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Norwich City memorabilia auctioned off
Replica Norwich City shirt signed by Johnny Gavin, Ron Ashman, Bernard Robinson, Ken Nethercott, Kevin Keelan, Terry Bly and seven others

A 59-year-old collection of vintage Norwich City memorabilia has been auctioned at Keys salerooms in Aylsham, with around 200 items sold.

Pieces that sold include a packet of reserve team programmes from 1954-1968 for £680, after an estimate of between £30-40.

The items were sold by lifelong fan and former Lord Mayor of Norwich Roy Blower.

"I'm pleased, someone will get some tremendous enjoyment," he said.

"At the end of the day, to give people a part of the history of the football club, they'll treasure that," he added.

The collection was put up for sale on Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, at a "well attended" auction room in Aylsham.

Although pleased that much of his treasure trove was sold, Roy was confused with an unexpected lack of bidding for certain items which did not reach their reserve.

Handbook for 1923 Norwich City season
Norwich City FC - A Packet of 56 Reserve Team Programmes, Seasons 1954-1968: Estimated £30-40, sold for £680
Norwich City FC - A Folder of 62 programmes, various dates from 5 December 1953 to 24 November 1956: Estimated £200-250, sold for £420
Brazil International shirt, Number "11" Swap by Gerry Goss, signed by the Welsh International Squad: Estimated £80-100, sold for £260
Norwich City FC - A Number "6" Shirt (Sponsors Admiral): Estimated £30-35, sold for £230

"Things that I expected to make money like the shirts signed by legends Bernard Robinson, Johnny Gavin [leading Norwich City goal scorer with 132 goals], Terry Bly and people of that era didn't make the reserve figure, yet an ordinary shirt signed by Chris Sutton - a good friend of mine - made £110," he said.

There was one special item however that Roy had to buy back - a Stanley Matthews framed print.

"I gave my son the opportunity to pick something and he didn't, so I did it for him," he said.

Lifetime's work

Before the auction, Roy was anxious about parting with a lifetime's work.

"It's going to be tinged with sadness," said Roy.

"I don't really want to get rid of them, but at some time in your life you have to make that decision," he added.

Roy gathered much of his anthology through a lifetime obsession with the Canaries, which started when he was seven.

Collecting pieces from match days, he also gathered items from charity events which raised money for causes such as the City Academy side.

Aged 66, the scale of his collection meant he had to store some of it in his relatives' properties.

I'm very lucky that someone has blessed me up there to have links with the football club. I sometimes pinch myself, it's surreal is my involvement.
Roy Blower

"I'm de-cluttering and I'm mindful in the years to come that we may have to downsize our house," said Roy.

Roy took a co-ordinated approach to selling his collection by ensuring he retained a few items close to his heart.

"I helped to organise a Legends event in '97 and there are only two of these [prints]," he said.

"The full complement of players signed it plus the players who played on that day - Bryan Gunn has one and I have the other," he added.

"I'm very lucky that someone has blessed me up there to have links with the football club. I sometimes pinch myself - it's surreal is my involvement," he added.

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