Rugby legend Wilkinson’s shirt from first-ever England World Cup title up for auction at an estimated £60k after competition win
The shirt was worn during the first half of the match, where Wilkinson scored the first three penalty goals in the 11th, 20th and 28th minute, at a time when England were widely seen as being among the best teams in the world. In 2004, Jonny Wilkinson donated his shirt to a competition run by Boots which raised £1m for charities including BBC Children in Need and NSPCC.
Twenty years on since the momentous victory and with the Rugby World Cup around the corner, the shirt will go under the hammer online and at Northampton-based Graham Budd Auctions during a major sports memorabilia auction on the 5th and 6th September.
The vendor, who wishes to remain anonymous, commented: “I was very young when I got the call - I couldn’t believe I had really won! I was a huge fan of Jonny Wilkinson and he was every bit as genuine and generous with his time as I could have hoped when we met. The shirt hung for the rest of my childhood at the foot of my bed as inspiration - sport and sporting icons are such a help for children trying to find a positive sense of self. By selling the shirt, I hope to continue the good it’s already done.”
With over 1,200 lots consigned, the auction features other highlights, such as:
- Sandy Carmichael’s match-worn shirt from the ‘Try of the Century match’, where Barbarians faced All Blacks in 1973 (estimated £15,000-20,000)
- Djokovic’s winning racket from his first Wimbledon final (estimated £10,000-17,000)
- A Brazilian player’s 1970 FIFA World Cup Winner’s medal (estimated £10,000-15,000)
With all eyes on the upcoming Rugby World Cup, interest is already building from prospective buyers on a global stage.
David Convery, head of sporting memorabilia at Graham Budd Auctions, said: “This exceptional piece of sports memorabilia is an extraordinary memento for any dedicated fan or collector. This match-worn, first-half rugby shirt worn by rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson was also a stepping stone in kit design. Sir Clive Woodward, England’s coach at the time, tasked Nike with developing tighter-fitting rugby shirts to reduce the chances of his team being tackled. The design has now been replicated across the game at a professional level. Perhaps Jonny’s newly designed shirt helped towards England’s victory!”
The Graham Budd sports memorabilia auction is due to take place on 5th and 6th September. For more information, visit the auction page.