Collector Charlie really gets with the programme
Facilities Assistant Charlie Nixon has revealed he is in Scotland’s premier league as a football programme and memorabilia collector.
East Stirlingshire fan Charlie (58) who has worked at the Forth Valley College Falkirk Campus for 15 years, has more than 10,000 programmes in mint condition, including 2,500 ‘Shire programmes – virtually everyone that was ever published since the war - and several other rare programmes worth more than £600 a piece!
Wordsmith and amateur football historian Charlie – who has at one time edited the East Stirlingshire programme - is also a collector or Subbuteo figures and other football collectables, as he builds a legacy which he hopes his sons will continue with in the future.
“I have been an East Stirlingshire fan all my life and my grandfather Charlie played right back for them in the 1920s. My first game was when I went to Firs Park, with my dad and saw Hibs beat the Shire 5-3 and that was when I got my first programme.
“I inherited all my dad’s programmes and have been collecting ever since. I even have the first ever official East Stirlingshire programme for the game against St Bernards (Edinburgh’s amateur team) from 8th March 1929/30 season.
“It is a real passion for me and I just love collecting these things from a social history point of view. I have also edited the programme in the past which was brilliant and I still continue to volunteer every week. All I ask is to get a few extra programmes, so I can help other youngsters on the road to their collection, by giving them 50 or so to get started. I really like doing this.”
Charlie is a well-known member of the Scottish Programme Collectors Club and is regularly called upon to make offers for programmes which have been found by family members in attics. More recently the new headmaster of a local high school in Stranraer called the club to say he had discovered a range of Stranraer FC programmes in his new School house and Charlie was the man to make a reasonable offer to find them a good home.
Charlie went on:
“I recently bought nine East Stirlingshire programmes for £75 each from a woman in New York. It turned out she was in the American Women’s Army Corp (WAC) stationed in Scotland during the war, who married a guy from Falkirk who was a big East Stirlingshire fan and had taken his programmes with him when he went with his wife back to the US. When he died, she felt strongly that they should go back to Scotland and I was put in touch with her. These programmes are now worth £5-600 each!
“The most expensive programme I have ever bought was £460 for a 1932 Celtic v East Stirlingshire programme from 1932 and in these two folders (pictured here) there are programmes worth more than £10,000.
“I lovingly store and file them all and keep them in pristine condition in long Ottoman filing cases and I have my collections all insured as well. I really get a lot out of collecting these things and I am glad I have a great legacy to leave to my three sons, all of whom share my interest.”