Jesse Pennington: West Bromwich Albion legend’s medals up for sale
The rare and precious gold medal awarded to West Bromwich Albion captain Jesse Pennington after he led the Baggies to their first and, so far only, Football League title in 1919-1920 is set to fetch at least £6,000 at auction.
The West Bromwich-born left back,one of Albion’s all time greats and affectionately known as ‘Peerless Pennington’, was 36 when he led the Baggies to their historic first league title in 1920.
Now, nearly 100 years later his medals, caps, gold pocket watch and other rare WBA mementoes are expected to sell for between £38,000 and £50,000 at Graham Budd Auctions in London on November 14.
This is one of the finest Albion collections ever to come up for sale at an auction.
The most valuable item in the Pennington collection is his gold 1919-1920 Football League Division One Champions medal, which alone is expected to sell for between £6,000 and £8,000.
The medal is engraved 'The Football League Champions Division 1,West Bromwich Albion F.C.1919-20, J. Pennington, captain'.
Albion didn’t simply win the league title that season, they won it in record-breaking fashion. Their 104 goals in 42 league matches and their points total of 60 set new records.
In 1919-1920 there were only 44 teams in the Football League – 22 teams in the First Division, now known as the Premier League, and 22 teams in the Second Division, now known as the Championship.Wolves were in the Second Division that season.
Jesse Pennington made 455 league appearances for WBA and he also played 25 times for England. In his final international, in 1920, he captained England when he was 36 and 231 days making him, at that time, England’s oldest capped outfield player.
In a poll conducted in 2004 to mark Albion’s 125th anniversary Pennington was named as one of the club’s 16 greatest players.
Pennington was born in West Bromwich on August 23,1883, and died in 1970, aged 87.
His parents, William and Mary Ann Pennington, were also born in West Bromwich. William Pennington was an iron worker. In the 1901 census, Jesse is described as “a hammer driver”.