“Pele sells off his life in the beautiful game” says BBC business reporter Bill Wilson, revealing that Brazils all-time football great is to auction off all of the sporting and cultural memorabilia he has accumulated in a lifetime in football. The sale will take place
over three days in London in June, and covers the six decades from Pele’s signing for Santos as a 15-year-old in 1956.
According to Wilson, Pele – full name Edson Arantes do Nascimento – has been the “recipient of an amazing cornucopia of strange and exotic items from around the world, first in his playing days, and then as a roving sporting and humanitarian ambassador”. They include everything from elaborate crowns and ceremonial daggers, model ships and jet fighters, to more prosaic clocks, dishes, and freedom-of-the-city keys from various municipalities. Going under the hammer will be unique football items, including his three World Cup winner’s medals, and a one-off Jules Rimet trophy made for him after Brazil’s famous triumph in Mexico in 1970. That World Cup replica is the most expensive item being auctioned, with an estimated price tag of 281,000 to 420,000 Pounds. The medals are expected to fetch up to 141,000 Pounds each, and the ball he scored his 1,000th goal with is estimated to sell for 28,000 to 42,000 Pounds. Beverley Hills-based Julien’s Auctions has been chosen to handle the sale, which also includes personal items such as old passports and driving licences. Since Pele over the past 12 months has been in hospital for back, hip and prostate surgery, Bill Wilson asks if it is for health or business reasons that he is now selling? “There are many reasons, there are clearly some personal ones that he alone knows about,” Dan Nelles, sports specialist at Julien’s Auctions, told Wilson. Pele himself says: “It was a difficult decision to make but it takes a lot to properly care for these artifacts, and I felt I could do much more good by sharing these items with the world, as well as helping my causes that are important to me.”
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.