As a self confessed hoarder of football memorabilia I know the day is coming when I will have to part with my precious collection / Dave Thomas

I’m a collector and a hoarder.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 12:30 pm
Dave Thomas admits he is a hoarder and collector

I watch Mike Wolf and American Pickers, and Drew Pritchard and Antique Salvage. I am green with envy as I see other folks’ wonderful collections; tin signs, old bottles, model cars, train sets, advertising or pictorial beer cans.

All I have left now is the football stuff.

My football collection is modest and only fills the office, the basement, and the grandson’s bedroom.

I keep promising to have a thinning, a clear-out, give some stuff away, maybe even sell some of it.

The office is filled with shelves that groan with ring binders, notebooks, files, and box files. They contain records and scrapbooks of every Burnley season for maybe the last 20 years or so. I started them when I began to write Burnley books. It was not unusual to go out on a Sunday morning and buy up to four newspapers if there had been a BIG win.

The three scrapbooks of the Coyle promotion season are bulging. For all other seasons there is a lever arch file.

For every book I’ve written there are files and folders filled with research, cuttings, notes and letters. There are ring binders filled with the old photographs, collected and bought, or been given. There are ring binders filled with material for books yet to write.

Down in the basement, the walls are lined with shelving. That’s where the football biogs and autobiogs go, Shankly, Clough, Busby, wartime football, old legends of the game; some of them bought for a quid, dozens of them, some of them hugely readable, some of them rubbish.

There must be over 100 old football annuals from the 50s and 60s.

There are shelves of old Burnley videos but there is no longer a video player I can use to view them.

Then there are the shelves and boxes of old programmes. There must be hundreds, newer ones, more like glossy magazines, a far cry from the thin paper versions we used to buy in 1959/60 when we won the title.

There was a Southampton programme that was so big it needed a seat of its own.

Jimmy Mac signed a whole batch of programmes from the European Cup season. The special ones are in plastic display folders. There are Wembley play-off final programmes and ones with just a sentimental value like the crumpled thing I bought at Doncaster in the 1981/82 promotion season.

Some programmes you just associate with an event in your life.

Then there are all the old newspapers, mostly Burnley Express pull-outs and commemorative editions when something good happened. Who will ever forget the 4-1 win at Tottenham in the League Cup nearly 40 years ago?

Winning the 1981/82 Third Division title; there’s a whole bundle of stuff related to that and another one for the 1972/73 Second Division title win. Oh, and Stan Ternent’s promotion in 2000, another box.

But just one problem comes to mind. There is so much of this collection, I do wonder what I will do with it all. One day it will all need another good home but just how and when am I going to part with it all? And to whom?

Fancy making me an offer?