We’ve sold our own shirt short

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

TWO MIL­LION quid? Are you kid­ding me? Two mil­lion quid for Geoff Hurst’s World Cup win­ning shirt? I know I love foot­ball but … I won­der how much we could have got for the Spurs shirt our Alex wore when he took part in a half-time shoot-out at White Hart Lane and belted a shot past a bloke dressed as a cock­erel? He’s just given it away to a young friend who’d been to his first match. Con­sid­er­ing Spurs’ lat­est fund-rais­ing auc­tion is ask­ing £20 as a start­ing bid for a signed photo of the Ja­panese player Kaza­yuki Toda, who ap­par­ently played four for­get­table games in 2003, I should think we could have got at least 50 quid for Alex’s shirt. What a waste. And yet the man who owns the shirt in which Sir Geoff scored his “They think it’s all over …” hat-trick at Wem­b­ley in 1966 is ex­pect­ing £2.3 mil­lion for it when it goes on sale at Har­rods next month. Maybe Mo­hammed Al Fayed, who owns Ful­ham and has just sold Har­rods for a re­puted £1.5 bil­lion, will stump up the small change. If you were feel­ing mean, I guess you could play the shirts game, bear­ing in mind that Sir Geoff orig­i­nally sold his shirt for £91,000 in 1998: Bobby Charl­ton £1.5 mil­lion, Gary Lineker £700,000, Terry Fen­wick £17.50 … Bizarrely, the ball with which Sir Geoff scored was taken by the Ger­man striker Hel­mut Haller, who handed it back into Bri­tish own­er­ship, 30 years of hurt later. Talk­ing of balls, hav­ing sur­vived the no­to­ri­ous Wem­b­ley pitch, Eng­land are ap­par­ently hav­ing trou­ble ad­just­ing to the per­for­mance of the newly-de­vel­oped adi­das ‘Jab­u­lani’ ball which will be used in South Africa. Why Fifa feels it nec­es­sary to muck about with the most ba­sic piece of equip­ment for the sport’s most im­por­tant tour­na­ment is baf­fling, un­less it has some­thing to do with rak­ing in spon­sor­ship. Once we mar­velled at the high-al­ti­tude ball-bend­ing ex­ploits of Rivelino. With the glo­ri­fied beach-balls they’re us­ing these days, even Leighton Baines can swerve in a shot on a wet Wed­nes­day at Good­i­son Park.

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