A golden haul of Wolverhampton Wanderers football treasures has been uncovered – including a 1949 FA Cup winner’s medal.
And Alistair Lofley, a sports memorabilia expert who has unearthed the finds, wonders if it could be a lucky omen in the wake of the club’s FA cup win over Manchester United.
Mr Lofley, who works for Hansons Auctioneers, said: “We’ve just discovered a tremendous collection of sports memorabilia connected to Wolves legends including a 1949 FA Cup winner’s medal awarded to Johnny Hancocks.
“As I watched Wolves power through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup by beating Manchester United 2-1, I couldn’t help thinking that this was their year – and the medal find was a lucky omen.
“I was hugely impressed with their passion and flair in the match. Is this discovery an indication of a golden moment ahead for Wolves at Wembley?”
The haul of Wolves memorabilia – potentially worth more than £30,000 - will be sold at Derbyshire’s Hansons Auctioneers’ Football in Focus Auction on May 23.
As well as the Johnny Hancocks medal, which has an estimate of £12,000-£15,000, the collection includes a Billy Wright England cap from a match against Portugal in 1955, estimate £1,800-£2,000, and two Bobby Mason Division 1 Championship medals from 1958 and 1959, each with an estimate of £5,000-£7,000. There is also a 1959 Charity Shield plaque awarded to Bobby Mason, estimate £800-£1,200.
Johnny Hancocks (1919-1994) made his debut for Wolves on August 31, 1946. Such was his form, playing outside right, he was called up for England in 1948. He helped fire Wolves to their first league title in 1953-54 and collected the 1949 FA Cup winners medal up for auction after playing in a 3-1 win over Leicester City. In total, Hancocks scored 168 goals for Wolves in 378 appearances.
Billy Wright, CBE (1924 -1994) spent his entire career at Wolves. He was the first footballer in the world to earn 100 international caps. He made 105 appearances for England, captaining them a record 90 times.
Bobby Mason, now 82, was signed by Wolves, his local club, as a youngster and turned professional in 1954. He scored 10 goals during the 1957–58 season to help Wolves win the league title. The following year he scored 13 times as Wolves raced to a second successive championship.
Mr Lofley said: “All three players will be fondly remembered by many Wolves fans, and rightly so. These items have come from a private collection in the West Midlands and it would be nice to see them stay connected to the fans and the club.
“In our last sports auction, a lifelong West Bromwich Albion supporter paid £13,000 for a 1954 FA Cup winner’s medal awarded to former WBA goalkeeper Norman Heath to keep it in the West Brom family.
“With Wolves flying high, a fan could potentially be taking home an FA Cup winner’s medal of their own in May.”
Entries are invited for Hansons’ next sports memorabilia sale until May 3. To arrange a free valuation, email [email protected]. To find out when Alistair will be carrying our free valuations at venues in the West Midlands, email [email protected].