My Greatest Achievement: Completing The Italia '90 Sticker Album

Completing the World Cup Italia '90 sticker book wasn't an easy thing to do. In fact, actually finishing it just might be one of the greatest achievements ever...
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As you get older, you start asking yourself some important questions. Questions like: “What the hell have I been doing for the last fifteen years?! And why isn’t there any evidence that I was doing it? Also, what day is it? What year? WHAT YEAR?!” All quite weird questions to be asking, apart from the 'what year?'. thing.

I always ask myself what year it is. But, anyway, how is it that I seriously have no record of any great achievements from my twenties? All those incredible things I was planning to do when I was 18, where are they? Well, I came up with two equally plausible explanations…

Either, A: Nothing much has happened and I have achieved very little worth remembering as an adult. Or, B: Being the only guy at school to complete the World Cup Italia ’90 sticker album was such a god damn towering achievement, I needed to take a couple of decades off just to get the creative juices pumping again.

And let me tell you something, doing that Italia ’90 sticker album was like some kind of full-time job. Here is a quick list of all the shit I had to do to get that MF done:

1 - Trick an elderly family member into buying me issue one AND the weird A4 ring binder needed to house the incoming tidal wave of World Cup info.

2 - Start collecting the stickers and buying the new edition of the magazine every week for twenty weeks (TWENTY WEEKS).

3 - Get busy and start filing all the latest chapters into their respective tabs (Stickers, Superstars, Golden Goals, Great Games, Finals Fever etc).

4 - Re-up the stash with a couple of extra packs on the way back from school every day.

5 - Hit the playground at lunch and take care of any swapsie action. Most talked about sticker: Hugo Maradona. No idea why.


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6 - Finish the England page and wonder what butthead put Neil Webb and Trevor Steven in the team ahead of Gazza and Waddle.

7 - Send away for all the remaining stickers after the newsagents stopped selling them because I was probably the only guy in the UK still collecting them.

8 - Put in the final sticker (Tomas Skuhravy) and celebrate by cruising around on the BMX with an XXL Slurpee.

9 - Impress all the nine-year-old girls in class with some lazer sharp analysis of Claudio Cannigia.

10 - Keep it on the upstairs bookshelf at Mum and Dad’s house for the next 22 years. Like I said, a god damn full-time job.


You can follow Ben on Twitter- @B___E___N___