1904-1905 Sheffield Wednesday shirt sells at auction for £5,000

Football shirts are simply superb, we all know that. They not only represent where we’re from and where our allegiances lie, but they also present a snapshot in time. Shirts are wearable capsules of those months September to May where focusses shift around stadiums up and down the country.

Such is the significance of a football shirt, that through the years and passing decades, strips can take on an evolution from item of clothing to artefact and truly reflect what football and style choices were like.

This was the case recently, when a Sheffield Wednesday shirt from way back in the 1904-05 season sold at auction. At first glance, the shirt might strike an unassuming viewer as a pyjama shirt, yet this buttoned long sleeve with the iconic Wednesday stripes had people bidding up to £5,000. From the images, it can be seen that for a match worn shirt that’s over 118 years old – the quality is staggering.

The new owner will likely celebrate its marvellous condition as a treasured framed piece. For the family who sold it, that sentiment will be appreciated – as the shirt from the Cole Brothers Sheffield department store belonged to Joe Ryalls. Outside right Ryalls saw outings for ‘The Wednesday’ between 1901 and ‘05 before a number of moves saw him play for Barnsley, Fulham, Rotherham, Brentford, Nottingham Forest, and Chesterfield as he yo-yo’d his way up and down the country.

Graham Budd auctions were responsible for the sale, claiming that the shirt was as valuable a lot as another iconic shirt – a signed Pele shirt from 1964.

“The shirt is in remarkable overall condition with some age related marks to front and back, which also has two minor repairs to tears, and the Cole Brothers label is sewn into the collar with the letters and border picked out in red.”

Bids started at £3,600 on the 5th of December before the closing bid of £5,000. This was actually estimated as between £7,000 – £10,000.


Most Popular

To Top