World Cup Final shirt worn by Pele is sold for world record £157,000

John Vincent
Thursday 28 March 2002 01:00
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The yellow and green shirt worn by Pele in Brazil's 1970 World Cup Final victory smashed the world record for a football shirt when it fetched £157, 750 at Christie's in London yesterday.

It easily beat the previous record of £91,750 paid for the shirt worn by Geoff Hurst when he scored a hat-trick in England's victory over West Germany in the 1966 final.

The Brazilian shirt was was bought on the telephone by an anonymous collector who declined to reveal his nationality. He beat off fierce competition from at least seven other determined bidders.

Pele's number 10 shirt was put up for sale by Italian international Roberto Rosato, who swapped shirts with the Brazilian legend after the final whistle. Pele scored the first goal in Brazi's 4-1 triumph, which was watched by 107,000 spectators at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City. The short-sleeved shirt had been given a pre-sale estimate of £30,000-£50,000.

Christie's football specialist David Convery said: "It is undoubtedly the most important shirt in world football. Even so, we are staggered and overjoyed at the price."

At the same sale, England full-back Ray Wilson's 1966 World Cup winner's medal fetched £80,750. Wilson is the fifth 1966 veteran to part with the coveted winner's medal in recent years. Goalkeeper Gordon Banks sold his for £124,000 and, although full-back George Cohen's initially failed to find a buyer in 1998 it was later bought privately.

Bobby Moore's medal was bought by West Ham United, as part of a £1.5m private treaty sale, and Sir Geoff Hurst's medal was also bought by his former club, for an undisclosed sum believed to be around £150,000.

Wilson, 67, an undertaker since his playing days, said: "Although it is painful to part with my medal, an object full of personal and national nostalgia, I have decided to sell in order to financially provide for my family. Regardless of its ownership, it will always represent England on top of the world."

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