Star Wars fanatic has amassed a remarkable 5,000 strong collection of memorabilia since falling in love with the film franchise 42 years ago

A Star Wars fanatic has amassed a 5,000 strong collection of memorabilia since falling in love with the epic film franchise 42 years ago. 

Obsessive Neil Livesey, 60, has an entire room in his house dedicated to storing the toys, which he has spent tens of thousands of pounds accumulating over the years. 

Among his most prized items are a six foot tall Jar Jar Binks, intricate life-size replicas  and an Obi-Wan Kenobi figure from 1977 - the year Star Wars was born. 

The dad-of-four is so protective over his valuable collection that the room its stored in, his son's old bedroom, has its own alarm system and is guarded by CCTV cameras. 

Neil said: "I live, breathe, eat and sleep Star Wars - I absolutely love it,.

"It's the perfect for of escapism, you get to cheer your heroes on the screen and boo the bad guys. 

"Collecting all the memorabilia wasn't something I started to do consciously it just happened over time.

"It's a fantastic hobby to have, all the pieces are little memories - I can pick them up and remember something from my past."

Neil's 'Star Wars room' is packed floor to ceiling with thousands of pieces of memorabilia stacked on specially-made shelving units. 

His favourite items are small figurines measuring around four inches tall but the granddad-of-six also has spaceships and lightsabers. 

Neil's collection expands out of his special room and into his downstairs toilet, which is decorated with dozens of framed and signed photos. 

He said his wife, 56-year-old Suzanne, "tolerates" his fanatical hobby. 

"She's very good about it and sees me spending money on this stuff as no different to her getting her hair or nails done," Neil said. 

He attended a midnight showing of the most recent Star Wars film, The Rise of Skywalker, on the day of its UK release last Thursday (19/12). 

The granddad-of-six from Lancashire said he "really enjoyed" the movie and gave it an 8/10 rating.

"I thought The Last Jedi  was great, particularly because it wrapped up the entire series so well," he said.

Neil's favourite Star Wars film of all time is Rise of Skywalker, which was only released in 2017 and divided public opinion. 

"Most people expect me to say The Empire Strikes Back is my favourite one but I think The Last Jedi is the best by a long way," he said. 

Of the original films Neil likes 1977's A New Hope most, as that's the one which sparked his love of the franchise. 

He remembers travelling to Blackpool to watch it and going back the very next day to see it again because he loved it so much. 

"I had never seen anything like it in my life, I was completely blown away," Neil said. 

Just days later the then 17-year-old was walking past a toy shop when a three and three quarter inch Obi-Wan Kenobi model caught his eye. 

"I saw this model that looked like just like Alec Guinness and I fell about, I just had to have it," Neil said. 

"Not long after that I bought an R2-D2 one but even then I didn't see it as the start of a collection, I just liked them. 

"Who would have thought that 42 years and thousands of pounds later I'd still be buying them?"

Neil, a retired salesman, said part of the reason he loves collecting is because of the tight-knit community he has become a part of as a result. 

He attends the annual Star Wars Celebration, a convention for hardcore fans, most years and has travelled to Chicago, California and Indianapolis for the event.