Bristol City fans rally round supporter who lost stash of 80 years’ worth of memorabilia in huge fire

‘There are some good people out there’

A young Bristol City supporter who was left devastated after his stash of 80 years’ worth of memorabilia was destroyed in a fire has thanked fellow fans for their support as he starts to rebuild the collection.

Ben Grice, 22, kept around 50,000 programmes along with team sheets, shirts and tickets dating as far back as 1943 in an outbuilding that he calls the ‘big barn’ outside his home.

Sign up to our BristolWorld Today newsletter

The collection had been three generations in the making, with keepsakes passed down to Ben from his father and grandfather.

The barn in which Ben kept his collection was ‘burn to the ground’.

But only around 500 programmes survived the blaze which broke out while Ben was at work and is thought to have been caused by an electrical fault.

Ben, who is from just outside Gloucester, told BristolWorld: “I’m absolutely gutted. The collection held so many sentimental memories for me, especially as a lot of it was passed on by family and friends.

“It was a shock when I was at work and my dad called me saying, can you come home, the barn’s on fire.

“By the time I got back it was all gone. The barn had just burn to the ground.

Only around 500 out of 50,000 programmes survived.

“I have insurance but you just can’t replace something like that.”

He said that one positive he was taking away from the fire was the support he had been inundated with since putting a tweet out asking for help restarting his collection.

Dozens of people have since got in touch offering to donate programmes, team sheets and shirts.

Ben was surprised with a new shirt for his collection by former professional footballer and Bristol City kitman Scott Murray when he appeared on James Hanson’s breakfast show at BBC Radio Bristol.

Ben was even surprised with a new shirt by former professional footballer and Bristol City kitman Scott Murray after appearing on BBC Bristol.

“There are some really good people out there,” added Ben. “I’m really touched by how many people have come forward.”

If you’d like to donate to Ben’s collection, you can email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter @BenGricee.