Monday 11 December 2017

Irish legend 'delighted' as medals return to spiritual home

Mark Hilliard

MANCHESTER United snapped up four winners' medals from former Irish legend Tony Dunne at auction yesterday, worth around €30,000.

Sales of other memorabilia belonging to the one-time Irish international brought his tally to more than €51,000.

Reacting to the sale at Bonham's Auction House in Chester, England, Mr Dunne said he was pleased most of all that his mementos would be returning to their spiritual home at Old Trafford.

"I am very, very happy that United took the medals," he told the Irish Independent.

"Once they leave here there is only one place they should be and that is in the museum -- I would be absolutely delighted.

"I hoped that Manchester United would go for one or two things that would have been important to them."

However, two shirts worn by Mr Dunne (70) -- during the victorious 1968 European Cup final and the 1963 FA Cup final -- both failed to reach their reserve price and were withdrawn.

That reduced an anticipated sales total by about €30,000.

He said he was a little surprised that the shirts had not sold but said that their reserve price was put in place by the auction house and not him.

However, his former club paid out €8,100 alone for his European Cup medal -- itself a replica presented to him after the original was burgled from his home.

They also secured an FA Cup medal from 1963 and two league medals.

Mr Dunne played for the Red Devils between 1960 and 1972 when legendary manager Matt Busby rebuilt his side following the tragic Munich air disaster which killed eight players in 1958.

He also collected 33 caps for the Irish team and was generally considered to be one of the best defenders of his generation.

During his career he played alongside Johnny Giles and George Best.

His wife Anne and daughter Leanne travelled to yesterday's auction while Mr Dunne, recovering from a recent hip operation, remained at home.

"The price would be important but not that important; it would be like they were going home.

"It's a time when things are hard so what I will probably do is put them (the unsold items) in for another auction," he said.

"People have a thing about sport and we are very, very lucky to be able to sell anything."

Irish Independent

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