How many English footballers are the proud owners of both a World Cup AND a European Cup Winners medals? There are only two of course, both former Manchester United players, but one of them is on the verge of selling his off. Sad? No, tragic would be a more apt description. IF, as has been suggested, a member of England’s only World Cup winning team has to sell what must be his most cherished possession for financial reasons.
But it gets worse, if one report is to be believed, only Roger Hunt and the two Charlton brothers will still be in possession of the prized medal from the 1966 team that beat West Germany 4-2 once Stiles auctions his. Anyone who knows anything about football would surely be able to recognize the famous toothless photos of Stiles. He became something of a cult hero who captivated the hearts of a nation when he produced that celebratory jig with the World Cup trophy at Wembley.
It should be remembered that the financial reward for becoming the first England football side to become World Champions was a mere £600 per player which was a pittance compared to the huge wages picked up by lesser footballers today. Stiles had a highly successful playing career adding a European Cup Final winners` medal in 1968 to his World Cup medal.
As he now approaches his twilight years and having recently had a stroke, Stiles has made the monumental decision to sell his wonderful collection of memorabilia at an auction in Edinburgh next month. Whether those precious mementos are being sold for financial gain or otherwise are really no concern of anyone except his family but it may be worth noting what Stiles had to say about the forthcoming sale of his collection which includes some 45 items like England caps, shirts and other medals.
“I want to leave them something, it’s money for the family. I’d just love for them to go where people will cherish them. It was always my intention to leave the entire collection to my children but how do you fairly divide up this sort of collection between them?
They have each selected some pieces they would like to keep for themselves. I’m as patriotic as the next Englishman and will always cherish my memories and my friendships I made in my playing days but I would rather have some control over my memorabilia and know my family will benefit.” Are those sentiments understandable? Are they so unreasonable for a 68 year old?
The items going up for auction are expected to raise anything between £300,000 and £450,000. If you happen to live within striking distance of Salford, the items will be on display at the Salford Quays Premium Inn on October 19th and 20th. Legends like Stiles and every member of that 1966 World Cup squad, would all be set for life had they been playing thirty years later, instead, nearly all of them have had to flog an invaluable England Football World Cup winning medal.
Why not try to get along and view this unique, pre auction collection before it is scattered across the globe at the impending sale. Maybe it’s too much to ask for some organization or philanthropist to purchase the lot and have them displayed at either Old Trafford or the Football Museum at Preston. OR IS IT?
Should 1966 legends like Stiles be recognised better financially?