Derek Johnstone shirt from the 1972 European Cup Winners Cup final, £18,000 at Graham Budd.

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In the world of auctions, however, the game north of the border seems in rude health. In the space of two days the sales fixture list included both the Graham Budd (24% buyer’s premium) Scottish Sporting Memorabilia Auction on April 10 and the McTear’s (24% buyer’s premium) Sporting Auction 1 and 2 a day later.

Both auctions featured Scottish football memorabilia heavily.

Rangers dominated among the highest prices at Budd’s auction held at Robert Adam Room, Trades Hall of Glasgow.

A European Cup Winners Cup Final long-sleeved No 5 shirt, 1972, worn in the match by Derek Johnstone, sold within estimate at £18,000. Just 18 at the time, Johnstone was thrust into action because of injuries. Rangers finally recorded their first European Cup Winners Cup win in 1972 after two final defeats in 1961 and 1967.


Benfica v Rangers 1948 match programme, £11,500 at Graham Budd.

It was another Rangers lot that really caught the eye. Guided at £800-1200 and described as ‘extremely rare’, a Benfica v Rangers friendly match programme, dated to February 10, 1948, when the Gers won 3-0 in Lisbon.

With the spine taped and detached, horizontal and vertical folds, stained and some tearing at folds, it ended up selling at £11,500 – breaking the world record price for a Scottish football programme, said the auction house.

Kenny Dalglish Celtic and Scotland international shirts hit back for the green and white side of Glasgow, both taking £6000.

A surprise result came for a yellow and green No 20 Brazil shirt worn by Roberto Dinamite in the 1982 World Cup group 6 game against Scotland. It was swapped with Paul Sturrock but both players had been unused substitutes in the game won 4-1 by Brazil. Estimated at £600-800, the shirt netted £5000 hammer. It was one of nearly 30 lots related to Dundee Utd stalwart Sturrock.

‘The greatest I ever saw’


Neil Gibson Rangers 1899-1900 league title medal, £5000 at McTear’s.

McTear’s, based in Glasgow, also offered football lots from both sides of the Old Firm divide. An impressive performer for the Ibrox club was the Scottish League Championship medal in 9ct gold, in gilt tooled morocco box of issue, awarded to Neil ‘Neilly’ Gibson, selling for £5000 (estimate £2500-3500).

The honour related to his part in Rangers’ 1899-1900 title triumph. Gibson signed for Rangers from Larkhall club Royal Albert in 1894, where he had been only for a few months after signing from junior team Larkhall Thistle. During his time with the Gers he won four consecutive league titles (including the 1898-99 invincible season), as well as three Scottish Cups, five Glasgow Cups and three Glasgow Charity Cups.

He was highly rated by contemporaries, with for example Steve Bloomer of Derby County and England saying he was “the greatest footballer I ever saw”.


John Thomson Celtic 1927 Scots v Anglo Scots match gold medal, £3600 at McTear’s.

Part 2 of the auction offered an extensive collection of Celtic medals. One of the best-sellers was one of the most poignant: a gold medal from 1927 awarded to goalkeeper John Thomson. This honour came for a yearly fixture contested between Scots and Anglo Scots (Scottish footballers who played south of the border).

Thomson had joined Celtic aged 17 a year earlier, his athleticism and bravery earning two Scottish Cups and three Glasgow Cups.

Tragedy struck during the Old Firm match on September 5, 1931. Early in the second half Thomson collided with Rangers player Sam English. He was stretchered off but the 22-year-old was pronounced dead in the Victoria Infirmary. His funeral in his home town of Cardenden was attended by 40,000.

Estimated at £2000-3000, his 1927 medal sold for £3600. The obverse was relief cast with a bust of Robert Burns (described on the reverse as …statue Newcastle Upon Tyne) and dated 1759-1796. The match was played at St James’s Park in Newcastle.

Empire building

A silver trophy for the 1938 Empire Exhibition football tournament, previewed in ATG No 2637, awarded to Celtic’s Chic Geatons, dipped under estimate at £3400. Incidentally, Geatons had replaced Thomson when the goalie was stretchered off in that 1931 game.

Another of these trophies to an unknown recipient sold for the same hammer price but against a lower estimate of £1500-2500. The striking (16cm) design depicted the Exhibition’s Tait or Festival Tower at this competition held in Glasgow.