Northern Ireland

Football legend Best's awards up for auction

Soccer genius George Best died in November 2005 aged 59
Image caption Belfast soccer genius George Best died in November 2005 aged 59

George Best's European Cup winner's medal is among a collection of the football legend's awards to be put up for auction next month.

The Belfast soccer star earned the medal during Manchester United's 4-1 victory over Portuguese side Benfica in 1968.

It marked the first European Cup victory by an English team.

The medal is among an extensive collection of Best memorabilia to be put up for auction by the executors of Best's estate at Bonham's in Chester on 20 October.

It is estimated that the medal will fetch between £90,000 and £120,000.

Also on sale will be a replica of the medal made for Best by the Professional Footballers' Association when he misplaced the original.

Image caption Best's 1968 European Cup winner's medal could fetch between £90,000 and £120,000

It is modelled on Sir Bobby Charlton's borrowed medal and has an estimated value of £8,000-10,000.

Best's 1968 English Football Writer's Association Footballer of the Year trophy, estimated to fetch £75,000 to £100,000, will also go under the hammer.

The award recognised Best as the top player of the season in English football as chosen by a panel of 400 football journalists.

Other lots include the 2002 BBC Lifetime Achievement Award, given annually to a sportsperson who has made a major impact on the world of sport during their lifetime, the Freedom of Castlereagh award, the 2000 Football Writers Association trophy and the 1994 Legend in Sport trophy.

The sale also features a George Best Fabergé egg (number 37 of only 68 produced - 37 being the number of games Best played for Northern Ireland), commemorating the part that Best played in Manchester United's victory in the 1968 European Cup.

Offered by a private collector, and comprising a copy of a European Cup medal at the front, a Football League Champions badge at the back and the official 1968 crest of Manchester United and Northern Ireland on either side, it has been estimated at between £15,000 and £20,000.

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