Business housing more than a million football programmes still needs a buyer
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A football memorabilia dealer is still looking for someone to buy his unique business - containing more than a million matchday programmes.
The last five decades have seen endearing souvenirs worth thousands of pounds pass in and out of the Bungay premises, but Mr Earl says the time has come to move on and is looking for another football fanatic to take the reins.
But the never-ending collection of copies from matches including European classics and cup finals remains stacked up at the Broad Street base, waiting to be given a new home.
“I had somebody who was very interested last year - a German chap who lives in Hungary - and he actually came over twice to visit me and take it all in,” he said.
“We had pretty much agreed on a price but unfortunately he couldn’t raise all the money in the end. He’s still interested so we’ll have to see what happens.
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“Plenty of others have been interested as well but the problem for a lot of people boils down to the storage space.”
One of rarest programmes in Mr Earl’s hoard is from the 1973 European Cup Final contested between Ajax and Juventus, thought to fetch about £4,000 with just 400 copies in existence.
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His oldest copy is from the 1921 FA Cup final, while the charming programme for the 1950 World Cup final is among his favourites.
The Norwich City season ticket holder stopped monitoring the size of the collection when it hit a million copies and, while he waits patiently for the right buyer, business must continue as usual.
“I’m still carrying on with buying in new stock,” added Mr Earl, who believes there is significant potential for the business to grow online. “Programmes have been coming in all season and this week I’m getting in copies for the upcoming Carabao Cup Final.
“Although I’d like to move on, I’m looking to carry on with some of the old stuff which I’m more sentimental about and is not quite so heavy going.
“I’m just not sure anyone has the space to accommodate everything!”