Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

John's Love for United Proves Invaluable

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

John's Love for United Proves Invaluable

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Proctor Reporter

THE treasured memorabilia collection of tragic Toon fan John Alder has raised a staggering PS26,000 for charity.

But his loving family kept one item back for themselves, winning a PS200 bid for his 1970s vintage black-and-white scarf.

John's sister Joyce Robbins said: "My daughter wanted the scarf and it will be nice for her to keep.

"The auction has done so well, but really we would rather John was here and collecting things to fill another 20 boxes."

MH17 flight victim John had collected hundreds of programmes from Newcastle United games going back to 1920, as well as sports books, tickets, an FA Cup and a Fairs' Cup programme.

Following his death in July 2014, when the Malaysia Airlines flight he was travelling on was shot down over Ukraine, the 63-year-old's family realised they had inherited an incredible collection of football memorabilia and wanted to use it to raise money for charity.

Fellow United fan Liam Sweeney, 28, from Westerhope, Newcastle, died on the same flight and dad Barry attended the auction to give his support.

John's family had hoped to make PS18,000 from 224 lots, but as the auction got under way at St James' Park yesterday, family, friends and football collectors bid far more than expected, making PS26,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

One Newcastle based collector bought a 1924 Newcastle United vs Aston Villa FA Cup Final programme for PS3,200 and a Fairs Cup programme from when Newcastle United played Pesci Dosza in November 1970 for PS1,800.

A London-based collector spent PS6,000 on various lots. However, John's football pals were also in the auction and one friend bought dozens of programmes to honour his commitment to his beloved team.

A PS20 picture of St James' Park before it was redeveloped, which sat on the mantlepiece of John's home in Gateshead, went for PS360. …

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