pieces of silverware in football.
But he had a valid reason. He wanted to leave something for his sons after he was gone, and realized that a rarity such as a gold medal won by an English player at a World Cup can go for quite a lot of money if put up for sale.
And it did. Manchester United, the club where Stiles is considered a legend, paid 184 thousand pounds for keeping an invaluable part of English football history within the club where Stiles spent 11 years of his career.
Jules Rimet Trophy Replica – £254,500
There is an interesting story connected to the Jules Rimet Trophy. This trophy was given to the winners of the World Cup from 1930 to 1970.
When Brazil won their third World Cup title in their history, they got to keep the original trophy forever. This was because FIFA president Jules Rimet decided before the first World Cup was played that the country which will win the cup three times will retain the trophy permanently.
However, the original trophy has been involved in some highly publicised controversies. First, during the1966 World Cup in England it was stolen while being exhibited to the public, but luckily it was quickly found and recovered. In 1983 though, the original trophy was stolen and has never been seen again.
After the first theft in England, the English FA commissioned the making of a Jules Rimet Trophy replica, to be used for open exhibitions instead of the original, but had to keep the replica hidden away from the public eye because FIFA disagreed with the practice.
In 1997 this replica was put up for sale at an auction with a starting price somewhere between 20 to 30 thousand pounds. But, as the bids started coming in, the price went higher and higher, culminating in an offer of £254,500 made by FIFA.
This sparked controversy that the trophy might not be the replica, but the real thing. However, FIFA did numerous tests on the trophy which disproved the conspiracy theories and reaffirmed that the trophy indeed was the Jules Rimet Trophy Replica.
FA Cup – £478,400
The FA Cup trophy is held in high regard in England. The first FA Cup was played in 1871-1872, but as in the case with the Jules Rimet Trophy, the cup was stolen as well. That’s why a replica was made in 1896, which is still pretty old, and as you can guess pretty valuable for collectors worldwide.
The cup was put up for sale at an auction in 2005 and managed to achieve a record breaking price for a trophy, a staggering £478,400. Interestingly enough, the cup is only one of four trophies which have been made for the competition and it’s the only one which was actually put up for sale and sold.
Football Rules Book – £881,250
The Football Rules Book is a collection of football regulations of how the game should be played and it originated in England. It was written in 1858 and is completely written by hand. Football authorities think that it is the last remaining copy of the Rules, Regulations and Laws of Sheffield Football Club.
However, with the club from Sheffield stuck in debt and the board fearing for its future, it was decided to auction the book at Sotheby’s and it was promptly sold for a neat £881,250. Many fans were left bitter and fuming at the sale, but at least their club managed to survive the financial crisis.
Geoff Hurst’s World Cup winning shirt – £2.3 million
The last piece of football memorabilia on this list is the shirt that Geoff Hurst wore when England won the World Cup in 1966. As many know, Hurst was the scorer of probably the most controversial goal in football history, when his shot from inside the penalty box came off the cross bar and landed on the goal line.
The Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst wasn’t sure and had to consult the linesman who decided that the ball had crossed the line and awarded England their third goal.
England went on to win the game 4-2 after extra time, but the incident has been hotly debated over the years as the rules of the game clearly state that the ball has to cross the line in its entirety in order for a goal to be awarded.
But let’s get back to the shirt. Hurst sold it for £91,750 in 2000 to a memorabilia collector, unaware that it could command a much higher price.
Since 2000, the shirt has had different owners and has reached a price of £2.3 million. If the shirt continues to change hands in the future, it will probably become the most expensive sports memorabilia in history.