Why a little-known football team are auction champions – and a shirt belonging to Rams legend Kevin Hector could be yours

Posted on 18/12/2018 in Press Coverage

Derby is a footballing city, and don’t we know it. Our sporting auctions soared to glory last year and are set to climb even higher in our league table of success in 2019.

Thousands of football fans across the city – many of whom, like me, support Derby County – will be pleased to know we’re putting the area on the map among sporting memorabilia collectors across the world.

But, if you love your football and pride yourself on your knowledge, have you heard of Headington United?

This little-known team were founded in 1893 but were renamed Oxford United in 1960. For that very reason Headington programmes are scarce - and rarity makes football memorabilia valuable.

Consequently, three Headington United-related lots made a combined total of £5,500 when they went under the hammer. Headington were our auction champions.

Lot number 6251, a collection of Headington United programmes from 1954/55 flew to £2,000 from an estimate of £150-£200.

The winning streak continued with lot number 6262, a collection of Headington United and Oxford United football programmes with tickets and photographs. It reached £1,600 from a guide price of £150-£180.

Headington scored again with lot number 6276, a bag of assorted Headington United programmes from the late 1940s/50s. It was contested to £1,900 from an estimate of £50-£60.

But it wasn’t all about Headington. Interestingly, lot 6278, a miscellaneous bag of football programmes, including league and non-league clubs, raced to £1,400 from an estimate of £150-£200.

Thanks to our football auctions, people not just from Derby but from all over the UK have been digging out their sports memorabilia. Football is the lifeblood of our nation and sparks passionate support.

And no fans are more passionate than Rams followers. Right now, one item taking pride of place in our saleroom is a Kevin Hector shirt – the one he wore in his final game for Derby County on May 15, 1982. The Rams won 3-2 against Watford and Hector scored. It’s estimate is £800-£1,200.

To older Rams fans, Hector, nicknamed Zak, is a goal-scoring legend. He played for the team during the golden years of the early 1970s when Derby were the best team in the land.

Signed in 1966, he was a key player under the management of Brian Clough and later Dave Mackay, forming a formidable partnership with John O'Hare.

Hector played for the Rams in two stints for a total of 12 years, during which time they won the Football League First Division championship twice in 1972 and 1975, not to mention reaching the semi-finals of the European Cup, FA Cup and League Cup.

Impressive stuff and great memories. But football memorabilia isn’t simply a reminder of great players, it’s a strong investment market and those Headington United auction scores underlined that.

Alistair Lofley offers free sports memorabilia valuations on the first Saturday of every month, 9am-noon, at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall. Alternatively, email [email protected] or call 07863 203377. Our next Football in Focus and Sporting Memorabilia Auction is on February 21. Entries invited until February 1.