Jimmy Johnstone’s personalised car number plates up for auction

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Collectors of Celtic memorabilia are in for a treat next week as two rare items take centre stage at an auction in 
Glasgow.

A nine-carat gold Scottish League Championship medal, awarded to Celtic defender, William Cringan in 1919, has been given an estimate by McTear’s Auctioneers of £1,000 to £2,000 while the car number plate J777 NKY, once owned by legendary Celtic player Jimmy “Jinky” Johnstone, could fetch up to £2,000.

Jimmy Johnstone was voted Celtic's best-ever player. Picture: SNS.

Jimmy Johnstone was voted Celtic's best-ever player. Picture: SNS.

Cringan (1890–1958) was a Scottish international footballer who played for Sunderland, Ayr United, Celtic, Third Lanark and Motherwell. The player’s senior debut for Celtic came in a 2-0 victory over Rangers on the 12 May 1917. He would later go on to captain the team until his departure in 1923.

Commenting on the auction, James Bruce from McTear’s said: “Old Firm memorabilia from the early days of both Celtic and Rangers very rarely comes to auction so it is quite a coincidence that the auction of the Celtic medal comes hard on the heels of a 1914 League Championship medal won by Rangers player George Ormond. That particular 
medal made a very good price and we expect Willie Cringan’s medal to do the same.”

The shield-shaped medal has a centre inlaid with a red lion rampant. The rose gold reverse has the inscription “Championship 1918-19 Won by Celtic F.C. 
William Cringan”.

Also appearing in the auction will be Jimmy Johnstone’s number plate J777 NKY. The plate comes complete with the accompanying Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Retention Document and Number Plate Authorisation Certificate.

Mr Bruce added: “Private number plates are big business in the UK but it is not often that one comes to auction with such a fascinating history.

“This is a very unusual piece of memorabilia and I am sure there are plenty of Celtic fans out there who would love to own it.”

Jimmy Johnstone (1944– 2006), nicknamed “Jinky”, played as a winger for Celtic and scored 129 goals in 515 appearances. Johnstone was voted Celtic’s best-ever player by the club’s fans in 2002.

The Celtic medal and number plate, which are being sold by anonymous vendors, will feature in McTear’s Works of Art Sale on Friday 
12 October.