On Wednesday 5th May Adam Partridge Auctioneers & Valuers are thrilled to be offering some extraordinary and rare pieces of Liverpool football history.
John Asbury is the very definition of a footballing man. Born in Hawarden in Flint he started his playing days with the old St. Domingo Club in Liverpool who were one of the first properly constituted clubs. He played outside and inside right and was described as having a slight physique but was a tricky player of some reputation. In these very early days of Association Football players were more involved, and John Asbury was active on the committee as well as on the pitch. He was present when it was decided to call the club Everton F.C. and continued to play for the blue side of Liverpool for several years. After his playing career ended, he became a very successful provision merchant and was well-known on the Produce Exchange.
In 1900 he became a director at Liverpool Football Club and over the next thirty years would be ever-present on the board in various roles from director to vice-chairman and eventually chairman.
Now, some one hundred years later his family have decided to part with several items of historical importance through Adam Partridge Auctioneers & Valuers in Liverpool. It should be mentioned that the family approached the club but were told that they were not in a position to buy the collection at present.
On offer are six gold medals and a silver tray. The earliest award is the 1906 gold medal awarded to John Asbury following Liverpool’s league 1 championship victory. They beat Preston in the final to win their second league title, and this fine 15ct gold medal is an ultra-rare survivor from the earliest days of football carrying a guide of £2,000-£3,000.
Liverpool had to wait until the 1921-1922 season to be crowned league 1 champions again, but they did not have to wait long for a fourth title as they claimed back-to-back championships in 1922-1923. At this stage John Asbury was vice-chairman and both his gold medals are on offer with guides of £1,000-£1,500 and £800-£1,200 respectively.
With Wembley not being built until 1924, early FA Cup finals were held elsewhere and in 1914, with the Great War around the corner, Liverpool faced Burnley at Crystal Palace. On this occasion Liverpool had to settle for a runners-up spot and the gold medal awarded to Asbury carries hopes of £400-£600.
In these early periods of football, the North West held the Lancashire Seniors Cup which was hotly contested as many of the top teams in the country competed each year. Liverpool won the cup in 1918-1919 and again in 1923-1924 and both gold medals come to the market with estimates of £400-£600 each.
The final item of the collection is a solid silver tray given to John Asbury in December 1925 as a token of esteem by his fellow board members and directors which is expected to sell for £1,000-£1,500.
John Asbury lived and breathed football his entire life and was a gentleman and a committed supporter of football in Liverpool. Having played for one of the earliest clubs in England, helping form Everton F.C, and then form Liverpool F.C. there is not a single individual who has done more for the game in Liverpool than he. For thirty years he followed his beloved club, investing time and money into Liverpool and laying the foundations for what lay ahead.
“It is an absolute privilege to be able to take to the rostrum and sell such an important collection” added Adam Partridge. “As we finalise the auction, we have had the news of the European Super League come and go, and it is of paramount importance to remember that all sport exists for the fans, and this auction gives fans all over the world an opportunity to own a piece of history from their beloved club”.