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We are delighted to welcome a rare Irish and Scottish visitor to The Club House on October 6th

In 1959 Scotland and Ireland combined rugby union XV played against a Wales / England XV. One Tony O'Reilly featured for the green and blues. We are excited to offer Tony O'Reilly's jersey to The Club House auction on October 6th. Tony O'Relly - one of the greatest wingers to grace the field and Ireland's first billionaire.

This will be the first time for a jersey from this XV goes under the hammer. A very rare jersey in immaculate condition worn by a true great

The Jersey

The 36ins chest Lillywhites made jersey retains labels to the interior, white collar to Irish green and Scottish blue quarters and bearing crests of Scotland and Ireland to shield stitched to chest, bears white No.5 to back (to denote the position of wing at the time), jersey in exceptionally fine condition with no loss of colour and all detailing complete.

The jersey was worn by O'Reilly on October 17th 1959, when his Scotland/Ireland combined team played the England/Wales XV at Twickenham to commemorate the Twickenham Jubilee season. O'Reilly was one of twenty-three British Lions playing in the match having recently returned from Australia and New Zealand. O’Reilly scored a fabulous individual try in what was said to be a brilliant match characterised by exciting open play and fitting of the occasion. England/Wales won by four goals and two tries (26 points) to Scotland/Ireland's one goal, one penalty goal and three tries (17 points).

The Man

Sir Anthony Joseph Francis O'Reilly AO (born 7 May 1936) is as well known for his exploits as a high-profile Irish businessman as he is an international rugby union player. But when it comes to his sporting career, he stands out as a true record breaker and possibly the greatest winger of all time. O'Reilly remains the British Lions and Barbarians record try scorer as well as sharing (with Mike Gibson), between 1955 and 1970, the longest International playing career for Ireland. O’Reilly made his senior international debut aged 18 against France on 22 January 1955. He scored his four tries for Ireland against France on 28 January 1956; against Scotland on 25 February 1956; against Wales in 1959; and against France in 1963. He made his final appearance for Ireland on 14 February 1970, after a six-year absence from the national team. This final appearance, against England, was an 11th-hour replacement, denying Frank O'Driscoll and which ended a seven-year hiatus of O’Reilly’s test career. He did well to last this last game at Twickenham as he was strictly a social player by then at London Irish. He spent most of the match in a daze after a blow to the head!

Tall for a wing, at 6ft 2in, and nearly 15st, O’Reilly was swift over the ground, a fine reader of the game and a brilliant finisher. He reserved his greatest feats for the Lions, for whom he felt more of an affinity in terms of style. Tony O’Reilly is enshrined as a member of the International Rugby Board's Hall of Fame.

With regards to business, Tony O’Reilly was purported to be Ireland’s first billionaire. He held positions at Independent News & Media Group, Heinz, and Waterford-Wedgwood.

International Playing Stats: Ireland played 29 times scoring 12 points, Lions 10 appearances scoring 18 points, Barbarians 30 appearances scoring 114 points.


private collection West Wales, gifted by O'Reilly to vendor, expansive letter of fascinating provenance handwritten by the vendor (see images). The letter explains the background of the vendor's ownership of the jersey since 1984, which involved a fortuitous discovery of Tony O'Reilly's Irish cap and a great deal of generosity by the vendor in returning this long lost treasure to the player. Also, to accompany, revealing ephemera including a black and white photograph of O'Reilly with the infamous Irish cap and relating typed letters from O'Reilly on Heinz headed paper and relating letter from then IRFU secretary R Fitzgerald on IRFU headed paper etc

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