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Paul Henderson's 1972 Summit Series jersey sold for over $1M

Paul Henderson's 1972 Summit Series jersey sold for over $1M

Canadian Press
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June 23, 2010

MONTREAL--Paul Henderson's legendary hockey jersey fetched well over $1 million at auction early Wednesday following a late surge of interest in the historic cloth.

The winner bid of $1,067,538 (the auction was in U.S. dollars) was submitted by Mitchell Goldhar, the owner of SmartCentres, a private real estate development company based in Vaughan, north of Toronto.

Marc Juteau, president of Montreal area-based Classic Auctions, says Goldhar's bid was the 42nd entered for the 38-year-old red and white jersey.

Juteau also said once the auction fees were factored in, the final price to be paid by Goldhar is actually $1.275 million.

The final price makes the jersey Henderson wore when he scored Team Canada's winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviets the highest price ever paid at auction for a piece of hockey memorabilia.

The winning bid for the jersey smashes the previous auction record for a hockey item -- $191,200 paid for a Bobby Orr rookie jersey. It is also more than four times the $250,000 that a few of Wayne Gretzky's jerseys had fetched in a private sale.

Henderson gave the jersey to Team Canada's trainer Joe Sgro as a gift, and Sgro passed to an unidentified private American collector.

"The attention that was given to the jersey has exceeded by far what we thought it would do," said Juteau.

Bidding opened at $10,000 and offers were soon coming fast and furious from such Canadian-based companies as Molson, The Forzani Group Ltd. and B.C. billionaire Jim Pattison.

Canadian Tire dropped out after initially bidding $200,000 with plans to use the jersey as a store-to-store attraction for customers.

The sweater's owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a cancer survivor and plans to donate some of the proceeds of the sale to charity, Juteau said. Henderson himself was diagnosed with cancer, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, last fall.

Juteau said the Henderson item has generated as much interest as the personal souvenir collections of Jean Beliveau and Maurice Richard when those went on sale.

"But for one given piece, (this is) the most attention we've ever gotten," he said.

Henderson, 67, who donated another Team Canada jersey and a stick to the Hockey Hall of Fame, has said he'd like to see this one go to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

Henderson was inducted into that hall in 1995.

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