There is a real buzz in the saleroom this week as we are selling a single-owner collection of Rotherham United football memorabilia, and as you can imagine, it has created a lot of interest amongst local collectors. There’s everything from programmes, trade cards, stickers, photographs, tickets etc.
As Sheffield is definitely a City of two football clubs I thought I would talk about football memorabilia.
Sporting memorabilia has never been more popular and the interest in football souvenirs is still growing very quickly and what many people started as a hobby has become a serious business. During the last season ardent fans will have collected everything from match programmes and tickets to shirts and photographs of their teams. These items over the years have become more and more valuable with pre- war ephemera now reaching thousands of pounds on the collector’s market. Here are a few tips of what to collect and look out for. The earlier the programme the better preferably pre-war, the big name clubs playing at smaller clubs is a good example of what to look out for as if the capacity of the ground was small a limited number of programmes would have been sold so hence they are rarer today. Single sheet or four-page issues are usually more collectable as they were often discarded or lost. Another example is If it was a rainy day, programmes were often damaged or folded up into a fans pocket with the staples becoming rusty so to find those programmes in good condition is rare and of course are then more valuable.
A lot of collectors tend to have most issues of their clubs’ programmes so they then turn to collecting reserves or youths programmes. English clubs playing aboard in European competitions are another area of collecting and can be very sought after at auction especially games played behind the iron curtain where not many programmes were produced.
Previously we had the pleasure of selling a rare early bound volume of Sheffield United football programmes dating from 1897-98 which sold for over an amazing £5,000.
Match tickets are always sought after especially unused issues, enamelled football badges and photos of teams again the earlier the better are always keenly sought after. Another area of collecting is shirts and caps. Always try and buy match examples as these are the most desirable. We recently sold a home shirt signed by Len Badger the 1960’s Sheffield United player which sold for £850.
Medals and trophies are keenly sought after. Our specialist Valuer Robert Lea is an ardent Terrier (Huddersfield Town supporter!) and he was delighted when we were asked to sell three Huddersfield Town gold medals from three consecutive years 1923-4, 1924-5 and 1925-6 which were awarded to George Brown and sold for a fantastic price of £18,330.
So if you are a keen football supporter why not start a collection of memorabilia of your favourite team as always we are always here to help and to guide you in the right direction.