A Scotland football shirt said to have been worn by Jim Baxter in the famous Wembley victory in 1967 was withdrawn from auction amid doubts over its authenticity.
Auctioneer McTear’s had insisted it had “cast iron” provenance for the jersey, but the auction was cancelled shortly before it was due to begin after rival claims emerged from those who said they had the real thing.
Baxter played a key part in Scotland’s 3-2 success a year after England won the World Cup, and his playful antics with the ball added to his legendary status – and the Number 6 shirt he wore that day.
McTear’s had been hoping the shirt would fetch an eye-watering £60,000 until two other “owners” of Jim Baxter shirts came forward, including one offered to a charity auction in 1991. The shirt was withdrawn from auction, pending further research.
McTear’s sporting specialist James Bruce said: “Following recent reservations over the authenticity of the Jim Baxter 1967 Scotland jersey, we have taken the decision to remove the lot from today’s auction.
“Although we remain convinced of the shirt’s provenance, we would never put an item to auction with questions unanswered.”
Mr Bruce added: “The provenance of the shirt traces back to the player, who exchanged his jersey with [England World Cup winner] Alan Ball at the end of the match. The shirt then came to the father of the vendor through [former England player] Alan Hudson, with Ball being present.
“Hudson has been contacted to confirm this chain and the key fact that Baxter didn’t leave Wembley in 1967 with the shirt.”
He added: “Jim Baxter was renowned for gifting Scotland jerseys to friends, acquaintances and functions, and that appears to be the case for the jersey bought at the benefit dinner by the other parties.
“Crucially, additional research has shown the label on the shirt from the 1991 charity auction does not appear to match those worn in the 1967 game as it dates the shirt to pre World Cup 1966.
“In 1967, the Scotland shirts featured the ‘won by the 1966 World Cup winners’ Umbro label. This label appears on the jersey consigned to McTear’s.”