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For The Love of the Game

Author: Bas Vlam (2016)

When people write a record of their Groundhopping exploits, they usually follow a format well recognised by the reader. It will usually be a chronological summary, with a chapter for each game or ground, details of the game, the ground and the journey. A few do depart from this format and none more so than Bas Vlam who has produced this excellent and original book. Bas is a Norwegian calligraphy expert and he's used his talents well to produce what could perhaps be called a lavish autograph book, but what is actually a homage to the teams in the top 5 Leagues of English football.

The book took three years to complete and if you get a chance to flick through a copy you will see why.

Each club gets a double page on which Bas has used his calligraphy skills to good effect. The club name, ground and date of establishment are at the top, along with League and Cup wins. The rest of the space has been used to for the names of famous players, managers and even chairmen, as well as a couple of club songs and a bit of background to some nicknames. Bas has then taken the original book with him as he's visited each ground and collected player's signatures when he gets the chance. As an Arsenal fan it's no surprise to see Arsene Wenger and Charlie George's signatures in the book for example, but other club legends feature as well. Not all the names are of current players; many are no longer with us, but the idea is you can add your own favourite players to the pages.


It's not just the writing that makes the book special, because Bas has also painstakingly painted each club crest and kit to make each page stand out. This is why it took three years to produce and the addition of this colour is what brings each page to life.


What Bas would like to think people will do is to take their copy to a game and make it unique by adding more signatures, either for the mentioned players or for others. Each book is numbered, which helps add to the idea that each book is different.


The book is a large hardback - very nicely bound with thick pages. Bas has produced 1000 and has left a few behind in England for people to buy if they would like one. They cost NOK 500, which is around £45 each, not much for such a unique item. You can contact Bas at post@kalligraf.no if you would like to ask about getting your own copy.


Click here to see the book featured on Baz's Norwegian website, along with pictures of players signing his copy.


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