- Associated Press - Saturday, June 14, 2014

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) - The former owner of North Platte’s Touchdown Club has sold the shuttered business’ massive collection of Nebraska football memorabilia - believed to be among the largest - for $15,000.

Butch Rasmussen, 75, told the North Platte Telegraph (http://bit.ly/1kUIiJU ) that the collection, which covered the walls of the Touchdown Club, was probably worth $40,000. It included 650 photos, helmets, posters, balls and other items.

It was all taken down Thursday.

“Like a bunch of ants on a tree leaf,” Rasmussen said, describing the scene as he watched the Lincoln man who bought the collection and others transport the collection into boxes, then into a waiting U-Haul.

Rasmussen said he knows he undersold the collection, but had to get rid of it by Monday - the closing date for sale of the club and the bowling alley to which it is attached.

The new owners of the club had specified they wanted the memorabilia gone by the closing date, Rasmussen said.

“At my age, you start parting with things anyway,” he said.

But Rasmussen said he was sad to see it go, because of the effort and time put into creating one of the largest collections of Husker football memorabilia in the country.

The collection began when he started a small bar off the bowling alley in the early 1990s. He had filled the bar with memorabilia by the time it was expanded to the Touchdown Club in 1997. And he kept adding items until the expanded space was filled, too.

Rasmussen said one of his favorite images was a photograph of Memorial Stadium from 1922 when Nebraska played Notre Dame. The image showed 16,000 Husker fans, some perched in trees, on ladders and rooftops.

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Information from: The North Platte Telegraph, http://www.nptelegraph.com