Trophy drought pushes Newcastle United memorabilia prices up

Fairs Cup items auction price boost in wake of Newcastle silverware drought

The collection of pre-First World War North East football postcards, including the Sunderland Black Cat image.
The collection of pre-First World War North East football postcards, including the Sunderland Black Cat image.

The major trophy famine suffered by Newcastle United is pushing up auction prices for items from the last time the club won significant silverware.

That was the Fairs Cup final when United beat Hungarians Ujpesti Dozsa.

Today, a ticket for the first leg of the final at St James’ Park on May 29, 1969, will be sold by Graham Budd auctions in London.

The ticket could fetch up to £400 and the lack of trophies since 1969 has added to the rarity value.

Graham Budd said: “ It has been a long time since Newcastle won a trophy and that adds to the value of items and to their collectability.

The ticket for auction for Newcastle's 1969 Fairs Cup final first leg match
The ticket for auction for Newcastle's 1969 Fairs Cup final first leg match
 

“The ticket is rare in the sense that it had to be surrendered in its entirety at the ground’s turnstiles to gain admission.

“Significantly this was the last occasion that Newcastle won a major trophy.”

The ticket is for the Popular side of the ground, which is now occupied by the East Stand.

Also in the auction is another ticket for the Newcastle United v Aston Villa FA Cup final in 1924, which is rated at £350-£450.

And if many Newcastle fans are currently unhappy after a turgid season, they were also down in the dumps in 1905.

It was a common practice in the early years of the last century for supporters to send mock In Memoriam cards to the fans of rival clubs who had been beaten in big games, such as the FA Cup,

In 1905 Newcastle lost 2-0 to Aston Villa in the FA Cup Final at Crystal Palace - a jinxed venue for United - in front of a crowd of 101, 117, which was the biggest ever for a game involving the Magpies.

In the auction is a mourning card from Villa fans on Newcastle’s defeat.

“These cards were a way of winding up opponents,” said Graham.

The ticket for auction for Newcastle's 1969 Fairs Cup final first leg match
The collection of pre-First World War North East football postcards
 

The Villa card includes the verse:

“The Northerners came down like the wolf on the fold,

Their pockets o’erflowing with good Midlands gold,

But we crumpled them up in a fiercely-fought battle,

And without the Cup they went back to Newcastle.”

After the game fed-up black and white supporters even produced their own mourning card titled In Doleful Memory of Newcastle United.

The card, which will also be sold today, carries the lines:

“Boldly to the fray we went.

On honour, fame and victory bent,

But with sad hearts we came away,

For the Cup we had lost today.

Our opponents they were far too good,

In fact we stood like logs of wood.”

The sale also includes a very early reference to the Black Cat link with Sunderland.

A pre-First World War postcard features a Sunderland mascot black cat with a red and white ribbon attached to its collar.

It was produced by photographer W A Culshaw, of High Street West in Sunderland.

In the same batch of pre-war postcards is a scene from a 1913 game between Sunderland and Brodit, believed to be an Eastern European side, and two card pictures of Newcastle’s team which won the 1904-05 league championship.

Also for sale at £600-£800 is the Newcastle United shirt worn by French player Didier Domi in the 1999 FA Cup final which the Magpies lost 2-0 to the treble-winning Manchester United.

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Mark Douglas
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