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Sotheby’s not only fielded a much larger sale, they also managed to get a somewhat higher proportion of lots away at 78 per cent, bringing them a net total of £295,270. Christie’s saw just over two-thirds (69 per cent) of their content change hands for a net total of £155,655.

Both sales featured several players’
collections and it was medals from two of these that provided the day’s top prices. At Sotheby’s a 25-lot collection of football memorabilia
belonging to Bill Brown (Dundee and Tottenham Hotspur) included Brown’s gold cup winners’ medals for the 1960-61 season when he was part of the legendary Spurs team that won the double (the first side to achieve the feat in the 20th
century). The two 9ct gold medals for the League and Cup Winner’s cups, set on a wooden shield came in at a mid-estimate £14,000, paid by a
private buyer. CSK’s sale included an 18-lot collection of memorabilia relating to ‘Busby Babe’ Tommy Taylor, who died tragically along with many of his Manchester United teammates in the Munich Air Disaster of 1958.

His gold league Division 1 championship winner’s medal for the 1956-7 season fetched a double-estimate £8500 from an anonymous buyer.

Included in Sotheby’s sale was an interesting picture documenting a piece of footballing history – C.E. Turner’s 16in x 2ft 41/4in (41 x 69cm) watercolour of the first football match to be played under satisfactory floodlit conditions. The contest was the final of the North Notts League Senior cup between Ollerton Forest and Welbeck Athletic played at Field Mill, Mansfield, on March 8, 1930.

What became known as The Limelight Cup was the idea of local entrepreneur, sports promoter and Football League referee Jack Hickling. He arranged the erection of 14 lanterns fitted with 1000 watt Philips lamps around Field Mill, putting out a total of 168,000 candlepower.

Opinions about its success differed. While a representative of Wembley Stadium enthused: “An absolute success and I would not be
surprised if we went in for it at Wembley,” the FA were less impressed and issued a post-match
circular to member clubs prohibiting them from taking part in artificially lit games, a position that was maintained for the next 20 years.

Turner’s watercolour was reproduced in the Illustrated London News but as no still photo or newsreel footage of the event is thought to exist, this makes the picture a unique record.

Estimated to fetch £1000-1500 in Sotheby’s sale last month, it easily outstripped those guidelines, selling to a London dealer for £10,000.