CRICKET memorabilia belonging to former New Zealand Test cricketer - and ex-Widnes Cricket Club coach - Bob Blair comes up for auction this month.
The star lot is an official photograph of New Zealand's first tour to South Africa in 1953-54.
It is personally autographed by 19 players and management and inscribed by Bob, pictured right, who played on the tour.
Framed and glazed, the 14x10 print is slightly wrinkled and the signatures are weak, but it is in generally good condition.
Auctioneer Trevor Vennett-Smith of Nottingham says it is an 'interesting piece of NZ cricketing history' and estimates it will sell for £150 to £200.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking tour, Bob returned to home ground in March for a reunion.
He was a guest of New Zealand Cricket for the match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, which was Bob's home ground for 13 years of his illustrious first-class career.
Only half of the 14-strong Kiwi squad are still living and of them, only two - 72-year-old Bob and John Reid - were fit enough to travel.
'I was the second youngest of that touring party at 21 - the others were in their late 20s or 30s,' said Bob, who since finishing as a player has coached all over the world and was former national director of coaching in Zimbabwe.
'They tried to get a couple of the South Africans over there but they weren't well either,' said Bob.
'They had Australians Ian Craig and Neil Harvey just to make up the numbers.'
Bob, who now lives in Collin's Green near Warrington with his Widnes-born wife Barbara, enjoyed the trip and a chance to catch up again with family and friends.
He has four children from a previous marriage - two sons and a daughter in New Zealand, where he also has a brother, and another son in Australia.
'The quality of cricket was good and it was nice to see a couple of youngsters I coached in South Africa playing in their team,' added Bob.
The South Africa trip half a century ago evokes poignant memories for Bob.
Early on the second morning of the Johannesburg Test of 1953, news reached the tourists of a train dis-aster in which one of those killed was his fiancée.
He was unable to return home as the party had travelled by sea, but he stayed in the hotel while his teammates left for the ground.
However, Bob kept up to date with the match and realising his side were in trouble, batting second on a lively pitch, he made his way to Ellis Park.
He joined Bert Sutcliffe, who had returned from hospital to bat with his head swathed in bandages, in putting on 33 for the last wicket in 10 pulsating minutes.
The match was eventually lost but Bob won a place in his country's hearts.
In his career with Wellington and briefly Central Districts, he took 537 wickets at 18.54 - making him one of his country's most successful bowl-ers. He retired from the first-class game in 1965 after 119 matches.
Bob made his international debut at the age of 20 and also toured England (in 1958) and Australia.
He played in 19 Tests over 12 years, also featuring in three un-official matches against Australia.
Bob was not only a fine bowler but was also a renowned fieldsman with a superb long throw and, despite his Rabbit nickname, no mean performer with the bat.
His top score of 64no in Test cricket was set against England in 1963 and he had a first-class best of 79.
The 18 Bob Blair lots up for auction - Vennett-Smith's hope to have more for their March sale - also include correspondence from cricketing greats such as Sir Richard Hadlee, Lord Colin Cowdrey and Peter May.
There is a New Zealand centenary tie and tiepin from 1995 (estimate £40-£60) and a pair of cufflinks for the 100th anniversary of South Africa cricket (estimate £30-40).
Bob, who had two spells as Widnes CC coach and also did cricket development work in Halton schools, has now retired from the game completely.
But he had built a vast array of cricket souvenirs down the years.
He said: 'You certainly get plenty of stuff. At one stage, I had about 14 tracksuits!
'A lot of things were gathering dust and when I went back to New Zealand earlier this year, I took a lot of stuff there and donated it to the New Zealand museum.
'I have given some to my children and grandchil -dren, but there was other stuff sitting here that I thought I might as well get rid of.'
The Vennett-Smith sports memorabilia sale is at Colwick Race-course in Nottingham from November 9-11, with cricket on the final day.