A jersey worn by baseball legend Babe Ruth has sold for $4,415,656 (£2.79 million) at auction — making it the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold.
The auction house Lelands purchased the shirt which is the earliest jersey worn by Ruth known to still exist, a circa 1920 New York Yankees away shirt he wore in his first season after coming over from the Boston Red Sox
The jersey's price surpassed the $4,338,500 (£2.72m) paid in 2010 for Dr. James Naismith's founding rules of basketball — called the "Bible of Basketball" — making Ruth's the most expensive sports memorabilia in history. SCP Auctions, which ran the sale, had been speculating it would go for at least $1 million.
The most expensive football shirt sold at auction is the £157,750 paid in 2002 for the shirt worn by Pele in Brazil's 1970 World Cup triumph although the jersey worn by Geoff Hurst in the 1966 World Cup final was put up for sale with a guide price of £2.3m in 2010 without being sold.
Other Ruth items were sold at the auction, including a 1930s-era cap Ruth wore that another former Yankee player David Wells owned and used in a game in 1997 that went for $537,278 (£339,745); while one of Ruth's game-used bats went for $591,007 (£373,720).
The jersey had been displayed at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore. Baseball fans had hoped the jersey might have been moved to the famous Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, but instead it is Lelands intention to sell it to a private investor.
Mike Heffner, president of Lelands, said in a statement, "Such a spectacular piece will find a home with one of our private clients who truly appreciates its historic significance."