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Chelsea legend’s family indebted to fans as auction sees safe return of family heirloom

If there’s one thing that marks the Premier League era from that which had gone before, it’s the money coming into the game that has made millionaires of most players.

Those players who plied their trade in the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s, though well paid by the standards of the average working class man or woman, was clearly nowhere near enough to sustain the majority into later life.

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Stories of players having to sell off World Cup winner’s medals or the like have been commonplace for example.

Peter Bonetti, a goalkeeper so lithe, graceful and agile that he was given the moniker, ‘The Cat,’ served both Chelsea and England with aplomb.

Bonetti died back in April 2020 after a long illness, but a group of eagle-eyed supporters saw a recent online auction where one of his England caps had come up for sale.

Peter Bonetti and Alex Stepney, Chelsea FC goalkeepers 2nd August 1966. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY UnitedArchives01020486

The Daily Mirror note that the custodian had parted with it in order to help pay for some works being done on his house, however, the group of Chelsea fans wanted to ensure that his family were able to keep hold of a little of their family history.

“We discovered that Peter’s England cap for the game versus Spain in 1967 was up for sale on eBay,” Chelsea fan, Hilary Hannington, said to the Daily Mirror.

“His family were desperate to have the cap it so that Peter’s grandchildren can treasure it, but they could not afford it.

“On Tuesday night, seconds before the auction deadline, the cap was successfully won.

“102 individuals donated a total of £1,580 to bid for the cap.”

Now that’s the kind of happy ending we like.

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