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Sports collection of late Leeds United fan ran into hundreds

Some of the of football programmes collected by Gary Wilson.

Some of the of football programmes collected by Gary Wilson.

A collection of sporting memorabilia dating back to the 1940s has been discovered at a house in Leeds.

The cache includes hundreds of Leeds United match programmes, annuals and books.

They were collected by the late Gary Wilson, who had cerebral palsy and died in November aged 78.

Long-term friend and carer Trevor McDonnell, 71, said: “If he knew someone was going to a match, he would ask them to get a programme. He had an entire room full.”

The collection is mainly to do with Leeds United but extend to Leeds Rhinos and local cricketing paraphernalia.

Mr McDonnell said: “When he was a child, his father took him in his wheelchair up to Headingley and some of the programmes go back that far.

“I have known him since 1962 when I was worked in social services at the council and helped set up the Seymour social club. We went to Headingley regularly. He became part of the family, coming with me and my grandchildren to Wembley.

“Gary was very brave. He could not get himself out of bed, he had a carer do it and when he went to bed at night, he was on his own. At some of the day centres, his nickname was Mr Independence.

“It would be easy to think his life was a toil but Gary enjoyed life and had a ready smile - when you asked him if he was alright, he would always say yes.

“Even though he had no family, at his funeral, the church was full, which says a lot about how people felt about him.”

Mr McDonnell added: “I would like to see the collection go to a good home.”

 

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