9th June 2016
Pele, arguably the greatest footballer in history, is selling a huge swathe of his collection of memorabilia from his football career. The auction offers over 6000 items of Pele ‘history’ to be won.
4th June 2016
2nd June 2016
Enjoy a great image of 1957 Chelsea football players being led on a training walk by their then coach, Arthur Tennant.
The biggest sport memorabilia auction in history has had us gripped over the last few days. Pele, arguably the greatest footballer in history, is selling a huge swathe of his collection of memorabilia from his football career. The auction offers over 6000 items of Pele ‘history’ to be won. Pele has explained why he is selling them. He wants fans and collectors to own a piece of his history. He is also giving a portion of the money to Brazil’s largest paediatric hospital. Presumably he is also keeping some income from the sale for himself – that is allowed! We think we can safely say that Pele has ‘paid his dues’ in footballing history.
Pele is the only footballer in history to have won the World Cup 3 times. One of the items in the auction is a one-off replica of the World Cup Jules Rimet Trophy. It was made especially for Pele and presented to him after Brazil’s World Cup triumph in 1970. The trophy was estimated to sell for £200,000. It has gone for £395,000. Boots that Pele wore in the film, ‘Escape to Victory’ have been sold for over £8,000! Pele scored over 1000 goals in 1363 matches and appeared 91 times for Brazil. On sale too was the ball with which he scored his 1000th goal.
Some more surprising items were in the sale too. A riding crop, embroidered with Pele’s full name, was snapped up. A gourd rattle, presumed from an indigenous Amazonian tribe, was on offer too. Closer to home was a clear globe paperweight. The paperweight contains a tuft of original turf grass from the pitch at Wembley! It was presented to Pele in 2002 at the Final Ball event just before Wembley Stadium was demolished to be rebuilt. The globe’s inscription includes, ‘A little piece of Wembley to take home’.
We confess that we have dabbled in this historic sport memorabilia auction too. Look out on the website for a few fantastic Pele items appearing in the coming months. We snapped up some great bits of Pele history. Sadly, that doesn’t include the replica Jules Rimet Trophy!
Enjoy a great image of 1957 Chelsea football players being led on a training walk by their then coach, Arthur Tennant. We love this press photograph – a fantastic time capsule and snapshot of a Chelsea football team, who probably felt reasonably confident that they were on the up and up by that point. They had enjoyed their first major trophy success a couple of years earlier by winning the League Title in 1955. In 1957 they were preparing to debut at their first European competition: the 1957-58 Inter-Cities Fair Cup. Chelsea had in fact been invited to their first European competition two years earlier in 1955. The French football magazine, L’Equipe, had invited them to take part in the inaugural 1955 UEFA European Cup. The Football League blocked Chelsea’s participation, however. They felt the tournament would be a distraction to domestic football!
The young and ambitious Ted Drake had been managing Chelsea since 1952 and by 1957 he had remodelled Chelsea football club and its players significantly. Drake had brought in successful, new signings and improved the youth set up. He changed the club’s image fundamentally too – gone was the old ‘Pensioners’ crest. In came the rebranded ‘Blues’. Perhaps this press photograph is part of that rebranding? A jaunty shot of the ‘Blues’ on a training walk in their training kit and very cool, uniform trainers!
It’s fascinating to see how freely the players were able to walk through central London with little sense of being mobbed by the public. It’s also amazing to see the children watching the players as they pass by – what child would be able to stand atop the embankment wall with his/her back to the Thames now?!
Our most recent New Stock catalogue is out now – have a look.
Rare & unusual Cricket Scorecards – our new cricket catalogue is out. We’ve struggled to keep the item numbers down in the catalogue. There are simply too many cricket scorecards with great stories to tell on our website! Some of the scorecards stand out due to their age. An I Zingari v the Liverpool Club cricket match took place on 19th July 1859. An extremely rare scorecard from the first ever Australian Tour of England in 1878 tells a painful early story of England Cricket.
The game was at Lord’s. Somehow the Australians scored only 41 yet won the match by 9 wickets. England, led by WG Grace, were bowled out twice in an afternoon, scoring just 33 and 19. The scorecard belonged to Alick Bannerman, the famous “stone-waller”, and has his name printed to the reverse.
Another cricket scorecard stands out due to the match’s extraordinary score. On 24-29th December 1926 Victoria amassed a still unbeaten First-Class record score against New South Wales at Melbourne. Victoria made 1107 runs over the five days. Ponsford was top scorer, having made 352 runs. Arthur Mailey was hit for a soul-destroying 362 runs in his 64 8-ball overs. New South Wales lost – unsurprisingly – by an innings and 656 runs. It remains only the third heaviest defeat in history…so far.
Other cricket scorecards in the catalogue tell stories that bring in outside elements to cricket itself. Footballing legend Geoff Hurst’s only First Test Match score was in a cricket match in 1962 . Another of the cricket scorecards in our catalogue introduces a significant element of interest outside cricket. In July 1902 London County played the MCC at Crystal Palace. London County won by an innings with Wood, Poidevin and WG Grace all scoring centuries for County. But the real intrigue is the appearance of one Sir A Conan Doyle for the MCC team, who scored his highest first-class score in the match. He made 43 runs.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was a hard hitting, though not especially skilled, batsman and a bowler of slow, loopy lobs which often took a puzzling flight. Indeed he once quipped that so slow was his bowling that if he ever delivered one he didn’t fancy could run down the wicket, intercept it, and come back for another go! In 1899, for the MCC, he took seven for 61 against Cambridgeshire at Lord’s and on the same ground two years later carried out his bat for 32 against Leicestershire. It is said that Shacklock, the Nottinghamshire player, inspired him with the Christian name of his famous character, Sherlock Holmes, and that of the latter’s brother Mycroft was suggested by the Derbyshire cricketer of that name.
It’s almost THAT time: the 2016 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack comes out on 14th April. After an incredible, rollercoaster year of cricket – and it looks like there’s much more of that to come this year too! – it’s bound to be a gripping read. If you haven’t already, you still have time to order it from us and receive it hot off the press next week! As you may already know, we are the official suppliers for Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack Dust Jackets, so you can buy your copy of the 2016 Wisden from us with or without the traditional style jacket included. You can also buy the 2016 Wisden softback if you’d prefer. Whichever your preference, the almanack you want is only a click away!
New Stock from Sportspages
Welcome to our first new stock update both of 2016 and on our new website. We have some fantastic items from rugby, cricket and golf along with scarce and unusual football books this time. We also have a selection of items from more obscure sports – treats for collectors of tiddlywinks, fen skating, stoolball and longball literature (c’mon we know you’re out there). Among the huge breadth of sports and rare items in the New Stock catalogue is a charming and rare piece of cricket memorabilia, regarding one very beloved cricket commentator:
This may well be Henry Blofeld’s finest cricketing hour – the official scorecard for the cricket match played at Lord’s on August 8-9, 1956 between the Public Schools XI and the vastly more experienced Combined Services XI. Blofeld came in at number 8 and scored 104 out of a total of 214 against some serious bowlers, including Leary, Shirreff and Subba Row. An impressive performance, albeit in a losing cause.
There are a host of other sports memorabilia gems in the Catalogue: take a look! Sportspages’ first New Stock Catalogue for 2016
As many of you may know, it’s officially World Book Day today. In an office surrounded by 1000s of amazing sports books it was hard to choose only one title to celebrate the day We could have chosen many, but we went for C L R James’ ‘Beyond a Boundary’, described by John Arlott as ‘the finest book written about cricket’. Of course it’s about a lot more besides…
A letter written by David Sheppard, Sussex & England cricketer & Bishop of Woolwich and Liverpool, takes us back to the bleak days of cricket in Apartheid South Africa.
The 2016 England cricket team’s performance in South Africa so far must have cheered the heart of every England cricket fan. We have seen some phenomenal individual performances and a rousing, generally consistent team one, all at the expense of the hitherto World No 1 team: South Africa. Attention has turned very quickly to South Africa’s woes. Observers see South Africa’s struggles against England as symptoms of a demise rather than a blip. South African cricket may well be facing the need for an overhaul. It’s a cyclical pattern in all teams – but let’s not lose sight of how far South Africa have come in the last 25 years. This year will be the 25th Anniversary of the unification of South African cricket and its readmission to the international cricket arena. A journey down memory lane with David Sheppard, the extraordinary combination of clergyman and cricketer, reminds us of South African cricket’s journey.
David Sheppard is the only ordained minister to have played Test cricket. He was both a religious leader and a cricketer at the highest levels. Captain in turn of Cambridge and Sussex, Sheppard was an opening batsman. He scored more than 2,000 runs in each of the three seasons from 1951 to 1953, including 24 centuries in the process. Sheppard was one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1953. He managed, too, to be an integral member of the England cricket team from 1954 to 1963 while pursuing a clerical career, which culminated in his hugely significant and influential role as Bishop of Liverpool in the 1980s.
Throughout Sheppard’s clerical career he was an outspoken supporter of the poor. He was also a strong opponent of South Africa’s then political system of Apartheid. David Sheppard refused to play cricket against the touring South Africans in 1960. He also oppposed the proposed MCC tour to South Africa in 1968-69 in which South Africa would not allow Basil D’Oliveira to play.
As the Bishop of Woolwich, David Sheppard wrote this letter in 1970. Here he sets out clearly his views about England cricket’s relationship with South Africa at the time.
David Sheppard’s letter gives us a fascinating insight into the background, experiences and discussions circling England cricket’s relationship with South Africa at the time. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see how wise Sheppard was in his views. The letter is an important reminder of a great England cricketer and South African’s cricketing history. David Sheppard’s letter should be a reason for celebration. It may have a way to go, but South African cricket has come a long way too.