From Beckham to Nobby Stiles: the world's most valuable World Cup collectibles

So for the second time this year England have failed to get their hands on the World Cup.

But as the nation turns its thoughts to the 'Hand of God', Chris Waddle's penalty, Beckham's red card and a whole host of near-misses, we can guarantee one group who'll be celebrating in Russia come 2018: football memorabilia collectors.

Within the world of football collecting, World Cup memorabilia is by far the most valuable. Shirts worn in finals are highly sought after by collectors, and of course those worn by the legends of the game are the most popular.

The shirt worn by Pele during the Mexico 1970 World Cup Final was sold at auction in 2002 for £157,000, and hat-trick hero Geoff Hurt's 1966 England shirt sold for £97,500 in 2000.

Entry-level investors can also pick up shirts worn by players that are sure to increase in value once they retire. Although not a World Cup winner, David Beckham's iconic status in football and beyond means his memorabilia is certain to appreciate as investment. A Real Madrid shirt worn by him during a Champion's League game is currently available on the market for £2,950.

The most expensive piece of World Cup
memorabilia is Nobby Stiles' 1966
winner's medal, worth £188,200

But the most valuable items of all are the winners medals themselves, which rarely appear on the market. Predictably for a nation of football fanatics, it is 1966 England medals which attract the most attention.

Goalkeeper Gordon Banks' medal was sold at auction in 2001 for £114,000, and in 2005 the youngest member of the squad Alan Ball's medal reached an impressive £165,000.

But in terms of World Cup memorabilia, the most expensive piece ever sold is the 1966 winner's medal belonging to Nobby Stiles. At an auction earlier this year it sold for a record-breaking £188,200, and was bought by his former team Manchester United to be displayed in their club museum.

So as Russia celebrates and begins its preparations for 2018, it's worth remembering that no matter where the competition is held or who reaches the final, with a little clever investment collectors can always end up on the winning team. 

Or at least reach the semi-finals.


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