A plumber who kept a Nintendo 64 gaming controller he was given for his 14th birthday in his loft for 25 years is set to sell it at auction - for £1,000.

Liam Clousdale, from Whitefield, received the pad as a birthday gift from his parents in 1998 so he could play N64 classics like Mario Kart, Goldeneye and Zelda.

But now, 25 years later, the controller been identified as a rare special edition and potentially one of less than 200 that exist in the world.

Liam's Nintendo 64 Foxdata Silver Leopard customised controller could sell for a grand when it goes under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers on October 17.

Bury Times: The controllerThe controller (Image: SWNS)

Liam, 39, said: “I got the pad as a birthday gift from my parents in 1998 when I was 14. At the time my family lived in Cumbria.

“The ads for it appeared in the official Nintendo magazine, the N64 Magazine as it was known back then.

"At that time you picked stuff out of the adverts in the back pages instead of via the internet.

“The Foxdata N64 was the only console to come with four ports for pads.

"All my friends used to go to each other’s houses to play and, to avoid confusion, everyone liked to have their own unique pad.

"The Foxdata ones were amazing to me at the time as they were official pads but with custom paint jobs.

“I used it a fair amount and loved having the craziest looking pad. Though the N64 has long since been packed away, I’m still an avid gamer.

“One of my friends spotted that a Foxdata pad had sold for a decent amount of money and remembered I had one.

"He asked me about it so I unpackaged my old pad from a box in the loft where it had been carefully stored away.

“I then contacted Hansons as I found an article about a previous gaming sale they had held.

"I was very surprised by how much it was potentially worth. I’m happy to pass it on to a proper retro collector."

Bury Times: Liam Clousdale in his younger yearsLiam Clousdale in his younger years (Image: SWNS)

Bury Times: Liam ClousdaleLiam Clousdale (Image: SWNS)

David Wilson-Turner, head of Hansons’ Toys and Video Games Auction, said: “Liam’s controller was released in the late 1990s by Foxdata as part of a range of four different designs - Desert Storm, Chrome Leopard, Red Rain and Purple Forest.

“That range that has become increasingly sought after in the video game market.

"Though information is limited, it’s believed Foxdata produced around 800 of these customised controllers across the four designs, meaning there could be less than 200 examples of Liam’s controller in the world.

“The Nintendo video game franchise is one that’s grown ever stronger with each console that’s been released on to the market.

"Whilst the current trend is the Nintendo Switch, anything to do with Nintendo, whether it be modern or retro, is gaining more traction in the wider video game market.

“This controller offers a chance for a Nintendo memorabilia collector to source a rare, hard-to-find item.

"Though the controller has been used and is in need of slight attention that only adds to its charm.”