Antiques Roadshow guest refuses to sell war medals of football hero

Joseph Stephenson’s medals and Englands Caps appear on Antiques Roadshow

One guest on Antiques Roadshow refused to part with her treasured items after expert Raj Bisram shared their valuation.

The guest presented Raj with some war medals and football memorabilia from Leeds United legend Joseph Stephenson.

Despite the items not having a high monetary value, the guest said they would never “part from the family”.

Kicking off the chat, the expert noted: “So here we’ve got this lovely photo of a family member, Joseph Eric Stephenson, who played for Leeds… was a legend in the 30s.

“We’ve got two of his England caps and his wartime medals. Tell me about him.”

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The guest’s son explained Joseph was his great grandfather and he lived in Leeds, he shared: “I live in Spain but my grandmother lived here and I have loads of memories of my childhood here.”

Raj went on: “I mean, he was a legend of Leeds because he kind of had two careers… this footballing career, and then of course, the war came along.”

Joseph was originally given the role of physical training instructor for the army, and because he felt he wasn’t doing enough, he decided to take a more active role as a commissioned officer.

The guest said: “I know that he served in three campaigns, and he was killed in action, on September 8, 1944.”

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The expert beamed: “A really brave man, there’s no doubt about it, a really brave man because he came from an extremely humble background.

“He came from Leytonstone in London and then his parents… because they didn’t have a lot of money, they moved to Roundhay here in Leeds.

“And he trialed for Leeds and because his family didn’t have a lot of money, he was going to go out to work and not turn professional.”

Raj went on to explain Leeds United ended up giving Joseph a contract at 16 so he didn’t have to go out and do “physical work”.

He added: “So it’s a beautiful story. There’s no way I can ever see you ever selling this out of the family.”

“No,” the woman said shaking her head as Raj pointed out: “I can tell already.”

Turning his attention to what the items may fetch at auction, the expert told the guests: “The two England caps, one that he got for playing against Ireland and one against Scotland.

“Being conservative, we’re talking about £1,200 to £1,500. The medals, these don’t have a great value, probably looking sort of £80 to £100 these medals.”

“And for that kind of money, I mean they never ever leave [the family],” Raj concluded as the guest agreed: “Never leave the family.”

Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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