Friday, April 24, 2009

A Shyness That Is Criminally Vulgar

Last night I was thinking, as you do, about the autographs I have owned. I've seen plenty of celebrities but never asked for an autograph for myself. I was always too shy and my mum and dad asked for me. In fact I didn't want them to but they felt they had to. Part of being a parent is embarrassing your children in front of all and sundry.

When I was five we were at a local fete and Eric Sykes was there. He was there in some official capacity so I presume his services were paid for. My mum dragged me up to Eric. I didn't know much about him but he signed his autograph for me. "To Geoffrey, best wishes, Eric Sykes".

Then when I was about seven a Tesco supermarket was opening in Crayford. My mum thought it would be a good idea to go along to the opening. Two Millwall footballers, Dereck Possee and Eamon Dunphy were there in an official capacity so they must have been paid for their services. My mum dragged me up to the two men and they signed their autographs. "Derek Possee" and "Eamon Dunphy". This was in the days before I wouldn't piss on a Millwall player if he were on fire.

Then when I was about ten my dad took me to Loftus Road to see Q.P.R. v West Ham and sitting behind us was the great Frank Lampard. (His son, the current scumbag Chelsea player will always be "Junior" to me). My dad turned to Frank and said "Frank, can we have your autograph, please?" Frank obliged and wrote "Frank Lampard".

In each of these cases I was egged on by my parents to ask the other adults for their autographs. In each case I was terrified I might have to, almost to the point of tears and my parents asked the men themselves. But each time they convinced themselves they were doing it for me, the boy who was too shy and needed to come out of his shell.


  1. Did these footballers spell their own names correctly?

  2. Is there a single father-and-son football pairing in which the father is more vile than the son?

  3. MJ - They didn't have to. They were about as readable as a doctor's prescription.

    Tim - I can only think of the Redknapps and even then it's a close call.

  4. Well - now you're a man - you do come out of your shell occasionally.
    But strictly on your own terms.

  5. How did Eric Sykes anticipate your blog name?

  6. Kaz - I'm now the strong silent type. Nobody can read what I'm thinking.

    Rog - Eric could then see into the future. Now, sadly, he just sees into the past.

  7. What do you do with autographs anyway?
    I don't have any!

    There must be a website where you can collect them.

  8. I got John Cleese, Bill Shankly and Arthur Askey's autographs when I was young. Which must make me 190 years old. I wasn't shy then. I am now.

  9. Donn - I presume some are worth a lot. Not the ones I had, though.

    Astronaut - Did you say "I theng yow" to Arthur?