Steve Bloomer football memorabilia sells for £320,000

The memorabilia of football's "first superstar", Steve Bloomer, has auctioned for £320,000 ($400,000).

Featuring, caps, medals and a portrait, the collection sold as a single lot at WH Lane & Son in Penzance on December 15.

Only Jimmy Greaves has scored more top flight goals than Steve Bloomer

The Derby County and Middlesbrough inside forward scored 23 goals in 28 appearances for England at the turn of the last century.

With 314 goals, he is also the second highest all-time scorer in the top tier of the English game - behind only Jimmy Greaves.

"He was football's first superstar and England's first popular footballing hero and like Beckham or Rooney, he was always the guy that popped up with the winning goal," Peter Seddon, an author of books about Bloomer, told the BBC.

"He was the best known footballer in the country and so in the world because the game hadn't developed in many other countries. So he was more like Ronaldo or Messi if you want a modern equivalent.

"He was a household name - mention Steve Bloomer to anybody in the 1890s and they would instantly recognise him."

The bulk of the collection was formed of 19 velvet caps awarded for England appearances, including 16 for full internationals and three for trials.

The caps had previously sold for £8,050 at Christie's in 1994, representing per annum growth of 18.2% - a sure sign of the rise of the sports memorabilia market.

A 9-karat gold medal awarded to Bloomer for a match against Ireland also featured, as did a modern portrait of the star.

Steve Bloomer's Watchin' is played before every Derby County home game.

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