Lot 85 White All Blacks Shirt Credit Graham Budd Auctions.1

All Black white rugby shirt, estimate £7000-10,000 at Graham Budd's auction.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It was worn for a match against the British Lions in the 1930s, when they were on tour in New Zealand using a navy-blue kit. It is customary for the host nation to defer to a different colour and so, to national outcry at the time, the famous team wore an all-white kit to play the visitors.

Estimated at £7000-10,000, the shirt is being sold as part of an extensive sporting memorabilia auction at Graham Budd Auctions, featuring over 1000 lots. 

“This is a very special part of New Zealand sporting history - it’s extremely rare to see a white All Blacks shirt, and given the dominance of the team today, we’re expecting to see a lot of interest in it,” said David Convery, head of sporting memorabilia at Graham Budd Auctions.

“We are hoping to find a name for the player who wore it at the time. We know he was number 13 and we’ve been able to narrow it down to one of four players, but we’d love to uncover who the lucky number 13 was.”

Lot 85 White All Blacks Shirt Credit Graham Budd Auctions 2

All Black white rugby shirt, estimate £7000-10,000 at Graham Budd's auction.

The shirt features the traditional lace-up collar and the New Zealand silver fern rugby badge, which has been cut out from one of the team’s black shirts and sewn on.

Other rugby related lots in the auction include a rare Twickenham ticket stub from an England vs Scotland match in 1911, estimated at £160-180.

“There’s been a real increase in interest in rugby memorabilia from around the world. The game is clearly as popular as ever,” added Convery. “We’ve seen the average hammer price for rugby shirts increase steadily over the last 10 years.”

Rugby big hitters

15-10-13-2213NE08A All Black shirt auction.jpg

The New Zealand rugby shirt worn by captain Dave Gallaher on their 1905-06 British tour which made £180,000 at Rogers Jones.

In October 2015 Welsh auction house Rogers Jones set an auction record for a rugby shirt when the jersey worn by New Zealand captain Dave Gallaher on their 1905-06 British tour made a hammer price of £180,000, shattering the previous £22,000 high set by a jersey from the same tour sold by Graham Budd in May that year.

It was bought through a phone bid by a figure who is well known in the rugby and sport memorabilia worlds: Nigel Wray, the former chairman of Saracens rugby club and owner of a private collection of sporting memorabilia, the Priory Collection.

Also at Rogers Jones, a 1905 All Blacks shirt worn during the first Rugby Union test match to be held in New Zealand between the All Blacks and Australia – won 14-3 by the hosts – sold just below top estimate at a hammer price of £39,000 in March 2019. Ben Rogers Jones from the auction house said: “The rugby jersey has returned to New Zealand and has been purchased by a consortium.”