Auction Date: 8/12/2021 at 10am
Extremely Rare & Early 1870s England Rugby International Jersey (v Scotland) c1874: 2nd oldest known international rugby shirt believed after research at Twickenham Museum & elsewhere to be from the world's fourth ever International Rugby Match, played 20-a-side by England v Scotland on 23 February 1874 at the Oval, London. The jersey is of course white, with substantial deep placket consistent with the earliest jerseys, small collar and all four original buttons. The sewn-on badge has the red rose now faded to near-white, but with strong green petals. A small neat white capital M, almost invisible, is embroidered to the other side of chest from the badge. Waistband appears to have availability for a drawstring. A few marks, tiny holes and the odd small darn, but generally very good for age and stunning, extremely early rugby memorabilia. The jersey has been in the possession of the Manchester Club for generations and was for years thought to have been from the first rugby international, with further research this shirt is believed to have been worn by Manchester player Roger Walker, a forward in that side, winning the first of his five England caps in a game won by England with a single dropped goal to a try. The only known older surviving England jersey, from that first ever International Game in 1871, is in Twickenham's World Rugby Museum. A fantastic and possibly unique opportunity, then. Note: Roger Walker's caps were won 1874-80, with four wins and a draw. They included the first game with Ireland and the first Calcutta Cup contest. He also twice played cricket for Lancashire. He appears in the crowd in Twickenham's famous and controversial W B Wollen oil painting 'The Rugby Match'. He became the 13th President of the RFU, 1894-6, and travelled in that managerial role on the 1896 British Isles tour to South Africa. He also helped found Reading RFC.