Football, or Soccer as our North American cousins like to call it, is singularly the world’s favourite sporting obsession. A staggering one billion people tuned in last year to watch the World Cup Final and football memorabilia and football collectibles are a booming business. From high-prices at auction for super-premium items to childhood collections being traded on eBay, there is money to be made from anything from retro kits to sticker albums, old programmes, footie ‘board games’ to almost any vintage ephemera.
As with any collectibles, the older the better, mint condition is the holy grail, original packaging adds value, and anything with an unique historical cache can be worth thousands. Whether you are a collector, an amateur enthusiast or want to cash in when clearing out the attic, the footie obsessives at ParcelHero® take a look at what might be worth more than you think.
An obvious starting place, but the business of Football shirts is a large and expanding marketplace. In the early 2000’s, Sir Geoff Hurst sold his 1966 World Cup final football shirt for £95,000. In 2010, after changing owners multiple times, property developer Andrew Leslau listed the item for £2.3million. The famous shirt was worn by Hurst as he scored his winning hat-trick against Germany – a long idealised glorious moment rarely felt by England fans today. Fortunately, there is a silver lining in this obvious tragedy – the longer England fail to win the World Cup, the higher in value owners of the 1966 victory memorabilia goes. Memories and history sell.
There is a definite hierarchy for football shirts, apart from the obviously iconic such as the legendary Pele’s 1970 Mexico World Cup winning shirt. Nowadays, with global mass production of replica shirts, a replica kit is entry level for a collector, with the price hiking up with time. Next comes a Player Issue shirt, rarer and pricier, especially if it still has its original tags (BNWT in the trade) while a match-worn shirt has an additional cache. Match-worn and Player issue shirts can go for anything from £300 to £2000 depending on rarity and condition.
Match programmes are a very popular choice of football memorabilia and coherent, well preserved collections can fetch big sums. In September 2003, an official FA Cup Final programme from 1914 sold for £4,560. A quick scan on eBay sees similar items listed from £500 – £2,600. The more historic a programme the more precious and valuable it becomes.
A programme that captures a significant moment in football history will be worth the most. A 1915 FA Cup programme however between Chelsea and Sheffield United is valued at £15,000 due to it being the last football match played for four years due to the First World War. A 1962 Chile World Cup programme was sold for £5,170 in May 2002.
Football fans of a certain age will get misty-eyed remembering the golden age of Shoot!, Match Weekly and Goal. As with any magazine collection, condition is everything, complete trumps sporadic and while you are unlikely to retire on selling your old mags, complete sets can sell for anything up to £500. A full season’s worth of Shoot! for example, while a single decent copy can be picked up for as little as £25. Printed memorabilia can be worth a lot of money, especially if it is World Cup related and an original copy of the earliest printed rules of football from 1859 was sold for £881,250 in July 2011.
Subbuteo & Football Games
Long before Football Manager, fantasy football and FIFA World Cup, Subbuteo ruled the world of football gaming. Kids would rush down to the shops with pocket money to buy a new team, floodlights, spectators and create a whole stadium to play matches in.
Subbuteo has become a sought after vintage piece with Subbuteo sets in their original packaging are now being sold for £350 on eBay, with rare individual teams reaching prices around £180 while a super-rare mint condition French Laval 249 Delacoste set was recently on eBay for £875. And its not just Subbuteo, vintage football boardgames or even Blow Football sets are listed online for up to £100 so if there are a few hidden games up in the loft, you could be in for some decent cash.
Sure, if you have a pristine pair of Adidas Beckenbauer nestling in original packaging, you could be looking at around £100-£200 but if you really want the big bucks, player worn and player signed boots can net you thousands. Liverpool star Stephen Gerrard’s old match-worn boots are worth £2,495 in their original box. Worn by Gerrard on both England and Liverpool games, the boots are ‘well worn’, adding to their worth. The tongues of the boots come complete with the names of Gerrard’s daughters, for a personal touch. Meanwhile Cristiano Ronaldo signed boots are currently priced at £9000 on eBay.
Medals & Trophies
Winner’s (or even loser’s bling) can be worth a small fortune . A 1930 winner’s medal awarded to Uruguay’s captain Joe Nasazzi values at £25,000. Jose Mourinho’s 2005/2006 Premiership winner’s has a sales estimate of £18,000. Jose actually tossed the medal into the crowd after the match so that’s one lucky spectator.
A replica of Jules Rimet Trophy from 1997 is worth a cool £254,500 and was purchased by FIFA while the oldest surviving FA Cup trophy was sold at auction for £478,400. On a slightly more realistic note, collections of football coins can command upwards of £400 depending on rarity and condition.
Sticker Books and Football Cards
You are unlikely to retire on the proceeds of an old Panini sticker book or a bunch of cigarette or bubble gum cards, although once again, rare, mint-condition complete sets do sell. The real home of the highly-priced sporting card is the States with old baseball cards selling for dizzy prices. Nevertheless, if you have kept your old sticker books, complete 1970s sets can command up to £400 and a complete 1970 Mexico World Cup album is currently on eBay for £2500.
Everything and Anything
Where do we start? Its amazing what people will buy, so almost any piece of football memorabilia has a customer out there. From a West Brom flavoured ‘BAG 61E’ (The Baggies) license plate for £10,000 to an Andy Carroll Man of The Match award for £2750, architects drawings for Arsenal’s Emirates stadium to a rare 1958 match ticket for Red Star Belgrade V Manchester United at £800, yesteryear’s throwaways are tomorrow’s prized possessions.
If you are buying or selling, especially if its vintage or fragile, ParcelHero® can ship your football collectibles cheaply to UK, European Union or 200 countries worldwide.