Bonhams auction Sir Henry Cooper’s Gold Heavyweight Lonsdale Belt for £49,250

Sir Henry Cooper’s Gold Heavyweight Lonsdale Belt went under the hammer at Bonhams Sporting & Golfing Memorabilia sale in Chester, selling for an outstanding price of £49,250.

Bidders fought competitively for the belt, which is an impressive trophy first awarded by the 5th Earl of Lonsdale, an avid sportsman who was heavily involved in organising boxing matches.

Cooper, who died in May last year, was one of the best-loved sportsmen of all times and was the only fighter to win the prestigious accolade outright for three successive British heavyweight title victories and defences.
The belt can only be held by a fighter as long as he is British champion, unless he successfully defends the title twice. Sir Henry Cooper was a naturally skilled British boxer whose style, strong footwork and timed shots led him to win the Gold Heavyweight Lonsdale Belt twice in 1959 and again in 1961.

The belt contains a central oval enamel portrait of Lord Lonsdale, two other enamel plaques of boxers in action and several medallions of 9 carat gold including emblems of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and engravings relating to the championship fight details.

Sir Henry Cooper, who was affectionately known as ‘Our “Enry’ was a leading sportsman who was equally known for his gentlemanly behaviour, deservedly winning the BBC’s sports personality of the year twice.

Dan Davies, Specialist for Sporting & Golfing Memorabilia commented “Sir Henry Cooper was rightly seen as the people’s champion and it makes me very happy to see the great interest in this exquisite belt. ‘Our “Enry’ was a real gentleman, a hugely important characteristic in sport, which is sadly sometimes overlooked in these times where theatre and drama appear to take precedence.”