Memories are made of these
27 September 2010
Nobby Stiles and George Best are icons of British post-war football, integral to Manchester United's first English triumph in the European Cup.
How sad, then, that both Nobby and the estate of George, who died in November 2005, are to sell off memorabilia from such distinguished careers.
The executors of George's estate are to auction memorabilia including his 1968 European Cup winners' medal, estimated to fetch around £100,000 as well as the copy he had made when he misplaced the original. The auction, to be held at Bonhams, Chester, in October has caused concern amongst some relatives who say that they are 'devastated' though they understand the items have to be sold due to the 'financial status of the estate'.
David Sadler, who starred alongside George, and Nobby, in United's Wembley victory over Benfica echoed the feelings of many over the sale.
He said that the possibility of George's medals going to another part of the world or to somebody with 'no feeling or connection to George' was very sad.
And the image of a 'toothless' Nobby dancing around with the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1966 is as timeless as Geoff Hurst's hat-trick or Bobby Moore lifting the trophy.
The announcement of the sale of George's memorabilia came shortly after Nobby Stiles made public his decision to auction off items from his football career, including his winners' medals from the 1966 World Cup , expected to fetch more than £150,000 and his European Cup medal.
Nobby said his decision was one that was made so his family could benefit, notably his three sons. The former Manchester United star said he hoped that the items went to someone who would cherish them.
Ex-professional footballers selling their memorabilia rarely makes the news, unless they are high-profile like George and Nobby but in the harsh economic climate of the early 21st century it does highlight a worrying trend. Not the selling of items that hold memories for so many, rather the ease with which some former players have been exploited into letting their treasured possession go for less than was necessary.
Both Nobby and the George Best items are being auctioned by renowned and reputable auction houses but sadly many others are not so fortunate.
Xpro offers specialist memorabilia advice via consultant Alec Bohannan. It was Alec who was charged with the task of cataloguing the extensive memorabilia collection of the PFA and it is he who will provide advice and valuation services for ex-players who decide they wish to consider selling career artefacts.
Selling anything via auction incurs fees, commission fees, valuation fees etc and the rates can vary greatly. So, Xpro decided to offer a valuation service, and through to auction, if required, at a very low rate so that any ex-player will derive the maximum financial benefit.
Any former player who would like to seek advice about disposing of football memorabilia can make contact, in the first instance via the website; www.xpro.org or via 0844 412 0401.