It is frayed, torn and has spent the past 20 years jammed between a wall and cupboard – but this photograph is priceless to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The 127-year-old image is the second oldest in existence of the football club and is now set for a place in the club’s Molineux museum.
It shows the Wolves team that beat West Bromwich Albion 3-1 in 1887 to win the Staffordshire Cup for the first time and both Jack Brodie and Jack Baynton are in the line up.
They were the teenagers who pinned the note to the door of St Luke’s Church in Upper Villiers Street, Blakenhall, that invited people interested in playing football to attend the meeting that started the club eleven years earlier.
Life-long Wolves fan Michael Clark was given the photograph by a friend more than 30 years ago but did not think it had any value because it was torn and badly damaged.
The 62-year-old father of two from Stubby Lane, Wednesfield, explained: “I did not think it was worth anything to anybody but luckily I am a hoarder who does not throw things away.
“I kept it in a cardboard envelope in the kids’ room until they grew up and then stuffed it between a cupboard and the wall. I forgot about it until I stumbled upon it just before Christmas.”
Pat Quirke, a volunteer at the Wolves Museum, who recently wrote a book on the origins of Wolves, said: “The picture is of immense value to the club because of its culture and heritage.
“It is a cracking photograph and the fact that it is damaged adds to its charm.”Subscribe to our Newsletter