Match-worn football shirts could net thousands in years ahead say Derbyshire auctioneers

When former Derby County player and England international Mason Mount gave the shirt off hisback to a young England fan during the Euros, he not only made her day – he gave her a highlyvaluable memento.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 2:03 pm
Sports valuer David Wilson-Turner with the England shirt from 1911 that sold for £4,000.
Sports valuer David Wilson-Turner with the England shirt from 1911 that sold for £4,000.

Shirts worn by star footballers in important games can sell for thousands of pounds at auction, and Mason Mount’s shirt could be worth a great deal in years to come.

Schoolgirl Belle McNally, 10, was picked out by the England midfielder following the team’s nail-biting Euro 2020 victory over Denmark.

Footage of Belle breaking into tears on receiving the prized jersey went viral. The youngster has since hidden the England top in a drawer and says it won’t be washed because ‘it smells like Mason’.

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Alan Hinton's shirt from 1971-72 when Derby County were crowned league champions sold for £2,600 at auction.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “She’s a very lucky girl and that’s a very wise move. It’s important to keep the shirt safe and tucking it away in a drawer, unwashed, is a good option.

“Mason’s kindness has left her with an important and potentially highly valuable sporting memento that will rise in value. Sports memorabilia, particularly football memorabilia, is in demand all over the world. And an item’s place in history and provenance is all important. Mason’s shirt has it all.

“In the history of football, 2021 will be remembered as the year England reached the final of a major championship - the first time they have done so for decades.

“Even though England lost the final on penalties, this tremendous team of young players have achieved a great deal in historical terms. Also, this is the early part of Mason’ career. When we look back in years to come, this tournament may turn out to be the starting point of England’s domination of world football and Mason may have gone on to help his club, Chelsea, and hopefully England, win many trophies. All this will guarantee Mason’s shirt is a very worthy collector’s item.

Rams legend Kevin Hector's shirt for his last game for Derby County in 1982 sold for £800.

“We have seen sports memorabilia items soar to glory in our football auctions on many occasions. And when sporting glory and player popularity combines, strong results can be achieved. For example, the romance of Derby County’s 1970s glory years sent bids sky-rocketing when a shirt worn by Rams’ legend Alan Hinton went up for auction at Hansons.”

The number 11 shirt, worn by Hinton in the 1971-72 football season when Derby were crowned League Champions, sold for £2,600 – more than double its original estimate of £800-£1,200. In addition, a number 7 shirt worn by fellow Rams’ legend Kevin Hector in his last game for Derby County in May 1982, sold for £800.

“This was club level football from decades ago and yet fans were still desperate to own something that connected them to precious sporting memories,” said Charles. “Sporting passion can transfer to an auction saleroom.”

Hansons has also witnessed auction success with an England shirt from more than a century ago. A famous writer, whisky legend and lifelong football fan paid thousands of pounds for a 1911 England football shirt – and said it was the answer to his prayers after a 35-year quest to own one.

Jim Murray, a man regarded as the world’s best whisky writer, author of Whisky Bible and lifelong Millwall fan, drove from his Northamptonshire home at the crack of dawn to reach Hansons Auctioneers at Etwall, near Derby, hours in advance of one of their Sports Memorabilia Auctions.

He said he simply had to buy the shirt thanks to its connection to the team he supports. It was worn in an England v Wales British Home Championship game at Millwall’s ground, The Den, London, on March 13, 1911. England won 3-0 in front of a crowd of 22,000. There has never been a full international game played at Millwall since.

The shirt – which almost went to a Wolverhampton jumble sale – sparked an intense battle between phone and internet bidders but the Millwall fan, who was in the saleroom to bid and watch as the drama unfolded, would not be beaten. The hammer finally fell at £4,000 – four times the shirt’s original estimate of £800-£1,200.

“What an example of sporting passion,” said Charles. “Jim told us he never thought he would never be able to obtain an England shirt worn in that particular game but, more than 100 years later, one suddenly became available at auction.

“My advice to anyone who is lucky enough to own a match-worn shirt or boots worn by a famous footballer is to take great care of them. They might just be worth a small fortune one day. In fact they probably are already.”

Hansons holds regular Football In Focus and Sports Memorabilia Auctions. To arrange a free valuation, email David Wilson-Turner: [email protected]

Derbyshire born Charles Hanson launched Hansons Auctioneers in 2005. Charles is well-known for his appearances on TV shows such as Bargain Hunt and Celebrity Antiques Road Trip. Hansons’ headquarters are at The Auction Centre, Heage Lane, Etwall. Free antiques valuations and a wide range of specialist auctions are offered by Hansons.

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