Celtic fans were given a treat this morning as two rare pieces of club memorabilia took centre stage at McTear's.
A nine-carat gold Scottish League Championship medal that was awarded to Celtic defender, William Cringan, in 1919 was snapped up for £2,200 at McTear’s while the car number plate J777 NKY, which was once owned by legendary Celtic player Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone, sold for £2,800.
Willie Cringan (1890 – 1958) was a Scottish international footballer who played for Sunderland, Ayr United, Celtic, Third Lanark and Motherwell. The player's senior debut for Celtic came in a 2–0 victory over Rangers on the 12 May 1917. He would later go on to captain the team until his departure in 1923.
Commenting on the auction, James Bruce from McTear’s said: “Old Firm memorabilia from the early days of both Celtic and Rangers is much sought after by collectors so we knew there would be considerable interest in this fascinating piece of Celtic history. The medal attracted intense bidding at the auction, with a collector from Glasgow eventually securing the lot.”
The shield-shaped medal has a centre inlaid with a red lion rampant. The rose gold reverse has the inscription 'Championship 1918–19 Won by Celtic F.C. William Cringan’.
Also appearing in the auction was Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone’s number plate J777 NKY. The plate came complete with the accompanying Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Retention Document and Number Plate Authorisation Certificate.
James Bruce added: “Private number plates are big business in the UK but it is not often that one comes to auction with such a fascinating history. This is a very unusual piece of memorabilia and that was reflected in the price paid by a collector in England.”
Jimmy Johnstone (1944 – 2006), nicknamed ‘Jinky’, played as a winger for Celtic and scored 129 goals in 515 appearances. Johnstone was voted Celtic’s best ever player by the club's fans in 2002.
The Celtic medal and number plate featured in McTear’s Works of Art Auction on Friday 12 October. The prices quoted above include buyer’s commission and VAT thereon.