A Burton Latimer collector dubbed ‘the crazy crocodile man’ has set a new world record after collecting more than 6,000 crocodile and alligator related items.
Andy Gray smashed the previous best of 1,017 by a Bangkok-based reptile lover by collecting a staggering 6,739 items - all of which can be found inside his house.
His obsession started more than 15 years ago when he moved to the area from Luton and, lacking furniture, bought a wooden crocodile.
Mr Gray’s love of the animals escalated and it has taken him worldwide, where he trained them in Thailand and Florida.
He said: “I first tried to break the world record three or four years ago but I got beaten, but now I’ve smashed it.
“A lot of people will think I’m weird and I’ve been called the crazy crocodile man, but nobody understands.
“There a quite a few people who collect pig and dolphin items but that’s too predictable.
“Crocodiles are really intelligent and have been around for millions of years.
“I absolutely loved training them and I managed to keep hold of my fingers.
“I’ve got crocodile teapots, cookie jars, ashtrays, Christmas decorations – you name it, I’ve got it.
“There are a few things I’ve got that are the weirdest, but they’re probably not fit for public consumption.
“In my house there are two large rooms that are piled high to the ceiling and people are gobsmacked when they see it, I love it.”
However, Andy’s feat isn’t all about the fame that comes with breaking a world record.
He is raising money for Cransley Hospice and the Cynthia Spencer Hospice, after they looked after his father-in-law Bryan Sellers before he died in 2001.
Mr Gray added: “I have got a Facebook page showcasing my collectables and for every ‘like’ I get I will be donating 10p to the hospices.
“They really looked after him and I feel it’s appropriate.
“I’d really like to raise awareness of what is a good cause because they don’t get the money they should.
“I’ve currently got nearly 4,000 likes, and I’d love to get it up to 5,000 and £500 by Friday before I hand the money over.”
To help Andy raise money, visit his Facebook page by clicking here and clicking ‘like’.