CRICKET legend Ian Botham’s bat used to drive England to victory over the Aussies in the 1981 Ashes Leeds Test will be sold in Chester next week.
The bat, auctioned at Bonhams’ Christleton Road sale room on Wednesday, June 1, has a pre-sale estimate price of £2-2,500.
The lot will be sold as part of a sporting memorabilia sale, also including a stump cut in two, and signed by 13 players from the same series.
The drama started at Headingley with the visitors from Down Under on the verge of wrapping up an easy win within four days to go 2-0 up.
Up stepped Ian Botham with a gung-ho 149 to at least make Australia bat again before fast bowler Bob Willis swept through their line-up with 8-43.
It sealed a remarkable 18-run win and signalled an about turn in the series which England went on to win 3-1.
It was only the second time in the history of Test cricket the side following-on had won. and The Wisden Cricketer rated Botham’s innings the fourth best of all time.
Also being sold at the same auction is a star shaped medal awarded to the Sheffield Wednesday footballer and politician, WE Clegg (1852-1932).
The medal, which was discovered in a box of assorted items brought into the Bonhams’ Exeter office has attracted a pre-sale estimate price of £1,500-2,000.
WE Clegg played a significant role in the formation of football. Along with his brother, Charles Clegg, he was also the first Sheffield Wednesday player to earn international caps for England.
After retiring from football he was elected the Lord Mayor of Sheffield (1898) and was often referred to as the ‘uncrowned King of Sheffield’.
Also being auctioned are George Best items including a pair of gold ceramic boots cast from the original match worn boots of the Manchester United and Northern Ireland legend with a pre-sale estimate of £500-700.