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To some extent these came true at Phillips’ Chester sale on 5 October where, although specialist Colin Palmer rightly said that one can’t base too much on one sale, there was no doubt that with about half the 432 lots failing and a total of £55,000, it was a disappointment.
Was Chester too close to Manchester for the Man U. lots to sell? The club famously has a worldwide base, and what with season ticket prices and so on there wasn’t enough money left perhaps locally to go on lots like Stuart Mills’ heroic oil of David Beckham estimated at £3000-5000. “Perhaps they would have done better in Singapore,” said a rueful Mr Palmer.

However, although fans are in a selective mood they are still prepared to buy. Manchester United programmes did well – 13 from the 1946-47 season trebling expectations at £1100.

Aston Villa seemed to promise even better results with 27 lots of officially bound volumes of home programmes from 1913/14 up to 1953/54. Those of the 1914/15, 1927/28 and 1943-46 seasons sold at £3600, £1500 and another £1500 respectively, but such volumes are usually bought by dealers seeking to split them and, as these programmes lacked individual covers this was not an option. As a result only seven of the 27 lots sold.

Historic tickets were more buoyant and two 1966 World Cup Final tickets, one mysteriously unused, along with 22 tickets for earlier games in the run-up to Wembley made £1300 and 10 unused tickets for the games up to the final, made £1050.

THE return to Molineux, home of Wolverhampton Wanderers by the Shropshire-based auctioneers was a more heartening event – a selling rate pushing 70 per cent on about 500 varied football lots totalling around £65,000.

Sir Stanley Matthews, (a collecting field on his own) and his No. 7 shirts, were the day’s stars. Top price was a within estimate £6000 bid for the one with the crest showing it to be from the only Great Britain side ever.

The unique team of UK all talents was picked in 1947 to play a FIFA (Rest of Europe) side to celebrate the post-war return of the home nations to football. FIFA has since pressed in vain for a Great British team rather than the four nations. Rather masochistically perhaps in the light of Britain – playing in blue shirts at Hampden Park in front of 135,000 fans – winning 6-1.

Sir Stanley’s other shirts included those worn at England’s 1950 4-1 defeat of Northern Ireland at Belfast (£3400); at the 3-1 Wembley victory against Germany in 1954 (£3100) and at England’s 7-2 win against Scotland in 1955 which made £1600 – all lots going over expectations.

The Molineux event also included medals, programmes and ceramics.
Phil Neales’ runners-up medal from the tragic 1984 European Cup Final when he captained Liverpool against Juventus at the Heysel Stadium made a below-estimate £1500 but his winner’s medal against Roma in the previous year failed to sell.

Bound volumes of all the FIFA programmes from Crystal Palace’s 1937-38 games made £3400.
From the ceramics, a rare Ashtead mug showing a Newcastle player at Wembley for the team’s 1924 FA Cup victory over Aston Villa went above estimate at £210.

Mullock & Madeley, Molineux, October 5
Buyer’s premium 12.5 per cent
Phillips,Chester, October 16 Buyer’s premium 15/10 per cent