[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 21 May, 2005, 01:42 GMT 02:42 UK
Birmingham City boss buys FA Cup
David Gold
David Gold bought the trophy for the 'nation's football fans'
The oldest surviving FA Cup, auctioned for a record-breaking 478,000, was bought by the millionaire chairman of Birmingham City FC, David Gold.

He made the successful bid by telephone on Thursday, but his identity was not revealed at the time.

Mr Gold, 68, who owns lingerie chain Ann Summers, said he bought the item to stop it going overseas.

"The Germans might have won more World Cups than us but I couldn't stand by and let them win the FA Cup as well."

The trophy, one of four produced for the FA Cup competition since it began in 1871, is the only one to have come up for sale.

"This is surely one of the country's most important items of sporting heritage and seemingly no-one was prepared to do anything about keeping the cup in the country," Mr Gold said.

The FA Cup
The cup is the most expensive piece of sporting memorabilia

"Neither the government nor the governing body of football seemed prepared to do anything proactive about it, which I think is outrageous, so I felt compelled to do something myself."

Mr Gold, 68, said he had bought the trophy on "behalf of the nation's football fans" and it will be displayed at St Andrew's stadium throughout next season.

"I was in the lucky position of being able to preserve a historic piece of British sporting memorabilia," Mr Gold said, adding that he wanted to give football fans the chance to see "this beautiful and historic piece of silverware for themselves".

Record breaker

The auction price made the FA Cup the world's most expensive piece of football memorabilia.

The sale, at Christie's in London, beat the previous record of 254,000, paid for the Jules Rimet World Cup in 1997.

A premium took the actual price of the silver cup, presented to winning teams from 1896 to 1910, from 420,000 to 478,400.

The trophy was made as a replacement for the first cup, which was stolen from a shop window and is thought to have been melted down.

It was replaced by the FA in 1909 after holders Manchester United made a replica and the body realised it did not own the copyright.

The obsolete cup was then given to Lord Kinnaird to mark his presidency of the FA for more than two decades.


SEE ALSO:
1966 World Cup medals 'for sale'
31 Jan 98 |  Football


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific