World cup glory programme under auction

A PIECE of English football history will be sold to the highest bidder when a 1966 World Cup final programme signed by Sir Alf Ramsey goes under the hammer.

A PIECE of English football history will be sold to the highest bidder when a 1966 World Cup final programme signed by Sir Alf Ramsey goes under the hammer.

The precious lot, which cost only half a crown new, is expected to fetch up to �2,500 when it appears at auction at Sotheby's on May 12.

It is a particularly valuable programme because Sir Alf not only signed it but also added the England players' names and their squad numbers.

Auctioneer Graham Budd said: “It is unusual and valuable because the team line up page as printed in the 1966 World Cup final programme was left blank. When the teams were announced to the crowd at Wembley, fans filled in the names themselves.

“The programme sent by a fan to Sir Alf for his signature was still blank. He then took it upon himself not just to sign the programme but complete the line up he had chosen that day, along with their squad numbers.

“The programme is also autographed by the World Cup winning team players. Without autographs, the programme would be worth about �100 in good condition.”

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Sir Alf was a former Co-op delivery boy who, despite leaving school at 14, went on to steer England to World Cup glory.

His managerial career began at Ipswich in 1955, transforming Town from a mediocre Third Division South side to First Division champions in only six years.

He was appointed England manager in October, 1962. Four years later, Sir Alf enjoyed his - and the Three Lion's - greatest moment when his team beat West Germany 4-2 in the World Cup final at Wembley.

Sir Alf was knighted the following year, in 1967.

Although born in Dagenham, Sir Alf lived in Ipswich after his retirement and died in the town, aged 79, on April 28, 1999. Next Tuesday will mark the tenth anniversary of his death.

The 1966 World Cup final programme will be sold by Graham Budd Auctions at Sotheby's in New Bond Street, London.

Do you remember England's World Cup victory? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Did you know?

The current world record for a football programme is �21,850, the sum paid at Graham Budd Auctions in London in May 2006 for an 1889 Wolves versus Preston FA Cup final programme.

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