Almost exactly a year after Graham Budd set a record for any football programme at auction he has done it again.
In his latest auction held at Sotheby's New
Bond Street, the earliest-known surviving FA Cup final programme -
Old Etonians v Blackburn Rovers, played at Kennington Oval on March
25, 1882 - shot past the £20,000-25,000 estimate to hit
It was bought at the sale on May 13-14,
appropriately enough, by the Old Etonians Football Club to go on
display at Eton College's Museum of Eton Life, which is open to the
The previous record, which Graham Budd set
in May last year, was £20,000 paid for an official one penny match
card from the 1909 FA Cup final
between Manchester United and Bristol City. Back then, the
price was just higher than the £19,000 seen for a copy of the 1889
FA Cup final programme (Preston v Wolves) which sold at Graham Budd
in May 2006.
"The record had been edging up, to £18,000
to 19 to 20, and now up to £30,000," said Mr Budd. "There were a
lot of underbidders for this one, about ten bidders altogether,
with four on the phones, and quite a lot coming through the-saleroom.com, but in the end it was bought
in the room."
This simple match card has team line-ups, a
list of officials and previous winners 1872-81, and the original
owner has underlined six of the Old Etonian players and annotated
the card 'Those marked deserved notice'. The reverse has an advert
for a weekly sports magazine.
Its desirability is clear: nobody has
seen an earlier FA Cup final programme or anything approaching as
early as this, Mr Budd pointed out. FA Cup memorabilia is always
popular and this programme also has huge historical
"It marks the end of the early history of
football, which was dominated by what you would call the gentleman
amateur team really," he added. "Blackburn were the first team from
the north of England to reach the cup final and although they lost
on this occasion thereafter it was dominated by such teams with
professional players and the nature of football completely changed
-1882 was the last time a team of gentlemen players won it."
The vendor, a collector, had a stroke of
luck when he bought a job lot at a country sale, with papers,
journals and other memorabilai relating to a lawyer called Sir
Thomas Berry Cusack-Smith, KCMG, 5th Baronet (1859-1929), who was
educated at Eton.
The vendor spotted the programme, realised
what it was and found a diary entry for March 25, 1882, in which
Cusack writes about going to the match, after which he met "S.
Goodhart & J.B. Bradshaw" - the Old Etonians line-up included
Harry Goodhart, probably a relation.
In most auctions the sale of another very
rare FA Cup final programme for £15,000 (estimate £5000-10,000)
would be remarkable, but in this case it was inevitably somewhat
overshadowed by being in the same sale as the world record
It was for a cup final replay played at
Burnden Park, Bolton, on April 27, 1901, when Tottenham Hotspur
beat Sheffield United 3-1. The single sheet includes a handwritten
note 'Hotpsur won 3-1. H.T. 0-1, all 4 goals at Bolton end' and the
goalscorers' names have been annotated in the order the goals were
Another football highlight was Eric
Cantona's match-worn Manchester United No.7 jersey in which he
scored the winning goal in the 1996 FA Cup final against Liverpool.
It made £15,000. The vendor? None other than Neil 'Razor' Ruddock,
who was on the bench for Liverpool that day.
His teammate John Barnes had swapped shirts
with Cantona but then threw the jersey to the ground in the
dressing room out of frustration. Ruddock picked it up and asked if
he could keep it as a memento.
The buyer's premium was 17.5%