Pele auctioning World Cup winner's medals among 1,500 memorabilia lots

Pele will sell his three World Cup winner's medals as part of a large auction of his memorabilia from his storied life in June.

The Brazil legend will auction off items ranging from football awards to personal passports to gifts from dignitaries.

The item expected to fetch the highest price is a replica of the Jules Rimet trophy that was made for him after Brazil won the 1970 World Cup.

Julien's Auctions, which is handling the event in London, expects the trophy to go for between £281,000 and £420,000 ($408,000-$610,000), while his medals could fetch £141,000 ($205,000) each.

The 75-year-old Pele, who has had surgery on his back, hip and prostate within the past year, told the BBC the time had come to let others maintain his collection.

"It was a difficult decision to make but it takes a lot to properly care for these artefacts, and I felt I could do much more good by sharing these items with the world, as well as helping my causes that are important to me," he said.

Julien's Auctions's Dan Nelles said some of the proceeds would benefit the Pequeno Principe paediatric hospital in Brazil.

"He had a lot of the property in storage, and it wasn't seeing the light of day, which this auction now allows," Nelles told the BBC. "Also, he wasn't sure what of it his family wanted to keep, and he didn't want it [the collection] to fall by the wayside."

Among the 1,500 lots up for sale are the ball with which he scored his 1,000th goal, game-worn shirts, his NASL championship ring, and a pair of boots worn in the film "Escape to Victory."