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Geoffrey Boycott memorabilia auction realises more than £200,000

The bat with which Sir Geoffrey Boycott scored his 100th first-class hundred in 1977, and a maroon West Indies cap worn by Sir Viv Richards in 1980, were among the big-ticket items at an online auction of Boycott’s personal collection of memorabilia, which has realised a total of £207,625 across 130 lots.

The auction, which was conducted by Christie’s in London, ran for three weeks from October 27 to November 16, and was described by the auction-house as “one of the last great collections of cricketing memorabilia left in private hands”.

The auction opened with the sale of an original scorebook from Boycott’s home debut for Ackworth Cricket Club in Yorkshire as a 13-year old in 1954, which is inscribed with the entry ‘J. Boycott batting at 8 scores 9 not out’.

However, the most sought-after item was the bat he used on his home ground at Headingley in the fourth Test against Australia in 1977, where he made 191 to cement his return to the England team after a three-year absence, and set up England’s series-sealing innings victory.

The landmark brought the game to a standstill as his Yorkshire fans invaded the pitch, and is recalled as the iconic moment of his career. Christie’s had estimated that the bat would sell for £30,000- 50,000, and sure enough it eventually realised £43,750.

Richards’ Test cap – inscribed ‘V. Richards 1980’ – had been expected to fetch £5,000-8,000 but realised £10,625, while a job lot of Boycott’s own Test caps, including a ceremonial cap embroidered with “422/1” to represent his cap numbers in Test and ODI cricket, realised £11,250 from an estimate of £2000-£3000.

Boycott, who turned 80 last month, said he was “really pleased” that the collection had been so well received by the public.

“Knowing that these items have gone to people who will treasure them and enjoy them as much I have over the years, is all I could have hoped for,” he said.

Boycott’s collection also included the bat with which he went past Garry Sobers’ then world-record Test runs total of 8032, at Delhi in 1981 – that fetched £4750 – while the one with which he scored his Test-best 246 not out against India at Headingley in 1967, an innings for which he was then dropped for slow scoring, was sold for £3,500

“The fact that they can now be seen in the light of day instead of being in boxes in my attic is fantastic,” Boycott added. “I am humbled by the interest shown and wish to thank all those people who bid and those who bought a small piece of sporting history in the Christie’s auction.”

Dominic Thurlow-Wood, Christies’ Head of Sale said: “The great esteem in which Sir Geoffrey Boycott is held, not only by cricketing fans who witnessed his sporting prowess in action on the field, but by subsequent generations of supporters, ensures that these items will be coveted for years to come. It has been a great pleasure to work with such a unique collection.”

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