The 10 most fascinating pieces of World Cup memorabilia ever auctioned

We have World Cup fever at Paul Fraser Collectibles. The wall chart is up, the sticker book is filling up nicely and the bunting is tastefully adorning the office plant. 

So join us as we look at the most fascinating memorabilia from the history of the tournament.  

10. 1938 original poster - £6,000

World Cup poster
  Art deco stylings from the French in 1938 - Image: Graham Budd Auctions

This original poster for the 1938 World Cup, which was held in France, sold for £6,000 ($10,167) in 2006.

It shows a footballer standing astride the globe and is executed in classic art deco style.

Who won the tournament? Italy, beating Hungary 4-2 in the final.

9. Garrincha's 1962 shirt - £9,800

Garrincha shirt
'Little Bird' won the Golden Ball award for the tournament's best player Image: Graham Budd Auctions

Manuel Francisco dos Santos, perhaps better known by his nickname "Garrincha" (little bird), wore this shirt during the 1962 final in Chile that pitched Brazil against Czechoslovakia - a game that ended in a 3-1 victory for Brazil.

Despite various disadvantages, including a shortened leg and a deformed spine, Garrincha was voted player of the tournament, and was joint top goal scorer.

This shirt made £9,800 ($16,607) in 2007.

8. 1909 Winner's medal - £12,000

1909 World Medal
West Auckland, champions on the world - Image: Graham Budd Auctions

Before the inaugural World Cup tournament took place in 1930, there had been various attempts to organise world championships - with varying degrees of success. In this 1909 iteration, club sides from England, Germany, Switzerland and Italy faced off against one another in Turin.

The English FA was (typically) uninterested in the competition, and refused to allow any teams within the league to play. Fortunately, West Auckland FC, an amateur side from County Durham composed mainly of coal miners, stepped in.

They took on the biggest teams in Europe, including Juventus and Stuttgart, and won.

The medal was awarded to goalie James Dickinson. It made £12,000 ($20,335) in 2006.

7. 1930 World Cup Final football - $46,044   


1930 football
Try getting that over the bar: the ball used in the first World Cup Final - Image: Agon Sports World

The first official World Cup took place in Uruguay in 1930, with 13 teams from across Europe and the Americas competing. This ball was used in the final between Uruguay and Argentina, which ended 4-2 to the home side.

It sold for $46,044 in 2006.

Francisco Varallo, a forward for Argentina, was the last surviving player of the inaugural tournament. He died in 2010 aged 100.

6. England 1966 cap - £43,200

Alan Ball cap
"He's only five foot four, he makes those lions roar: Alan Ball" - Image: Christie's

Midfielder Alan Ball's (1945-2007) pace and energy proved a powerful asset to England throughout the 1966 tournament.

Before the finals he was a relative unknown, but his displays for Ramsey's "Wingless Wonders" ensured he became a household name.

His World Cup cap made £43,200 ($79,445) in 2005.

5. Bobby Moore's England 1970 shirt - £59,750

Bobby Moore's shirt from England's 1970 World Cup game against Brazil sold for £59,750 ($110,229) at Christie's London in 2004 - despite the fact that England were defeated 1-0.

The value has much to do with Moore's revered standing in the game, the famed tackle he made on Jairzinho in the match, and the iconic image of he and Pele swapping shirts (this very shirt) at the end of the game.

4. Geoff Hurst 1966 final shirt - £91,750

Geoff Hurst
30 years of hurt? Make that 48. Image: Christie's

Geoff Hurst remains the only player in history to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final, although one of the goals does remain the subject of some debate.

The shirt he wore that July day at Wembley sold for £91,750 ($134,139) at Christie's London in 2000.  

3. Pele's 1970 final shirt - £157,750

Pele shirt
Pele scored the opening goal in the 1970 final - Image: Christie's

Is Pele the greatest player ever? He scored an unprecedented 1,281 goals in 1,363 games during his career, 77 of which were in his 92 international appearances.

The shirt - complete with grass stains - was acquired by Roberto Rosato, an Italian defender who swapped his own with Pele after the 4-1 final defeat. He consigned it to Christie's London in 2002 where it sold for £157,750 ($224,952).  

2. Alan Ball's 1966 winner's medal - £164,800

Alan Ball medal
Alan Ball is one of eight of the 1966 starting XI who have auctioned their medals - Image: Christie's

Alan Ball sold his winner's medal in 2005 to raise money to support his family. It achieved £164,800 ($303,067) at Christie's London.

In these days when Premiership bench warmers will likely never need work again, it doesn't seem fair that England's finest footballers have to hawk their mementoes. To date, eight of the 11 England players who played in the final have sold their medals.

1. Jules Rimet trophy (replica) - £254,500


Jules Rimet trophy
  FIFA bought a replica Jules Rimet trophy for £254,500 in 1995

The Jules Rimet trophy was created for the first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930 and was last seen in 1983.

Over the course of its turbulent history it was hidden from the Nazis, stolen and possibly duplicated in post-war Germany, found by a dog named Pickles in a garden hedge in south London, before disappearing under mysterious circumstances in Brazil in the early 1980s.

After the London theft, shortly before the 1966 finals, the FA commissioned a bronze replica. In 1995 FIFA bought it for the princely sum of £254,500 ($425,625), under the misapprehension that it was the original. That makes it the most valuable piece of World Cup memorabilia ever sold.  

Click here to view our collection of rare World Cup and football memorabilia for sale.

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