Stoke & Staffordshire

Sir Stanley Matthews's first contract sells for £4,100

Sir Stanley Matthews in 1963 Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir Stanley gained 54 England caps before retiring in 1965, aged 50.

The first contract signed by football legend Sir Stanley Matthews has sold at auction for more than £4,000.

The contract, which shows Sir Stanley's wages started at £5 a week for his home team Stoke City FC in 1932, was expected to sell between £1,000 and £1,500.

Charles Hanson, of Hansons Auctioneers, said "massive interest" led to a "real humdinger" of a bidding battle.

A second contract, signed by Sir Stanley in 1935, sold for £3,100.

Image copyright Douglas Miller
Image caption Sir Stanley rejoined Stoke City in 1961 and played his last game in 1965, five days after his 50th birthday

Mr Hanson said this also greatly exceeded its estimated price of £600 to £800.

The second contract showed Sir Stanley's wages at Stoke had risen to £7 a week by the latter part of 1935 and £8 if he made it into the first team.

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This was sold to a bidder at the auction in Etwall, Derbyshire, whose father was a "life-long Stoke fan", Mr Hanson said.

Image copyright Hansons
Image caption Sir Stanley's first contract stated a £10 signing-on fee in 1932

The first contract was sold to an online bidder for £4,100.

"There were five people on the phones, people online as well as others bidding in the room," Mr Hanson said.

Both contracts were sold by three Stoke brothers who found the items "gathering dust in a drawer for nearly 50 years".

David, 53, Andy, 56, and Graham Lockett, 61, said their father Les took ownership of the contracts in exchange for a debt in the 1960s.

Sir Stanley, born in Hanley on 1 February 1915, played almost 700 games for Stoke and Blackpool and gained 54 England caps before retiring in 1965, aged 50.

He died in 2000, aged 85.

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