eBay tells seller to take down offensive golly badge

Credit: Wales News Service

An eBay user went online to sell a "Golly" badge - but was banned after the company said it was racist.

Unsuspecting Phil Nifield, 63, put up the rare Robertson's Golly Badge for sale after finding it in his attic.

But he was shocked when eBay sent him a warning message telling him the one-inch pin was "hateful and discriminatory".

He was also accused of using "racially offensive terms" in his description of the badge which shows a cartoon character with a football.

Old Robertson's jam Golly models. Credit: PA

Phil collected Robinson's jam jar labels as a child and sent them off to receive the badge - featuring a character in a blue and yellow top saying "Golden Shred".

He discovered it in the attic of his home in Whitchurch, Cardiff - and thought it might be "valuable".

Phil put the 50p sized breast pin on eBay - with a starting price of £29.99 - but was shocked when the website removed it.

There are many Robertson's Jam badges for sale on eBay on Thursday. Credit: eBay

Phil has sold hundreds of items online over the past few years - including Golly figurines - and had never had any trouble before.

There are dozens of pieces of Golly memorabilia on eBay and Phil is demanding an explanation why his listing was taken down.

Phil added: "I don't see why they've only flagged me up now. I sold a full set of 11 golly football players last year without any problem.

In an email eBay told Phil:

A spokesman said: "eBay is a global marketplace and community and we continually monitor the approximately 800 million items on our site and regularly evaluate our policies.

"In accordance with feedback from our community, we have made the decision to prohibit the sale of golliwog dolls and many associated products from our site globally.

"We believe this is the right thing to do and is consistent with our values as a business."

The Golly first became the mascot of Robertson's after its founder visited the US and noticed young children playing with black rag dolls supposedly made from their mothers' skirts.

James Robertson decided to make it the face for his range of products in 1910 and badges of the iconic cartoon character soon became collectors items.

Robertson's officially retired the Golly in 2002 - they claimed children no longer recognised the character and insisted the decision had nothing to do with "political correctness".