Pele to Auction Off Six Decades' Worth of Football Memorabilia

Pele
Pele at The Peninsula, Melbourne, March 26, 2015. Pele is auctioning off items collected over his long footballing career. Robert Cianflone/Getty

A collection of footballing memorabilia owned by Brazil legend Pele and estimated to be worth up to £3.5 million ($5.13 million) will go to auction in London.

The FIFA Player of the Century, who is now 75 years old, is sending various items that stretch back to his time as a 15-year-old in Santos in 1956 to auction over three days in June.

Pele, who won the World Cup three times with Brazil, has been in hospital for back, hip and prostate surgery over the past 12 months.

"It was a difficult decision to make but it takes a lot to properly care for these artefacts, and I felt I could do much more good by sharing these items with the world, as well as helping my causes that are important to me," he said.

They range from his three World Cup winner's medals to a model jet he received from Rolls-Royce and boots he wore in Escape to Victory, the 1981 film he starred in alongside Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine.

The item expected to be most popular is a one-off replica of the Jules Rimet World Cup trophy, which was made for Pele after Brazil's glory in 1970 in Mexico.

It is estimated to make between £400,000 ($585,000) and £600,000 ($878,000), with each World Cup winner's medal—from 1958, 1962 and 1970—predicted to reach up to £200,000 ($292,000).

Other items included in the auction, which is being handled by Beverly Hills-based Julien's Auctions, are the ball Pele scored his 1,000th goal with, an Athlete of the Century award from L'Equipe, a Championship ring from the 1977 New York Cosmos, and a sash awarded to him for winning the 1958 World Cup.