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Tuesday, 26 March, 2002, 11:55 GMT
Pele's World Cup shirt for sale
Pele scores in 1970 World Cup Final
Pele scored in the 4-1 win over Italy
The football shirt worn by Pele when he won the World Cup has been put up for auction by the man who swapped shirts with him after the 1970 final.

The yellow number 10 Brazil shirt will be sold at Christie's auction house in London on Wednesday.

It is expected to fetch about 50,000 in the sale, which also features the 1966 World Cup winners medal given to England defender Ray Wilson.

Christie's football expert, David Convery, said Pele's shirt is one of the most important pieces of memorabilia to ever come up for sale.

Shirt swapping

Footballing legend Pele wore it as he scored the opening goal in Brazil's famous 4-1 win over Italy in Mexico.

Pele's shirt for sale
Pele's shirt still has the grass stains from the final
It is being sold by Italian player, Roberto Rosato, who exchanged shirts after the final whistle in 1970 with the man considered the best footballer ever.

Mr Convery said: "He ran to get it - not a bad investment.

"I believe Pele has been tracked down and asked what he thinks of the sale and I think he just said 'that's how things are'.

"Swapping shirts has been going on for ages, but back then there was no football market to speak of."

Mr Convery said it was on a par with the sale of the shirt worn by Sir Geoff Hurst when he scored a hat-trick for England in 1966 and which fetched 91,750 in September 2000.

Painful parting

Pele may be the greatest footballer but his shirt is not expected to be the most expensive item to buy in the auction.

Ray Wilson's World Cup medal, won after England's 4-2 defeat of West Germany at Wembley, is expected to fetch nearly double that of Pele's shirt.

Ray Wilson
Ray Wilson was given an MBE in 2000
The medal's exclusivity combined with patriotic fervour which surrounds the win has led the auctioneers to estimate it will fetch up 90,000.

Wilson said he was selling the medal to financially provide for his family.

"Although it is painful to part with my World Cup winner's medal I believe it is for the best and I hope my medal finds a worthy home.

"Regardless of its ownership, it will always represent England on top of the world."

Another of the 277 lots which will feature in the football memorabilia sale is an early European club medal which was thought lost until recently.

Lucky find

A decade ago Mike Collier bought a claret jug for just 25.

Nestling in the bottom he found two medals and kept them, only recently finding out if they were worth anything.

One turned out to be the medal awarded to Tottenham Hotspurs ' former captain Danny Blanchflower for winning the Uefa Cup in 1963 - the first time an English club won in Europe.

Mike Collier
Mr Collier bought a rare medal for just 25
Mr Convery estimates the medal will fetch up 12,000.

"I nearly flew out the window. It was just amazing," 67-year-old Mr Collier said of the moment he learned how much the medals were worth.

He said his wife had never known the medals were sitting in the silver and glass jug on a shelf in their home in Heston, west London.

"She said 'I'd have chucked them away if I'd seen them. They look like they came out of a cornflakes packet.'

"They are amazingly small for medals of such significance."

Other lots include international caps, a Victorian era Division One medal, shirts, signed footballs and programmes.

Christie's has sent out more than 1,000 catalogues worldwide and is expecting widespread interest in the auction.

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