A huge collection of football memorabilia amassed by a lifelong fan is being auctioned off in York with an estimated value of £15,000.

Around 10,000 footballers' autographs from icons including Pele and George Best - along with shirts and programmes - were collected by Leeds United fan Edward Spink.

He spent a lifetime collecting shirts and scarves from his beloved club, as well as signatures from seemingly every player to ever grace the English football pyramid.

After his death, his collection was left to distant relatives as Edward never married and had no close family.

York Press: Edward SpinkEdward Spink (Image: SWNS)

But it is now going under the hammer to give footy fans the chance to grab a piece of history, including match programmes from before the war.

Auctioneer Will Duggleby said: “Relatives who had the task of moving the collection from his home in Thorpe Arch to the storage facility after his death earlier this year said there was hardly room to move in the cottage.

"It required a Luton van to transport it all to the York saleroom.


“It is quite extraordinary, a massive – well organised - collection, built up over a period of half a century by a dedicated enthusiast, simply for the pleasure of it. By all accounts Edward did not view it as a financial investment and never ever sold any of its rarities.”

Edward was taken to his first game at Elland Road as an 11-year-old schoolboy in the 1960s, triggering a lifelong obsession.

York Press: Badges from the collectionBadges from the collection (Image: SWNS)

He never married and spent his entire career with the NatWest, working his way up to assistant bank manager.

He followed Leeds United home and away for decades and collected the autograph of 'just about anybody who kicked a football', auctioneers said.

His collection makes up 83 of 85 lots for sale in an online auction this week.

It includes thousands of football programmes, an estimated 10,000 autographs, ticket stubs for matches from the 1970s, more than 2,000 pin badges, 36 scarves, 48 different replica shirts and signed books.

And amazingly, Edward found time to collect memorabilia from the world of cricket, rugby and golf, which are also available.

York Press: The collection on showThe collection on show (Image: SWNS)

Lee Wood, from auctioneers Duggleby Stephenson in York, said: “The oldest of the thousands of programmes is for a Leeds v Wolves reserve team fixture that took place in October 1923.

"It doesn’t sound very exciting but it could be the only surviving example of the programme

“The noteworthy programme lots include a number from the 1930s and 40s, massive runs of home and away Leeds United programmes from later in the century and an impressive collection of FA Cup Final programmes, some from the 1960s and 70s, that are being sold together with European Cup and Champions League Final programmes.

"The autograph collection is simply mind blowing. It includes just about everyone who has worn a Leeds United shirt in the past 40 or 50 years – and some who played for the club even before that. It contains no fewer than a dozen John Charles autographs.

“But the Leeds stuff is just the start. He gathered autographs, sometimes multiple signatures, from teams and players all over the UK and indeed Europe too.

"Stanley Matthews, Bobby Charlton, George Best, Pele, Franz Beckenbauer . . . it goes on and on. Absolutely stunning.”

The catalogue can be viewed at www.dugglebystephenson.com or their auction house in York until 4.30pm on Friday.

The online auction is scheduled to end at 7pm on Sunday evening, but if any bids are placed in the last 10 minutes of the auction, a 10 additional minutes will be added to the auction time.