A bottle of Champagne produced for England's 1966 World Cup team comes under the hammer at Sotheby's London on 17 May.
The bottle – one of a case of Heidsieck Dry Monopole produced specifically for Alf Ramsey’s 1966 Wembley squad – was the only one not to be drunk after the team’s legendary 4-2 victory against West Germany. After the team had left the ground, Ramsey presented the bottle to the dressing room attendant, Jim Green.
Thirty-five years later, with the 2002 World Cup looming, Sotheby’s estimate the Champagne – its neck-label marked ‘Reserved for England’ – will fetch between £1,000 and £1,500 (€1,600-2,400).
It has obviously led a charmed life. Green’s son recalls how it was almost poured down the sink by his sister when they were clearing their father’s house shortly after his death last year.
‘She found the bottle in a cabinet and assumed it was out of date. Fortunately my nephew noticed the date and name on the label,’ he told Sotheby’s.
Also in the Jim Green collection is a telegram from England captain Bobby Moore’s parents. Postmarked 30 July 1966 it reads, ‘Good luck for Hat Trick, Mum and Dad’, referring to Moore’s previous wins at Wembley with West Ham United – the 1964 FA Cup and the 1965 European Cup Winner’s Cup.
Other lots include a 1966 World Cup programme autographed by all 11 players, and memorabilia relating to more recent heroes such as David Beckham, Michael Owen and Paul Gascoigne.
Written by Adam Lechmere7 May 2002