A mother-of-two flogged her football-mad husband’s £45,000 memorabilia collection for a fiver after spotting him at a Manchester City game with a mystery blonde when he said he was working.
Shelly Cohen, 41, from Warrington, Cheshire, was sick of husband Paul, 41, putting his love of the beautiful game before their relationship.
When a friend texted her to say she’d noticed he was at a City match with another woman, the mother-of-two saw red.
Knowing how to hit him where it hurts, she gathered together his prized memorabilia collection, which dates back 60 years, and listed it as for sale on her husband’s OnBuy account.
When Paul discovered what she’d done he was heartbroken, and admitted he’ll never forgive his wife for her ‘extreme reaction’, claiming the blonde woman was simply a fellow spectator.
Shelly, who is a stay-at-home mum to their three children – two girls, aged eight and six, and an 11-year-old boy – said her husband’s passion left her feeling like a ‘football widow’ at times.
Last month, business development manager Paul told her he was going to work – and sneakily headed to the Manchester City game against Brighton.
But he was caught out when Shelly’s friend spied him on TV and texted her, leaving her ‘humiliated’ and ‘seething with rage’.
She told Fabulous Digital: ‘I can’t believe I fell for it. I literally had no idea. How many other times has this happened? He does travel for work quite a bit but it could all have been lies.’
Speaking about her vengeful decision to sell his priceless haul of football paraphernalia, which dates back 60 years and was started by his grandfather, Shelly said she had ‘had enough’ and reached the end of her tether.
In the listing, she described it as a ‘bucket full of incredibly valuable and old authentic programmes’.
She added: ‘If you’re looking to expand your collection and become part of the community of collectors, then this may be for you.
‘A very valuable collection priced to sell very quickly as I need to do this to get my life back on track.’
It includes a Chelsea versus Everton 1946 programme that dates back to 1946, a 1958 Tottenham Hotspur versus Manchester City programme and one from the European Cup Final between Eintracht Frankfurt and Real Madrid in 1960, as well as old tickets.
Shelly explained: ‘He’s always putting football ahead of our relationship and kids, and then to learn that he wasn’t away on business and at the game with another woman infuriated me so much that I just saw red. So I hit him where it hurts.’
The collection was snapped up and Shelly willingly handed it over to the buyer.
On the Monday following the game on May 12, Paul discovered what his wife of nearly 10 years had done after finding emails about activity on his account and admitted he was ‘completely stunned’.
‘How could she have done such a thing?’ he told Fabulous Digital, denying he was at the game with the woman he was seen next to.
‘She was literally just a random woman who was sitting next to me at the match,’ he said. ‘She knew exactly what those items meant to me.’
He admitted it looked a lot worse than it was because he’d lied, but said Shelly gives him a hard time if he’s not around at weekends.
Paul told how the collection, which he intended to give to his son in the future, was a big part of his childhood and had ‘huge sentimental value’ as his father handed it down to him 20 years ago.
But Shelly doesn’t regret her rash actions – only the fact she sold so much of it as she feels she should have kept some in case she caught him ‘doing this again’.
While the pair are still together, a friend said things are ‘pretty tense’ between them.