Manchester United's Bill Foulkes medal sells for £40,000

1968 European Cup winner's medal Bill Foulkes made 688 appearances for Manchester United

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A European Cup winner's medal belonging to Manchester United footballer Bill Foulkes has sold at auction for £40,000.

The defender received the medal in 1968 after helping his side become the first English team to be crowned European champions.

A survivor of the Munich air disaster, Foulkes played at Old Trafford for nearly two decades.

The medal was in a sale of sporting memorabilia at Sotheby's in London.

After escaping the Munich air crash with a minor head injury, he took on the role of captain and led a depleted United side to the 1958 FA Cup final where they lost to Bolton Wanderers.

Golden throne

During his playing career, he helped Manchester United win an FA Cup in 1963 and also won First Division championship medals in 1956, 1957, 1965 and 1967.

However, his greatest achievement was as a member of the 1968 European Cup final team that defeated Benfica 4-1 at Wembley in extra-time.

Foulkes was the archetypal one-club footballer, making 688 appearances for the Old Trafford side before retiring in June 1970.

Only Ryan Giggs and Sir Bobby Charlton have played more league games for United.

The medal was housed in a velvet-lined wooden box with a plaque inscribed "Bill Foulkes, Centre Half".

Also included in the sale was the throne that cyclist Bradley Wiggins sat on after winning gold at the Olympics.

But the "magnificently kitsch" chair failed to reach the reserve price of £10,000 and was not sold.

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