Lot 40 : Sold for £2,000 hammer

A late 19th Century 9ct hallmarked Football League medal awarded to William (Billy) Bassett of West Bromwich Albion for England v Ireland on 7th November 1896 played at The Oval, Belfast, this match comprised of teams from the English and Irish football leagues. Birmingham 1893, Vaughton & Sons. Billy Bassett made 16 appearances for England and 261 appearances for West Bromwich Albion, he was also the first West Bromwich Albion player to be sent off in a match. He became an Albion director in 1905, following the resignation of the previous board in its entirety. The club was in deep financial trouble and had a writ served upon them by their bank, but Bassett and returning chairman Harry Keys rescued the club, aided by local fundraising activities. Bassett became chairman in 1908 and helped the club to avoid bankruptcy once more in 1910 by paying the players' summer wages from his own pocket. He remained Albion's chairman until his death in 1937. There is still a hospitality suite named in his honour at The Hawthorns to this day.

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