What a ‘lot’ we got! Some great moments in sporting history came under the hammer at Blackpool Carers Centre’s new base Beaverbrooks House on Newton Drive.
Sporting punters took home Beckham, Busby and Blackpool FC stars in the form of rare pictures, programmes, ticket stubs, badges, keys, photographs, autographs, even vintage Subbuteo players – and a hat from the legendary Manchester Utd European Cup triumph in the Nou Camp, Barcelona.
The auction was organised in support of the charity’s annual three month cash quest for carers in which rival teams from corporate, community, carers and staff ranks, raise as much money as possible from a refundable £50 starter stake in support of the resort’s young carers champions.
Blackpool sports memorabilia collector Rob Frowen, a carer himself, put 250 lots under the hammer including cherished mementos from cricket, golf, rugby, snooker, darts, swimming, wrestling, even the Highland Games.
But it was football which kicked off the most frenzied bids.
Eric Cantona, George Best and Jimmy Armfield were up for grabs. El Beatle Bestie just bested Bloomfield Road favourite Brett Ormerod – with a Best autograph going for £22.
A programme of the Blackpool V Cardiff City match at Wembley Stadium in May 2010 which clinched Blackpool’s promotion to the Premiership went for £20– signed by the player whose goal made the score 3-2 to the Seasiders, Ormerod.
A limited edition copy of Dixie Dean’s first Everton medal (a runners-up medal for the Blackpool Hospital Cup competition in 1926) went for £40.
And a Blackpool FC souvenir programme published in 1951 for Pool fans ahead of the club’s FA Cup Final against Newcastle United – donated to the auction by a 91 year old St Annes man –raised £50 as a souvenir of a very special season in which Blackpool not only reached the cup final but finished third in division one.
Auctioneer Rob’s team became the one to beat by young carers encouraging fundraisers to ‘walk a mile in their shoes’ and youth club organisers running a car boot sale and quiz at the Albion, Bispham.
Carer Rob admitted: “I’m pleased with the way it went and it also means I’ve cleared some space at home, too.
“Very few items didn’t fetch the reserve price. And no buyers’ premiums were added either which makes it all the more attractive to successful bidders.”
Those particularly delighted with their spoils included Terry Hyde of Blackpool who’s collected Blackpool memorabilia for about 40 years since his very first programme at Bloomfield Road at 10 years old.
His £95 investment bagged some vintage Subbuteo along with other items.
Husband and wife team David and Debbie Edwards left with two boxes full of rarities and curiosities – but were most delighted with a colour canvas depicting the holding aloft of the 2010 play-off trophy, the painting signed in silver ink by Brett Ormerod.
“We’ve got some superb Christmas presents here,” said Debbie.
But Man of the Match was Nigel Tomlinson of Anchorsholme who invested £850 in countless programmes and artefacts including a coveted programme from the 1953 Blackpool-Bolton FA Cup Final featuring the magic of the two Stans, Mortensen and Matthews, and a picture montage of five great Magpies matches among more.
He said: “I’m just a collector, have been since saving my first programme from a Boxing Day match while in the army.”
The total raised by the auction, along with events organised by other teams competing in this year’s cash quest for carers, will be announced on October 14 – at a special ‘housewarming’ breakfast to celebrate the end of the quest and the charity’s move to Beaverbrooks House – recently made over by BBC’s DIY SOS team and volunteers.
Meantime, The Big One is yet to come- when Tricia Ellis and Avril Garrow, both members of Blackpool’s Goal-den Girls, a squad of women in their 50s who take on walking and running challenges, scale the 235ft summit of The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach on Friday night.
Three of the charity’s carers Joanne Fletcher, Daniel Wilkinson and young carers’ champion Liam Quinn, 16, are also in the running for The Gazette’s Best of Health Carer of the Year award on Thursday night.