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Pele's got my autograph!? - 28/10/2003

Pele's got my autograph!?
   John McGinlay

As some of you may know, Pele recently visited the North East to launch a charity event and a photo exhibition. I was invited to the evening event where his photo exhibition was opened. The exhibition is housed in the University of Northumbria library and may still be open for viewing – why not give them a call and take a look? A met up with John McGinlay, the ex-Bolton forward, he wasn’t to impressed with some of the prints, and I can understand why – some are a bit ‘modern art’, but there’s still some cracking pieces. Take a look and see what you think

I eventually got to meet the great man, and had a brief chat with him. Can’t understand why, but he’d never heard of me! Anyhow, told him great I was and managed to persuade him to exchange autographs – or I would have if he hadn’t had an arm in a sling – the result of a tennis accident! Footballers nowadays, they’ll do anything to avoid shaking hands with people and dishing out a few autographs!!!

Was he the best player in the world? Well, to be honest, I’d say no. I’m not trying to be controversial, but I think the best ever player we’ve seen is Maradona. The one thing that swings it towards the Argentinian is that he almost single handedly won the World Cup, whereas Pele played – and was able to play – in a wonderfully talented team. OK, he may not be as popular as Pele, certainly not in this country, but it’s not a popularity contest. Maradona’s goal against England in ’86 was probably the best goal I’ve ever seen and I just think he edges it over Pele.

 By the way, I met someone at the event and he kindly sent me a few photo's. Problem is that we lost the images when our email records went south. If you still have them, I'd really appreciate it if you could resend them.

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