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Pelé’s last soccer shirt set to auction for $37K

Pelé scored 77 goals in 92 appearances for Brazil.

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The Brazil football shirt that Pele had ready to wear at his final international match in 1971. (Photo by Hansons via SWNS)

By Adam Dutton via SWNS

Pelés number 10 soccer shirt, which he refused to wear for his last Brazil game in 1971, is set to fetch $37,000 USD (£30,000) at auction.

The sporting world is still in mourning after the soccer icon died on Dec. 29 at age 82.

Fans now have the chance to own a number 10 shirt that was made for Pelé before his final appearance for Brazil.

Two yellow shirts with green trim were made ahead of the friendly match with Yugoslavia, one long sleeve and the other short sleeve.

After the match, Pelé gifted the 10 shirt to Brazil team masseur Abilio Jose de Silva, nicknamed Knockout Jack. (Hansons via SWNS)

Pelé wore the short-sleeved shirt for the game, which was played in front of 138,575 fans in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 18, 1971.

The game ended 2-2 but marked the end of Pelé’s international career, which had seen him score 77 goals in 92 appearances for Brazil.

After the match, he gave the long-sleeved number 10 shirt to Brazil team masseur Abilio Jose de Silva, nicknamed Nocaute Jack (Knockout Jack).

He was an integral part of the national squad from the late 1960s through to 1994, and Pelé wanted to show his gratitude.

The unworn shirt, which now belongs to an English restaurant manager, will go under the hammer next month.

The shirt comes with a letter of authenticity from Nocaute Jack’s daughter Silvia Maria Fonseca da Silva. (Hansons via SWNS)

The 33-year-old seller, from Shropshire, said: “It’s been an amazing piece of football memorabilia to be the custodian of.

“I bought it from a private collector in 2020. I now feel it deserves a bigger stage, perhaps back home in Brazil.

“As well as being Pele’s final Brazil shirt, it honors Nocaute Jack’s contribution to Brazilian football and his friendship with Pele.

“They must have had a strong relationship, otherwise I doubt Pele would have given him such a significant shirt.

“Nocaute Jack features in the incredible Netflix documentary, Pele.

“As head masseur he looked after a vast number of Brazilian footballing legends from the famous 1970s team through to Socrates and Zico in the 1980s, culminating in tending to a youthful 18-year-old Ronaldo at the victorious USA 1994 World Cup.”

The shirt and letter of authenticity from Nocaute Jack’s daughter Silvia Maria Fonseca da Silva, is expected to fetch between £20,000 and £30,000 when it is sold by Hansons Auctioneers on February 15.

Hansons owner Charles Hanson said: “When you see this shirt you can’t help but imagine Pele’s emotions in the dressing room after that last game for Brazil.

“Amid the wild celebrations and affection from fans, he thought of others.

“His masseur, Nocaute Jack, the man who helped to keep him supple, received a very special gift.

“Pele is the greatest footballer the world has ever known and his final shirt from his final game for Brazil deserves a fitting resting place, preferably on public view, perhaps in a sports museum.

“It’s been treasured for more than half a century and is in immaculate condition."

“The shirt was passed to Nocaute Jack’s daughter. It was sold to a private collector in 2016 and, later, to our vendor. This is the first time it has ever come to auction.

“It represents the end of an era for an illustrious player.

“It also marks the enormous contribution Pele made to his national team and football as a whole.

“He was adored by millions and inspired millions. Like all football fans, I was deeply saddened by his passing. He was a genius.

“In the wake of the flood of tributes and memories sparked by Pele’s loss, our client decided this important shirt deserved to be seen, not hidden away in a private family home in England.”

Pele – nicknamed The King - is the only footballer ever to win three World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

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