Northamptonshire man's copy of first ever Panini World Cup sticker album makes £2,000 at auction

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A UK-based collector outbid interest from across Europe

A Northamptonshire man’s copy of the first ever Panini World Cup sticker album from Mexico 1970 sold for £2,000 at an auction yesterday (Tuesday).

Andrew Knott, from Arthingworth, received the already-complete album as a 12th birthday from his auntie who had it printed for him at her workplace, Thorpe and Porter, its Leicestershire-based distributor.

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The rare album spent years sitting in his garage before 65-year-old Andrew decided to sell it at Market Harborough auctioneers Gildings.

Andrew Knott with the albumAndrew Knott with the album
Andrew Knott with the album

Only two stickers, featuring the Jules Rimet Trophy and Moroccan Football Federation badge, were lost over the 53 years it was in storage. The album, which features a combination of self-adhesive stickers and cards that needed to be glued in, was sold with only minor wear and tear to the front cover and with all the cards and stickers positioned precisely, thanks to it being presented already complete.

It went under the hammer for £2,000 (£2,400 inclusive of charges), beating its pre-sale estimate of £1,200 to £1,800, to a UK-based collector after interest from across Europe.

Andrew said: “As it was such a thoughtful and unusual present from my aunt all those years ago, I’ve kept it ever since.

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“But after over half a century in my possession it was time to part with it, and it was great to be in the room to see it go to a new home where it will be appreciated for years to come.”

The England page in the album, featuring the likes of Bobby MooreThe England page in the album, featuring the likes of Bobby Moore
The England page in the album, featuring the likes of Bobby Moore

The 1970 World Cup saw England arrive in Mexico as world champions. However, the magic of 1966 was not to be repeated, with England losing to Germany 3-2 in the quarter finals and not returning to the competition until 1982.

The album features legends of English football, including Bobby Moore, Gordon Banks, Bobby and Jack Charlton and international stars such as Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, Portugal’s Eusébio and Pelé from 1970’s winning team, Brazil.

Gildings director Will Gilding said: “As an example of the debut World Cup album that started the enduring worldwide craze of Panini football sticker collecting, it was no surprise to see the huge levels of interest this special piece of memorabilia attracted at the auction.

“In the end, a UK-based collector managed to outbid interest from Belgium, Italy, Portugal and other parts of the UK to secure it.”