Victim Jim Conway speaks of shock after spending thousands on fake memorabilia

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COLLECTOR Jim Conway spent £5,000 with the conman.

Jim of Bunting Gardens, Cowplain, met Steve Pearson after buying a tracksuit once worn by Bobby Moore with an autographed card.

But the 56-year-old cabbie, who bought the item over eBay and picked it up from Pearson in Paulsgrove, had no idea the fraudster was selling duff memorabilia.

He trusted him so much that he bought a £500 replica FA Cup Trophy from Pompey’s 2008 victory from Pearson.

Pearson even convinced Jim to loan that back to him for three months so it could go ‘on tour’. When Jim collected the trophy back from Pearson – it was a different one.

Jim, who used to visit Pearson’s shop, said: ‘There was a group of us, we weren’t best buddies. We had the free range of the shop. He drew them in on a fishing rod and probably me in a sense.’

Jim has 20 items still with trading standards he bought from Pearson being verified for authenticity.

His collection started in 1992 when he was given £1,500 for bravery after saving a man being beaten up by six people. He went to Florida with his partner Michelle Pritchard, 53, and bought an original John Lennon American Music Festival award.

Items Pearson sold to Jim included a Bobby Moore tracksuit for £650, a Fender guitar signed by Oasis for £300 and signed cards from referee Graham Poll, including the yellow card he showed to a player three times in 2006.

Not all of the items have been checked for authenticity.

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