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Man spends 22 Years collecting phone cards

Man spends 22 Years collecting phone cards.  

Sam McEwan first started collecting phone cards aged nine, when a school friend alerted them to him and he realized he liked the pictures on them.

Now 22 years on, he has more than a 1,000 – estimated to be worth £1,000.

At first, Sam’s fiancée did not know about his unusual hobby, and was shocked to discover piles of the phone cards hidden in the cupboard of their home.

But when they move out of rented accommodation he plans to hang them in a special display. Sam, who lives in Brighton, East Sussex, has carried his phone cards from house to house, moving eight times.

“I was not exactly hiding them from her,” he said. “But I hadn’t told her about my mad collection.

“She was rather surprised when she discovered them all piled out. I know it is a bit horderish.”But I really love them.”

Sam McEwan at his home in Brighton, Sussex, UK, with his most valuable phone cards (Photo: PA Real Life)

Sam at his home

Unfortunately for Sam the cards are effectively worthless – although ten years’ ago they would have fetched a pretty penny.

Even though he admits phone cards are “effectively worthless”!

His only hope is if he finds a keen collector, although he believes he may be the only one in the UK.”I wish that they were usable,” he said. “All the ones I collected – they are effectively worthless. If you could use them in phone booths they would be more valuable.

“But they became obsolete about ten years ago.”

He has phone cards with pictures of the films Toy Story, Muppets and James Bond on them.

“My favourite series is the James Bond Golden Eye collection,” he explained. “As a massive 007 fan, I was delighted when I found out they were being released and immediately snapped them all up.

“We now have this set on show in our lounge, which my fiancée isn’t particularly pleased about, but now sees the funny side of.”

However, his most valuable card is a Glasgow Rangers Football Club card marking the 1950 championships, worth around £50.

“I went away with my dad to Jersey and got it years ago,” he said. “It was about £15. It’s in a plastic case. It’s not to be used, it’s a collectable item.

“I’m a Rangers’ fan so I love it.

“You can’t buy them easily anymore and I would never let it go.”

The landscape worker continued: “I like the pictures on the cards. When I went away on holiday, to Jersey and to France, I would always collect them.

“People would also bring them back from holidays further afield.

“My treasured phone cards have travelled from house to house with me – they’ve been with me for eight moves in total, from Chessington to Surbiton, Teddington, three homes in central London and then to Hove and now Brighton.

“It causes an argument every time we move. In fact, we’re moving again soon and my fiancée has had a bit of a grumble about why we’re paying removal men to move them but I’d never get rid of them. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

“I don’t know if I hold the world record for collecting phone cards, but I hope I do.”It’d be freaky if someone else held the record – I can’t imagine anyone loving them as much.”

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