One of the oldest, rarest and most valuable Sheffield football medals is set to fetch up to £7,000 when it is auctioned tomorrow.
The 15 carat gold 1896 FA Cup winners medal was presented to Robert ‘Bob’ Petrie after he helped The Wednesday - before they became Sheffield Wednesday - win the cup for the first time by beating Wolves 2-1 at the Crystal Palace in London on April 18 1896.
The 5ft 7ins tall Petrie was Wednesday’s 21-year-old left half in the historic final and was one of four Scots in the Wednesday cup-winning team - the others being Archie Brash, Alec Brady and Laurie Bell.
Appropriately the precious Wednesday medal will be sold tomorrow - Wednesday - at Bonhams in Chester, where it is expected to fetch between £5,000 and £7,000.
It is engraved “English Cup Final won by R.Petrie”.
Petrie, born the son of blacksmith James Petrie at Dundee on October 25, 1874, moved to Sheffield from Dundee FC in April 1894 when The Wednesday were playing their matches at Olive Grove. They moved to their new ground, Owlerton, which later became known as Hillsborough, in 1899, three years after Petrie helped them win the FA Cup.
On their way to the 1896 FA Cup final The Wednesday beat non league Southampton St Mary’s 3-2 in the first round, Sunderland 2-1 in the second round, Everton 4-0 in the quarter finals, and Bolton 3-1 in the semis, after a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.
Both Wednesday goals in the 1896 final were scored by outside left Fred Spiksley, who would have been 141 today were he still alive.
He helped The Wednesday win the Division Two championship in 1900, the Football League championship in 1903 and also played for England seven times. He later became a bookmaker and died aged 78 in 1948.
The year after the historic final in 1897, Petrie left Sheffield and joined Southampton. He later returned to Scotland and finished his career at Brechin. He was in his early 70s when he died in 1947.
When Bob Petrie played for The Wednesday there were only 32 clubs in the Football League, 16 in the first division and 16 in the second division. Only one of them, Woolwich Arsenal - which became Arsenal in 1914 - was a southern club.
In 1896, The Wednesday finished seventh in the first division, five places higher than rivals Sheffield United who finished 12th.
Bob Petrie’s medal is not the only FA Cup winners medal in the Bonhams auction next Wednesday.
The 15 carat gold 1934 FA Cup winners medal won by Mexborough-born England, Manchester City and ex-Barnsley star Eric Brook is also expected to fetch between £5,000 and £7,000.
Brook - at 5ft six-and-three-quarter inches tall, just a quarter of an inch shorter than Bob Petrie - was born at Mexborough on November 27, 1907, and played non league football for Mexborough FC, Dearne Valley Old Boys and Wath Athletic before joining Barnsley in February 1926.
Two years later, in March 1928, Barnsley sold Brook and Fred Tilson to Manchester City for a total of £4,000. That might not sound a lot now, but in 1928 it was possible to buy eight decent houses in South Yorkshire for £4,000, as the average house then cost around £500.
From Barnsley, Eric Brook went on to become Manchester City’s greatest goal-scorer. Altogether he scored 178 goals in 494 matches for City in the late 1920s and 1930s. He also played 18 times for England and 11 of his England caps are expected to fetch a total of £7,400 at the Bonhams sale.
When he quit football, Eric Brook became a coach driver, publican and crane operator. He was 57 when he died in Manchester on March 29 1965.