A Derbyshire auctioneer estimates a shirt made for the world’s greatest footballer’s last international game could fetch between £20,000-£30,000.
Hansons, which is based in Etwall, between Derby and Burton, is auctioning off the last Brazil team shirt prepared for Pelé.
The three-times World Cup winner, arguably the greatest player of all time, died in Sao Paulo on Thursday, December 30. Millions mourned his loss and FIFA even invited every country in the world to name a stadium in his honour.
Pelé played 92 games and scored 77 goals for Brazil, making him their joint top goal-scorer, and was in the teams which won the 1958, 62 and 70 World Cups.
The shirt – in the traditional yellow and green of Brazil – was made for his last international match in Rio on July 18, 1971, which ended in a 2-2 draw against Yugoslavia.
Two shirts were prepared for the game – the long sleeve one now going under the hammer, and a short sleeved shirt which he wore on the day.
After the match he gifted the spare number 10 shirt to the Brazil team masseur – known as Nocaute (or Knockout) Jack – who had been a key part of the backroom staff.
The unworn shirt – complete with a letter of authenticity from the masseur’s daughter – will be offered by Hansons Auctioneers on February 15, estimate £20,000-£30,000.
Its current owner, a 33-year-old restaurant manager from Shropshire, decided to sell after seeing the phenomenal outpouring of love following the player’s death.
The anonymous seller said: “It’s been an amazing piece of football memorabilia to be custodian of. I bought it from a private collector in 2020. I now feel it deserves a bigger stage, perhaps back home in Brazil.
“As well as being Pelé’s final Brazil shirt, it honours Nocaute Jack’s contribution to Brazilian football and his friendship with Pelé.
“They must have had a strong relationship, otherwise I doubt Pelé would have given him such a significant shirt.”
Hansons was set up in 2005 by Charles Hanson, who is a regular face on the BBC's Bargain Hunt, Antiques Road Trip and Flog it.
It launched a London operation in 2018 and a Staffordshire country house saleroom in 2019. An Oxfordshire location in Banbury followed in 2020. All four offer free antiques, collectables and jewellery valuations and auctions.
As well as fine art and antiques & collectors auctions, Hansons offers a specialist sales covering things such as medals and militaria, toys, music memorabilia, coins, stamps, watches, wines and spirits.
The Pelé will be included in a football and sports memorabilia auction.
Charles Hanson said: “Pelé is the greatest footballer the world has ever known and his final shirt from his final game for Brazil deserves a fitting resting place, preferably on public view, perhaps in a sports museum.
“It represents the end of an era for an illustrious player. It also marks the enormous contribution Pelé made to his national team and football as a whole. He was adored by millions and inspired millions.”