A bloke with the same name as the titular character of J.K Rowling’s famous book series now plans to sell his rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Harry Potter was gifted the book when he was eight years old because his late father spotted that he shared the name of the Boy Who Lived.
But, now he hopes to use the money to fulfil his dad’s wish of having his ashes scattered in Africa.
The hardback copy of the book will be sold by Hansons Auctioneers of Etwall, Derbyshire, on October 7.
It is one of only 500 first print run copies of the first Harry Potter book and has a guide price of £20,000 to £30,000.
Harry, 33, from Waterlooville, Hampshire, explained that thanks to the extreme popularity of the book series he’s had to persuade people that his name really is the same as the famous wizard’s.
The father-of-three said: “People just don’t believe me.
“When I was a young footballer, a referee threatened me with a red card for saying my name was Harry Potter.
“When I met my wife, Philippa, on holiday in Greece, she didn’t believe me either. People think it’s a wind-up.”
He continued: “I’ve had the Mick taken out of me over the years, but you get used to it.
“I’m quite outgoing, and I’ve handled it pretty well, plus it has its pros. When I was 12 and the first Potter film was released, we were invited to be family of the week on the Big Breakfast TV show. I met lots of stars including Gwen Stefani and Ben Stiller.
“When you ring someone up, and they ask your name they usually dissolve into laughter or say ‘you’re joking’. It makes making a complaint quite difficult.”
The hardback copies of the book are considered the “holy grail” for collectors as just 200 of the 500 first editions were sent to book shops.
The other 300 were sent to libraries and schools.
Harry plans to share the profit he makes on the book with his sister Katie Sign, 36.
She was 12 when Harry was bought the book and remembers it being brought home in 1997.
Katie said: “I remember dad bursting through the front door after work brandishing a book, proclaiming ‘you’ll never believe what I’ve got!’.
“The novelty and coincidence of the namesake was what made us open that first book, but the magic of the story kept us turning the pages for years."
Katie continued: "Harry was eight, and I was 12 when we first read the books together. I would read aloud and despite calling Hermione ‘Hermy-one’ until at least halfway through The Chamber of Secrets, my Dobby impression is second-to-none.
“The book had pride of place on the windowsill next to my bed and was eventually joined by the whole collection. They’ve stayed on a shelf or a windowsill in every house I’ve lived in for 20 years. It was a treasure to us long before it had any value to the rest of the world…
"Our dad passed away at the age of 71 after a long battle with cancer in October 2017, and we love and miss him dearly. It was shortly after this we realised the old book we’d loved and treasured for 20 years was a sought-after first edition copy.
“Our dad, David James Potter, was a wise and loving man who believed the richest people were those who lived life to its fullest, and that experience had more value than money."
She continued: “Over time we realised the book had changed for us. We knew rare first editions were selling for tens of thousands of pounds. It wasn’t any longer something we could enjoy, or love, without fear of damaging it.
“With the proceeds from the sale, we would like to take dad’s ashes to Africa, the place he asked to finally rest, where we can make new and fantastic memories with our own children and families. After all, ‘it does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live’ – Albus Dumbledore’.”
Harry said: “We think now’s the time to use the money to benefit our families and do something dad wanted.”
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