An extremely rare Beatles record that was found gathering dust in a loft is to be auctioned next month, and is expected fetch at least $10,000.

The 10-inch record of ‘Till There Was You’ and ‘Hello Little Girl’ is described as a “Holy Grail item” by Beatles collectors, and bears the handwriting of the Fab Four’s manager Brian Epstein. It was cut before the band broke through to the national charts in late 1962, and the predicted price is only a conservative estimate since the record is so rare.

It was discovered in the home of Les Maguire, who used to be the keyboardist in The Beatles’ early Liverpool rivals Gerry & The Pacemakers, where it was left in the attic for decades.

The BeatlesThe Beatles circa 'Sgt. Pepper's' era

The recording was made at the HMV store in London’s Oxford Street, and was presented to producer George Martin at the EMI record label in an effort to secure the fledgling group a recording contract. 74 year old Maguire, of Formby in Merseyside, was given the record by Martin in 1963, whereupon it was carefully wrapped in paper and stored away for more than 50 years.

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Maguire described the record as “special” and a “one-off”, but has revealed his motivation for deciding to move it on. “I've never been a big fan of memorabilia, but people seem to like it,” he said. “It's no good to me so I've given it to my granddaughter, who is hoping to buy a house after passing her accountancy exams. I hope it goes for a good price.”

Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn wrote about the mythical record in his book, ‘Tune In’, that its value is “enhanced by Brian Epstein's handwriting on the labels, and the recognition of what it led to.”

Even more unusual is that the first track is actually credited to ‘Paul McCartney & The Beatles’, whereas the flip side is credited to ‘John Lennon & The Beatles’.

The unbelievably rare record will go under the hammer at Omega Auctions in Warrington on March 22nd, and will be shown on the internet to allow worldwide bidding.

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