It isn’t just the autograph book that has bitten the dust in recent years, but also the crowd of small boys hanging around the locked double door marked PLAYERS AND OFFICIALS ONLY an hour after the match….
The players are missing, too: men who didn’t need a minder at their side to talk to a twelve-year-old about the afternoon’s brawls and cannonballs. The kind of players whose personally signed message you’d want to treasure forever.
In the intervening years, football magazines and club shops have churned out sheets of pre-printed (quite literally auto-) autographs to help save the all-important stars time and hassle. It’s all a question of supply and demand, see? Autograph books have been replaced by handily pre-signed official postcards, and the gaggle of young fans outside the ground by eBay entrepreneurs.
“Hey Mister, will you sign this matchworn shirt/vintage electric guitar for me, and pose for an authentication shot?”
For a guaranteed unsigned copy of ‘Got, Not Got’ apply here.