Undertaker's Collection Worth £18,000

Last updated : 17 February 2015 By Footy Mad - Editor

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Known as "The Undertaker" to Newcastle fans, he was killed when flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine.

John missed only one Newcastle United game, home or away, in 40 years and was travelling to New Zealand with friend Liam Sweeney to watch the Magpies play in a pre-season tournament.

The 63-year-old from Low Fell, Gateshead, amassed a large collection of mementos from his football trips, and his home was full of boxes of carefully-stored match programmes.

Included in the items donated to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation are a 1966 World Cup programme from England's win over West Germany and the Holy Grail for Newcastle programme collectors - a very rare example from the 1970 Pecsi Dozsa v Newcastle United Fairs Cup tie.

The collection stretches back to 1924 FA Cup Final when Newcastle played Aston Villa, with United winning 2-0.

Also included in the 224 lots are pictures, books and tickets stubs, the programme from the last game he attended - a friendly against Oldham Athletic - and his one and only black and white scarf.

Auctioneers Anderson and Garland, who will hold the sale at St James's Park on Sunday, estimate the collection is worth at least £18,000.

Mr Alder's sister Joyce Robbins said: "This collection and following Newcastle United meant the world to John and we wanted to do something special with it.

"It wasn't really practical to keep his collection together and the whole family agreed it should be donated to charity.

"We hope the people who buy the different lots treasure this memorabilia as John did. We're very proud that John's enthusiasm for football will go on to help other people through the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation."

Sir Bobby started the foundation in 2008 as he battled cancer for the final time and his initial aim of raising £500,000 to equip a drug trials centre in Newcastle was reached in just seven weeks.

The total raised stands at more than £7.5 million, and it funds the early detection and better treatment for cancer.