Tom Brady's 'last touchdown' ball sells for $518k just hours before NFL legend announces shock return from retirement

AN UNNAMED bidder paid over $518,000 for the ball thrown by Tom Brady for his 'final' NFL touchdown – just hours before the legendary quarterback came out of retirement.

Brady, 44, sensationally u-turned on his decision to retire on Sunday almost six weeks after the initial announcement.



The former Patriot has spent 22 seasons in the NFL, winning seven Super Bowl titles and is widely regarded as the best quarterback of all time.

Initially, he had hung up his boots on February 1 after telling fans he needed to focus 'time and attention' on other things.

But his sensational about-turn came on March 13, as Brady took to social media to announce he'd join up with the Bucs next season.

All this came just a little too late for the unlucky bidder though, who shelled out at eye-watering amount on Brady's 'final' touchdown ball in a frantic auction.

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Hosted by Lelands, bidding for the ball started around $100,000 in early February and had 23 offers by Sunday morning.

The ball came from the Bucs January playoff defeat to LA Rams in the NFC Divisional Round.

Brady tossed a signature 55-yard dime to Mike Evans, who proceeded to celebrate by throwing the ball directly into the crowd behind the End Zone.

Whichever lucky fan caught it has now cashed in to the tune of over half a million dollars.

'CONCLUSIVELY PHOTO MATCHED'

The Leland's auction page read: "This ball has been consigned directly from the fan who caught it after Evans tossed it into the stands.

"That impeccable provenance notwithstanding, the ball has also been conclusively photo matched.

"It is only through an incredible stroke of luck that this ball is available to private collectors.

"If Evans had not tossed it into the stands, it would still be in the possession of the Buccaneers and would never be offered publicly."

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And for the unfortunate buyer, they're now the owner of a rather insignificant – but extremely expensive – token from close-run playoff defeat.

With Brady's retirement now consigned to history, it's unlikely the ball is worth anywhere near the six-figure sum paid.

This isn't the first time Evans has handed away a ball to the Bucaneers faithful.

After catching what was Brady's 600th career NFL touchdown last October, he leapt the barriers and handed the keepsake to a lucky fan.

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But such was the significance for that moment, Brady had staff hunt it down again and re-reimburse fan Byron Kennedy with a number of gifts.

The Tampa Bay supporter was handed a season ticket, autographed gear and bizarrely a bitcoin for his trouble.

Despite a late touchdown from Leonard Fournette, Brady was unable to inspire the Bucs to victory against the Rams as they eventually fell to an agonizing 27-30 defeat.

Los Angeles pushed on from defeating the reigning Super Bowl champions to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy themselves on February 13.


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