Tuesday, February 12, 2013
A rare and historic Norwich City shirt – signed by one of the greatest-ever Canaries squads – will be auctioned next week.
But it could cost fans between £15,000 and £20,000 to get their hands on it – because the shirt from the first season of the newly-formed Premier League in 1992-1993 season in which City finished third is part of a lot of 22 shirts coming under the hammer.
The short-sleeved Ribero shirt, featuring a Norwich & Peterborough Building Society logo and signed by Mark Robins and around 19 other Canaries stars, is among 22 shirts (one from each of the 1992-1993 Premier League teams) which will be sold in one lot at Bonhams in Chester on Wednesday, February 20. The whole collection is expected to sell for between £15,000 and £20,000.
Christopher Hayes, a sporting memorabilia specialist at auctioneers Bonhams says that it is a ‘unique’ collection.
The shirts are being sold by Peter Ellis, who was Queen Park Rangers’ chairman in 1992-1993 and who now lives near Cambridge. He organised the signing of the shirts and then had each one individually framed.
Mike Walker’s Norwich City team set a new club record when they finished third in the Premier League in 1992-1993, the Premier League’s inaugural season, and it remains the highest league position the Canaries have achieved.
That season Norwich ended up with 72 points, 12 points behind champions Manchester United and only two points behind Aston Villa and, as a result, the Canaries qualified for European football for the first time.
The imminent sale of the Canaries shirt will now re-ignite the debate: was that 1992-1993 team the greatest-ever Norwich team, or was it simply one of the greatest?
Auctioneers Bonhams have not listed the names of all the players whose signatures appear on the shirt although the signature of Mark Robins – now manager of Coventry City – is definitely there. He was the Canaries’ top league scorer that season, with 15 goals.
Other stars of that 1992-1993 Canaries team included Bryan Gunn, Ian Culverhouse, Mark Bowen, David Phillips and Chris Sutton.
The Canaries’ average league gate that season was 16,154.
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