Adam sticks to task to complete teams of ’96

AUTHOR Adam Carroll-Smith
AUTHOR Adam Carroll-Smith

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WHEN Adam Carroll-Smith realised his 1996 football sticker album was incomplete, he decided to put it right.

The 29-year-old, from Southsea, embarked on a six-month journey tracking down the missing six players and getting his own photos to complete his album.

Adam discovered his 1996 Merlin Premier League album in his parents’ loft and opened it thinking it was complete.

But he was disappointed to learn that Keith Curle, Scott Minto, Stuart Ripley, Gary Penrice, Phillipe Albert and Lars Bohinen were all missing.

The dad-of-one said: ‘Last year, I found the sticker book but I always remembered finishing it so it was a surprise when I realised I had six missing. So I decided to do something outrageous.

‘It took me six months to track down the players but I took a break for the Olympics and Euro 2012.

‘But I didn’t have a time limit on how quickly I completed it and I wasn’t expecting to write a book either. That decision came further down the line and although the book is about the stickers, it is also about how I met my wife Anna.’

When he managed to get in touch with the players, Adam, arranged to take photos of the players now.

He added: ‘The hardest to find was Philippe Albert because he lives in Belgium and isn’t involved in the press any more.

‘He was living in the middle of nowhere but once I found him, he was lovely.

‘They were all the nicest of guys which is comforting considering a lot of football players get bad press nowadays.

‘It’s nice to know they are just normal guys living normal lives.’

But after completing his sticker album, Adam threw it into the Solent.

He added it was Anna, his wife’s idea but he thought it was a good way to end the journey and move on with his wife and newborn daughter.

Adam said: ‘The whole idea of having a sticker books is juvenile, incredibly juvenile. Over the course of the six months, I had met my wife and we have just had a child.

‘So, it was a way for me to be a bit more grown-up otherwise I would still be looking through it. I didn’t feel the need to keep it and it was a way for me to draw a line under it.’

· To find out more about the book Six Stickers go to sixstickers.tumblr.com