Football memorabilia seller keeping the hobby thriving with fair in Northampton this weekend

This is the fourth year of the fair, where vendors will sell cards, shirts, stickers and much more
Terry O’Neil hosts the fair.Terry O’Neil hosts the fair.
Terry O’Neil hosts the fair.

A football memorabilia fair, with vendors from across the country, will take place in Northampton this weekend.

Terrys Sports Auctions is hosting a football programme and memorabilia fair on Sunday (July 30) at The Park Inn by the Radisson hotel.

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There will be a total of 12 vendors selling various items of football history dating back to the first world war.

Terry O’Neil, the owner of Terry Sports and Auctions, spoke to Chronicle & Echo about his interest in the hobby that turned into a business.

The 59-year-old has been into collecting programmes since he was a young boy when he used to watch Aston Villa. He always liked looking at the facts, figures and other statistics that made the game even more interesting than just watching them on the pitch.

Terry thinks the fair would be great for anyone to buy vintage parts of football history, even if they have a passing interest in football or have been interested in collecting memorabilia for decades, trying to finish various collections.

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Vendors are coming from all over the country, including London, Sheffield, Leicester, Derby and three vendors from Northampton. They and Terry have been friends for years, and they often all come down to support each other as possible.

Whilst the goal of any sales fair is to make money and get as many people there as possible, Terry also wants people to be able to enjoy the hobby. He said: “I want the vendors and people that come to trade memorabilia to be happy even if they have a better day than me.”

As a vendor and a collector of memorabilia, Terry has been all over the country to find football memorabilia and make contacts. He has even bumped into celebrities like actors Luke and Elliot Tittensor from House Of The Dragon, the prequel to Game Of Thrones and the former football presenter Angus Loughran.

He has seen some incredibly rare items sold at similar events, such as football programmes from the 1920s and 1930s and statues from the 1940s. Terry has found that the most popular items sold are usually local team memorabilia. Still, he did mention that Premier League teams such as Chelsea and Manchester United also sell well.

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For some of these items to be appreciated, you need to be into collecting, according to Terry which is something he worries is dying out amongst the younger generations as the people currently into collecting old and rare programmes and the like are in between 50-80 years old, according to him.

He added: “People will bring old programmes to sell to vendors that belong to their dad and grandad, and there's the sad fact that football memorabilia is a dying breed because things like football programes are printed less as some clubs don't print them anymore, and people stop collecting as they can't find things worth keeping

“It is hard to get youngsters to get into that collector's mindset as most of them are on their Xbox or whatever it is they play. And they don't tend to collect.”

The key thing that makes many of these items valuable, according to Terry, would be the level of rarity, especially if they are from games that were postponed or from big victories or key games such as the 1966 world cup, the last time the English men's team won a national tournament.

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