Some may have accused Manchester City of buying trophies because of the many Premier League and other titles they won as part of Abu Dhabi’s large investment group, but now the club has literally bought itself a trophy – and not just any trophy.
In view of the apparent breakthrough, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, the owner of the city, personally bought the real FA Cup, which was awarded to the winners of the oldest football competition between 1896 and 1910.
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Although the city did not disclose the amount paid by Sheikh Mansour, the Bonhams Auction House said that the silverware in question would be sold at auction on 29 January. September to an anonymous buyer for £760,000 ($1.03 million).
On Friday, the city confirmed the purchase and the intention to return it to the National Football Museum in Manchester, where it has been housed since 2005.
We are pleased to announce that we are now the proud guardians of the #FACup 1896-1910 after the owner of the club, His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed, recently bought the trophy at an auction.
#ManCity | https://t.co/axa0klD5rehttps://t.co/eRBRdbTFm0
– Manchester City (@ManCity) 8. January 2021
The bowl previously belonged to West Ham co-owner David Gold, who put it up for sale last year. There were concerns that the trophy could be bought privately and taken abroad, but Mansour stepped in to ensure that the iconic silverware would remain in place.
This is the oldest version of the existing trophy, as the first FA Cup, first used in 1871, was stolen from a shop at the Birmingham Exhibition after the triumph of Aston Villa in 1895 and was never seen again.
The trophy, acquired by Sheikh Mansour, is also the first trophy ever won by the city of Manchester. They became the first professional club in town to win a big prize, beating Bolton Wanderers 1-0 in the 1904 final. The city’s attempt to win for the seventh time starts on Sunday, when Birmingham City in the third round (live at 8:30 am on ESPN+ in the USA).
According to Bonhams, another lot in the same auction was the LFC1 license plate, which was sold for £125,000 ($170,000). It is not yet known whether they have also been donated to the museum for posterity.
The trophy is perhaps one of the most expensive football memorabilia ever sold.
Many anxious eyebrows were raised in 2010 when Sir Geoff Hirst’s world champion jersey was on sale for £2.3 million ($3.1 million). Hurst wore an English red sweater after his famous hat trick in the 4-2 finals against West Germany in Wembley – a coveted item in every collector’s outfit. However, the selling price was a bit high at the time and the t-shirt, which was auctioned for £91,750 ($124,773) in 2000, was not sold several times because the reserve price was not reached.
West Ham has made every effort to preserve the objects dedicated to the names of his former players. In the past, the club bought two articles from the 1966 World Champions to prevent them from ending up in private collections. The Sir Bobby Moore medal was bought in a private sale for £1.5 million ($2.04 million), while the Hirst medal was also bought for an unknown amount, estimated at approximately £150,000 ($204,000).
The record for the sale of football jerseys is the 1970 World Cup, which Pele bought at auction in 2002 for £157,750 ($214,528). Pele carried him to the second half of the final against Italy. One wonders how much Brazilian legend wore the jersey in the first half when he scored his goal.
In 2016, a special replica of the Jules Rimet Trophy was auctioned for £395,000 ($537,001) for the personal memories of the Brazilian legend Pele. Pelé received this unique trophy after the glory of Brazil at the World Cup in 1970 and was bought at an auction by the Swiss watchmaker Hublot in London.
More than 2,000 personal memorabilia were auctioned over the three days, and two of the three medals of World Cup winner Pele were also sold. The pointed medal of his first World Cup victory in 1958 was sold for £200,000 ($271,860), while another World Cup medal earned £140,000 ($190,302) in 1962.
Nathaniel Kreswick and William Prest. The two men wrote the rules and laws of the new game, and on the 24th they founded a new game. October 1857 Sheffield’s first world football club #TheWorldsFirst ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/mXkFmPtBqB
– Sheffield Football Club (@sheffieldfc) 25. April 2018
The most expensive football memorabilia ever sold at the auction is a truly unique piece in the history of the game – the oldest known rule book that still exists today. A handwritten booklet of the 1857 Sheffield Football Club rules, regulations and laws, auctioned off in 2011 for £881,250 ($1.98 million). The regulations contain many laws that still exist in football today, with the introduction for the first time of free kicks, bends and crosses.
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