If you need proof that kindness still exists in football, look no further than Dr. David France and Everton Football Club, and the story behind the greatest collection of football memorabilia ever assembled.
Known as The David France Collection, it’s an incredible assortment of more than 18,000 items that Dr. France has collected. But rather than sell his collection or charge to the highest bidder, France decided in 2007 to sell his collection at a heavily discounted price to the Everton Charitable Trust. Following the agreement, Everton FC then announced that they would donate its own collection of memorabilia. And collectively, the memorabilia would be known as The Everton Collection.
The incredible collection features not only items that are remarkable to Everton supporters. But also to collectors of other football clubs too.
Some of the incredibly rare items in the collection include:
- the first ever football programme from Newton Heath, the team that would later go on to become Manchester United,
- items from 400 other clubs and countries,
- the minute books uncovering much of the story of why Everton left their home at Anfield and created a new ground at Goodison, which resulted in Liverpool FC being born and playing at Everton’s original Anfield home,
- more than 10,000 football programmes,
- a 1956 football magazine article about Everton’s tour to the United States,
- and a collection of match tickets and season tickets, even some from when Everton played at Stanley Park.
The collection is really something you have to see to believe it. Thankfully, much of The Everton Collection has been digitized and is available to search online at http://www.evertoncollection.org.uk
If you live in England, you can see many items from the collection between now and Spring 2010 at the Liverpool Central Library.
And if you’re interested in making a donation of your time or money to help support the collection, be sure to visit the Support the Collection page.