Observations on the Highbury Auction

Evocative day, yesterday.

Brilliant sunshine, well worn pitch; hastily erected summer tent structure for the auctioneers; a giant Dreamcast shirt with signatures, billowing in the breeze, held down by a brick; a large AV slide system showing the exhibits; and a nearly full East Upper.

From the East Upper you can see the Ashburton Grove Stadium peeping from the left corner. Another goodbye/hello scenario, like DB's testimonial last week.

Some people didn't like the £23 – with catalogue entrance fee and didn't go in. But for true Arsenal fans – it was well worth it – if only to get a glimpse of the club's fantastically rich history.

Personally I liked the black and white framed photos from the thirties to the seventies Alex James in Chapman's last match (which fetched over £1000, thanks to Terry Neill's guest auctioneer appearance); the winning teams of the thirties;  the construction of the East Stand (with the attendant social history of Health and Safety regulations or lack of; along with the fans hanging on the clock watching a match, (the famous clock was apparently taken down at ten to two on Friday; Arsenal's adventurous approach to fitness even back then with players receiving artifical sunlight in 1931.

Joe Mercer receiving the Cup in the fifties, combined with pictures of Charlie George (71) and Michael Thomas (89) – both v Liverpool and Tony Adams v Everton (98) emphases that Arsenal are never very long periods without major honours.

I managed to get a black and white picture of Jack Kelsey in an Arsenal v Burnley game. My father who went to Highbury in the thirties left a small sum in his will to get something to remember him by. He took me to my first Arsenal game v Burnley in the sixties – so was determined to get that one.

The identical coat hooks gave an indication of players' popularity stakes – Fabregas's and Pires' fetched £800, while Cole's was around £200, and Flamini and Gilberto around £300.

The North Bank is slightly more popular than the Clock End on this evidence, with goalposts going for £2000 and £1750 respectively.

Signed photos went for roughly double the unsigned ones, with evocative moments like Michael Thomas's and Charlie George's famous goals against Liverpool, fetching higher prices.

The md's meeting table and chairs went for £23,000; while George Graham's desk went for £19,000. Other purchases of note included the AFC 3 registration which was at £9000; the last ever programme off the presses (versus Wigan) at £7500; and the last wooden Highbury league match sign (versus Wigan) at £11,000.

Higbury Auction:For reference