Wonderful Wembley

London: Stanley Paul and Co. Ltd, [1953]. First printing. Hardcover. 8 1/2 by 5 3/4 inches; 219 by 145 mm. 192 pages. Hardcover, in fine condition, bound in red cloth with black lettering on the spine, in a good blue-and-white jacket with a photo of the stadium on the front panel. The jacket is quite clean but has three closed tears up to three inches long and a 1-by-2-inch "V"-shaped chip at the top edge of the rear panel. Jacket is enclosed in a clear, archival-quality, removable protective cover. Item #459

An account of first three decades of the stadium and its associated arena, illustrated with 24 black-and-white photos. A great association copy featuring two sports businessmen and promoters, with a nine-line inscription on the front free endpaper from Arthur Elvin, the sports entrepreneur who went from working at a tobacco kiosk at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition, for which the stadium and Wembley Arena were built, to gaining control of the facilities following the exhibition. For three decades after 1924 Elvin arranged all sorts of contests and spectacles at Wembley. Besides the obvious use as England's top venue for soccer, Wembley hosted the 1948 summer Olympic Games and many other events including rugby, greyhound racing, motor racing, ice shows, ice hockey, boxing, cycling and rodeos. Elvin was knighted in 1946. This copy was inscribed in 1955 to Morris Chalfen of Minneapolis, who owned the Holiday on Ice skating show at the time (and who also happened to be one of the original owners of the Minneapolis [and future Los Angeles] Lakers basketball team). Laid into the book is a 21-line typed letter, folded twice and also signed, from Elvin to Chalfen, in which Elvin presents the book, briefly discusses his regret that the Holiday on Ice show at Wembley in the summer of 1955 was not more profitable for Chalfen, and expresses hope for better results in the future.

Price: $325.00

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