100 kilograms of hockey history: Shaunavon man's scrapbook a jaw-dropper

It’s about a foot thick, weighs almost 100 kilograms and contains about 13,000 pictures, but Alec McFadyen’s record-breaking sports scrapbook was almost just a pile of ash.

Autographs, pictures and clippings combine to make world record a tall task to beat

Alec McFadyen has taken his hockey and sports scrapbook across the country, with several astounded by its record-setting size and the fact that he still manages to haul it around, even after he's suffered a stroke and two knee replacements. (Hayley Wickenheiser/Twitter)

It's about a foot thick, weighs almost 100 kilograms and contains about 13,000 pictures, but Alec McFadyen's record-breaking hockey scrapbook was almost just a pile of ash.

The sports enthusiast from Shaunavon, Sask. started collecting hockey pictures when he was a boy, through a Beehive syrup promotion that sent hockey cards in exchange for tin can labels.

Years later, when the collection grew into several boxes gathering dust under a bed at his mother's house, McFadyen decided it was time to take them away and burn them.

That is, until he opened the boxes and started looking at them again.  

"I went through [the boxes] one cold October afternoon and when I went to bed that night, it brought back a lot of memories. And I was glad that I didn't throw them away," McFadyen told CBC Saskatchewan's The Afternoon Edition

His wife suggested he should turn the collection into a scrapbook, which he did. As it grew in size and reputation, hockey stars and fans started helping him along, sending him photos, autographs and newspaper articles to turn the scrapbook into a behemoth that beggars belief.

"They can't believe it. They wonder how I carry it around," McFadyen said of people's reaction to the book. He noted people may be even more surprised when they learn he can haul it around on a cart, despite having had a stroke and a couple of knee replacements. 

The scrapbook features 13,000 photos, with hockey legends adding their signatures to the collection. (Submitted photo)

Within the pages lie thousands of memories and stories, whether it's the picture of NHL legends Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay doing dishes together, or a clipping from a newspaper used to insulate a house featuring the Montreal Canadiens team of the time.

Hockey star and fellow Shaunavon product Hayley Wickenheiser was one of the latest to express her amazement with the book, adding her signature to the living sports history.  

In 2004, McFadyen claimed the Guinness World Records title for the largest sports scrapbook, a title that's thus far proved hard for anyone to beat.

While it's uncertain who may take on adding to the scrapbook after him, McFadyen noted his grandson has become a sports collector too.  

If anyone can weigh in on sports scrapbooks, it's McFadyen, with his being the reigning heavyweight champion of the world. He gives his grandson's early book-in-progress his stamp of approval.

"His is mostly hockey cards, but it's a very nice book."

with files from The Afternoon Edition and Alicia Bridges