Huge collection of football fan memorabilia set to sell for £ 170,000

A football fan’s lifetime collection of memorabilia dedicated to the beautiful game is to be auctioned off and could go for up to £ 170,000.

Bryan Horsnell, 82, has been collecting medals, caps, official match flags and vintage shirts for 60 years.

The collection of more than 200 lots will go under the hammer at auction next week as Mr Horsnell, a retired postman, sells his house in Reading, Berkshire, and moves to a smaller property with his wife.

Items sold include the FA Cup winner’s medals awarded to the first father and son to win the competition, and football shirts worn by Sir Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore.

They will be offered to sports memorabilia specialist Graham Budd Auctions on September 7 and 8.

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

Auctioneer Mr Budd said: ‘Bryan Horsnell is a pioneer of the football collection and has been very active in this pursuit since the 1960s, a time when very few like-minded people in this past -time.

“More often than not he would buy items directly from footballers and build a spectacular collection.

“This was supplemented by auction purchases since souvenir sales increased from the 1990s.

“It would be difficult and costly for anyone to go out there today to amass such an incredible array of treasures.

“However, the auction provides a unique opportunity to purchase the highest quality football memorabilia.”

Highlights include two FA Cup medals won by father and son, Harry Johnson senior and Harry Johnson junior, for Sheffield United.

Dating from 1902 and 1925, they each sell for between £ 3,000 and £ 5,000.

Only three other families have matched the Johnson’s 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 winner's 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 lift the trophy (Graham Budd Auctions / PA)

Elsewhere in the Horsnell collection is a 1903 FA Cup winner’s medal awarded to Willie Wood of Bury FC, which is also expected to sell for between £ 3,000 and £ 5,000.

A pennant presented by Portugal to England ahead of its 1966 World Cup semi-final is estimated at between £ 3,000 and £ 5,000.

Sir Bobby’s Manchester United No 9 red jersey from around 1965 could also sell for between £ 3,000 and £ 5,000.

England’s World Cup-winning Captain Moore’s Fulham No 6 FA Cup Final 1975 white jersey, believed to have been his unused spare, could cost between £ 2,000 and £ 3,000.

The Cliff Bastin cap collection is also part of the sale.

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

“The collection is remarkable because every cap awarded to him as an England player has remained intact,” said Mr Budd.

“Very often, collectible fragments such as different branches of a family are given as a keepsake or given to friends during the player’s lifetime.”

Manchester United's first football medal, when the club was known as Newton Heath, is also sold (Graham Budd Auctions / PA)
Manchester United’s first football medal, when the club was known as Newton Heath, is also sold (Graham Budd Auctions / PA)

Being sold separately at the auction is Manchester United’s first football medal ever offered for sale.

The Manchester Senior Cup winner’s medal was awarded to Thomas Fitzsimmons of Newton Heath in 1893 and could fetch £ 25,000.

Newton Heath, who became Manchester United in 1902, defeated Bolton Wanderers 2-1 in the final, which marked the end of the club’s first season in Division One.

“We are very pleased to sell this important historic medal on behalf of a British private collector,” said Mr Budd.

“This is Manchester United’s oldest medal to be auctioned. And we don’t know where another, older medal is. “

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