Whether you’re a football fanatic, planning a visit with your family or on a weekend break to Manchester, the world’s biggest and best football museum is worth a gander.
There’s a whole host of treasures on display at the National Football Museum – take a look at our photo gallery to find out more
Replica Jules Rimet Trophy
The Jules Rimet trophy presented to the winners of the World Cup was stolen in London prior to the 1966 tournament. The unlikely hero of the story was a black and white collie named Pickles, who subsequently found the trophy under a hedge. In the meantime, the FA had commissioned a replica trophy. The replica was the one presented to Bobby Moore and the team at England’s famous World Cup victory.
1966 World Cup Football
West Ham striker Geoff Hurst made history in 1966 when he became the first and, to this day, the only man to score a hat trick in a World Cup final. This is the ball used in the final, returned to England from Germany 30 years after the victory.
The Hand of God Shirt
Argentina’s Diego Maradona scored one of the World Cup’s great goals against England in 1988. However, a goal scored earlier in the match is the one etched into the memory of English fans when he punched the ball into the net, famously claiming he scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”. His team went on to win the tournament. This is the shirt worn by him during the infamous match.
Eric Cantona Portrait
An encounter in a restaurant with Manchester artist Michael Browne led to this portrait, The Art of The Game. Now owned by Cantona, it features him in a recreation of Piero Della Francesca’s The Resurrection of Christ, with his United team-mates at his feet. Cantona posed for the portrait holding a broom in a bar in Castlefield, Manchester.
This shirt is from the world’s first international match, played on November 30, 1872 between Scotland and England. The shirt is made from a heavy wool material, very different from today’s shirts. The shirt was worn by Arnold Kirke-Smith, one of several in the team from Oxford and Cambridge universities. At that time, football was a game played by the upper classes. The match ended in a 0–0 draw.
While women’s football is gaining in popularity today, the game was also popular in the early 20th century. In particular Dick, Kerr Ladies F.C. from Preston enjoyed huge success, drawing a crowd of more than 53,000 in 1920. In 1921 the Football Association banned women from playing on football league grounds allegedly because it was “quite unsuitable for females”.
(Main Image: 1872 Shirt)
All images courtesy of National Football Museum