Collection of Norwich City memorabilia could be biggest in country
- Credit: Archant
A retired police officer believes his private collection of Norwich City memorabilia could be one of the biggest out there.
Derek Louch, who lives to the north of Norwich, owns more than 4,000 matchday programmes, 70 handbooks and hundreds of other items produced by the club over the decades.
The 66-year-old's stash dates back to the early 1900s and gives a rare insight into the club's early years.
Mr Louch started collecting City memorabilia after going to watch them play against Sunderland when he was just 14.
'I went to my first game in October 1963 when Norwich were against Sunderland,' he said. 'They were in the old second division at the time and we lost 3-2.
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'I got a programme from that game and it just started from there. I am a natural born collector and once I start on something I just don't stop.
Mr Louch's collection includes programmes from first, reserve and youth team games, old photographs, postcards and badges.
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He also owns almost all of the club's annual handbooks, with the earliest dating back to the 1906/07 season when Norwich were still playing at Newmarket Road.
He added: 'I suppose it is one of the bigger collections and there is some stuff I know that some people have not got and will never get, but that is because I started before the rush when collecting them became popular.
'The handbook [from 1906/07] is probably the most interesting item, simply because it is the oldest one and that was the club's second professional season.
'I also have 400 pre-war Pink Uns. Even in the 1920s they still had a full match report from that day, which is unbelievable considering the era.'
Some of his rarer items include programmes from the early league cup games in the 1960s and various charity cup matches.
Mr Louch said he had been able to source the items from contacts and other collectors who were selling them.
With such a vast insight into the club's history, Mr Louch said he had noticed a recurring theme over the years.
'I think the biggest problem is that Norwich has been a selling club and anytime we had someone good, we would sell them,' he said.
'That is the one common theme.'
Do you have an interesting or unusual collection? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684 or email email@example.com