Leeds United shirt worn by football's first black superstar set to go up for auction
The 57-year-old Leeds United top was worn by Albert Johanneson, who paved the way for the many top-flight black players in English football today.
Despite having holes and being covered in stains the long-sleeved white shirt could still sell for between £6,500 and £7,500 when it goes under the hammer.
That is because the pioneering left winger's jersey also features 23 signatures of members of the Leeds United squad at the time.
They include Barrie Wright, Jack Charlton, Willie Bell, Paul Reaney, John Giles, Paul Madeley, Terry Cooper, Billy Bremner and Norman Hunter.
The shirt will be sold by Hansons Auctioneers, in Etwall, Derbyshire, on Tuesday (Nov 14).
David Wilson-Turner, head of sports memorabilia at Hansons, said: “The shirt was match-worn by Johanneson but we’re not able to clarify exactly which game it was.
"Nevertheless, interest is strong because this is an exceptional piece of Leeds United memorabilia relating to a ground-breaking player.
“Johanneson was a South African-born professional footballer who was one of the first high-profile black men, of any nationality, to play top-flight football in England.
"He is recognised as being the first person of African heritage to play in an FA Cup final in 1965 for Leeds United.
“Today, Johanneson is hailed by many as having paved the way for the many talented black players who shine bright in the English Premier League and at every level in British football, especially those with South African roots.
“He is viewed as a courageous pioneer considering the racial discrimination he suffered from spectators.
"He endured monkey chants and bananas being thrown at him.
"George Best, who played in the same era, said, ‘Albert was quite a brave man to actually go on the pitch in the first place, wasn't he?’
“More praise came from former Portugal international Eusebio.
"He said generations of black footballers should look to Albert Johanneson and thank him for what he had achieved.”
Johanneson made 200 appearances for Leeds United, scoring 67 goals between 1961-1970 and was an integral part of the promotion-winning team of 1964.
Billy Bremner once said: "Albert was incredible - he would spin, turn and leave defenders 10 yards behind in the blink of an eye".
He finished his career at York City in 1972 where he made 26 appearances and scored three goals.
David added: “Johanneson had a tough time in English football, being one of only a handful of professional black players.
"He was recommended to Leeds United by a South African schoolteacher and joined the club in April 1961.
“By the 1963-64 season he’d established himself as a powerful attacking force. He has gone down in history as a legend of the game, a true pioneer.
"Sadly, post-football, he was dogged by ill health. He died alone aged only 55. His body lay undiscovered for a week in his flat in Leeds.”
In January 2019 Leeds United and Leeds Civic Trust unveiled a blue plaque commemorating Johanneson, his contribution to football and the city of Leeds.
The following a year a picture of Johanneson was also erected on the side of a building in the Yorkshire city.