South West Wales

Tycroes Rugby Club to sell 1905 New Zealand jersey

A cash-strapped rugby club says it has been overwhelmed by interest after announcing it is to sell a rare old New Zealand player's jersey.

Valued at about £10,000, it dates to 1905 and belonged to one of the first visiting All Blacks teams when they were known as The Originals.

Tycroes Rugby Club in Carmarthenshire say members are selling reluctantly their "family silver" to keep afloat.

The club blames diminishing customers and rising costs.

They were also hit by financial troubles last year when trying to host a music event.

Since announcing plans to sell the shirt last month, there has been a lot of interest from the media and rugby fans in New Zealand.

It is understood only a few of the original shifts still survive.

'Locked away'

Club committee member Clive Hanham explained that the club acquired the jersey for the trophy cabinet some years ago thanks to a "very, very old" committee man who has since died.

And they started to realise its value when the committee could no longer justify the insurance costs to keep the jersey on public display. Since then it has been "locked away".

It has been valued at somewhere between £8-12,000.

The club has yet to decide whether to try to sell the jersey itself or via an auctioneer.

"We must have money from somewhere and this is our family silver item which is worth a lot of money," said Mr Hanham.

"It will be nice to think that it will be displayed maybe in New Zealand somewhere and the cash injection will keep the club afloat."

Following problems Tycroes faced around booking for a music event, Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed that £2,500 has been returned to the club and that inquiries into the matter were continuing.

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