A RARE England cap won 70 years ago by Huddersfield Town player Ken Willingham is expected to fetch up to £1,200 at an auction next week.
And that’s far more money than Willingham earned in a YEAR at Leeds Road!
It is one of the 12 caps won by right-half Willingham in the late 1930s,when he was starring for Town.
He might have won even more if it had not been for the Second World War.
But this dark blue cap is slightly unusual.
A spokesman for Graham Budd Auctions, who are selling the cap at Sotheby’s in London next Wednesday, said: “This style of cap was introduced in the 1938-1939 season and was only used for that season. “When international football resumed after the war a new style of cap appeared.
“Before 1938-1939 England caps were colour-coded. In 1938-1939 they were simply blue with a match inscription embroidered on.’’
Willingham won the cap for the match against Wales at Cardiff on October 22, 1938.
Sheffield-born Willingham, who sported a then fashionable hairstyle with a centre parting, spent seven seasons with Town.
Between 1932-1933 and 1938-1939 he made 270 league and FA Cup appearances, including the 1938 FA Cup final – the last time Huddersfield reached the FA Cup final – in which the club were beaten 1-0 by Preston North End.
Willingham also scored Town’s fastest-ever goal, in just 10 seconds against Sunderland on December 14, 1935.
He starred in two particularly famous Town matches, singled out by club historian Terry Frost as matches to remember.
These were the 8-0 thrashing of Liverpool at Leeds Road on November 10, 1934, and the 6-0 win against Blackburn Rovers at Leeds Road on April 13, 1935.
He was such a good player that he was featured on a Wills cigarette card, the collecting craze of the 1930s.
In December, 1945, he was transferred to Sunderland before joining Leeds United.
He later became landlord of the Hopewell Inn at Hunslet. He died in Dewsbury at the age of 62 in May, 1975.