Former Manchester United midfielder Stiles has said: “I’m as patriotic as the next Englishman and will always cherish my memories and the friendships I made in my playing days, but at this stage of my life I would rather have some control over the distribution of my memorabilia and know my family will benefit.”
When his medal is sold at auction next month only Roger Hunt and Bobby and Jack Charlton will still possess a medal from the 1966 team that beat West Germany 4-2 at Wembley.
Stiles, 68, who had a stroke in June, said: “It was always my intention to leave the entire collection to my children. But I have three sons – how do you fairly divide up this sort of collection between them? They have each selected some pieces they would like to keep for themselves.”
On auction (amongst others) will be his 1966 medal (expected to fetch between £100,000 and £150,000) and his 1968 European Cup medal (estimate £20,000 – £30,000).
It’s a sorry state of affairs when a player of England’s only World Cup winning team has to sell his most prized possession for financial reasons. Had Stiles been playing today he’d probably be earning £100k a week.
The squad of players that flew to South Africa a few months ago were appalling. Collectively they would be earning well over a million pounds a week.
Rather than pretending to be distraught for the press or making excuses as to why nothing went right, why don’t those players donate a week’s wages to the squad of ’66?
That World Cup squad would all be set up for life had they been playing thirty years later, instead nearly all of them have had to flog a (very rare) English World Cup winning medal.
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