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17th Jan 2018
Ernie Blenkinsop football cap 1

An England cap presented to pre-war Sheffield Wednesday legend Ernie Blenkinsop is to go under the hammer at an auction in Norfolk later this month – along with other Blenkinsop-related memorabilia, including his 1958/59 club season ticket, a signed photograph, and a first edition of Keith Farnsworth’s 1987 book ‘Sheffield Wednesday, A Complete Record 1867-1987’.

The cap was the eighth of 26 England caps won between 1928 and 1933 by Blenkinsop, a stylish and ice-cool left back whose England record was unsurpassed by a Wednesday player until he was overtaken by Ron Springett 30 years later.  It was awarded to him for a game against Spain in Madrid on 15th May 1929.

As well as his 26 England appearances, five as captain, Blenkinsop made 424 appearances for Sheffield Wednesday between 1923 and 1934, and was a key figure in the club’s rise from the depths of the Second Division to First Division champions in the 1928-29 and 1929-30 seasons.  He is widely regarded as the greatest left back ever to have played for the club.

“This is a rare opportunity to get hold of a cap worn by one of the 20th century’s football greats,” said Robert Henshilwood, head of books and ephemera at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers in Norfolk, where the cap and associated memorabilia will go under the hammer on Friday 26th January.

“Caps awarded to England legends come to auction very infrequently, and we are expecting strong interest from England and Sheffield Wednesday fans.”

Ernie Blenkinsop started his professional career at Hull City, who signed him for £100 and a reputed 80 pints of beer.  He was bought by Sheffield Wednesday in January 1923 and made 424 appearances for the club over the subsequent 11 years, before being sold to Liverpool for £6,500.  After retiring from football he returned to Sheffield, eventually owning the Sportsman pub in Crosspool, and becoming a season ticket holder at Sheffield Wednesday.  He died in 1969, aged 67.

The England cap, Sheffield Wednesday 1958/59 season ticket, signed photograph and first edition book go on sale at Keys Fine art Auctioneers on Friday 26th January, with a pre-sale estimate for the lot of £700-£1,000.  Bids can also be made live online at www.the-saleroom.com.  More details at www.keysauctions.co.uk