Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport


with 8 comments

Maurice Edu of Rangers and the United States has the solemn honour of being the first participant to be stuck into my South Africa 2010 Panini World Cup sticker album. As a man in his thirties, the excitement that this generates should have dissipated years ago but it’s an enduring addiction that has lasted since the April before Mexico ’86, the month that Maurice Edu was born.

The breaking news from Panini world is that the traditional format of the album has been ditched in favour of a more democratic layout which affords each nation two pages to exhibit their nascent squads. Of course this is more sensible but I can’t help feel a little disappointed, having found great comfort in Panini’s robust and lasting persistence in a wonky structure that relegated three nations to a single page, forcing pairs of players to cosy up on the one sticker. I often dreamt of the day that a team from the shadowy margins of the album – an Angola or a Saudi Arabia or a Jamaica – would go forward and win the trophy. That will not happen now.

I have bought a Panini album every tournament since Mexico, apart from 1990 when I naively plumped for a rival album produced by Orbis, seduced as I was by its Lever arch housing and file dividers. I boycotted the album extravaganza completely in 1994, labouring under the pretence that I was too cool for this puerile frippery and listened to acid jazz instead.

Sticking is a very simple pleasure. I normally buy a dozen packs opening them all at once, turning them face down and sorting them into numerical order for ease of use. And then stick each one in with surgical precision, sometimes putting on a pair of reading glasses that I don’t need. I don’t think I’m alone in wallowing in the scientific approach and misplaced pride in my stickerwork:

Of course the inherent tragedy of being an overannuated sticker collector is a paucity of potential swapsie providers. It’s not like I can go to school. There is a primary school at the end of my road so I could loiter around the gates scoping suitable swapsie swapees. But there are rules against that kind of thing.


Written by harrisharrison

April 19, 2010 at 6:57 pm

8 Responses

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  1. I too have fond childhood memories of the ’86 album. It is to my lasting regret that I no longer have it, but memory tells me that the main highlight was the Hungarian team full of dodgy taches. I seem to recall thinking that they are bound to win the cup if they look that sinister!!


    April 19, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    • For some reason the sticker Gary Stevens looked nothing like the actual Gary Stevens. I sensed some kind of conspiracy. I had no idea what though. I was 7.


      April 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm

  2. Maybe if you informed your friends about your purchase they might go out and buy albums and you might have some people to swap with?


    April 19, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    • I was just looking for an excuse to head down to the primary school.


      April 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm

  3. Swap sites on Facebook! You can even say ‘my son is collecting…’

    Derek Bell

    April 12, 2014 at 9:53 am

    • Panini grooming. Like it.


      April 12, 2014 at 12:47 pm

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