Ex-cricket star Ian Botham auctions off mementoes from 1981 Ashes win

More than 200 items were sold at The Oval cricket ground in south London.

Ellie Iorizzo
Sunday 16 July 2023 20:18 BST
Lord Ian Botham (Jason O’Brien/PA)
Lord Ian Botham (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Former cricketer Lord Ian Botham has sold prized souvenirs from his illustrious playing career, with mementoes from the 1981 Ashes win among the best-selling items.

As part of the collection, the former England all-rounder and leading wicket-taker until James Anderson surpassed his 383 wickets in 2015 sold the ball with which he took five Australian wickets in the 1981 Ashes.

The red ball, which was given to Botham by one of the umpires following the match at Edgbaston, sold for £20,000.

Meanwhile, an original cricket stump from the previous match at Headingley, which was taken as a souvenir after the match by Botham and has “Headingley 81” marked in ink on the base, sold for £11,000.

An inscribed Man Of The Match medal from the 1981 Headingley match was also one of the best-selling items of the collection, going under the hammer for more than double the pre-sale estimate at £19,000.

In total, Botham sold more than 200 mementoes from across his career at The Oval cricket ground in south London as part of Knights Sporting Auctions – having decided to sell the items as part of a move to downsize, it was reported.

The best-selling item from the auction was an original Manchester United short-sleeved shirt worn by Northern Irish footballer Samuel “Sammy” McIlroy, in the Charity Shield match versus Liverpool played at Wembley in August 1977.

The shirt, which was given to Botham by McIlroy and had a pre-sale estimate of £3,000, sold for £23,000.

Meanwhile, Botham’s BBC Sports Personality Of The Year lifetime achievement award from 2004 sold for £3,600.

Other lots included Botham’s Somerset 1st XI cricket cap which sold for more than the pre-sale estimate at £2,700, and a navy blue Test blazer issued to and worn by Botham during his England Test career which sold for £1,800.

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