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Maidstone Museum's 'once in a lifetime' football exhibition features former Manchester United star's kit

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A "once in a lifetime" exhibition is celebrating a town's footballing history.

Maidstone United fan John Bunyard has curated Maidstone: United in Football, which boasts a former Manchester United star's kit among its displays.

Maidstone Museum will host the exhibition
Maidstone Museum will host the exhibition

Mr Bunyard said: "It began as the story of Maidstone United, but broadened out once I started delving into Kentish football origins.

"It even now taps into the roots of national football, which inevitably brings in a lot of clubs and even more personalities – not to mention other sports. Anyone who likes Kent sport and loves their football will relish it."

Footballing artefacts dating back to the 19th century will be on display at the collection from this weekend.

Mr Bunyard added: "They include a priceless collection of memorabilia compiled by mercurial football boss Jim Thompson. Many others of exceptional historical interest are being secured on loan, the highlight perhaps being the Manchester United strip worn by Kent-born David Sadler at the 1968 European Cup final. It promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime display."

A former Maidstone United and Preston North End footballer, David Sadler was born in Yalding in 1946.

The exhibit has contributions from all over the county and a full programme of activities for youngsters has been put together.

Maidstone United chief executive Bill Williams said: “This exhibition has been a real labour of love for John and he deserves every plaudit for the hours he’s dedicated to it.

"It’s a must-see for any Stones supporter but with the range of exhibits John has gathered, this will appeal to sports fans across Kent and beyond. Don’t miss it."

Margate FC chairman Gordon Wallis' kind donation means admission charges are being waived.

Maidstone: United in Football opens on Saturday, September 14 and runs until January 18 2020.

Mr Bunyard thanked the event's sponsors Golding Vision, Gullands Solicitors and iMUSC.

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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