The world's most comprehensive football archive, totalling more than 18,000 items of memorabilia, was unveiled yesterday in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

The Everton collection is extremely valuable both in a monetary and historical sense.

It illustrates and chronicles the formation of the oldest Football League in the world. Featuring some of football's rarest artefacts, many of which pre-date the formative years of the League.

One-of-a-kind items include the oldest Manchester United programme and Alan Ball's famous white boots, along with 1966 World Cup memorabilia and a detailed archive with items pre-dating the formation of the Football League in 1888.

The launch of the collection will be of interest to all football fans.

Memorabilia from most football clubs are included - such as programmes, season tickets, medals, trophies, shirts, boots, photographs, contracts, handbooks and footballs, according to the Liverpool City Council website.

"This exhibition is the culmination of years of commitment to the history of football and seeing the dream come to fruition is an extremely exciting prospect for all involved," said Lord Grantchester, Trustee of the Everton Collection Charitable Trust.

"We hope that both children and adults alike will see the value achieved in bringing this collection together and we hope that it will be the success that it deserves to be."

The Everton collection is one of the biggest projects Liverpool Central library has worked on - with three full time staff cataloguing the collection since June 2008, supported by a team of 15 volunteers.

"The Everton Collection is in many ways priceless as it provides a fascinating and unrivalled insight into the history of football as well as the huge role the game has played in shaping the identity of Liverpool," said councilor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council.

The collection is supported by a significant grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and supported by Liverpool City Council.

The collection is housed, conserved and made available at Liverpool Record Office in Central Library until April 2011.

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