Rupert Darnley Anderson’s England shirt from 1879 – £14,000 at Bonhams.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

When it was worn by Rupert Darnley Anderson (1859-1944) on January 18 of that year, in a 2-1 win over Wales at The Oval in south London, he was just the ninth person to have played in goal for England.

The game was also the first international friendly between England and Wales according to FA rules, with the Welsh goal being their first ever.

Not only was it Anderson’s only England appearance, it was also rather short: the match finished after only 60 minutes due to heavy snowfall, with two halves of 30 minutes played.

The 38in chest woollen shirt was estimated at £2500-3500 in The Connoisseur’s Library Sale. It made £14,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) at the on February 15 sale. The shirt came to auction by descent.

Despite taking the England goalkeeper role, Anderson actually played as a striker for Old Etonians FC. However, he ended up missing their 1879 FA Cup triumph against Clapham Rovers because of injury. The first FA Cup had been contested just seven years earlier.

During the the 1879 cup run, Darwen, beaten by OE in the fourth round, became one of the northern, more professional teams to start challenging the gentlemen amateur, ‘old boys’ clubs, as football changed. Indeed, OE became the last club of that ilk to win the FA Cup, in 1882.

A match programme for the 1882 final took a record £30,000 at Graham Budd’s May 2013 auction and is now house at the Museum of Eton Life.