Some headlines were made this week by the news that England ‘match shirts’, identical to the ones the players will wear at the World Cup, will go on sale at the eye-watering price of £90. However, on eBay yesterday, a Brighton & Hove Albion shirt was sold for almost ten times that figure!
Here is the 1986/87 Seagulls shirt in all its long-sleeved glory:
The seller, johnnyaxcell from Scarborough, described the item as:
Very rare Brighton shirt. Number 3 on back. Long sleeves. 1986. From very good source that shirt is match worn. Can’t prove it tho. Although replica shirts in 80s didn’t have numbers on back so no reason to think not match worn. Large size. Shirt in good condition for age. Great memorabilia piece.
He also later added:
Adidas logos are embroided on shirt. I have been told this is a good sign they are match worn originals.
On the back was number 3:
This was the shirt number of Ian Chapman when he made his debut at Birmingham in February 1987. However, it was Chris Hutchings’ shirt number mostly, as he made 36 appearances for the Seagulls in the Second Division that inglorious campaign.
On sale for seven days, the item attracted 38 bids, eventually going for an astonishing £896.99 yesterday at tea-time.
Now, I’ve dabbled in buying retro Albion shirts on eBay from time to time. By far the most I ever spent was £226 on a super-rare Adidas 1983 Brighton FA Cup Final shirt. The NOBO jersey was well beyond me financially. That said, it would have been a good investment as retro football shirts are increasing in value significantly each year.
However, I was interested in finding out whether the 1986/87 shirt was the highest fee for a Brighton shirt. And if not, which one holds that accolade? Phil Shelley of the Old Football Shirts website said this:
“I think the yellow adidas 1984/85 away shirt on my site went for more. If not the yellow one then one of the blue ones. There were two or three that were listed at the same time a couple of years ago. Top one went for more than £900, if I remember correctly.
“Also, Peter Ward’s Bukta shirt, as worn in the Blackpool match in April 1978, went for over £1,000 at an auction at Withdean stadium.
“That said, it was a mighty impressive figure the NOBO one went for.”
Yes. Not a bad price for a relegation season shirt with a dubious sponsor!