A silver tea service presented to one of England’s greatest footballers more than 70 years ago has been bought after going on sale for £22,500.
Antiques dealer Charles Wallrock says a private buyer bought the tea set, which was presented to Stoke City and England winger Sir Stanley Matthews after the end of the Second World War.
Mr Wallrock, who runs Wick Antiques in Lymington, Hampshire, said the set was made by Pidduck & Sons of Sheffield in 1932 and given to Sir Stanley by Stoke to mark his then record 44th England appearance in 1946.
“It’s gone to a private buyer,” said Mr Wallrock on Monday.
“I think the buyer was definitely a football fan.”
He added: “I’d had it for several years. It is a lovely silver tea service by a fine maker and of course it’s unique because of the inscription and who it was presented to.”
Mr Wallrock said the set consisted of a teapot, hot water jug, sugar bowl and milk jug, and each piece was monogrammed with “SM”.
He said the teapot was also inscribed with the words: “Presented by Stoke City Football Club to their player S Matthews in recognition of his creating a record of 44 appearances for England which he established when playing against Belgium on January 19th 1946.”
Sir Stanley, who came from the Potteries, moved to Blackpool in 1947, then returned to Stoke in 1962.
He was knighted in 1965, while still playing for Stoke, and died in 2000 aged 85.