Chorley’s biggest MJ fan goes to London for King of Pop’s birthday

AN Aussie barista from Chorley who owns almost £20,000 worth of Michael Jackson memorabilia has been to London to celebrate what would have been the King of Pop’s 53rd birthday.

Celeste Dixon, 26, who works at Costa Coffee in Market Walk, Chorley, has idolised the man who brought us the moon walk since she was a little girl.

Every August since his death, she has travelled to London to join other dedicated fans to mark the singing phenomenon’s birthday and this year was no exception.

Since 1996, aged 11, Celeste has spent every spare bit of money buying up Michael Jackson mementoes to honour an unrivalled music career which spanned more than four decades.

Celeste, who has worked at Costa in Market Walk for just over a year and has a diploma in graphic design, said: “The most expensive item I have bought is the 12 inch Smile single which he never released because it was due to go out a couple of days after Princess Diana died and he couldn’t bring himself to release it. I paid 1200 Australian dollars, not too far off £1,000, which is quite a lot when you consider there is only one song on it and I have only listened to it once!”

Her colossal collection, which mostly lives at the family home in Adelaide, South Australia, includes every single 12 inch single and every single 12 inch album ever released by the global superstar. But you will also find figurines, badges, sunglasses, umbrellas and a whole host of other items all dedicated to the extraordinarily talented singer songwriter.

What is ironic is that Celeste never ever saw Michael Jackson perform live, a chance which was  cruelly snatched from her by the singer’s unexpected death in June 2009.

Celeste, who quotes Smooth Criminal and Stranger in Moscow as her favourite Jacko tracks and has two tattoos dedicated to the artist, said: “It is hard to believe I know but I have never seen him perform live. We had tickets for the opening night, second night and last night of his farewell O2 tour, This Is It, which he was rehearsing for just before he died. I worked out I had spent close to £1,000 to get those tickets and it is gutting to me that I never got to see him.

“I saw him at the press conference when he announced the tour but all I really remember is being crushed that day although I did see him at least.”

The memory of the day her idol died is still etched in her mind.

She said: “I can remember every single detail about it. It was just grief, wailing, bursting into tears. I don’t think I have ever cried so much in my life. I rang my mum, it was about 4 am in the morning and I was just crying down the phone to her and she just couldn’t believe it when I told her what had happened.”

Celeste’s whole family are fans too and her earliest memory is of watching Moonwalker, a film released by Michael Jackson in 1988. She said: “I was only about three or four at the time but I remember being completely absorbed in how he moved. There were just no words to describe it but it was like gold melting.

“I suppose you could say I was brought up with him because my mum is a big fan and she said she used to play Billie Jean quite a lot when I was still in her tummy so maybe that is where it all started.”

Her boyfriend, Malc Jennings, 32, is just as big a Michael Jackson fan and the pair met on a forum dedicated to the Thriller singer.

Their latest Michael Jackson trip away was to a party on August 28 organised by fans at the Pimlico Academy in Pimlico, central London, to mark the singer’s 53rd birthday.

Celeste said: “This is the third time we have been and they are always brilliant. We have met some terrific friends through going to events like this who love and respect him just as much as we do.”

When asked why the pop sensation has been such an incredible passion in her life, Celeste said: “I adore him because of what he stood for and he stood for everything which is good in this world and when you look around and see how much bad there is, well I don’t know what he would have said about all that but I wish he was still here to say it.

“He was such a humanitarian and he did everything for our benefit and gave to everybody else instead of thinking about himself. He was a very selfless person and let’s not forget what an incredible singer and dancer he was too. It is just so sad he is not here with us anymore.”

2408Celeste Dixon 01 and 05: Celeste Dixon is one of the King of Pop’s biggest fans. She is pictured here with a fraction of her £20,000 collection

Tattoo ankle CelesteDixon08: One of two tattoos which Celeste has in honour of her pop idol

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