We use cookies to give you the best browsing experience. If you close this message or continue browsing, we will take it that you consent to this and we won't remind you again. You can disable cookies in Privacy Policy.

Close
  • Start Live chat
menu

Living on a debt solution

Former England star auctions off football memorabilia following bankruptcy

Posted 14 November 2014

Find out which debt solution is right for you

Get started

Answer a few simple questions

See if you are suitable

Understand your next steps

Even the rich and famous can find themselves declared bankrupt, as the recent news that David James is auctioning off his belongings to raise cash shows.


Former England goalkeeper David James is auctioning off a series of football memorabilia in an effort to raise funds as part of his recent bankruptcy.


The Premier League footballer, who played for Manchester City, Liverpool, West Ham and Portsmouth as well as his country during his career, was declared bankrupt in May. One of the key factors behind his financial problems is thought to be his divorce in 2005 and the amount of money he was ordered to pay his ex-wife in the divorce settlement, according to the Daily Mail.


Lucky fans will be able to bid on memorabilia including football and goalkeeper tops … many of which are signed … DJ equipment, records and even a van through the auctioneer Hilco.

Change in circumstances

As James’ experience demonstrates, a change in life circumstances such as a divorce, the loss of an income or a new child coming along can have a serious impact on your finances. If the result is that you can no longer make ends meet and cover your usual outgoings with the money you have coming in, you may find yourself struggling.


Bankruptcy is typically regarded as the most serious answer to debt problems … but it is just one of the solutions available. Those who are declared bankrupt often have to sell off their assets like property, cars and even valuable belongings like jewellery, designer clothes and technology, to raise as much money as they can to go towards their outstanding debts. However, once a bankruptcy order has come to an end, that person often has the chance to start rebuilding their finances; making a fresh start for themselves.


While James is said to have lost millions of pounds, resulting in his bankruptcy, debts amounting to thousands or even hundreds of pounds can weigh deep on some borrowers. If you’re worried about a debt that you’re having trouble keeping on top of, it may be worth speaking to one of our expert advisors for information on possible steps you could take next.

The not-so-rich and famous

David James is far from being the only celebrity to file for bankruptcy. Here are just a few others:


  • George Best … Another footballing icon to blow his fortune and be declared bankrupt was George Best. Regarded as one of the best footballers of his time, the late Manchester United hero encountered grave financial difficulties. His son, Calum, also filed for bankruptcy last year after being unable to pay his tax bill.
  • Christopher Biggins … The pantomime star and winner of I’m A Celebrity admitted to the Telegraph that he entered voluntary bankruptcy in the ‘90s. The actor revealed that his problems started when he began spending more than he was earning, which may not be uncommon among people who find they get in trouble with borrowing.
  • Shane Filan … As the lead singer of Westlife, many people may have assumed Shane was living on top of the world. However, the singer invested his money in property and lost millions in the Irish house market crash. Today, he says he’s more of a saver than a spender.
  • Lady Gaga … In what must be one of the more unusual causes of bankruptcy, Grammy Award-winning artist Lady Gaga was reportedly declared bankrupt after spending too much money on costumes for her Monster’s Ball tour. However, she claims she was not even aware of this until much later.

by Christine Walsh

Back to blog home

Did you find this useful? Share it with others!

To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.