SPORTS memorabilia expert Alistair Lofley once smuggled 20,000 football programmes into his house after they arrived on the back of a lorry.

Now the football enthusiast is coming to Oxford to value old programmes for U’s fans.

Mr Lofley will be at The Victoria Arms in Old Marston on Wednesday, October 3 to value sports memorabilia for fans, which could then be auctioned at a later date.

Derby fan Mr Lofley said: “I started collecting football programmes when I was eight and I have never looked back - now it’s my hobby and something I work on as well.

“Back in the 1990s I bought 20,000 programmes in one go and when they arrived at the house my wife Amanda was not too chuffed but luckily we are still together.”

Mr Lofley, who now keeps his 100,000-strong collection in several lock-ups, urged U’s fans to bring in programmes they thought could be valuable.

He added: “It’s the rarity value rather than a high-scoring game that will dictate a big price.

“Any programmes from the Headington United days before the team became Oxford United could fetch some money.

“And Alex Ferguson’s first game in charge of Manchester United in 1986, a 2–0 defeat to Oxford, is also quite sought after.

“A lot of people were looking for it when Sir Alex retired.”

The valuation event is being organised by Hansons Auctioneers and will take place at the pub in Mill Lane from 11am to 2pm.

General valuer Ben Cooper will assess antiques, jewellery or watches while Mr Lofley will value programmes, matchday tickets, match-worn shirts and autographs,or general memorabilia relating to any sport.

Mr Lofley said some sought-after programmes could fetch thousands of pounds.

In 2013 a programme from the 1882 FA Cup final sold at auction for £35,250 and earlier this year at Hansons, a 1924 Aston Villa v Newcastle FA Cup final programme fetched £2,100.

Another top seller was a 1953 FA Cup final football, used when Blackpool beat Bolton 4-3. It sold for £5,250.

In addition, a bag of assorted football programmes, including a 1966 Scottish Cup Final programme, fetched £780. Valuable items can be entered into Hansons’ November 23 sporting auction.

Mr Lofley added: “I love football programmes because they are all so different. When you pick one up, they bring back so many memories of a particular match.”

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