If you happened to catch the latest issue of the printed Stacey West, you’ll know we ran a feature called ‘memorabilia corner’, where I looked at some pieces from my own collection and offered you advice on value and such like.
It was very well received, much to my surprise. It seems the ardent Imps fans have something of a penchant for collecting odds and sods that means something, both to them and to the club. Therefore, I’ve decided to do one on here too, see if that interest equates to the internet community.
Four items from my own personal collection and some advice for you if you have similar items.
I thought I’d start with signed footballs, one of which is probably the most sentimental piece of memorabilia I own. A signed ball is very much a modern thing, perhaps they’ve appeared more in the last 20 years or so than every before, but they’re a difficult item to price and to move around.
First off, my own item. It’s pictured here and is signed by the 1989/90 squad. It was presented to my grandfather, Geoff Hutchinson, on November 11th 1989 as a gift for his 65th birthday. It was a bold idea at the time, it wasn’t often done and I remember clearly him being given it prior to use losing 3-1 against Gillingham. For the record, Bressy scored a wordly on 5 minutes but we were crap from thereon in.
When my granddad passed in 1992, he left the ball to me, a torch passed down the generations in a way. Up until his death I’d been a bit of a two-team supporter, following Luton in the top flight and Lincoln in the flesh. When this arrived into my possession, I became nothing but Lincoln.
In terms of value, there isn’t any amount of money that could buy this from me, unless it pays off my mortgage I suppose but even then I’d be pushed to let it go. It effectively symoblises my support of Lincoln, why the club means what it does to me at the very barest level.
If you have a signed ball that has come from a different source, there are all sorts of factors that affect its price. If it is a match ball, signed by the squad that played with it and with a certificate of authenticity, brilliant. That is going to be worth plenty and I’ve seen a few flying around in recent years. The FA Cup run generated a lot of signed balls and a starting bid for them would need to be £50. I’ve seen one go for several hundred at a charity auction, but good will often skews the value of a product.
However, if you have a ball with signatures you can’t make out on it from a period in time you can’t quite determined, you’re not going to get many bids. A signed programme or even shirt is easy to store, but you don’t need many footballs before they become a nuisance. That’s why they’re not as common amongst collectors at fairs and the like.
I once bought a signed Watford ball for a fiver on eBay, thinking it’d be easy to sell. Luther Blissett had signed it amongst others, but after three years of hawking it around I still hadn’t got rid.
Just be careful, you may value you ball highly but the chances are, unless there’s supporting documentation or a back story, the ceiling will be between £10 and £30.
Next up, Subbuteo. back when football on the computer was either non-existent or utter dross, this was the best way to recreate moments in your living room. Getting out the Subbuteo as a kid was a chore in my house, I’d set it all up in the lounge, stands, fans, scoreboard and whatever else I had at the time, only for Mum to call tea time before I’d flicked a player. Then, if I tried to leave it out I got into trouble.
These days, Subbuteo teams are highly collectable and I’m going to feature this one from the early nineties today. Subbuteo were clever with their marketing, this side was not only Lincoln, but Exeter and Sheffield United too. Still, whenever I played, it was Lincoln.
The box is a little tatty, although it is still boxed and the players are all immaculate, having not actually been played with. I swapped all of my Subbuteo for a MegaDrive when I was 14, so this is something I’ve collected since. I paid £4 for this, but you can expect to pay up to £10 now. I’ve seen them higher than that on eBay, but as I’ve said before eBay can be your best friend and worst enemy when trying to value your collection.
Other teams are worth a similar amount, some more than others. The ones that attract bigger money are kits that were unique. I sold a Dundee United for £15 last year which I was happy with, but some are very collectable. You can get a guide from eBay of course, if you search yours and it’s 370 on there it is probably valuable, but beware of listings that have the words ‘rare’ or ‘look’ in the title.
There are good sites for Subbuteo collectors, a search of Google would be better, rather than an auction site.
I do have an older team in my collection too, we’ll look at that and it’s value another time.
Next page – classic shirt fan-driven memorabilia.