A real ‘keyed in’ collector!

NORMALLY people with the ‘collecting bug’ are very clued in about their subject - but you could say that with Martin Sweeney it’s a matter of being ‘keyed-in’.

His great love is collecting keyrings, and he has over 560 of them, which he keeps in a huge bag in the attic.

Martin, who is 42 and from Eskaheen View in the Waterside, began his collection 14-and-a-half years ago.

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“I have 561 keyrings, and I keep them in a bag” he said, adding: “I started collecting them as a hobby, but I cannot remember what was the frist one that started it all off.”

Pouring over the collection, he produces some of his favourites, a sling shot, screwdrivers, he has lighters, teddybears and animated figures, bottle top openers from pubs and those which have been brought back from holidays, there are all manner of aliens, tiny tape measures, miniature torches, keyrings that flash, animals of all kinds and sizes, magnets, cars and a variety of other vehicles _ imagine it and Martin probably has one of it. His collection is, to sy the least, extensive.

As with everyone who has a ‘thing’ about something, Martin has a few collection favourites within the overall collection. High in the favourite stakes is his Michael Jackson memorabilia.

“I’m Michael Jackson mad, and I’ve got magazines and stuff and collected that since 1983/1984, and I’ve got four of his albums,” he says.

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However, his largest collection within his main collection is that of his Liverpool FC meorabilia, of which he is very protective. He has 18 Liverpool keyrings, six shields and button badges of his favourite team, ensuring he’ll never walk alone - because his collection will be with him.

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