However, although born in Chile – to an English mother – George and Ted Robledo had actually moved to the UK as children in the 1930s.
They played for Barnsley FC but in 1949 they were both signed by Newcastle, where George in particular found great success. For a start, he set the record for most league goals scored in an English season by an overseas player: 33.
Sport specialist Graham Budd’s (24% buyer’s premium) auction in London on May 24-25 featured 11 lots related to George consigned by family descent – the property of his daughter Elizabeth Robledo.
Estimated at £6000-8000 was George’s classic home Newcastle black and white striped No 10 shirt from the FA Cup final against Arsenal, played at Wembley, on May 3, 1952. George scored the goal in a 1-0 victory. The Umbro kit was sold with matching black shorts and took £7500 from a UK private buyer.
Another Newcastle Umbro home shirt and shorts from the FA Cup final on April 28 the season before, in which the Magpies beat Blackpool 2-0 with goals from Jackie Milburn, realised a mid-estimate £5000 from a private overseas buyer.
The Robledo brothers returned to Chile to play there in 1953, although Ted had a later spell at Notts County.
Budd said he had been in touch with Elizabeth for a long time, then Covid came and she had a to cancel a visit.
However, her eventual journey for the auction proved a busy one: “She was also at the FA Cup final as part of a half-time ceremony where they were marking 150 years of the competition, one person on the pitch representing a decade. She was ‘the 1950s’ on behalf of her father. She was photographed in a Wembley dressing room and she was chosen to hold the FA Cup up for that.”
Her visit also included TV appearances and even the unveiling of a blue plaque where the brothers had lived in Newcastle.
A nail from the shoe of Tagalie when she won the Epsom Derby in 1912, featured in News Digest, ATG No 2546. It sold for £1200. Another horseracing highlight at £14,000 (estimate £8000-12,000) were the silks worn by jockey Geoff Lewis when riding Mill Reef to victory in the 1971 Epsom Derby, Eclipse Stakes, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
They sold to a UK private buyer, who beat an Irish underbidder.
In the colours of owner Paul Mellon, they had the same provenance as the nail: bought at a charity auction by London-based Canadian entrepreneur and financier Douglas H Bayle, c.1971- 72, then gifted to his son.
Bayle was the chairman of E&O PLC and is perhaps best remembered for pioneering the Athena chain of poster shops in the 1970s, with the famous Tennis Girl poster selling over 2m copies alone. He was a regular attendee at black tie dinners organised by The Variety Club and the Anglo-American Sporting Club.
Budd said: “Undoubtedly one of the greatest racehorses of the 20th century, Mill Reef was bred in 1968 by his American owner, Paul Mellon at Upperville, Virginia.
Considered better-suited to English turf racing, the small-framed bay colt by Never Bend out of Milan Mill was sent to be trained by Ian Balding at Kingsclere. He won 12 of his 14 starts over a glittering three-year career which included the golden summer of 1971 when, under Lewis, he carried Mellon’s distinctive black and gold silks to victory in all the top races.
“Fifty years on, he still remains the only horse ever to have won the Derby, Eclipse, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the same season. In August 1972, Mill Reef broke a foreleg while in training for a second attempt on the Arc, but skilled surgery together with his placid temperament enabled him to be saved as a highly successful sire of many winners including Derby heroes Shirley Heights and Reference Point.”
Tidy sum for tennis ball cleaner
An “extremely rare” six-ball Stadium mahogany tennis ball cleaner by Slazenger, c.1910, sold for £1900 to an overseas private bidder at Budd’s auction against an estimate of £700-800.
The ingenious design allowed six balls to be brushed clean simply by undoing one wing nut, reassembling after six balls are placed inside and then using the two handles to wind and brush dirt from the balls. There is a plate to the base to attach to a stand for use at home or club, 2ft 9in x 2ft 1in x 40cm.
Not easy for you to say
For some reason, Major Walter Wingfield’s choice of Sphairistike as a name for the game he patented and first advertised early in 1874 did not catch on.
The more descriptive title of lawn tennis proved more enduring. Original red-painted pine Sphairistike boxes made by French and Co, 46 Churton Street, London, are five-figure buys at auction. In October 2019 Shropshire saleroom Trevanion & Dean sold an example for a hammer price of £17,000 which had a provenance to Willy Dod (ATG No 2414). He was an ancestor of the vendor and the brother of Charlotte ‘Lottie’ Dod who won the ladies’ singles title at Wimbledon five times between 1887-93.
At Budd’s auction another of these boxes came up, estimated at £3000-4000. It was found with an estate notice attached for 1876. Inside the 3ft 10in x 16.5in x 6.5in box was a very long (41ft) steam-tarred net in very similar dimensions to those detailed in a late 1870s brochure produced by Major Wingfield. Some boxes were made in larger dimensions and included more balls and equipment.
Budd said the famous yellow pictorial label on the lid had some scratches and a small amount of loss but the internal Sphairistike label and inventory were “in very good condition”. A split running through the lid had been professionally repaired.
It sold for £15,000 and is also heading overseas.