The pocket watch of a famous Welsh footballer from Chirk has been bought for more than £3,000 at an auction.

Billy Meredith was born in 1874 and began his playing career at Chirk, before going on to play for both Manchester United and Manchester City, and gaining 48 caps for the Welsh national team.

Meredith scored 176 goals in 740 league and cup appearances before retiring at the age of 47 in 1924, making him City’s oldest ever player.

The watch, found by Sheila Stevenson, bore an inscription honouring Meredith, which read: “Presented to W. Meredith, Manchester City FC, to commemorate winning the English Cup (FA Cup), 1903-1904.”

It went to auction on Thursday at Hansons Auctioneers And Valuers Ltd. in Derbyshire, with an estimated value of £2,000 to £4,000, and was eventually bought for £3,400.

Sports valuer at Hansons, Alistair Lofley, said the watch is an item of huge significance.

He said: “This watch has phenomenal sporting pedigree.

“Billy was a football legend who has been described as a superstar of his day, an old-school Cristiano Ronaldo.

“He played until he was 47 and his gimmick was to chew on a toothpick during games.”

Hansons’ head of media Jill Galone was in the auction room when the watch was sold.

She said: “The item was sold at a very good price. It was estimated at £2,000 to £4,000.

“It is often the case items are given quite a broad estimated price, and this item almost reached the very top end of its estimation.

“Our head of the sporting department, David Wilson-Turner, believed it was a good price for such a historical sporting item.

“There was a lot of interest from people in the sales room, which was packed.

“Having such a busy sales room is not always the case nowadays with people able to bid online, but there was clearly a lot of interest in the items up for auction today.”

Sheila, who originally took the watch for a valuation after finding it in a draw at home, had no idea of its worth.

She said: “The watch was left to Simon when he was six by his great-grandfather Jack Reid. I never thought anything of it, just that it was a nice gold watch. I put it away in a drawer.

“The watch stayed in the drawer for decades. Then one day I mentioned to a visitor who supported Manchester United that I had ‘a gold watch from some footballer’. When he saw it had been presented to Billy Meredith he couldn’t believe it, he was on cloud nine.”