Vince Lombardi's $20,000 jersey discovered in Goodwill store

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2015-06-26 11:27:24

A jersey originally owned by legendary football coach Vince Lombardi could bring $20,000 at auction – after being bought in a Goodwill store for just 58 cents.

The black wool jersey dates back to Lombardi's role as offensive line coach at the West Point Military Academy, where he worked from 1948 until 1954.

Following his stint at the academy, which went on to coach the New York Giants before making his name and winning titles with the Green Bay Packers. Whilst in Wisconsin Lombardi led the team to five NFL Championships, and won the first two consecutive Superbowl trophies in 1966 and 1967. Today he is regarded as one of the greatest and most successful coaches in football history.  

Bearing the academy's name across the chest, and Lombardi's hand-written on the inside label, the jersey was discovered in a Goodwill store in Knoxville in 2014. The owners were not aware of its significance until they later saw a documentary with footage of Lombardi wearing the jersey.

It had been donated to the store by Ann Wannamaker, the widow of Bill Wannamaker who had coached alongside Lombardi at West Point. Following her husband's death in 2008, she had donated many items including the jersey, which had remained in her late husband's collection for more than 50 years.

After being identified by Heritage experts, the jersey is now up for sale in the company's Sports Collectibles Platinum Night auction with an estimate of $20,000+.

In memory of Bill Wannamaker, Heritage have stated a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Goodwill.

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