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Looking more closely, the painting is a wonderful evocation of football in the 1920s, with thousands of spectators lined along the grass banks watching the enthralling tie (it ended 3-3 with Manchester City
winning the replay 4-1). The background of the painting depicts that great glasshouse, the Crystal Palace, in its Sydenham location, which pre-Wembley was one of the grounds where cup finals were traditionally held. Early football paintings are rare and this one had the bonus of being published, in Bevan, Hibberd and Gilbert’s An Affectionate History of Football at the Crystal Palace, to the Palace for the Cup, 1999.

The painting was always expected to provide one of the main financial contributions to the 325-lot sale. As things transpired, it ended up supplying almost a fifth of the £217,050 sale total, which saw selling rates of 62 per cent by lot and 79 per cent by value.

The football shirts’ section contained two of the sale’s other potential stars each estimated at £15,000-20,000: two shirts worn in the 1958 World Cup final by Zito and Vava who scored two goals in the 5-2 victory over Sweden. Vava’s shirt made £12,000, secured by the Brazilian Football Federation, but Zito’s shirt was bought in at £7500.

Following this at £9500 was another Brazilian entry from a group of lots relating to Pelé – a pair of black leather football boots which he wore when scoring his 1000th career goal for Santos F.C. against Vasco da Gama in 1969.

Other offerings relating to the footballing legend included shirts worn in unidentifiable post-1970 international matches which fetched £3200 and £2800. But what may be the earliest existing example of a Pelé contract, his signing for Santos F.C. on April 5, 1960, was bought in at £5500.

More recent Brazilian items included shirts and boots worn by that current Brazilian superstar Ronaldo. An autographed shirt worn in a match after the 2002 World Cup finals fetched £3800 and his autographed Nike boots in silver, lime green and black, made £1600.

Switching back to the English scene, there was the usual raft of programmes, medals and shirts. Highest priced offering here proved to be a rare programme for the 1915 Cup Final between Chelsea and Sheffield United which reached £8000. The match, known as the Khaki Cup Final, was unique in that it was the only final to be played during the First World War and its spectators included thousands of injured soldiers who had been sent home.