A MEDAL awarded to a member of the ‘World Cup’ winning West Auckland side of 1909 is being sold.

JustCollecting is auctioning the piece of North-East sporting history and it is expected to go for over £9,000 when bids close on November 14.

It is 110 years since West Auckland Football Club of the Northern League, was invited to compete for the prestigious Sir Thomas Lipton trophy in Turin, considered by many to be a precursor to today’s World Cup.

An Italian sports magazine established the inaugural Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva tournament in 1908 for the best teams in Europe, but the lack of an English side diminished its prestige.

The following year the English Football Association refused to send a team, prompting wealthy businessman Sir Thomas Lipton to finance amateur side West Auckland to play.

The team was made up of coalminers and they took their place alongside the professional sides of Germany’s Stuttgart, Italy’s Juventus and Switzerland’s FC Winterthur.

West Auckland beat Stuttgart 2-0 before dispatching Winterthur by the same score in the final.

The bid currently stands at £900 on the auction site, Invaluable, which described the medal as ‘an extraordinary relic’.

The website says: “The medal displays a football scene in relief, with the artist’s initials SJ.

“The reverse bears a laurel wreath and globe, with the inscription: ‘Il Torneo Internazionale di Football Indetto Dalla Stampa Sportiva, Torino, Aprile 1909’.

“Both sides retain some of the original gilding.

“An extraordinary relic from one of the most important tournaments in early football history.”

Mike Hall, chief executive officer of JustCollecting, said: “This is one of the most important artefacts from early football ever to come to auction”

“These medals are incredibly rare, there are only a maximum of 11 out there.

“The trophy the team won was stolen in 1994 and has probably been smelted down, making this medal of even greater historical significance than previously.”