Nike fan buys his first flat by pawning collection of 283 pairs of Air Jordan trainers

Dong Chia and his fiane Li Hun. (CEN)

A Nike obsessive managed to buy a small flat after getting engaged by selling his collection of 283 pairs of trainers.

Dong Chia fell in love with the Nike Air Jordan collection when he was a teenager and has since amassed a collection of shoes worth 1.83 million Chinese yuan (£192,000).

Dong, 30, who ‘fell in love with the shoes as soon as I saw my first pair’, quickly realised the trainers were a valuable investment when the first Air Jordan trainers became a sell-out success.

Now, however - in his desperation to get on the property ladder with his bride-to-be in Beijing - he has pawned off the entire collection in return for a £100,000 loan.

The jewel in his collection were a pair from 1993 signed by three-time championship winning Chicago Bulls team.

Dong has been collecting Nike Air Jordan trainers since he was a teenager. (CEN)
Dong has been collecting Nike Air Jordan trainers since he was a teenager. (CEN)

Hoard: Dong's impressive collection of trainers. (CEN)
Hoard: Dong's impressive collection of trainers. (CEN)

He said: 'When I told my fiancee that I plan to buy a flat by selling off my old shoes, she said I was crazy if I thought I could find a buyer.

‘She had been telling me to throw them out because they cluttered up our rented flat. But when I turned up with the cash she was speechless.

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‘I’ve now paid the money for the new flat, and I'm hoping to still get the cash together so that I could buy my collection back from the pawnshop. I had to sell it in a rush to them as I wanted to have the flat ready for my new wife after we get married later this month.'

The collection was handed over at the pawnshop in the Chinese capital Beijing but Dong has already told staff: 'I'll be back, look after them for me.'

Dong's collection of old trainers. (CEN)
Dong's collection of old trainers. (CEN)

U.S. basketball star Michael Jordan was signed by Nike in 1985, a year after Dong was born, so that they could use his signature on a range of sneakers.

At the time colourful basketball sneakers were not allowed on the court, but Jordan continued to wear them with Nike paying the $5,000 fine for every appearance because of the huge marketing potential it gave them.

It was a cult status which collector Dong proved had stretched all the way to China, where he eventually managed to end up with a collection of 283 different pairs of Nike Air Jordan trainers.

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