John Alder, from Low Fell, was one of 298 people whose lives were tragically cut short when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July last year.
Along with fellow fan, Liam Sweeney, he was travelling to New Zealand to watch Newcastle United play in a pre-season tournament.
After an early swimming carrier, John became a dedicated Newcastle United supporter, missing just one game, home and away, in 40 years. He was also an avid collector of football programmes and his home was full of boxes of carefully stored items.
John’s family very kindly donated the collection to help the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and, with our support and the help of Newcastle United, was auctioned at St James’ Park.
Thousands of match programmes, tickets and books went under the hammer, dating from 1920s to the present day, and the total collection sold for over £26,000, thrashing its £18,000 estimate.
Made up of 224 lots to make bidding as accessible as possible for collectors and football fans and, reflecting John’s passion for the club, the majority relate to Newcastle United, although other clubs and international programmes also feature.
Before the Auction, Fred Wyrley-Birch, auctioneer at Anderson and Garland said: “We’re very proud to be involved with this auction. It’s a huge responsibility and we hope John would approve of the way we’ve catalogued his wonderful collection.
“So many people have volunteered their time to help us. It’s been a great team effort from everyone here at Anderson and Garland, our associates and Newcastle United.
“We’re all hoping the collection achieves a significant amount for the charity in John’s name.”
Anderson and Garland and Newcastle United offered their services free of charge to help John’s family and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. In addition, the PR team at Sarah Hall Consulting Ltd, Anderson and Garland’s carrier Gary Cook and The-Saleroom.com are also volunteering their services at no cost and this means the collection will be available for anyone to bid on via the internet.
Fred adds: “We’re so pleased to have the collection available for online bidding and we’re expecting strong interest from ex-pats.
“It seems very fitting that Geordies, home and away, will be able to get involved and anyone interested in online bidding should register as soon as possible via our website.”
John’s extensive collection includes match programmes from the 1924 onwards which he sought from other collectors as well a tremendous volume of programmes and tickets from games he attended over 40 years following Newcastle United.
These include rarities from pre-season friendly fixtures, like Newcastle United’s tour of Southern Africa during 1952, to John’s one and only NUFC scarf.
The final lot, number 224, is the match programme from Newcastle United’s pre-season friendly at Oldham Athletic on 15th July 2014, which was the final game John attended.
John’s sister, Joyce Robbins, says: “This collection and following Newcastle United meant the world to John and we wanted to do something special with it.
“It wasn’t really practical to keep his collection together and the whole family agreed it should be donated to charity.
“We hope the people who buy the different lots treasure this memorabilia as John did. We’re very proud that John’s enthusiasm for football will go on to help other people through the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.”
John Alder’s football collection will be available to view at St James’ Park on Saturday 21st February between 10am-4pm and again on Sunday 22 February from 10am. The auction begins at noon on Sunday.
FA Cup Final programme, 1924 Sold £3,200
Pecsi Dozsa v Newcastle United Fairs Cup, November 4th 1970
FA Cup Final programme Newcastle United v Arsenal (N), April 23rd 1932
Liverpool v Newcastle United, August 31st 1997.
NB This programme is for a match cancelled at short
notice following the death of Lady Diana Spencer
Oldham Athletic v Newcastle United, July 15th 2014;
Oldham Athletic v Newcastle United.
NB This pre season Friendly was the last match for
John Alder to attend before boarding his flights to New Zealand.
Town & County Auction
The Book Auction
The Collectors' Auction
Town & County Auction
Please enter your email address below, we will send you a notification email when the sale is available to view online.