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“Steve Bloomer was the first ‘football superstar’,” says auctioneer Graham Bazley of the WH Lane & Son saleroom in Penzance, which is offering the collection of international caps and Medals awarded to Bloomer. These comprise 19 caps (16 full international and three trial).

Bazley says: "The collection is expected to realise a figure in excess of £500,000."

He adds: "As an international footballer he made his debut in 1895, scoring twice in the 9-0 win against Ireland. He scored in all his first 10 international games, which remains a record for the number of consecutive scoring appearances.

“Bloomer became the first player to score two hat-tricks for England and was also the first to score four goals for England twice. During his international career, his tally of goals was 28.”

That tally of 28 was notched up in just 23 games. It puts Bloomer just below Frank Lampard of the list of top scorers, sharing eighth spot with Vivian Woodward (who struck exactly the same number of goals, but a bit later, in 1903-11). Bloomer’s England career stretched from 1895-1907.

It has to be remembered though that before the modern era, international caps were much harder to come by. So, out of the top three scorers, Rooney now has 119 caps, Charlton achieved 106 and Gary Lineker hit his 48 goals in 80 appearances.

In 1896 he became the second of only four England players ever to score five in a match, in the 9-1 win against Wales. In 1901 he hit four against the same unfortunate opponents in a 6-0 rout, making him the first England player to score four or more goals on two occasions (an achievement equalled but never bettered).

Bloomer caps WH Lane C 7-12-16.jpg

A 9ct gold medal awarded to England football goalscoring legend Steve Bloomer for a game against Ireland. It is being sold at auction with his 19 international caps by WH Lane & Son on December 15 in Penzance.

Bloomer’s club record is also a belter, including four goals on his Derby debut. He made 375 appearances for Derby County from 1891-1906, scoring no less than 238 goals. In 1906-10 he played for Middlesbrough, making 125 appearances and scoring 59 goals. From 1910-14 he played once more for Derby County, making a further 98 appearances and scoring 53 goals to bring his total of league goals to 352.

German enforced stay

After retiring as a player, Bloomer (1874-1938) went to Germany to coach. Three weeks after arriving, however, the First World War broke out and he was interned in a civilian detention camp. After the war he coached in the Netherlands and Spain before returning to the UK.

The caps, in hand-cut velvet with gold and silver wirework embroidery by milliners M Hand & Co, will be sold with a 4ft 2in x 4ft (1.26m x 91cm) oil on canvas portrait of Bloomer by Clair Baker (b.1953) and various framed black photographic prints.

They came by descent through the Bloomer family, and were sold by Christie’s Glasgow 1994 for a premium-inclusive £8050 to the current vendors.

England's top goalscorers

  • Wayne Rooney: 53 goals in 119 appearances
  • Bobby Charlton: 49 in 106
  • Gary Lineker: 48 in 80
  • Jimmy Greaves: 44 in 57
  • Michael Owen: 40 in 89
  • Joint on 30 goals: Nat Lofthouse (33 apearances), Alan Shearer (63), Tom Finney (76).
  • Frank Lampard: 29 in 106
  • Joint on 23 goals in 28 appearances: Steve Bloomer/Vivian Woodward