Steve Bloomer photo a great boost for trust seeking Derby County treasure
A RARE signed photograph of Derby County legend Steve Bloomer and old signs from the Baseball Ground are among treasures uncovered by a newly-established charitable trust.
Members of the Derby County Collection have vowed to build up the largest collection of Rams memorabilia in the football club's history – so they can share it with the city's fans.
Rams supporters and collectors Andy Ellis and Andy McConachie came up with the idea for the trust about 18 months ago. They have their own memorabilia but realised there were other historical items which, over time, had become lost or disappeared from the club.
One of the first aims of the trust was to rummage through a storage unit belonging to Derby County Football Club to see what items could form part of the collection. And Mr Ellis, 51, of Ladybank Road, Mickleover, said it was "a big step forward".
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He said: "I don't think we found anything unexpected but to have these items under our stewardship gives us a solid base to work from.
"We haven't managed to do a great deal with the items yet but we know there are some things we will be keeping and some we will be selling on.
"Those are items which we are never likely to put on display and, by cashing those in, we can use the money to repair items which are damaged or, in the future, raise a sizable figure so we can start buying items we do want."
Other items found by the trust include a presentation piece given to Derby County by the football association in Iraq, after the Rams played there on December 6, 1977.
The group also unearthed pictures of different Rams teams from the 1980s onwards.
Derby County Collection trustee Mr Ellis said: "The signed Steve Bloomer picture is definitely the most valuable item we've seen so far – it's extremely interesting.
"The signs are also very iconic. They include the ones at the end of the dressing rooms and the tunnel and I think a lot of people will recognise them.
"The memento from Iraq is also rare. Tommy Docherty was manager and he insisted on the Rams playing here, there and everywhere."
The Derby County Collection concept has already received the backing of the football club itself.
Among those involved with the trust are businessman, ex-Rams director and current honorary vice-president Don Amott, former Rams star Roger Davies and historian Richard Felix.
Following the Derby Telegraph's report on the launch of the trust last month, Mr Ellis said there had been lots of response from Rams fans.
He said: "We've had a ground swell of support, whether it's people offering donations or just their time to help us – it's all good stuff and will help us move on."
Anyone interested in finding out more about the trust can visit www.derby countycollection.org.uk