Sporting history is a thriving market for collectors...

Our antiques expert Allan Blackburn looks at how sporting memorabilia can help collectors achieve their goals!
This Liverpool team signed football is from 1982This Liverpool team signed football is from 1982
This Liverpool team signed football is from 1982

The year might yet be young, but I keep getting unwelcome reminders that I’m not! Unbelievably, 50 years ago this week David Vine introduced the first edition of the BBC’s popular sports quiz, ‘Question of Sport’.

Its longevity illustrates our enduring love for sport, especially our national game: football. So as the New Year transfer window comes to a close, let’s kick about some top tips for premier league football collectables.

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With items to suit all budgets, it’s a fun way for young fans to start collecting, from relatively expensive signed shirts and photographs to match programmes and a huge range of secondary items including coin collections, posters, badges, patches, key rings, cards and stickers.

The ultimate high-profile and patriotic football collectables relate to England’s sole 1966 World Cup triumph. Relatively plentiful programmes from the final sell for up to £100, but rarer surviving ticket stubs fetch more than double that.

In 2000, hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst sold his England shirt for £91,750. In 2012 it was sold privately for an undisclosed sum, estimated at between £500,000 and £2.3 million!

Look for items like match worn shirts. Those which are reliably authenticated by the player or their club will attract a higher price.

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Signed items are always popular. Hottest modern footballing autographs include Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo. And don’t be restricted to shirts and footballs: a 1970 Panini album signed by Pelé sold for over £10,000.

We were excited to get this Liverpool team signed football in the centre recently; it’s kept us all busy deciphering all the signatures! We know it’s from 1982, and our research has valued it at around £100. You might think it looks grubby, but that illustrates an important point.

Lots of collectables might not be in the condition you desire, but pause before making merry with the Mr Muscle on those muddy football boots. Cleaning may remove exactly what adds value: irreplaceable autographs, one-off doodles and notes.

The most valuable football collectable is the oldest known rules book, produced in 1857 by the world’s oldest football club, Sheffield FC. In 2011, Sotheby’s auctioned it for £881,250!