When Pelé set a record at the auction house

This day in football history

(Christie’s)

On 27 March 2002, the shirt worn by Pelé in the 1970 World Cup final sold at an auction for a record £157,750. The bid, placed by an anonymous telephone bidder, smashed the expected sale price, estimated by Christie’s auction house at a mere £50,000.

The shirt still had grass stains from the final, in which Pelé scored the opening goal in Brazil’s 4–1 win over Italy. The shirt was auctioned by Italian defender Roberto Rosato, who acquired it by swapping shirts with Pelé at the end of the match.

The sale beat the previous auction record of £91,750, paid for the shirt worn by England’s Geoff Hurst in the 1966 World Cup Final.