Football memorabilia collection sells for nearly £400,000

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A football fan’s lifetime collection of memorabilia dedicated to the beautiful game has sold for more than double the estimated price at auction.

Bryan Horsnell, 82, had been collecting medals, caps, official match pennants and vintage jerseys for 60 years.

The collection of more than 200 lots was tipped to fetch up to £170,000 but sold for over £392,000.

Mr Horsnell, a retired postal worker, put his collection up for sale as he is selling his home in Reading, Berkshire, and moving to a smaller property with his wife.

Cliff Bastin played for England 21 times, including against world champions Italy in 1934 (Graham Budd Auctions/PA)
Cliff Bastin played for England 21 times, including against world champions Italy in 1934 (Graham Budd Auctions/PA)

Among the items sold were the FA Cup winner’s medals awarded to the first father and son to win the competition, and football jerseys worn by Sir Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore.

Auctioneer Graham Budd, from sporting memorabilia specialist Graham Budd Auctions, said: “It has been one of the most successful auctions we have had for many years, which is a tribute to the outstanding quality of the Bryan Horsnell Collection.

“The auction overran by nearly two hours at the scheduled rate due to the intense body of bidding from all over the world via the internet and on the telephones.”

Among the highlights of the medals were two FA Cup winner’s medals won by father and son Harry Johnson Senior and Harry Johnson Junior with Sheffield United.

Dating from 1902 and 1925, they were bought by a private collector for £9,038 and £10,243 respectively.

Only three other families have matched the Johnsons’ achievement – Frank Lampard Senior and Junior, Ian Wright and Shaun Wright-Phillips, and Peter and Kasper Schmeichel.

When Harry Johnson junior won his FA Cup winners medal in 1925 he emulated his father and became the first father and son to win the cup (Graham Budd Auctions/PA)
When Harry Johnson Junior won the FA Cup in 1925, he and his father became the first father-son duo to have lifted the trophy (Graham Budd Auctions/PA)

Elsewhere in the Horsnell Collection, the highest single price achieved was for a Football League Division One championship medal awarded to Harry Cawthorne of Huddersfield Town in 1923/24.

It was bought by a private collector for £19,280.

Sir Bobby Charlton’s signed red Manchester United No 9 home jersey dating from around 1965 sold for £18,075 to a private collector.

Two other Manchester United shirts from the 1980s also did extremely well.

Bryan Robson’s signed white Manchester United No 7 away jersey from the 1984/85 Uefa Cup campaign sold for £10,243 to an overseas private collector, while Mike Duxbury’s red Manchester United No 12 substitute’s jersey from the 1985 FA Cup final was bought by a UK collector for £10,845.

The other notable lot in the sale was the Cliff Bastin cap collection, which sold for a total of £61,817 – nearly double the forecast.

The Arsenal star, who started his career at Exeter City, was one of the most gifted footballers of his generation, playing for England 21 times and scoring 12 goals.

The earliest Manchester United football medal, when the club was known as Newton Heath, sold for £24,100 (Graham Budd Auctions)
The earliest Manchester United football medal, when the club was known as Newton Heath, sold for £24,100 (Graham Budd Auctions/PA)

Sold separately was the earliest Manchester United football medal ever to have been offered for sale, which fetched £24,100.

The Manchester Senior Cup winner’s medal was awarded to Newton Heath’s Thomas Fitzsimmons in 1893.

Newton Heath, who became Manchester United in 1902, beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 in the final, which marked the end of the club’s first season in division one of the Football League.

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