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Rare pre-war football medal to raise £350 at auction

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: November 06, 2010

The rare 9ct gold pre-war Football League Challenge Cup medal is set to fetch up to £350 at auction on Monday

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A rare pre-war football medal is set to fetch up to £350 at an auction on Monday.

The nine-carat gold and enamel medal was presented to an Exeter City player or official after City beat Torquay 1-0 in front of six thousand people at Home Park, Plymouth, to become the first winners of the newly-introduced Third Division Southern Section cup on May 2,1934. On their way to the final,the Grecians beat Crystal Palace 11-6, Watford, Coventry and Brighton.

The medal is expected to fetch between £250 and £350 at Graham Budd Auctions at Sotheby's in London on Monday.

The medal is inscribed: "The Football League Challenge Cup Competition Third Division Southern Section."

But there is a mystery, because the recipient's name is not on the medal. Was he an Exeter player or an official?

The Exeter line-up for that cup final was : Chesters, Gray, Charlie Miller, Clarke, Webb, Jack Angus, Scott, Poulter, Stan Hurst, Wrightson and Barnes. Exeter's winning goal came from wavy-haired Crediton-born Stan Hurst, who was educated at Crediton Grammar School and who played for Jackson's United (a Crediton works team), Newton Poppleford and Tipton St John before joining Exeter.

For that 1934 cup final against Torquay at Plymouth, Exeter were managed by charismatic Irishman, Billy McDevitt, who in 1931 guided City to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup (which is still the furthest Exeter have reached in that competition), where they were beaten by Sunderland 4-2 after a replay.

In their book, Exeter City: A Complete Record 1904-1990, authors Maurice Golesworthy, Garth Dykes and Alex Wilson say that McDevitt was "arguably the finest manager City ever had......." although this was written before Paul Tisdale's exploits.

In the 1933-1934 season Exeter and Torquay were playing in the Third Division (South), when there were 88 Football League clubs, split into four divisions: first, second and two regional third divisions (north and south). Exeter finished ninth and Torquay 20th.

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