PERSONAL memorabilia from the international career of a York-born Olympic, European and Commonwealth swimming champion are set to go up for auction.

The historic pieces from Anita Lonsbrough will go under the hammer in an auction on June 2, following her decision sort out her collection.

Anita was a British Empire and Commonwealth Games double gold medallist – but they still spelt her name wrong. When the 19-year-old swimmer arrived in Rome for the 1960 Summer Olympics she was issued with an official Team GB towelling robe labelled ‘A. Lonsborough’, a nice touch – apart from the fact that her name is Lonsbrough not Lonsborough.

York-born Anita wore the robe at the Stadio Olimpico del Nuoto in Rome on Saturday August 27, after which date few people would get her name wrong. That was the evening that Anita made history when she won gold in the 200 metres breaststroke – and set a new world record.

York Press: The robe Anita woreThe robe Anita wore (Image: Supplied)

Her gold medal was one of only two taken home by the British team from the Rome Olympics - and the last time a British woman swimmer would win an Olympic gold medal for 48 years.

The Team GB Olympics robe has remained amongst the treasured memorabilia of a career that saw Anita win a total of seven gold medals at Commonwealth, European and Olympic levels, set five world records and become the first sportswoman to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Now in their 80s, Anita and her husband, the former world champion cyclist Hugh Porter, have decided that the time has come to thin out their treasures and let some of them move on into other collections.

They live in Wolverhampton, but Anita wanted to send her things home to Yorkshire – where she was based throughout her competitive swimming career – and asked Scarborough auctioneers David Duggleby to handle the sale.

The collection entered in the auction includes her very first tracksuit top, a present from her parents when she started competitive swimming, festooned with the badges of the clubs and competitions in which she took part – including that of the English Schools Swimming Association whose championship she won in 1957.

York Press: Susan Atkinson pictured with one of Anita's jackets that will be up for auctionSusan Atkinson pictured with one of Anita's jackets that will be up for auction (Image: Supplied)

Auctioneer Graham Paddison said: "Items of memorabilia in this unique collection include her lucky towel’ the charm that was taken to every event and made an appearance over her shoulder in many a poolside photograph and souvenir programmes for the ‘Cavalcade of Sport’ celebration that was staged after her Olympic win.

"They are rare and one of them bears her autographed, signed on the night.”

The collection also includes the team-issue swimming costume in which Anita shot to prominence, wearing it in the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games at Cardiff where she won her first two gold medals.