The shirt that fetched 6,000 euros was worn by Kompany while playing as an Anderlecht player. All shirts worn by members of the Belgium football team, the Red Devils, are immensely popular.
The people behind the shirt auctions are two Dutch brothers, Tijmen and Bob Zonderwijk. They started selling worn, unwashed shirts two and a half years ago. Today their company MatchWornShirt has offices in London and the Netherlands. Practically all major clubs are customers.
Bids can still be made on shirts worn by members of the Belgium team that thrashed England 2-0 in Leuven last Sunday. Kevin De Bruyne’s shirt is going for at least 1,500 euros.
Bids can be made online as soon as a game starts. After the match the shirts are signed and dispatched to MatchWornShirt, where they are photographed and posted online. 80% of takings go to the club that spends 95% of this money on charity. The remaining 5% goes on youth training projects. The other 20% is the brother’s take.
One club, Real Madrid, had reservations. It feared that unscrupulous people could use the DNA culled from worn shirts. The solution proved to be a procedure using UV-C light that destroys any DNA on a shirt!