One of the greatest collection of football memorabilia ever assembled is going on sale for the first time.
The collection, currently situated in South Carolina, USA, has been collected by the founder of the Charleston Battery, whose passion for football saw him accumulate the collection over many years.
Founded in 1993, the Battery is one of the oldest professional football clubs in the United States and its former owner wanted to emulate the feeling of English stadia, installing the Three Lions pub in the ground with wood-panelled walls adorned with football memorabilia to recreate the atmosphere of English football.
In 1999, the club played at the first modern-era stadium in the United States designed solely for football, but with the stadium set for relocation, the collection has now been made available for purchase via auction. Memorable items available including a turnstile from Liverpool’s Anfield stadium as well as international shirts and memorabilia from the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen, Gary Lineker and Eusebio.
There are signed shirts and other items signed by victorious club sides such as Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Celtic, Rangers and AC Milan amongst others.
Josh Bussmann, Senior Vice President of Schneider Industries of St. Louis, Missouri, which is handling the memorabilia sale, said: “This collection features items from some of the greatest players and teams in football folklore and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of the beautiful game’s history.
“The collection took years to bring together and is only now up for sale with Charleston Battery moving out of their current stadium. We expect it to attract a lot of interest, particularly from football fans in England and Europe.”
The auction will remain live until March 11 unless reserve offers for the collections are made.
A percentage of the profits of the sales are going to the British Red Cross, as nominated by Gary Lineker who is supporting the auction, as well as local soccer charities in the United States.
Additional details, including a list of all items, payment terms of the sales and rules for the auction are available at www.bidonfootballhistory.com .
NOTABLE AUCTION ITEMS
- Nat Lofthouse England shirt from 1954
- Gary Lineker’s last ever England shirt v Sweden at Euro 1992
- A signed limited edition England World Cup Winners 1966 print signed by Sir Alf Ramsey and the eleven England finalists
- Manchester United treble winners, 1999 shirt signed by 21 players including Schmeichel, Scholes, Giggs, Stam, G Neville, Beckham, Cole, Yorke, Sheringham, Keane
- Brazil shirt and individual photos signed by members of the 2002 World Cup winning team, including Cafu, Denilson, Dida, Edmilson, Gilberto Silva, Juninho, Kaka, Kleberson, Lucio, Marcos, Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Roque Junior
- Liverpool 1977 European Cup replica shirt signed by 15 legends including Keegan, Kennedy, Roy Evans, Fairclough, Johnson, Hansen, Thompson, Smith, Neal, Lawrenson, Lee, Yeats, Callaghan, Souness and Rush
- Liverpool special edition 04/05 Champions League Final shirt signed by members of the team including Gerrard, Benitez and Carragher
- England number 10 shirt signed by legends with 118 signatures including – Armfield, Ball, Banks, John Barnes, Beckham, Brooking, Jack and Bobby Charlton, Eriksson, Gascoigne, Johnny Haynes, Hoddle, Hurst, Keegan, Lineker, Lofthouse, Matthews, Peters, Bobby Robson, Shearer, Shilton, Southgate, Stiles, Venables, Winterbottom and Billy Wright
- French National team jersey from 1998 World Cup with 17 signatures including Deschamps, Henry, Petit, Trezeguet, Viera and Zidane
- Real Madrid 2002/03 football signed by Ronaldo, Zidane, Figo, Roberto Carlos, Raul, Casillas, McManaman, Morientes, Makelele, Minambres, Head Coach – Del Bosque
- Holland National team jersey signed by four Dutch legends – Bergkamp, van Basten, Cruyff and van Nistelrooy
- Turnstile from Liverpool stadium Anfield Road end built circa 1884 – removed from stadium at end of season 1996-97 during stadium redevelopment
Image courtesy of Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine