When talk turns to which football teams will dominate the English game in a given season these days names such as Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea may come to mind, however for a football fan in the 1920’s the list looked very different with names such as Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland, Sheffield United, Cardiff City – however one team stood above them all – Huddersfield Town. Huddersfield became the first team to win the old First Division Championship 3 times in a row from 1923/24 – 1924/25 and 1925/26. A feat only repeated by 3 other teams – Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Part of the goal scoring strike force for Huddersfield during this time was an ex miner from Northumberland, ‘Bomber ‘ George Brown. Signing professional papers for Huddersfield in 1921 at the age of 17, George went on to become Huddersfield’s all time leading goal scorer with 159 goals in all competitions, including 35 league goals in the 1925/26 season, when Huddersfield clinched their 3rd successive title and George his third 1st Division Champions Gold medal. It is these 3 medals that have surfaced for sale at Sheffield Auction Gallery on 20th April 2018.
Sporting Valuer and Auctioneer, Robert Lea commented; “As a lifelong Huddersfield fan on both a professional and personal level this is one of most exciting items I have ever been asked to bring to market. George Brown is one of the true legends of Huddersfield Town F.C., although a group like this will attract interest from many quarters” he continued.
Made from gold, the 3 Championship medals are attached to a gold watch chain which it is believed is how George liked to wear them, and the Lot will be auctioned at Sheffield Auction Gallery’s specialist sporting sale on April 20th , along with a fascinating paper archive of photographs, letters and associated items relating to George’s career.
As for the value – the lot carried a pre-auction estimate from £15,000 and just for some perspective – in 1925 the average wage for a footballer was perhaps £5, in 2018 top footballers are reported to earn up to £200,000 a week; so possibly a small price to pay for a piece of outstanding English Football History.
As for George, he went on to win 9 England caps, play for Aston Villa, Burnley and Leeds in his later career before retiring to run a pub in Birmingham ahead of his untimely death in 1948 aged just 45 years old.
The auction was held at Sheffield Auction Gallery on Friday 20th April and with plenty of online interest and bidders in the room to lot sold to a telephone bidder for £18,330 (including buyers premium of 22.2%). For further information please contact Auctioneer Robert Lea at the Saleroom office on 0114 281 6161 or firstname.lastname@example.org