Bankrupt goalkeeper David James' memorabilia sold off in auction

Dipankar Lahiri
David James in the Liverpool jersey which went under the hammer for 160 pounds

Footballers today earn mammoth salaries, such that the viewing public tends to forget the fact that these superstars are no more immune to poverty than the rest of us mere mortals. It is often forgotten that these much-envied superstars have very short careers, and without proper financial planning, the multi-figure salaries may run out sooner than expected.

Former English international and current player-manager of Kerala Blasters FC, David James, is a sad case in point. The 44-year old goalkeeper is in the 26th year of his professional career, the majority of which he has spent in Liverpool, Manchester City and Portsmouth. Yet, earlier in May this year, he was declared bankrupt.

Despite earning an estimated £20m from his footballing career, owning several properties and having a lucrative contract modeling for Armani, James' debts had built up since his divorce from his wife, Tanya, in 2005.

Sports memorabilia a very popular market

Signed shirts, shorts and balls were among the items sold by Hilco at an auction sale in Kent on Tuesday.

An England shirt the player wore in the Three Lions' 1-0 World Cup win over Argentina in 2002 fetched 672 pounds. A Liverpool FC goalkeeper's jersey worn during the teams' 1995/96 season sold for more than 160 pounds while a Portsmouth No. 1 jersey James wore in 2008 went for 480 pounds.

Other goods included a boxed and unused retro Raleigh Chopper bike, which went for more than £1000.

Hilco's Spencer Chapman said there had been "interest from around the world with more than 1,000 registrants across the 10-day sales period.

We've not really dealt with a sale on behalf of a sporting celebrity like this before and clearly that had added some value to the lots.

Sports memorabilia is a very popular market and signed shirts are the kind of items you can't really put a price on, but there were also some very quirky lots in there too. There were more than 1,800 vinyl records, DJ decks and a customised Vauxhall Astra van, which attracted a lot of interest and sold for a very reasonable price."

Edited by Staff Editor


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