When England international Mason Mount gave the shirt off his back to a young England fan during the Euros, he not only made her day – he gave her a highly valuable memento.
Shirts worn by star footballers in important games can sell for thousands of pounds at auction, and Mason Mount’s shirt could be worth a great deal in years to come.
Schoolgirl Belle McNally, 10, was picked out by the England midfielder following the team’s nail-biting Euro 2020 victory over Denmark.
Footage of Belle breaking into tears on receiving the prized jersey went viral. She has since hidden the England top in a drawer and says it won’t be washed because ‘it smells like Mason’.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers which has its headquarters in Derbyshire, said: “She’s a very lucky girl and that’s a very wise move. It’s important to keep the shirt safe and tucking it away in a drawer, unwashed, is a good option.
“Mason’s kindness has left her with an important and potentially highly valuable sporting memento that will rise in value. Sports memorabilia, particularly football memorabilia, is in demand all over the world. And an item’s place in history and provenance is all important. Mason’s shirt has it all.
“In the history of football, 2021 will be remembered as the year England reached the final of a major tournament - the first time they have done so for decades.
“Even though England lost the final on penalties, this tremendous team of young players have achieved a great deal in historical terms. Also, this is the early part of Mason’ career. When we look back in years to come, this tournament could turn out to be the starting point of England’s domination of world football and it’s likely Mason will have helped his club, Chelsea, and hopefully England, win many trophies. All this will guarantee Mason’s shirt is a very worthy collector’s item.
“We have seen sports memorabilia items soar to glory in our football auctions on many occasions. In fact, an England shirt from 1911, which nearly ended up in a Wolverhampton jumble sale, was a top-selling lot in a Football In Focus Auction just before lockdown in February, 2020.
“The man who eventually purchased it wanted it so badly he set off from Northamptonshire at the crack of dawn to reach our saleroom near Derby. He arrived hours before the auction began because he was determined to buy it. And he did – for £4,000, four times the shirt’s original estimate of £800-£1,200.
The purchaser Jim Murray, a famous writer, whisky legend and lifelong Millwall football fan, told Hansons it was the answer to his prayers after a 35-year quest to own one.
“He said he simply had to buy the shirt due to its connection to Millwall,” said Charles. “It was worn in an England v Wales British Home Championship game at Millwall’s ground, The Den, in London, on March 13, 1911. England won 3-0 in front of a crowd of 22,000. There has never been a full international game played at Millwall since, hence the shirt’s historical importance.
“What a shining example of sporting passion,” said Charles. “Jim thought he would never be able to obtain an England shirt worn in that particular game but, more than 100 years later, one suddenly became available at auction.
“When sporting glory and player popularity combines, strong results can be achieved. For example, the romance of Derby County’s 1970s glory years sent bids sky-rocketing when a shirt worn by Rams’ legend Alan Hinton went up for auction at Hansons.”
The number 11 shirt, worn by Hinton in the 1971-72 football season when Derby were crowned League Champions, sold for £2,600 – more than double its original estimate of £800-£1,200. In addition, a number 7 shirt worn by fellow Rams legend Kevin Hector in his last game for Derby County in May 1982, sold for £800.
“This was club level football from decades ago and yet fans were still desperate to own something that connected them to precious sporting memories,” said Charles. “Sporting passion can transfer to an auction saleroom.
“My advice to anyone who is lucky enough to own a match-worn shirt or boots worn by a famous footballer, or anything connected to an important player or game, is to take great care of it. That piece of sporting memorabilia might just be worth a small fortune one day. In fact, it probably is already, such is the global passion for football.”
Hansons holds regular Football In Focus and Sports Memorabilia Auctions. To arrange a free valuation, email David Wilson-Turner: [email protected]