It was worn by an English player who, after a 3-0 victory in 1911, swapped his shirt with Welsh left-winger Edward Vizard.
Saved from jumble
About 60 years on, Vizard (1889- 1973) was sorting out material for a jumble sale in Wolverhampton but gave the shirt to his cleaner.
She passed it to her son who consigned it to the February 18 sale at Etwall and there it was spotted online by author, best-selling authority on whisky and a devotee of Millwall, Jim Murray.
He had been searching for 35 years for a souvenir of that last international match ever to be played at The Den, their now former home.
He said: “I’ve sold millions of books but my first was Millwall: Lions of The South which I started in 1985. In it there’s a picture from that game in 1911 with players wearing the shirt.
“Few shirts of any nation from before the first World War ever come up for sale and I’d all but given up hope of ever finding one from the Millwall game.
“When I saw the shirt online, I had to read it three or four times before it really sank in that one was coming for auction.”
It was estimated at £1200-1800 but Murray was more than happy to go to £4000 to secure it.
More sporting souvenirs dating back to before the First World War were offered at Gildings (15% buyer’s premium) on the same day as Hansons’ England shirt.
Among the various items belonging to renowned sprint and road cyclist William James ‘Bill’ Bailey (1880-1971) was a London 1908 Olympics Games Competitor badge. Bailey did not reach the finals then but was world sprint champion in 1909, 1911 and 1913.
After war service he remained a key figure in cycling and helped train the British Olympics team, as acknowledged with his medals and ribbons from the 1936 Berlin Olympiad and team manager’s badge from the 1948 London Games.
Along with other medals and badges and a photo of Bailey on his bike with a Games official, the multi-lot presented a bit of a challenge to auctioneer Will Gilding ahead of the February 18 sale in Market Harborough.
“Estimating the lot was a bit tricky,” he said. “It didn’t contain any of his world medals or racing medals but medals spanning three of the more interesting Games made it of interest to collectors.”
In fact, Gilding got the estimate pretty much spot-on when the group sold to the UK trade at £850 – a sum £50 above the top estimate.