It’s sell, sell, sell for pools winner Viv Nicholson

She famously vowed to “spend, spend, spend” after winning a fortune on the football pools in 1961.

Viv Nicholson wearing a smart camel coloured maxi coat and wide brimmed royal blue hat, that are to be auctioned

Now penniless Viv Nicholson is going to sell, sell, sell as she auctions off memorabilia from her rollercoaster life.

The 77-year-old – immortalised on the cover of The Smiths’ 1984 single Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now – was just 25 when she and husband Keith struck it lucky on the Littlewoods Pools.

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The Castleford couple shot to fame as they blew their £152,000 winnings – the equivalent of nearly £3m today – on flashy cars, designer clothes, holidays and partying.

Viv Nicholson and husband Keith collect their Littlewoods pools cheque from Bruce Forsyth in 1961

But tragedy struck just four years later when Keith was killed at the wheel of his Jaguar, the taxman took everything and Viv was declared bankrupt.

After losing the money, she remained in the limelight on the cabaret club scene, where she performed briefly alongside her brother Geoff Asprey.

Photographs of the siblings in their various bands along with microphone stands and other stage equipment are to go under the hammer to raise money for their new venture, the Asprey Nicholson Foundation.

Items from Viv’s home from before her big win are also among those being auctioned.

Her brother said: “I wanted Castleford people to see what she has been left with. Viv doesn’t have anything herself, all these items are ones I’ve saved or collected over the years.”

The pair are exhibiting the memorabilia at an empty unit at Carlton Lanes Shopping Centre, Castleford, before holding the auction in the new year.

They plan to use the money raised to buy tablet computers for elderly people so they can communicate with each other in an e-community.

“The object of the foundation is to buy iPads they can use in a sort of e-village and talk to each other the internet,” said Geoff, 71.

“We’re hoping to raise as much as we can.

“Viv’s a figure who stands there to show what can happen when you have got nobody when you are old.”

Viv, who has battled alcohol and depression and now lives in a care home after suffering three strokes, has previously spoken of her loneliness since Keith’s death.

In one interview she said she had not celebrated a birthday since losing him because: “What is there to celebrate? Another year older on your own?”

The second of five husbands, Keith was the love of Viv’s life.

He was a miner and she worked in a factory, both earning just £7 a week, when they married in 1961.

They were down to their last few pennies when they hit the jackpot in September of that year.

The night they realised they had won they could scarcely afford a drink each at the pub to celebrate until they could collect their winnings.

“We had just enough for a pint for Keith and a half for me,” Viv previously told the Yorkshire Post.

She made her legendary declaration to the press a few days later when they arrived in London to collect their giant cheque from Bruce Forsyth.

The couple left Castleford for an extravagant new life in Garforth where they proceeded to spend, spend, spend, just as Viv had promised.

They had already lavished about half their fortune by the time Keith died in November 1965 in an accident on the A1, and the rest then went to the taxman.

Viv later tried to start a business in Malta but her new life there was cut short when she was deported after an altercation with police. A foray into retail was similarly short-lived when a clothes boutique she opened burned down.

A musical – Spend, Spend Spend – was made about her life in 1998, which premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds before a run at the West End.

While she felt it was very well done, she has said it was “very sad and frustrating” to see her life played out on stage and felt the team behind it did not really understand the reality of what she went through.

It earned her considerable royalties, as did the 1978 autobiography that inspired it – but, true to her vow, she frittered all that away too.

“I can’t not do, I love to spend,” she said.