Neil Diamond-mad retired policeman in tour vow

Ian Graham with some of his memorabilia at his home in Edinburgh as he prepares to follow Neil Diamond to 18 concerts across Europe and two in the US in 2015. Picture: PA

Ian Graham with some of his memorabilia at his home in Edinburgh as he prepares to follow Neil Diamond to 18 concerts across Europe and two in the US in 2015. Picture: PA

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A RETIRED policeman who has spent almost £250,000 going to Neil Diamond gigs is preparing to follow him around the world again.

Ian Graham, 60, from Edinburgh, will follow the Sweet Caroline singer to 18 concerts across Europe and two in the US in 2015.

Ian Graham, right, with his hero, Neil Diamond in Glasgow in 2002. Picture: PA

Ian Graham, right, with his hero, Neil Diamond in Glasgow in 2002. Picture: PA

Mr Graham’s four cats are named after Neil Diamond songs, he has the singer’s initials as his car number plate and wears the same jumper to every gig with the logo: ‘Neil Diamond, the frog who dreamed of becoming a King.’

“I get recognised by this jumper as I wear it to every concert,” Mr Graham said.

“It’s very symbolic to me as the words are taken from a line in I Am, I Said.

“I’ll be wearing it at Blackpool as I will on every other night of the tour this year.

“It’s great that the last night of the UK tour is in Blackpool at a new venue that is open air. Every Neil Diamond concert we go to is special but Blackpool will be particularly memorable for me and my wife Jenny this year as it marks her 100th concert.”

Mr Graham said he has enough memorabilia to fill a museum and his favourite item is his autographed police helmet.

He said: “I gave this to Neil 13 years ago but then his wife Katie spotted me at a concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles three years ago and she returned it to me as Neil had written a message to me saying ‘Thank you for all the kind words.’

“That is very special and has pride of place in a glass cabinet to protect it.

“But I’m no different to any other fan. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been to one concert or hundreds. I’m just fortunate that I’ve been able to follow and support him so much.”

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