Rare pieces of North East footballing history go under the hammer tomorrow in South Tyneside – with a sale price that is anything but black and white.
Auctioneers estimate that two 100-year-old half-ton metal turnstiles from St James’ Park could sell for up to £800 each.
They say the monuments to a bygone age – the items were discarded during modern renovations – could well exceed that figure.
They were last on the market in 2006, when they sold to a collector for a believed combined price of £1,200.
Auctioneer Brain Cairns, owner of Jarrow Auctions, said they would carry a high value even on the scrap market.
He said: “These are great pieces of this region’s footballing heritage and I hope they stay in the region.
“They’re in good condition and the tops are even slightly worn from where thousands of fans handed over their entrance fee over many years.
“We’ve already had a lot of interest in them online, including some people in London, but I really hope they stay in this area.
“I expect plenty of Newcastle fans will come to the auction – hopefully one or two may even bid.
“As scrap, they would still sell for a fair old amount.”
Stamps on the turnstiles reveal they were made by a company called Bailey Patricroft, which is believed to have supplied clubs throughout the country.
The seller, who wishes to remain anonymous, has admitted to leaving them untouched in his garden shed after buying them at auction in North Shields.
He is now about to move house and has decided to find them a new – and better loved – home.
Brian added: “Being left in a shed is a bit of a waste as they as they are pretty distinct objects and would look great in a garden as part of a barbeque or such like.
“I believe St James’ Park had about 100 of these turnstiles but that most were sold off for scrap.
“They need a hydraulic pump to turn properly but there is a switch on them to turn that off, so they can still be used.
“There are slightly worn but in good nick and they really could make a great feature.”
n The auction takes place at Jarrow Auctions, Bede Burn Road, at 11am tomorrow.