IT'S a piece of Saints history - and it could be yours.

Former Southampton striker James Beattie has put his beloved boots worn in the 2003 FA Cup Final up for sale in a charity auction.

The Puma boots, which are adorned with cup final stitching and the initials JB, were worn throughout the Arsenal defeat at the Millennium Stadium 17 years ago yesterday.

Prolific Beattie very nearly scored an injury time equaliser for Saints. Ashley Cole had to come to Arsenal's rescue five minutes into added time when he smuggled Beattie's impressive header off the line.

"The cup final boots have great sentimental to me but as a family we decided the money raised would be far more important to those in need at this current time and we hope the auction raises as much as possible to help," he told the Daily Echo.

Following the Twitter auction, which currently stands at £725, the boots will be signed and personalised.

Five times England capped James, who still lives in the city with his wife Sarah and their three children, will happily hand deliver the boots locally when Covid-19 restrictions allow.

Funds will be shared between NHS charities, the Saints Foundation and Sophie's Appeal, the Eastleigh charity he has long been associated with.

It was set up in memory of Sophie Barringer who died of Wilm’s Disease at the age of just five. Beattie, now first team coach at Birmingham City, was so touched by Sophie’s illness that he invited her to be a Saints matchday mascot and has stayed in touch with the family since her death in December 2004.

He and Sarah are patrons of the charity which has funded research, improvements to children’s cancer wards and a holiday cabin in Poole, and even asked for donations instead of wedding gifts.

Beattie has also helped the Saints Foundation dish out free meals to Southampton’s most vulnerable residents during the coronavirus crisis.

The gutsy marksman scored 76 goals in 233 appearances for Saints between 1998 and 2005 before joining Everton for £6 million. He remains the club’s highest-scoring centre forward in the Premier League.

Send bids to Rob Read @EditSouthampton on Twitter.