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The world’s most expensive Panini football sticker album has sold for £1,550 on eBay – even though it was missing six stickers.
Leeds United fan Jonathan Ward, 56, sold his Mexico 1970 World Cup album after rediscovering the long-lost treasure during a clear-out as he got ready to move house.
The album fetched a record fee despite the missing stickers, the group round scores filled in and ‘Leeds are the greatest!’ scrawled next to Jack Charlton’s name.
Football loving Jonathan has owned the album since he was nine years old was amazed by the response to his online auction.
Mexico ‘70 albums are in high demand from collectors because they were the first World Cup sticker albums produced by Panini.
Oil boss Jonathan from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, who now lives in Texas, said he was “elated” when he saw the winning bid for his album.
He said: “I was extremely surprised by the price, considering that the album had some wear and tear.
“I owned the Panini World Cup 70 album from new. I was nine years old, and just getting into football and playing at primary school.
“My Dad had taken me in 1969 to see my favourite team Leeds United beat Nottingham Forest in 1969 to win the old Division One championship.
“Several Leeds players were in the England squad that would try to retain the World Cup in Mexico.
“It was a common pastime for young boys in our neighbourhood to collect and swap football cards. Collecting football cards became a passion, and I guess I spent some of my pocket money buying the packets of Panini cards.”
Jonathan kept the sticker album for 48 years, moving it with him as he travelled around the world for work. At one point it was in storage for six years while he was living in Dubai.
He and his wife are now planning to downsize for their retirement and he came across the sticker album while going through his old collection of scrapbooks with a pal.
After looking it up on Google he realised it was a rare item so took a few photos and posted it on eBay.
“With the World Cup being held this year, I thought there may be some interest,” he said.
“This is the only Panini album I have collected, though I have other football albums from the early seventies.
“If I had additional Panini albums I would sell them, as there seems to be a keen interest in the brand.”
Jonathan is a keen marathon runner and plans to spend some of the money on a new GPS or heart rate monitor system for running.
The sticker album sold on March 19, reaching a final price £1,550 after 16 different bids.
eBay confirmed that Jonathan’s Mexico ‘70 album was the most expensive sold to date on the site.
In total, more than 7,000 Panini sticker albums have been listed for sale this year with 4,000 sold in the last three months.
An eBay spokesman said: “With the World Cup just around the corner, there’s no better time to sell your vintage sticker albums.”
Panini experts have previously said the value of old albums increases every two years during the European Cup and World Cup.
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