Rare Norwich City memorabilia more than 100 years old to be sold

Collector and auctioneer Stewart Hallam is set to sell player cards such as Archie Livingstone and J.W. Potts from 1910.

Collector and auctioneer Stewart Hallam is set to sell player cards such as Archie Livingstone and J.W. Potts from 1910 at an upcoming auction. - Credit: Stewart Hallam

Norwich City collectors could soon have a field day as autographs from more than a century ago and historic match day programmes are set for auction.

Collectors can bid for nostalgic City items such as a selection of postcards from players such as J.W. Potts and Archie Livingstone from 1910 and rare autographs from the 1920-1921 season - the club's first ever football league season.

Set to take place at an online auction run by Wembley23, Stewart Hallam, 64, who runs the auction house from his home in Torquay, said he has collected sports memorabilia for more than 40 years.

A postcard of the Norwich City team during the 1907-1908 season.

A postcard of the Norwich City team during the 1907-1908 season. - Credit: Stewart Hallam

He said: "We have a nice range of Norwich items and I've collected a number of the club's items in my personal collection over the years. 

"There's a lot of collectors out there and it's an interesting business to be involved in."

And it's turned out to be quite a profitable with some items fetching thousands of pounds at auction.

Stewart Hallam has collected football memorabilia for more than 40 years. 

Stewart Hallam has collected football memorabilia for more than 40 years. - Credit: Stewart Hallam

Mr Hallam said: "We had a 1911 FA Cup medal which went for £13,500, and we also sold the 1924 FA Cup final programme at the last auction for £5,250.

Autographs featuring a selection of players from 1920.

Autographs featuring a selection of players from 1920. Featured across two sets are: Sam Austin, Bob Dennison, Reg Wilkinson, Phil Hope, George Gray, Albert Frosdick, William Pearce, Edward Skermer, Ernie Gadsden, Bernie Smith, John Parker, George Laxton, William Lumley, Harry Hopewell, Tommy Booth, Bill Duncan, Steve Wright, Vic Whitham, Wally Taylor, Henry Hannah. - Credit: Stewart Hallam

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"It is a niche industry but is becoming more popular.

"There are some big collectors out there. I know one person who spends more than £2 million a year on the hobby."

A player card of Archie Livingstone, who played for Norwich City between 1905 and 1910, is one of the items set for auction.

A player card of Archie Livingstone, who played for Norwich City between 1905 and 1910, is one of the items set for auction. - Credit: Stewart Hallam

Mr Hallam, who used to be a roofer, said that he believes that collecting sports memorabilia is popular because it is considered an investment.

Autographs featuring a selection of players from 1920.

Autographs featuring a selection of players from 1920. Featured across two sets are: Sam Austin, Bob Dennison, Reg Wilkinson, Phil Hope, George Gray, Albert Frosdick, William Pearce, Edward Skermer, Ernie Gadsden, Bernie Smith, John Parker, George Laxton, William Lumley, Harry Hopewell, Tommy Booth, Bill Duncan, Steve Wright, Vic Whitham, Wally Taylor, Henry Hannah. - Credit: Stewart Hallam

"High-end collectors tend to go for Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and West Ham items and they always sell very high.

"Arsenal programmes from the 1930s sell in the low hundreds but United's 1930s away programmes sell for thousands of pounds.

The 1924 FA Cup Final programme between Newcastle United and Aston Villa sold for £5,250 at Wembley23's last auction.

The match day programme of the 1924 FA Cup Final between Newcastle United and Aston Villa sold for £5,250 at Wembley23's last auction. - Credit: Stewart Hallam

"This is because Arsenal had crowds in the 50,000s while Manchester United were in the second division with low crowds."

Now preparing for his fifth auction, the auction house is still searching for people to consign items to sale if people had unwanted sports memorabilia. 

The auction will take place on Wembley23's website on Saturday, February 20.


The early days of Norwich City

Founded in 1902, Norwich played amateur football against teams from around Norfolk until 1904 when the FA Commission declared them professional and kicked them out of the FA Amateur Cup. 

Norwich subsequently joined the Southern League in 1905 and played their home games on Newmarket Road before later moving to The Nest. 

The club played in the Southern League until 1920 with a four-year break for the First World War before becoming a member of the third division in 1920.

Norwich won Division Three for the first time in 1934 with Jack Vinall and Billy Warnes scoring 24 goals each on the way to the historic title win.

A year later, Norwich made Carrow Road its home with capacity today standing at 27,244 seats.

During the club's entire history, the Canaries have won the Football League Cup twice, the second division three times, the third flight twice and achieved an all-time high league finish of third in the Premier League in 1993.