We all love a bit of memorabilia, especially in the hope that one day it might be worth something. But between not knowing quality from con or just getting over excited with your wallets, let’s have a think about what football related merchandise is actually worth spending your money on before you splurge on a Marseille kit that will wind up gathering dust in the attic…
First of, what’s your motivation? Are you a serious collector? Are you sentimental? Do you want something that you can pass down to through the family? Do you want something rare and that will appreciate in value? Or do you just want to get something awesome as a gift or to show support for your favourite team? Decide the WHY before you decide the WHAT.
Next, be wary of your sources. All too many people out there will try to swindle you with merchandise that was… owned by “the late Shania Twain” or something. Check who you’re buying from before you commit to a purchase. Check online reviews, be mindful if they want to do something irregular, like avoiding talking on the phone or expect full payment upfront or don’t provide proof of authenticity or quality of what they’re selling. Maybe try to reach out to previous customers or even run “the deal” by someone else, hopefully someone who has past experience buying or dealing in high value merch, even if it’s not necessarily football or sport related. A second opinion never hurts!
Of course, one of the most valuable and sought after items are trophies. Things like Premiership and World Cup trophies can go for an extraordinary amount of money, not to mention that they are in essence, pieces of history. But while originally trophies are extremely rare and reserved for celebrities or hardcore collectors, replica trophies can also be very valuable, especially if you can get it signed by some of the original players.
On the topic of signatures, anything autographed is of course very valuable. Football careers, not unlike all athletics and dance, only last a few short years. Afterall, such a gruelling sport requires peak physical condition that unfortunately just isn’t sustainable past a certain age, and that’s assuming no injuries. Even a napkin with someone’s autograph can be valuable, but particularly so if you’re at a player’s final match. Back in the day, David Beckham’s final professional football match made headline news!
Any match kit or gear. Players can get quite generous with handing out their t-shirts, footballs, even shoes! If you’re lucky enough to get courtside, you may get your hands on such an item – and again, if you can get it signed, it’ll be worth its weight in gold. A signed and framed football t-shirt not only makes for an impressive display but is highly sought after by fans and collectors.
If fighting over a sea of sweaty spectators isn’t for you, however, match programmes and football cards are still very popular collector’s items, not unlike theatre programmes, Playbills and concert tickets.
And if anyone gives you grief for taking football memorabilia seriously or spending a pretty penny on Harry Kane’s used socks, it might interest you to know that the Pope himself has an epic collection of football memorabilia, which you can see on display at the Vatican museums.