HAVING been successfully treated for a brain tumour not only gave Dave Reynolds a new lease of life, but the inspiration to leave a lasting legacy.
The avid football programme collector was told if his tumour was not treated then he would not survive and if doctors did operate to remove it he only had a 50:50 chance of making it through the operation.
But the warehouse operative at J and J Ormerod, Bacup, beat the odds and while recovering he visited the National Football Museum in Manchester.
There he discussed his legacy of collecting a match programme from all teams, past and present in England, Scotland and Wales and presenting the collection to the museum.
Dave, 59, from Tottington said: “I love the game and am a season ticket holder at Bury. I visit every Bury home game, support Accrington Stanley and visit non-league games so around 50 matches each season.
“I have upwards of 20,000 programmes already at home and when my house needed reroofing I converted the attic space into a room and that is where I keep my collection.”
Each programme is treasured and kept in a plastic wallet inside a file and all are documented.
Dave went to his first match – an Accrington Stanley game – aged nine and his first Bury match was against Middlesbrough in 1964; he still has the programme.
In 2012 he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and had 12 months off work.
“I can’t do everything I did before but I have a balance issue because they took the hearing nerve out when they operated; it is a small price to pay,” he said.
“Having a brain tumour makes you look at life from a different angle and makes you very thankful for what you’ve got. It makes you appreciate things more, my wife Carol and my family. I value every day.
“I have worked for JJJO for nearly 20 years and work has been brilliant. It is a safety net I didn’t realise that I had.”
He reckons there must be 15,000 different teams he needs to feature in the collection from the top premier sides to the smallest non league side like Stacksteads St Joseph’s, whose chairman is JJO transport manager Dave Tomlinson.
Dave has sent hundreds of hand-written letters to clubs asking for match programmes and that personal touch has worked with 70 percent of teams responding positively.
“There is no limit on how long it will take me to get the collection together,” said Dave. “I have another six years at work and I will keep sending the letters out. Once it is complete I will donate it to the museum.
“I know some of the programmes are worth money, but it is not about that. It is about creating a lasting legacy and a chance for us fans to put something back for the pleasure we have taken out.”