'Mr Norwich City' to auction Canaries memorabilia
Kim BriscoeA treasure trove of Norwich City memorabilia, reverently gathered by a devoted fan over six decades will be going under the hammer next week.Well-known Canaries fan Roy Blower has taken the difficult decision to clear out his prized collection, including items from the club's epic FA Cup run of 1959 and the equally memorable UEFA Cup adventures of 1993.Kim Briscoe
A treasure trove of Norwich City memorabilia, reverently gathered by a devoted fan over six decades will be going under the hammer next week.
Well-known Canaries fan Roy Blower has taken the difficult decision to clear out his prized collection, including items from the club's epic FA Cup run of 1959 and the equally memorable UEFA Cup adventures of 1993.
The Norwich City Independent Supporters Association (NCISA) president has taken the reluctant decision to de-clutter his home by off-loading in the region of 1,000 individual historic items which will go under the hammer at Keys salerooms in Aylsham on November 25.
The collection is expected to cause a flutter of excitement among fellow fans eager to snap up rare programmes, signed shirts and autographed footballs.
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'It will be sad to see it go,' said the former Lord Mayor, who has been an ardent Norwich fan since the late 1940s and is viewed by many people as Mr Norwich City.
'It will be a poignant occasion for me, and there will be a tear or two in my eyes. There are memories associated with all of the items so it will be difficult to say goodbye.'
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Keys partner and Canaries fan Roy Murphy, who plans to handle the sale himself, said: 'It is probably the largest collection of Norwich City memorabilia we have ever handled - the sheer volume of items is staggering.
'He has highly-prized items significant to Norwich City's history from each of the last eight decades.'
The collection is not just Norwich City either, with 1966 England memorabilia, an England rugby shirt worn by Martin Johnson and more up-to-date football kit signed by superstars Thierry Henry and Rio Ferdinand.
Mr Murphy said 'Mr Blower is admired and respected by Norwich City fans everywhere and the ownership factor adds to the provenance. I think a lot of people will come along just because it is Mr Blower's personal collection.'
Mr Blower, 66, said he had partly taken the decision to sell in a bid to de-clutter in case he and his wife Beryl decided to down-size their home in the future.
The proceeds will also come in handy as the couple have also recently undergone expensive laser eye surgery, although Mr Blower's has not gone smoothly and he is experiencing some problems with his eyesight.
Mr Blower, who is a Norwich city councillor and recently stepped down from being a county councillor, first started watching Norwich City in the late 1940s, and has always taken an enthusiastic interest which went far beyond standing on the terraces. He sold 2d On The Ball tickets, was a programme seller and a cushion seller, and then a steward.
He is now an NCFC associate director, was chairman of the Norwich City Independent Supporters Association (NCISA) for 12 years, and vice chairman of the Friends of Norwich City Youth (FONCY).
t An England shirt from the 1966 World Cup, signed by all the team, with the exception of the late Bobby Moore and Sir Bobby Charlton. The price guide for this is �1,250 to �1,500
t A signed print of the 1997 Norwich City legends which celebrates the club's 95 year history, priced at �120 to �150
t Shirts from the 1993-4 UEFA Cup run, from Vitesse Arnhem, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan
t An England Under-23 shirt signed by former Canary winger Ruel Fox and a full England shirt from Chris Sutton, whose illustrious career also included spells at Chelsea and Celtic. He is now manager of Lincoln City
t A shirt signed by Delia Smith
t Rare programmes from the 1920s and 1930s
t A wages slip from the 1956-7, season when the Canaries finished bottom of the Football League. It includes some great Canary names, including Johnny Gavin, Terry Bly, Matt Crowe, Roy McCrohan, Bill Lewis and Ken Oxford. The slip recalls one of the blackest periods in the club's history, when blanket collections became the norm and the wage bill was paid for a time by the Norfolk News Company - later Eastern Counties Newspapers, and now Archant Norfolk, publishers of the Eastern Daily Press and Evening News.
Auction previews are on November 24 from 2-7pm and on the day of the auction. The auction is on November 25 at 10.30am at Keys on Palmers Lane, Aylsham.
The catalogue can be viewed online at www.aylshamsalerooms.co.uk, and online bidding will be accepted.