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Newcastle businessman set to sell collection of stars autographs

Tony Weightman reckons there are around 3,000 autographs in his collection which will be sold by Anderson & Garland in Newcastle

Tony Weightman (left), a spiked trainer worn by Jonathan Edwards (top) and Elton John's tracksuit (bottom)
Tony Weightman (left), a spiked trainer worn by Jonathan Edwards (top) and Elton John's tracksuit (bottom)
The haul from years of tracking down celebrity signatures by a North East businessman will be auctioned on Tuesday.

Tony Weightman reckons there are around 3,000 autographs in his collection which will be sold by Anderson & Garland in Newcastle.

He runs management development consultancy Weightman Associates, based in Gosforth in Newcastle, and has gathered signatures during his worldwide travels for work and sporting events.
His business career has seen him work for Procter & Gamble, Unilever and at director level for Scottish and Newcastle Breweries.

“My first autograph was Mohammed Ali and that started me off. I had idolised him when I was a kid,” said Tony.

He went on to acquire items such as the signed left spiked trainer worn by Jonathan Edwards at the Gothenburg 1995 World Athletics Championship where he broke the world record in the triple jump.
It is valued at £300 to £500

Also for sale is a world championships Gothenburg 1995 British team T-shirt signed by Jonathan Edwards.

Also in the collection is a blouse signed by singer Michael Jackson, priced at £200 - £300
Tony’s travels have meant he has been able to pick up signed pieces from famous faces such as boxer Amir Khan, who he met in a hotel in Dubai.

Other highlights of the collection include a Brazilian World Cup final replica football shirt signed by Pele, an England 1966 World Cup winners’ replica shirt signed by Gordon Banks, George Cohen, Jack Charlton, Alan Ball, Nobby Stiles, Roger Hunt, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson.
Tony said: “I met a few well known people in the hotels I was staying at, and I ended up with their autographs.

“Before long I thought it would be quite a good idea to start collecting autographs, then I started buying things like signed football and rugby shirts.

“I wrote to some people and asked for autographs and they were very amenable. Elton John cleared out his house about 10 years ago and he took over a shop in London’s Regent Street to sell it all for charity. People queued up and you had an hour inside to buy whatever you wanted.

“I bought his tracksuit from when he was at Watford and a couple of Versace T-shirts. “
His collection grew so large that it was taking over the whole of his garage.

“They are nice things and I’ve got great pleasure from them, but now is the time to clear the space,” said Tony.

“My main hope is that whoever buys the things will enjoy them. I’d like to think that some real fans will get them - to me, that’s the most important thing. “Although he is selling his collection, he said: “I’m going to the Rugby World Cup and my aim to get autographs from every team that’s taking part. I’ll just not let it get out of hand!”

Items from the collection include:
  • A signed Rugby England replica shirt, and a British Lions signed replica shirt, 1997, bearing all squad members signatures.
  • A Newcastle Falcons signed rugby shirt circa 1997-8, long sleeved; and another circa 2003, framed. Five signed rugby balls from Newcastle Falcons.
  • Two Nike T-shirts bearing various signatures taken at the Great North Run 1997, including Alan Shearer, Benson Masya, Sammy Korir, and many others.
  • A signed England test cricket shirt, (winning Ashes team) baring various signatures.
  • A photograph of Sting, surrounded by signatures of North East interest, including Bobby Robson, Alan Shearer, Denise Welch, Tim Healy, Sting, and others.
  • A signed photograph of Princess Diana, dated 1991, framed; and a marriage programme for the Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday 29th June 1981. Valued at £200 - £400
  • Tony Blair: a signed compliments slip from the House of Commons, mounted beside a photograph; a signed photograph of James Callaghan; a letter from Jo Grimond, a signed photograph and letter from Jo Gormley, president of the National Union of Miners.
  • A collection of signed portrait photographs and other signatures, mainly British film, stage and radio, Bing Crosby; Robbie Coltrane; Nigel Hawthorne; Penelope Keith; Timothy Ackroyd; John Nettles; Timothy Dalton; Joanna Lumley; and others.

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