Albert Johanneson signed Leeds United shirt, £6800 at Hansons.

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Although six of Lionel Messi’s 2022 World Cup match-worn Argentina shirts did not match reported expectations of $10m at Sotheby’s New York just before Christmas, a premium-inclusive $7.8m (£6.16m) was still a hefty result.

The record for an individual football shirt is the £6m (£7.14m including buyer’s premium) for another Argentina World Cup legend: Diego Maradona’s jersey for the 1982 quarter-final against England, also sold at Sotheby’s, in London in May 2022.

The result for Messi’s shirts meant the world record for sports memorabilia remains at the $10.091m paid last year for a jersey worn by Michael Jordan in Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals.

Plenty of match-worn football shirts are sold regularly at a range of auctions. Here is a selection of recent highlights at the four- and five-figure price level from UK salerooms.


Sir Bobby Charlton’s charismatic teammate George Best – football’s version of the Beatles mixed with Man Utd appeal – is often a very popular choice for collectors. On December 2 Cambridgeshire saleroom Hyperion (20% buyer’s premium) offered a 1967 Red Devils shirt described an ‘an original squad equipment at Old Trafford, and was worn on the pitch’ by Best. It was sold for £16,700 (guide £8000- 12,000) together with a 1968 European Cup Final programme he signed. Hyperion said: “The jersey is accompanied by a letter of authenticity which states that the vendor got this jersey in 2016 from the collection of the Irish player and Best’s teammate Tony Dunne. The letter states that according to the jersey was worn by Best in August and/or September from the 1967 season.”

Pioneer player


Albert Johanneson signed Leeds United shirt, £6800 at Hansons.

Albert Johanneson (1940-95) has been hailed as the first black superstar in English football, a man who paved the way for the many top-flight players competing today.

A 1966 Leeds United white crew-neck, long-sleeved shirt worn by the left winger had a special bonus: despite stains and holes, its desirability was enhanced by featuring 23 signatures of Leeds squad members including Barrie Wright, Jack Charlton, Willie Bell, Paul Reaney, John Giles, Paul Madeley, Terry Cooper, Billy Bremner and Norman Hunter as well as Johanneson himself.

Offered by Hansons (26% buyer’s premium) of Etwall, Derbyshire, on November 14, it sold within estimate at £6800.

David Wilson-Turner, head of sports memorabilia at Hansons, said: “The shirt was match-worn by Johanneson but we’re not able to clarify exactly which game it was. Nevertheless, interest was strong because this is an exceptional piece of Leeds United memorabilia relating to a ground-breaking player.”

South African-born Johanneson is recognised as being the first person of African heritage to play in an FA Cup final, in 1965 for Leeds United.

He made 200 appearances for Leeds and scored 67 goals between 1961-70. He was an integral part of the promotion-winning team of 1964. He finished his career at York City where he made 26 appearances.

Sadly, post-football, he was dogged by ill health. He died alone aged only 55. His body lay undiscovered for a week in his flat in Leeds.

In January 2019 Leeds United and Leeds Civic Trust unveiled a blue plaque commemorating Johanneson, his contribution to football and the city of Leeds.


Another high-flying match-worn shirt in the Hansons auction was this jersey worn by Tottenham Hotspur’s Jimmy Greaves, Number 8. Worn in the 1967 FA Cup Final against Chelsea – the first all-London FA Cup final, won 2-1 by Spurs. Previously sold at Christie’s Football Memorabilia Auction in May 2005, it took £20,000, double the low estimate.

Bobby dazzler

The same sale included the shirt worn by Sir Bobby Charlton in England’s 1966 World Cup semi-final match, offered less than a month after his death. His signed jersey, consigned to auction a year ago and long scheduled for the November sale, said Hansons, was part of the team’s finest hour 57 years ago. It was worn in the semi-final match against Portugal on July 26 at Wembley. England won 2-1 and Charlton scored both goals. The famous victory swept England through to the World Cup final against West Germany four days later.

Against hopes of £50,000-80,000, the shirt sold for £45,000.

The vendor, a West Midlands man who was a Littlewoods Pools winner in the early 1990s, decided to invest in football memorabilia and bought the shirt for £9200 at Christie’s in London in 2000 against an estimate of £10,000-15,000. It was originally donated by Sir Bobby to raise funds for a charity after the 1966 World Cup. He autographed it and personally dedicated to the successful bidder after the auction, and confirmed at the time of the auction that he did wear this shirt in the game against Portugal.

Other recent Sir Bobby Charlton shirt sales include a Man United match-worn jersey, c.1970, estimated at £6000-7000 but selling for a hammer price of £11,000 at Stacey’s, Chelmsford, on October 30.

Graham Budd’s auction on December 5 offered Charlton’s red No 11 short-sleeved shirt worn in a match played to commemorate the Portuguese FA’s 50th Anniversary, on May 17, 1964 at the Estadio Nacional in Lisbon. England defeated Portugal 4-3, Charlton scoring one goal. His shirt, swapped with Antonio Simoes, was knocked down at £22,000 (estimate £10,000- 15,000).

Home not away


Dukla Prague kit from the Bertie Auld European Cup shirts collection, £11,500 at McTear’s.

Cult band Half Man Half Biscuit’s released a classic track All I want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit.

If you were the person who bid £11,500 at Glasgow auction house McTear’s (24% buyer’s premium) on October 12 a home shirt would be possible at least.

The shirt was top-seller among a group of European Cup football shirts from the Bertie Auld Collection, which was consigned by the family of the Celtic FC great. It included jerseys the midfielder swapped with some of Europe’s top players during the Parkhead club’s momentous run to two cup finals in 1967 and 1970.

The Lisbon Lions became the first British side to lift the trophy in 1967, beating Internazionale, but finished runners-up against Feyenoord three years later.

Born in Glasgow in 1938, Auld played in two spells for Celtic, making 275 appearances and scoring 79 goals, in addition to time at Hibs and Birmingham City. He also played three times for Scotland. His second period at Parkhead from 1965 was by far his most successful, with the player helping the club secure five league titles, four League Cups, three Scottish Cups, and of course, the 1967 European Cup. Auld died in 2021 aged 83.

McTear’s said fierce bidding emerged for the jersey believed to have been worn by Josef Vacenovsky of Dukla Prague during the 0-0 second leg of the 1967 European Cup semi-final. It was estimated at £3000-5000.

Vacenovsky was a Dukla Prague stalwart. His tenure coincided with a period of domestic dominance for Dukla, a team that had only been founded as recently as 1948.

Dukla had made six European Cup appearances prior to 1966/67, reaching the quarter-final three-times. At the semi-final stage Celtic won 3-1 at home then drew 0-0 away (the match this shirt is dated to).

Celtic farewell

One of Auld’s own shirts hit a very similar price level when it came up at the Graham Budd (24% buyer’s premium) auction on September 5.

The green and white Celtic short-sleeved shirt was worn in his last match for Celtic, against Clyde in 1971 (a 6-1 win). Framed along with his shorts from that game, the shirt was autographed and had been sold at the Christie’s Scotland Football Memorabilia auction in December 1998, part of the Hugh Birt Collection.

Twenty-five years later it took £10,000, five times the low estimate.

Nine minutes, two medals


Shirts sold at Graham Budd's auction: Jimmy Rimmer, Aston Villa 1982 (£9000); Graham Roberts, Spurs, 1982 (£9000).

Pub quiz time: can you name the English goalkeeper who won two European Cup medals having played just nine minutes in both finals?

The answer is Jimmy Rimmer, who not only achieved this feat but at two different clubs. In 1968 he was on the bench as Alex Stepney’s understudy as Manchester United beat Benfica. He actually started the game when playing for Aston Villa in 1982 but was forced off injured early on, to be replaced by Nigel Spink.

The shirt Rimmer wore for those nine minutes came up at Graham Budd’s auction on December 5, netting £9000 (plus 24% buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £4000-6000. It previously sold at Christie’s South Kensington in 2006.


Shirts sold at Graham Budd's auction: Billy Wright, England, 1955 (£8000); Duncan Edwards, England, 1955 (£18,000).

These days, sponsorship continually encroaching onto football shirts leaves them looking rather crowded. The antidote for a frustrated fan was the Duncan Edwards England No6 top guided at £10,000-15,000 at Budd’s sale.

It was worn in an England v France international tour match on May 15, 1955, which the French won 1-0. The England team started the match with badged shirts but because of the conditions at half time they changed to un-badged training shirts – plain white V-neck examples. Edwards’ shirt was swapped after the game with Jean Vincent. It sold at Sotheby’s in 2001 but at Budd’s auction it made £18,000.

Interestingly, a badged version as worn in the first half of that match was also on offer: that of Billy Wright. Estimated at £2500-3500, the No5 shirt from the same international tour sold for £8000. It was one of six lots related to Wright.

A surprise £19,000 was bid for an Italian international blue short-sleeved shirt estimated at £1200-1800. However, it had special appeal, having been worn by Bruno Conti in the memorable 1982 World Cup Group C match against Brazil which finished as a 3-2 victory for Italy. The shirt was gained by Falcao as a swap after the match and subsequently given to the original vendor who offered it for auction at Christie’s South Kensington in 2007.

Another shirt from 1982 was worn by Graham Roberts during the Tottenham Hotspur v Queen’s Park Rangers FA Cup Final replay, won by Spurs. FA Cup and Spurs are a popular combination and so it proved when the yellow and blue No7 away top took £9000, three times the top estimate.

It had previously sold at Christie’s Scotland, Football Memorabilia including The Graham Roberts Collection, in November 1996.