Sports Memorabilia #1 – Football

Collecting sports memorabilia is a popular hobby. Watching our favourite sport is an emotional business and owning objects and clothing that represent our individual heroes, teams and memories is a great way to connect to our passion. So, in a new series of storage blogs, we look at items you might find stored away in sporting memorabilia collections. And first up, it has to be the national game… Football

With the new Premiership season just a month old, fans up and down the country will be sharing in the excitement of  transfers, tactics and early form. We call them the ‘will-they-won’t they-weeks’ – the early season guessing game before the points settle down and we start to get a feeling for who will be victorious and who will be fighting relegation.

There are plenty of changes in the top flight this year too – bringing more uncertainty to the proceedings than normal.  Premiership clubs Manchester United , Chelsea, Everton and Stoke City all have new managers – albeit an ‘old’ new manager in Jose Mourinho for our very own Chelsea.

Will it be a vintage season? If it is then 2013/14 memorabilia will be in demand and will make a worthwhile addition to any collection. Vintage years make for vintage memorabilia.

Take Eric Cantona’s 1996 FA Cup Winning Shirt.  It sold in May for £15,000 having been discarded by Liverpool’s John Barnes (who had swapped shirts with Cantona) and picked up from the dressing room floor by team mate Neil Ruddock.

Or for a more ‘in budget’ piece of history – how about this Didier Drogba signed shirt –  a replica of those he wore in his final season with Chelsea in 2011/12 .

Of course – it’s not just shirts. Match medals, caps, cards, photos all have their place in collections.

But probably the most famous piece of current football hardware (and probably the most expensive) is a replica of the Jules Rimmet trophy. In March 1966 the original trophy was stolen from a pre-world cup exhibition in Westminster Central Hall, but was found by a collie dog called ‘Pickles‘  just 7 days later in South Norwood, London.  As a result the Football Association had a secret replica made – which they subsequently used in exhibitions in place of the original.

Two trophies – two fates…

The replica Jules Rimmet was not sanctioned by, or known to world governing body FIFA. So when the original trophy was handed back for the next World Cup Tournament in 1970, the replica had to be hidden away. Legend has it that it was stored under the makers bed. Of course – it could just have easily been a safe, secure storage unit like one of ours.  It resurfaced at auction in 1997 – where FIFA snapped it up for a whopping £254,500. They in turn lent it to the English National Football Museum where it is now on display in Manchester.

The real Jules Rimmet was won by  Brazil for the third time in 1970 – entitling them to keep the trophy in perpetuity. It was displayed until 1983 – when it was stolen again – apparently by a gang of three petty criminals.  It has been suggested that it was melted down for the value of the gold. If the real trophy does still exist, who knows it might be in storage somewhere. But – if it was in one of our units it would be against our storage terms and conditions – as a stolen item – it is illegal! The trophy’s loss perhaps explains why FIFA were prepared to pay so much for the very accurate FA replica.

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