West Ham co-owner David Gold has pocketed nearly £760,000 after selling the oldest-surviving FA Cup at auction on Tuesday.
Mystery surrounds the buyer, who chose to remain anonymous, amid fears the cup could now disappear abroad.
The trophy, presented to the winners of the competition between 1896 and 1910, was sold at Bonhams in London on Tuesday. It reportedly cost just £25 to make but was expected to fetch up to £900,000. After ‘a lot of interest and some spirited bidding,’ it eventually sold for £759,062.
David Gold sold the oldest-surviving FA Cup at auction in London on Tuesday for £759,062
That means Gold has made close to £300,000 profit on the cup which he bought at auction in 2005 for £478,000 while chairman of Birmingham City.
At the time he claimed he was doing the nation a favour. Whether the 84-year-old will pump the profits into West Ham remain unclear.
The trophy is an extraordinary piece of football history. It was the first FA Cup won by Bury, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United — and the first of the 12 FA Cups clinched by Manchester United. It was made as a replacement for the first FA Cup, which was stolen from a shop window in 1895 while held by Aston Villa and is thought to have been melted down.
The cup has been privately owned for more than a century but until recently it was on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester.
The prestigious trophy was handed to FA Cup winners between the years of 1896 and 1910
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