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Parramatta Eels NRL fan builds footy’s most incredible memorabilia collection

Troy Worner’s shrine to his beloved Parramatta Eels is arguably footy’s most impressive collection of memorabilia.

The rugby league treasure trove, which started in 1987 with a number 7 jersey for Eels legend Peter Sterling, now contains over 75 jerseys, team shots, mugs, golf balls – and a floor made up of a huge set of Parramatta barbecue mats.

There are even seats in the now demolished Parramatta Stadium – you name it, Worner has it in his sanctuary in Penrith in the far west of Sydney.

Eels super fan Troy Worner has one of the most impressive footy memorabilia collections you will ever see

Eels super fan Troy Worner has one of the most impressive footy memorabilia collections you will ever see

‘That’s where it started’ [Sterling’s jersey]”Then naturally I started decorating the bedroom as a child, and when Mom and Dad split up I went with Mom and that slowly took up a bit of her house,” Worner told Daily Mail Australia .

“Then I moved in with my current wife and filled a spare room in our mansion … now it’s in a garage two and a half car lengths long.”

The scope of the collection is breathtaking, but there is one sweater in particular that stands out and is truly unique.

Worner's incredible shrine to his team even includes seats from Parramatta Stadium, which was demolished in 2017

Worner’s incredible shrine to his team even includes seats from Parramatta Stadium, which was demolished in 2017

“Probably my favorite, one of the most priceless pieces here, is a Willie Tonga race-worn jersey,” Worner said.

‘Parramatta was sponsored by’ [gambling company] She and Unibet went to the Warriors, but New Zealand has gambling laws around advertising.

So Unibet gave up their sponsorship to Parramatta to host a contest for fans and members to fill their six circles on the back for each jersey – and my last name just happens to be six letters.

“So that was pretty cool. I also got to pick a player, and I chose Tonga – who happened to be captain in the game.”

Troy Worner's unique jersey with his last name, worn by ex-Eels skipper Willie Tonga in a game against the Warriors

Troy Worner’s unique jersey with his last name, worn by ex-Eels skipper Willie Tonga in a game against the Warriors

You may wonder how much this epic collection of memorabilia is worth, but given the age and size of what resides in the “eel cave,” Worner said it’s nearly impossible to “put a dollar value on it.”

“Of course there are a lot of posters, as you can see, and newspaper clippings… everything is, of course, irreplaceable,” he said.

“There are stubby holders, millions of those, and hats, golf balls, toothbrushes, ugg boots, cards, VHS tapes, eskies and every team poster from about 1998, autographed jerseys, framed photos and lots of glasses, cups and mugs.”

Worner's Eels fridge (far left) is decorated with photos of Nathan Hindmarsh and has grass clippings from the legend's last game

Worner’s Eels fridge (far left) is decorated with photos of Nathan Hindmarsh and has grass clippings from the legend’s last game

The collection contains about 75 different sweaters, dating back to the 80s

The collection contains about 75 different sweaters, dating back to the 80s

There’s the fridge decorated with photos of cult figure Nathan Hindmarsh – and, unbelievably, grass clippings from his last game, which was at the old Parramatta Stadium.

Open the fridge and you might even find beer cans with the Parramatta label.

Not only does Worner have this shrine to his beloved team, he also has a podcast called The Parra Cave featuring interviews with some of the club’s most iconic figures.

“I’ve been lucky enough to talk to legends of the game like Ray Price, Peter Sterling, Brett Kenny, Eric Grothe, both senior and junior, Nathan Hindmarsh,” Worner explained.

The stars he has spoken to over 111 episodes of the podcast have 16 premierships and 1,478 NRL matches in between.

Housed in Worner's massive garage, the collection even features a custom floor made from Eels BBQ mats

Housed in Worner’s massive garage, the collection even features a custom floor made from Eels BBQ mats

The Eels will face the Raiders on Friday night for a do-or-die final at CommBank Stadium after going to arch-rivals Penrith in week one of the finals.

Can they get the job done?

“This game is probably the biggest we’ve had since the 2009 Grand Final. I think hopefully we’ll get a ground record. You must be confident!’ said Wormer.

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