United’s previous name of Newton Heath became well known worldwide thanks to protests against the Glazer family takeover in the mid-2000s, when fans reverted to the original green and gold colours to make their point.
Newton Heath LYR Football Club was formed in 1878 and changed its name to Manchester United in 1902. In the 1892-93 Manchester Senior Cup Final Newton Heath beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at Hyde Road on April 15. Newton Heath had progressed to the final after victories over West Manchester and Bury, with Thomas Fitzsimmons scoring four goals during the competition.
It was Fitzsimmons’ winning medal that came to auction in London on September 7-8, selling on low estimate at £20,000 to a private collector.
The 1892-93 season was Newton Heath’s first in the Football League Division One. They avoided relegation by beating Small Heath (now Birmingham City) in a play-off ‘Test Match’.
Fitzsimmons, having joined the club from Celtic, made his debut against Aston Villa on November 19, scoring in the 2-0 win. In all he made 30 competitive starts and scored six goals before retuning to Scotland to play for his local team Annbank FC. His brother David also played for Newton Heath.
Another high-priced medal was the Football League Division One 1901-02 championship medal awarded to Sunderland’s James ‘Jimmy’ Watson that sold for £16,000 against an estimate of £5000-6000 and was bought by a private collector.
Watson (1877-1942) played as a left-back for Sunderland from 1900-07, making 211 appearances. He won the league in 1901-02 and six Scottish caps from 1903-09.
Gunners goal great
A more familiar name is Cliff Bastin (1912-91). His Arsenal goalscoring record of 178 goals remained a record from 1939 until finally beaten by Ian Wright in 1997.
The Cliff Bastin collection offered by Budd realised a premium-inclusive £61,817, nearly double the pre-sale high estimate.
An England v Wales cap awarded to Bastin for his England debut in the match played at Anfield on November 18, 1931, realised £8000 while another cap fetched £3800. The latter was from the infamous ‘Battle of Highbury’ game, a very bad-tempered and ill-disciplined England v Italy match that was played at Arsenal in 1934.
‘Pioneer of collecting’
A Football League Division One Championship medal awarded to Harry Cawthorne of Huddersfield Town in the 1923-24 season had been estimated to fetch £3000-4000 but sold to a private UK collector for £16,000.
It came from a collection of more than 200 lots amassed by Reading-based Bryan Horsnell, who Budd described as “a pioneer of football collecting who has been very active in this pursuit since the 1960s”.
Cawthorne, who later played for Sheffield United, was a defender in Herbert Chapman’s famous Huddersfield team of the 1920s. The 1923-24 season provided the first of three consecutive First Division titles for the club.
Elsewhere in the Horsnell collection were two FA Cup winner’s medals won by father and son, Harry Johnson senior and Harry Johnson junior, for Sheffield United. Dating from 1902 and 1925, they sold for £7500 and £8500 respectively to a collector after each had been estimated at £3000-5000.
The Johnson family just missed out on a remarkable hat-trick: Harry Jr’s brother Tom played in the Blades team that were runners-up in the 1936 cup final to Arsenal.
Also from Horsnell, Bobby Charlton’s signed red Manchester United number nine home jersey c.1965 took £15,000 from a UK private collector, triple the top estimate, while two other Manchester United shirts from the 1980s also sold well. Bryan Robson’s signed white number seven away jersey from the 1984-85 UEFA Cup campaign sold for £8500 (£700-1000) to an overseas private collector and Mike Duxbury’s red number 12 substitute’s jersey from the 1985 FA Cup final fetched £9000 (£600-800) from a UK private collector.
The Horsnell Collection sold for a premium-inclusive £392,378, more than double its pre-sale estimate.