A century-old England football shirt that nearly ended up at a jumble sale has been unearthed – but mystery surrounds which sportsman wore it 109 years ago.
The historical treasure dating back to 1911, which displays the three lions, was uncovered in Wolverhampton by Hansons Auctioneers. It’s now set to go under the hammer on February 18 with an estimate of £800-£1,200.
The shirt was worn in an England v Wales British Home Championship game at The Den, London on March 13, 1911, in front of a crowd of 22,000.
Though records reveal England won 3-0 and provide full team line-ups, it’s not known which England player wore the shirt as it ended up in the possession of Welsh international footballer Ted Vizard.
David Wilson-Turner, sports memorabilia expert at Hansons, said: “Just like today, players sometimes swapped shirts after a game. Vizard was playing for Wales, gaining his third cap in his first match against England. He swapped his shirt with one of the England players – we just don’t know which one.
“It’s a great historical find and very rare. It also demonstrates how much sportswear has changed. It’s a traditional long-sleeved men’s shirt with buttons, cuffs and a collar and is made out of thick material. It’s a million miles away from the sleek designer football shirts of today. But its England football pedigree is unmistakable thanks to its breast badge displaying three lions and a crown.
“We discovered that it nearly ended up at a jumble sale but for the intervention of the Midlands family who own it now.”
The seller, who did not wish to be named, said: “The shirt was given to my mother about 50 years ago. She used to clean for Ted Vizard and his wife in the early 1970s in the Tettenhall area of Wolverhampton.
“She brought the shirt home one day and said the Vizards were having a clear out of items to send to a jumble sale. Mrs Vizard knew my mother had two sons and asked if she would like the England shirt from his first match playing for Wales against England. She told mum the shirt had been swapped after the game.
“My mother kept the shirt in a plastic bag in a drawer for years and occasionally got it out to show people and talk about how she was given it.
“When it was given to my mother about 50 years ago it was probably not of great value. I wonder what else was sent to the jumble sale?
“I support both England and Wales as my father was English, born in Wolverhampton, while my mother was Welsh. I was born in Wales so I am loyal to both camps.
“My mother died two years ago and the proceeds from the sale of the shirt will be shared with my brother and sister.”
Ted (Edward) Vizard was born in Cogan, Wales, in 1889. The outside left joined Bolton Wanderers in September 1910 from Barry and made 512 appearances for The Trotters scoring 70 goals. He also notched up 22 international caps for Wales. He went on be a manager for Swindon, QPR and Wolves. He died at the age of 84 on Christmas Day in 1973.
Auction Date and Sports Memorabila Valuations
The 1911 England football shirt will be sold in a Sports Memorabilia Auction at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6LS, on February 18.. To find out more or arrange a free sports memorabilia valuation, email [email protected]. Hansons holds regular specialist sports memorabilia sales throughout the year and is happy to assess old football programmes, rare ticket stubs, autographed items lined to sports stars, medals, shirts and more.