White rugby shirt worn by the All Blacks for the first time, £16,000 at Graham Budd.

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The surprising jersey was worn for a rugby match against the British Lions in 1930, when the visitors 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 - they had been wearing black for 37 years.

Estimated at £7000-10,000, the shirt was being sold during an extensive sporting memorabilia auction at Graham Budd (24% buyer’s premium), featuring over 1000 lots.

It took a hammer price of £16,000 on March 5 as part of a three-day sale.


White rugby shirt worn by the All Blacks for the first time, £16,000 at Graham Budd.

“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 expected to see a lot of interest in it,” said David Convery, head of sporting memorabilia at Graham Budd.

“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.”

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

“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.”

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.

The same saleroom beat that in February last year when the rugby jersey worn by Sir Gareth Edwards when he scored what is generally considered the game’s greatest-ever try (Barbarians v New Zealand 1973) set an auction record of £240,000.