Sunderland legend's league winners medal expected to fetch thousands at auction

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A valuation of £4,000 to £6,000 for this piece of history

A rare medal which belonged to an SAFC legend is up for auction.

The 1892/1893 league winners medal was given to goalkeeper Ned Doig who was part of the ‘Team Of All The Talents’.

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A close-up on SAFC goalkeeper Ned Doig's League winners medal.A close-up on SAFC goalkeeper Ned Doig's League winners medal.
A close-up on SAFC goalkeeper Ned Doig's League winners medal. | other 3rd party

Significant piece of football history

But now it’s up for bidding at an auction planned by a Wellingborough-based company and experts have described it as a ‘significant piece of football history’, which could fetch £4,000 to £6,000.

Ned Doig, fifth left middle row, in the Sunderland team of 1898.Ned Doig, fifth left middle row, in the Sunderland team of 1898.
Ned Doig, fifth left middle row, in the Sunderland team of 1898. | se

Graham Budd auctioneers have it included it in a sale of sporting memorabilia on June 18 and June 19.

An extraordinary athlete

David Convery is Head of Sporting Memorabilia and Collectables at Graham Budd. He described the medal as ‘a tangible piece of football heritage that tells the story of an extraordinary athlete and a golden era for Sunderland A.F.C’.

The back of the medal with the inscription of JE Doig.The back of the medal with the inscription of JE Doig.
The back of the medal with the inscription of JE Doig. | other 3rd party

The medal will be lot 750 and the description says: “John "Ned" Doig, a rare 9ct gold and enamel Sunderland Division 1 League Championship medal.” Mr Convery added: “Doig, who was not only an exceptional goalkeeper, was also a key figure in Sunderland's 'Team of All Talents,' a squad that achieved remarkable success in the late 19th century.

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Ned Doig pictured in 1901/1902 when Sunderland won the league again.Ned Doig pictured in 1901/1902 when Sunderland won the league again.
Ned Doig pictured in 1901/1902 when Sunderland won the league again. | other 3rd party

He had skill and reliability in goal for SAFC

“His impressive record of 87 clean sheets in 290 top division appearances underscores his skill and reliability. This medal is more than just a symbol of the 1892-93 championship; it commemorates Doig's vital role in one of Sunderland's most successful eras.” The keeper was known for his innovative approach to goalkeeping.

“Doig was adept at initiating counterattacks, a skill that was revolutionary at the time,” said Mr Convery.

A unique presence on the field

“His trademark cap, worn to conceal his baldness, became an iconic part of his image, symbolising his unique presence on the field.

“Over his 14-season tenure with Sunderland, he made 457 appearances and secured four league titles, solidifying his status as one of the club's greatest players. His contributions helped shape the future of goalkeeping and leaving a lasting legacy at Sunderland.”

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‘Tangible piece of football heritage’

The auction lot is being hailed as a chance to own ‘a direct connection to the past and celebrates the enduring legacy of Ned Doig and his remarkable achievements." Mr Convery said: “This medal is not just a collectible, it is a tangible piece of football heritage that tells the story of an extraordinary athlete and a golden era for Sunderland A.F.C. The auction provides a rare opportunity to own a piece of this history, with the lot valued between £4,000-6,000.

Find out more about it here.

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