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Back of the net: rare Panini sticker album from 1970 World Cup sells for more than £2,000 at auction

England's page in the 1970 World Cup sticker album
England's page in the 1970 World Cup sticker album - SWNS

A veteran football  after he sold one of the first-ever Panini World Cup sticker albums.

Andrew Knott, 65, of Arthingworth, was 12 when it was given to him by his aunt as a birthday present.

It has been auctioned for £2,400 including fees in Market Harborough after gathering dust in a garage for decades before Andrew found it in a box and thought it might be worth something.

The auction price broke the previous record for another 1970 Panini sticker book which sold for £1,550 in 2018.

The album commemorates the 1970 World Cup in Mexico and, unusually, it already had all the stickers in it when his aunt gave it to him.

The sticker album is one of the first released by Panini
The sticker album is one of the first released by Panini - SWNS

There are all the “greats” including England legends Bobby Moore, Gordon Banks and brothers Bobby and Jack Charlton, along with Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, Portugal’s Eusébio and Pelé from 1970’s winning team, Brazil.

His aunt worked for Thorpe & Porter, the album’s Leicestershire-based distributor in Thurmaston.

Andrew was given the album for his 12th birthday
Andrew was given the album for his 12th birthday - SWNS

Mr Knott said: “As my 12th birthday present, it was amazing to be presented with the complete album, although the fun of swaps in the playground with my friends was lost on me.

“But after years of it sitting in the garage without any attention, the time is right to part ways with it.

“The mice got the other footballing programmes and material that it was stored away with, but thankfully Panini was off the menu for them!”

The completed album is exceptionally rare
The completed album is exceptionally rare - SWNS
The Brazil page of the album, featuring Pele and Jairzinho
The Brazil page of the album, featuring Pele and Jairzinho - SWNS

The album is a highly coveted item for collectors and holds special significance for English football fans, as the 1970 World Cup, which was won by Brazil, was the only time during that decade that England qualified for the tournament after their victory in 1966.

Auctioneer Will Gilding said before the sale he expected “interest from across the world”.

He described it as a “very lucky find for Andrew”.

He added: “It has survived in remarkable condition and is a rare piece of World Cup memorabilia.”