A football believed to have been used in the Blackpool’s landmark 1953 FA Cup final to net a winning hat-trick has sold at auction for £5,250.
The brown leather ball which featured in Blackpool’s 4-3 comeback victory against Bolton Wanderers at Wembley went under the hammer on Thursday.
It went to a lifelong Blackpool fan, who wished to remain anonymous but expressed a wish to loan the historic sporting artefact to museums.
The match saw Stan Mortensen score a hat-trick with the help of Stanley Matthews, in a game nicknamed the Matthews Final because of his virtuoso display.
The game remains the only Wembley FA Cup final to feature a hat-trick.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire, said the ball had edged price expectations.
He added: “A bit of money for old leather.
“We had three phone bidders vying to buy this ball as well as bidders online and I was delighted to see it sell just above its top estimate of £3,000-£5,000.
“It’s been incredible to handle a football used in the famous Matthews FA Cup final.
“The ball was given to Stan Mortensen at the end of a game which was watched by 100,000 fans on May 2 1953.
“Despite Bolton going 3-1 up, Blackpool came back to win 4-3.”
Giving a bit of history to the footballing item, Mr Hanson said: “The brown leather, 18-panel football was in a modern style for the period and would only have been used for internationals and finals.
“Back then, most footballs were of the cheaper laced variety.
“We expected the football to create worldwide interest and it did.”
The ball was put up for auction by 57-year-old IT business analyst Chris Cook, from Dorking, Surrey, who said he was “delighted” a Blackpool fan had landed the ball.
It had originally been donated to an FA charity raffle - possibly the Stan Mortensen tribute dinner, held at Blackpool’s Savoy Hotel in November 1989.
In 2010, Matthews’s cup final boots were auctioned at Bonhams in Chester for £38,400, and in 2014 his winners’ medal was sold for £220,000.