28 June 2019
A football league medal awarded to West Bromwich Albion legend Billy Bassett is to go under the hammer at a Stourbridge auction house.
The locally sourced lot was awarded to the Baggies' icon for an England v Ireland match on November 7 1893 at The Oval, Belfast, which England went on to win 2-0.
Football player Billy Bassett made 16 appearances for England and 261 appearances for West Bromwich Albion; he was a member of the Baggies first FA Cup winning team, he played in the first-ever Albion Football League match and was 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 when 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 himself 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 chairman until his death in 1937 on the eve of The Albion’s F.A Cup semi-final match against Preston North End a match they lost 4-1.
More than 100,000 people turned out to see Bassett’s funeral cortege, which started at the Hawthorns, and there is a hospitality suite named in his honour at The Hawthorns to this day.
The 9ct medal awarded to the footballing hero is valued at £2,000 to £3,000 and it will go up for sale at Fieldings Auctioneers in Mill Race Lane on Saturday July 6.