Good sport to share memorabilia collection

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AFTER 40 years, avid sports memorabilia collector Carl Wilson is finally going to put his precious hoard on display.
He is building a large extension to his garage to create a sports museum.
Mr Wilson estimates he has up to 16,000 items, including about 3000 books, as well as clothing, trophies, badges, sporting equipment and programmes.
At present they are stored in boxes and cabinets, but his sports museum will be specially designed to display items to their full potential, and to preserve them.
Light deteriorated historic pieces such as blazers and programmes and they needed to be kept behind tinted glass, he said.
He plans to allow community groups and sports clubs to show people through the museum as a fundraiser.
‘‘They could charge people $10 a head and make $1000. I’m not doing this for any profit for myself, I just want to share my collection with others.’’
After he retires — some years off yet — Mr Wilson plans to open the museum by invitation, putting the proceeds into a sports trust for young people.
‘‘I don’t care if I make nothing out of it, it’s the stories and the people I love. If people come in and we sit down and have a coffee and chew the fat and reminisce about sport, I’m happy.’’
Mr Wilson’s passion for collecting began when he was in his mid-teens. On family holidays, his sister would be ‘‘down on the beach while I was scouring the second-hand shops’’, he said.
With the advent of the internet and Trade Me, he now mostly buys items from all over the world online.
Returning memorabilia with a New Zealand connection home is a priority, but sometimes he is outbid.
‘‘David Gallaher’s 1905 rugby jersey went up for sale in Wales recently. I set myself up to have a crack… but it went for £180,000.’’
He is still buying and doesn’t intend to stop, which leaves him with a problem — the new museum still won’t be big enough.
‘‘I’ll just keep on storing stuff in boxes.’’

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