Senna memorabilia is the star attraction at sporting auction

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A CRASH helmet visor worn by the ill-fated racing driver Ayrton Senna was the highlight of a valuation day for sporting memorabilia at Doncaster Racecourse.

Sports memorabilia expert Graham Budd reckons the visor will fetch at least £1,000 when it is auctioned at Sotheby’s in May.

The visor, believed to have been autographed by Senna after a Grand Prix when he was with the Lotus team in the mid-1980s, was brought in for valuation by a Doncaster man who bought it at a charity auction at The Plant Hotel, Hexthorpe, in 1992.

“At the time he bought it Senna was still alive and I think he paid a few hundred pounds for it. He’s had it for nearly 20 years and has enjoyed it and decided it was time to move it on,” said Mr Budd.

“I told him he can expect to get between £1,000 and £1,500 for it.

“Of course if it had been one of Senna’s iconic yellow helmets it would sell for more than £7,000.”

Senna was killed in 1994 while leading the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.

Mr Budd also received other interesting items which will be auctioned by him later this year.

A Doncaster woman turned up with a collection of souvenirs and official material from the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, which Mr Budd said was difficult to value but could fetch up to £400.

A match ball and Wigan Athletic shirt from the Carling Cup Final of 2006, brought in by a local soccer coach, could be sold for between £400 and £500.

And a Doncaster man’s collection of 58 racecourse members’ badges, which he had framed, might be worth £500, said Mr Budd, who is based in London.

“It would have been nice to see a few more people but we had some interesting things turn up,” he said.

“This is the first time we’ve been to Doncaster - in the past I’ve been to Bramall Lane at Sheffield but we thought we’d try somewhere a bit different.

“We try to get to the regions as much as possible and I’ve no doubt we’ll return to South Yorkshire sometime in the future.”