I was approached by ITV to discuss this story, unfortunately due to time constraints the opportunity never arose. However, here's an interesting story about 93 small stadium models:
93 stadium models were on sale on Sunday 4th of July and raised over £15,000. They were created by the French craftsman John Le Maitre in the mid-1980s. He made a scale model around 50cm of each of the 92 football league sides and Wembley.
They provide a unique snapshot of how English football stadiums looked in the 1980s, a time that was on the dawn of the Hillsborough disaster which saw the reformation of grounds around the country to all-seater stadiums.
The most popular stadiums in the auction were Anfield and Old Trafford, but Wembley went for the highest amount and was the only model to fetch over a grand.
The stands made of cork and pitch made of felt shows a loving recreation of significant period in English football history. 38 of the stadiums are no longer being used today and they can provide supporters of each side a great amount of nostalgia.
Although the buyer’s information for each item from the Graham Budd auction is not known, it’s fair to assume that they have gone to many different buyers across the world. That does seem a bit of a shame that early July in Northamptonshire is possibly the last time all 93 models will be together.
It would have been great to see them all on display, whether at the National Football Museum, Wembley or in any of the grounds that were lovingly recreated. The provided a really unique moment in time, imagine if these models could have been commissioned every few decades since the late 1800s. This could be used as a real example of social and cultural history of how football and fandom has evolved over the years.
Instead, they will be carted to all corners of the earth, unable to be celebrated as the collective image of English football they were built to represent.
To see how much each stadium went for in the auction, check this link here.
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Peter Kenny Jones