Hundreds of photographs, balls, clothing, equipment and mementos belonging to record breaking seam bowler Derek Shackleton had been gathering dust for years.
Yorkshire-born Shackleton played for Hampshire between 1948 and 1969. His record of 2,669 first class wickets for the county is a record that will never be beaten.
During his entire career, which included seven England Test appearances, Shackleton claimed 2,857 first wickets, including 184 hauls of five or more in an innings and 38 matches of 10 or more.
That incredible statistic puts him seventh in the all-time list of first class wicket-takers across any nationality.
Shackleton’s children, Julian and Caroline, are keen to celebrate their father’s sporting career by sharing his archive – unseen for decades – with cricket fans.
The memorabilia will go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers’ Cricket Auction on January 22.
Julian Shackleton, a former professional cricketer with Gloucestershire, said: ‘Dad’s collection has been stuck at the bottom of a wardrobe for 10 years. No one has seen it or enjoyed it.
‘I will be 70 next birthday and my sister is 67. We have no one to pass the collection on to and have been wondering what might happen to it.
‘I’ve taken some of his things to The Dorset Cricket Society before now and gave some items to Hampshire Cricket to display. But Covid shut the place down and everything got stuck in boxes.
‘We decided the best thing to do was to offer dad’s memorabilia at auction.
‘It gives us an opportunity to celebrate dad’s life and sporting achievements and his memorabilia can be bought and treasured by people who love cricket.’
Richard Madley, one of the world’s leading sports memorabilia auctioneers, said: ‘This is a fascinating cricket archive.
‘Derek was a highly regarded county and England player. He is one of Hampshire’s best-loved cricketing sons.
‘The collection, which includes his England blazer worn on tours to India and Pakistan and more than 200 vintage black and white photos, should generate strong interest.’
The blazer has a guide estimate of £400-£600 while other items and their estimate include a Hampshire CCC sweater (£20-£30), England cricket cap circa 1950, with England tie and photo (£200-£300), and a Test match stump from England v West Indies, The Oval, August 1963 (£80-£100).
Among the mounted balls up for auction is the one he used to take a career best 9-30 against Warwickshire in Portsmouth in May 1960 - the third best figures in Hampshire’s 125-year Championship history.
There is also the ball he used to take 9-77 against Glamorgan at Rodney Parade, Newport, in May 1953, and the ball he used to take 8-4 against Somerset at Clarence Park, Weston-super-Mare, in 1955.
Shackleton began his career in the Yorkshire and Lancashire leagues as an all-rounder bowling medium pace, but decided to concentrate on leg spin. He was also signed by Burnley FC as a goalkeeper.
He joined the Army in 1942, entering the Pioneer Corps, and played Services cricket and football before signing for Hampshire in 1948.
Shackleton took more than 100 wickets in 19 consecutive seasons of first-class cricket - his highest Hampshire haul was 163 in 1958 - and played seven Tests for England between 1950 and 1963, taking 18 wickets at 42.66 (compared to his first class average of 18.65.
He called time on his first class career in 1970 and later played for Dorset in Minor Counties cricket. Between 1979 and 1981 inclusive, he umpired in more than 50 first class games.
‘Playing seven test matches for England may seem rather modest but Derek was highly regarded,’ Madley commented. ‘For example, the late John Arlott, a renowned cricket commentator, rated him highly.’
An auction highlight is a copy of ‘An Appreciation by Arlott’, signed by the author. It has an estimate of £200-£300.
As a result of bagging 163 first class wickets in 1958, Shackleton was chosen as one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year the following year. Among his bowling figures in 1958 were 9-59 against Gloucestershire, 7-34 against Surrey and 7-39 against Glamorgan.
He bowled over 9,000 balls in 1961, taking 158 wickets, as Hampshire collected the first of what remains only two County Championship titles in their history.
Shackleton passed away in September 2007, aged 83.
‘This collection is destined to gain attention from Hampshire Cricket and its fans, many of whom have enjoyed a game seated in The Derek Shackleton Suite in the club’s Ageas Bowl cricket ground,’ Madley added.
The Derek Shackleton Collection is being offered in Hansons Auctioneers’ January 22 Cricket Auction at Etwall Auction Centre, Derbyshire.
See the catalogue at www.hansonslive.co.uk and www.the-saleroom.com