Football Trade Directory

West Brom legend Laurie Cunningham's 1st cap to go under the hammer


Laurie Cunningham’s historic first England cap is to be auctioned for charity.

The cap - earned against Wales at Wembley in May 1979 - will go towards the Celebration Statue in West Bromwich town centre.

Birmingham businessman Jim Cadman was given the item by Cunningham’s mother Mavis.

Cadman wants Albion fans to get a chance to see the cap before it is auctioned in the late summer.

“The family are absolutely delighted with the statue and she told me we could have a cap,” he said.

“To then discover it was his first cap is extraordinary. When it comes to memorabilia it is a real piece of history.

“It is far too valuable to auction off straight away, so having spoken to the PFA and Cyrille Regis and Brendon Batson we want the fans to see it first.

“We will take it on a mini tour with the help of the Albion Supporters Club and then auction it in the late summer early aumtumn with all the proceeds going to the final phase of the statue funding.”

Cunningham’s brother Keith and son Sergio were guests of honour at a Tribute Dinner at The Hawthorns on Friday night.

Ricky Heppolette, the former Preston and Crystal Palace footballer was also present. Heppolette befriended Cunningham at Leyton Orient and took the youngster under his wing.

Luther Blissett, Bob Hazell, George Berry, Chris Fairclough and Michael Johnson were among a host of black players who attended together with former referee Keith Hackett and a large delegation from the Football Association.

Former Albion players Regis and Batson took to the microphone with former manager Ron Atkinson, answering questions posed by Supporters Chairman John Homer.

Tony Brown, Ally Brown and Ally Robertson represented Albion’s fine side of 1978/79.

An auction raised £4,000 with a signed Gareth Bale Real Madrid shirt fetching £1,000 and a detailed scouting report on Cunningham by former England assistant Les Cocker being snapped up by Batson for £650 on behalf of Albion’s Former Players’ Association.

Cunningham, who won six caps for England was killed in a car crash in Madris on the morning of 15 July 1989, at the age of 33. He was survived by his Spanish wife and their son.


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