A winner's medal from the 1909 Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, now known as the 'First World Cup' has been discovered in a car boot sale, and will now be sold at Anderson and Garland in Newcastle, England on September 13.
The trophy was created in that year by millionaire businessman Sir Thomas Lipton. It was held in Turin and brought together leading club teams representing Italy, Switzerland and Germany.
However, despite Sir Thomas's ambitions, the Football Association decided not to send a team to represent Great Britain.
|A clip from the 1982 film telling the story of the unlikely win
For reasons that are historically not clear, Lipton chose a team of amateurs from the Northern League mining village of West Auckland, County Durham, to compete against the prestigious professional clubs Juventus, F.C. Winterhour and Stuttgart.
Surprisingly, the miners won the competition by beating Stuttgart 2-0 then F.C. Winterhour 2-0 in the final on the 12th April.
Perhaps even more amazingly, in 1911 West Auckland travelled again to Italy and defended their World Title beating Juventus 6-1 in the final to become outright holders of the trophy which was never contested again.
Today, a solid silver re-creation of the Thomas Lipton Trophy is displayed in West Auckland Working Men's Club from where, tragically, the original silver-plated Trophy was stolen in 1994.
The obverse of the medal shows a footballing scene in relief bearing the artist's initials "S.J.", whilst the reverse is struck with a World Globe enclosed by a laurel wreath.
The reverse is also inscribed: "II TORNEO INTERNAZIONALE DI FOOT-BALL, INDETTO DALLA STAMPA SPORTIVA, TORINO, APRILE 1909".
The medal, thought to be one of three in existence, was bought as part of a set of programmes for £20. It is now listed at £3,000-5,000, though even this seems like something of a modest estimate given the intense interest in football in England and value of its memorabilia.
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