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Football Bigline
The collection contains objects varying from an oil painting dated 1830, thought to be one of the oldest paintings of its kind to the Stanley Matthews kit worn in the 1953 FA Cup Final. Known as the Matthews’ Final; it was incidently the first time Queen Elizabeth had ever attended a football match. The first World Cup Final between Argentina and Uruguay which was controversial because the teams couldn’t agree on which ball to play with, so it was decided that they play each with their own ball for one half. We have the Uruguayan ball played in the second half where they went on to win 4-2. The Bobby Moore shirt which he so famously swapped with Pele after the 1970 World Cup group match in Mexico.....plus many more items.
Cricket Bigline
The museum contains unique items which have enormous historic significance; Douglas Jardine’s Harlequin cap worn during the Bodyline series of 1932/33 to Australia when the England team reverted to leg theory bowling to restrict the danger of Don Bradman. From the same Tour, the ball hit for six by Eddie Paynter to secure the series win at Adelaide. For art enthusiasts there is the life-sized painting of WG Grace by Ernest Breun which was the only item to have been actually named in his Last Will and Testament. From a larger than life character to another; the hero of the 1981 Headingly Test, we have have in the collection the bat used by Ian Botham when he scored his 149 not out against Australia. Everybody over a certain age will remember where they were that eventful day and the bizarre nature of Australia's capitualtion on the final day when Bod Willis and Co. reduced them to 111 all out.
Rugby Bigline
An ever evolving sport from where William Webb Ellis at Rugby School drew up the rules of the game a rare watercolour, ‘The Origins of Rugby’ 1890, is believed to be the oldest known painting of a game of rugby. The painting depicts a game of rugby outside the wall at Rugby School where a variation of the game took place but note the size and shape of the ball. The collection is also proud to have acquired Jason Robinson’s Rugby League and Union shirts from his World cup finals. He still remains the only player to have done so and is the only England player to have scored a try in a final. From the first ever tour of the Springboks tour of 1906/7 we have the Carolin Papers, a handwritten diary and photographic album of his memories of the tour. The term Springbok was adopted on this tour and the image remains an important one for obvious reasons. One must not forget that these tourists were at war with each other three years before in the Boer War. The 1905 All Black shirt for their first ever tour to the UK; take a look at the shirt.
Olympics and Other Sports Bigline
Who would have thought that the megaphone and top hat used by the official starter of the London 1908 Olympics athletic events could have survived all these years? They did and they are both in remarkably good condition. There is a fine collection of Olympic torches and if anybody has the torch from the 1952 Helsinki Olympics we would love to hear from them as the torch is very rare! William Robinson’s ‘A Welsh Victory’ remains one of the most important boxing paintings of all time and indeed it was bought at auction last year for £144,000 setting a world record for a boxing artefact. It is a very important painting dated 1919; it depicts the lightweight world title fight which took place at the National Sporting Club when Jimmy Wilde outpointed the American, and the then current world champion, Joe Lynch. At the end, the Prince of Wales, the ill fated Edward VIII, entered the ring to congratulate the tiny Welshman. It was the first time Royalty entered a boxing ring.
 
 
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The Priory Collection
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