Brazilian Soccer Icon Pelé Dies At 82 AFP

A Brazil football shirt that was made for legendary player Pele ahead of his last international match is estimated to sell for up to $37,141 at auction.

The famous number 10 Brazil shirt was made for Pele ahead of his final international game against Yugoslavia in Rio de Janeiro on July 18, 1971. Ahead of the game, a long-sleeved shirt and a short-sleeved shirt were made for Pele. However, Pele chose to wear the latter, and gifted the long-sleeved shirt to Abilio Jose de Silva, the team’s masseur, BBC reported.

De Silva, also known as Nocaute Jack – or Knockout Jack, was an integral part of the Brazil team’s backroom staff from the late 1960s until 1994. The shirt eventually fell into the hands of a 33-year-old restaurant owner in Shropshire.

After Pele’s death on Dec. 29, 2022, at the age of 82, the owner who bought the shirt from another private owner in 2020, decided to sell the shirt with the hope that it may be sold to a football museum, BreakingNews reported.

“It’s been an amazing piece of football memorabilia to be the custodian of," the seller said.

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

“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," the seller stated.

Nocaute Jack features in the Netflix documentary, Pele. Nocaute Jack served as a head masseur and looked after a vast number of Brazilian footballing legends from the famous 1970s team through to Socrates and Zico in the 1980s, and 18-year-old Ronaldo at the victorious USA 1994 World Cup.

The shirt comes for auction with a letter of authenticity from Knockout Jack’s daughter, Silvia Maria Fonseca da Silva. The shirt will be sold by Derbyshire-based Hansons Auctioneers at their showroom in Etwall, Derbyshire, on Feb 15 and is estimated to be sold at around $37,141.

“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,” Charles Hanson, the owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said.

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