Villa star Charlie Athersmith's England caps set to be sold for £1,000 each

Rare early England caps belonging to a Bloxwich-born footballer more than 100 years ago are set to go under the hammer at auction.

Villa star Charlie Athersmith's England caps set to be sold for £1,000 each

Aston Villa player Charlie Athersmith was famous for scoring a goal while holding an umbrella.

During one match in the driving rain and freezing cold, the right winger borrowed an umbrella from someone in the crowd and even went on to score while still clutching it.

Aston Villa player Charlie Athersmith

Athersmith has been described as a colourful character in the world of football and some of his memorabilia is now up for grabs.

It will go up for auction at Bonhams in Chester on February 20, and it is believed that two of his caps could fetch as much as £800 to £1,000 each.

Born in Bloxwich in May, 1872, Athersmith was one of the star players in Aston Villa's 1890s and early 1900s team.

He donned the claret and blue in three FA cup finals, including 1897 when Aston Villa won the double.

Athersmith started his career at Bloxwich Wanderers and Saltley and played for England 12 times. He scored 75 goals for Aston Villa in 270 league matches and played for the club for 11 seasons.

But his life was cut short aged just 37 when he passed away in Shifnal.

Athersmith's gold coloured cap for his England debut against Ireland in March 1892, a purple cap marking six England appearances home and away against Ireland, Scotland and Wales in 1898 are up for sale.

At the same auction, a 15 carat gold 1948 Football Association charity shield medal presented to Archie Macaulay after he helped Arsenal beat Manchester United at Highbury in 1948 will go under the hammer.

In October 1961, Macaulay became the manager of West Bromwich Albion before moving on to Brighton and Hove Albion and, in later life, taking the unusual step of becoming a traffic warden.

He passed away in 1993 aged 77.

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