A cricket bat that Sir Geoffrey Boycott used to score the 100th first-class century of his career has been sold for £43,750 ($58,450/€49,200) at an auction held by Christie’s London.
It was one of 130 lots put up for sale by the former England captain which raised a total of £207,625 ($277,369/€233,559)
Sir Geoffrey, one of England’s finest opening batsmen, reached the historic milestone of 100 100s during a Test match in 1977 against Australia at Headlingley, the home ground in Leeds of the country he captained, Yorkshire.
It was Sir Geoffrey’s first Test match for England following a three-year absence and he eventually scored 191 as England won by an innings to clinch the Ashes.
Christie’s had estimated that the bat would fetch between £30,000 ($40,000/€34,000) and £50,000 ($67,000/€56,000) and it fulfilled expectations.
Several items sold for more than their estimate in the three-week auction.
These included a stump from the 1981 Headingley Test, when England beat Australia after following on thanks to the heroics of Sir Ian Botham and Bob Willis.
That raised £8,125 ($10,850/€9,136) when the top estimate had been £6,000 ($8,000/€6,750)
Sir Geoffrey’s contribution to the miracle was an easily forgotten second-innings 46 in three-and-a-half hours.
Other items that did better than predicted included a Test cap given to Sir Geoffrey by West Indies batting legend Sir Vivian Richards in 1980, which was expected to fetch up to £8,000 ($10.500/€9,000) but sold for £10,625 ($14,185/€11,945).
A job lot of Sir Geoffrey’s own Test caps, including a ceremonial cap embroidered with “422/1” to represent his cap numbers in Test and one day cricket, realised £11,250 ($15,000/€12,650) significantly above the estimate of between £2,000 ($2,700/€2,250) and £3,000 ($4,000/€3,375).
Sir Geoffrey, who turned 80 last month, had claimed the reason he was selling the items was because of lack of space and he wanted cricket fans to be able to share in his memories.
"Knowing that these items have gone to people who will treasure them and enjoy them as much I have over the years, is all I could have hoped for," he said.
"The fact that they can now be seen in the light of day instead of being in boxes in my attic is fantastic.
"I am humbled by the interest shown and wish to thank all those people who bid and those who bought a small piece of sporting history in the Christie's auction."
Dominic Thurlow-Wood, Christies' head of sale, was delighted with the outcome of the auction.
"The great esteem in which Sir Geoffrey Boycott is held, not only by cricketing fans who witnessed his sporting prowess in action on the field, but by subsequent generations of supporters, ensures that these items will be coveted for years to come," he said.
"It has been a great pleasure to work with such a unique collection."