On a habitual Saturday morning op shop stop, it was a trendy brown jacket that caught Linda Blincko's eye. But the real treasure was in its pocket.

Her friend, Cathy Gunn, tried on the suede coat in the Devonport second-hand store and put her hand in the pocket to get a proper feel for it. There she found quite the conversation starter - a ticket stub from a 1981 Springboks tour game.

"We were absolutely gobsmacked. We looked at it and did a double-take - it was just this incredible piece of New Zealand history in a pocket of a very nice retro jacket.

"It made us conjure up all sorts of ideas of what this person might have been like," Ms Blincko said.


The stub is from the September 5, 1981, game between Auckland and South Africa at Eden Park, a week before the final game of the infamous tour which provoked widespread protests around the New Zealand. Ms Blincko's stub shows the drama of the time - organisers specifically said "banners, placards, flags or poles for displaying the same" were forbidden.

Ms Blincko opposed the tour, but said with the passing years diluting her passion, she was interested in the motives of the person who went to the match, which Auckland won, 39-12.

"There were people who went along to the game with the idea that it was such a significant game. Sport was, and sport still is, such a big part of New Zealand identity ... So it would be really interesting to think of the perception that person held ..."

Ms Blincko plans to include the stub in an exhibition at her workplace, The Depot Artspace in Devonport.

It seems the piece of recent history wouldn't raise much at auction.

Head of the antiques and decorative arts department at Webb's auction house, James Hogan, said: " I don't think it would have huge value, but it certainly has [curiosity] value and historical value."