Last days I did take a look in old cartons which I found in one of my cabinets but also some cartons in my basement. Then I walked down the memory lane as I found some old things of my youth. In the photo above you can see one of my discoveries.
It´s a HSV (Hamburger SV) jersey with original signatures of some players from that time. My grandpa had business connections to a person who knew a worker of the soccer club in Hamburg. That was the way he got that jersey. I played in a youth soccer club in Lübeck when I was young and soccer was one of my interests at that time. My grandpa then gifted me the jersey with the player signatures.
It´s a long time ago and today I am not that big soccer fan anymore as there are other interests. I still visited the stadium in Hamburg or the stadium of the soccer club of my hometown in Lübeck a few times and I also watch soccer at times in TV but I do it rarely. The interest in soccer simply disappeared over time as I found other interesting hobbies which I mentioned several times here on my blog.
That means the knowledge about soccer or soccer clubs in general disappeared gradually as well. So, when I found the soccer jersey of the Hamburger SV a few days ago, the big question came up when I got it. Or more precisely, which soccer season it is from and which players did put their signature on the jersey.
I am maybe not a person with soccer knowledge anymore but I am a person with very good investigation skills. The first idea which came up to my mind was to ask a friend who is a big fan of the Hamburger SV. We found out together that there are at least a few very good indications… The jersey sponsor company is called Sharp and the jersey is from Adidas. The visual aspect was a help too… the jersey is white and has red and blue stripes on the shoulders. Soccer clubs often make changes to the jersey each year but the indications we had were enough to find some things out. We basically asked Google to show us results of all historical HSV jerseys.
We now had more hints and found out that it can only be a Hamburg jersey of the 1990 – 1991 season. Then my friend walked through a soccer player database in the internet to find the HSV team of that season. Now it was possible to find out more about the player signatures. While I trust my grandpa and his statements as he also only could trust what he heard at that time, I was still nosy if the person who gave it my grandpa can be trusted that the signatures are original. I did open the photo of the jersey with Photoshop and numbered each signature as I wanted to write down everything I would find out…
The first mission was to identify each signature. Some signatures were easy to identify and others where pretty difficult. You know that some signatures are usually legible while signatures of other persons are pretty hard to make out. We wrote down the more obvious signatures first. Next we proofed and compared them with the signatures we were able to find in the internet. Basically we searched for autographs of each player. It´s possible to find them with Google picture search. That was the way to have a comparison and at the same time we were able to see if the signatures are very identical and original.
But as said, most signatures were less obvious and as a result hard to make out. We watched for initial letters of the first name and last name. We compared them with the database of soccer club and season in the internet again and wrote down our presumptions. Then there were even signatures with hard to read initial letters. We now had to look for other conspicuous characteristics of these signatures and compared them again with a database but also with the mentioned Google picture search. And for a few signatures we also asked in fan forums of the club where we found out that some signatures are even from players of the 1991/1992 season and not only the 1990/1991 season.
We now had a lot of presumptions written down on our list and we finally did again compare them all with autograph images which we found with the help of the Google picture search again. That was only to proof if they look like original signatures. We came to the conclusion that all signatures are original and that the person who gave the jersey to my grandpa at that time, can be considered to be trustful. All signatures are very identical compared to the autographs we found in the internet.
We had now some guesswork on our list. We wrote down 16 of 19 player signatures (EDIT: we now found all 19 players). So, here is who signed on the jersey in our opinion…
1 – Thomas Doll (Dolly)
2 – Uwe Eckel
3 – Armin Eck
4 – Thomas Stratos
5 – Richard Golz
6 – Jan Furtok
7 – Nils Bahr
8 – Jürgen Hartmann
9 – Detlev Dammeier
10 – Dietmar Beiersdorfer
11 – Frank Rohde
12 – Holger Ballwanz
13 – Richard Cyron
14 – Herbert Waas
15 – Jörg Bode
16 – Harald Spörl
17 – Klaus Freytag
18 – Nando (Fernando Pereira de Pinho Júnior)
19 – Waldemar Matysik
And here comes the image with the two signatures which are still enigmas for us… (EDIT: we found the last two names out now too)
We maybe will find them out as well. But I can already say now that the past days with the investigation were a lot of fun. Even if I am not a big soccer fan anymore. The part of researching was a hell of fun. And I also did read the curriculums of each player on Wikipedia as I wanted to find out more about all of them. It was really fun. It seems that I like investigation anyhow.
I posted my finding also on Facebook and another friend asked already if I would sell it which means I got first offers. To sell it, that is my intend as I am not really that much into soccer anymore anyway and I talked with my grandpa about it as well and he said that he then would sell it too. You simply can´t collect everything and the money could be spend for own more interesting hobbies.
The friend who asked if I would sell it said that he knows a person who is now very interested as he has a fan club or so. My friend asked me how much money I would like to have for the jersey and I said that it is currently difficult to say as I do still plan everything. The main thing is that I would rather like to start an auction on Ebay with a fix starting price. I am not sure about the starting price yet but I told my friend under reserve that I do already have at least 300 Euro (round about 400 USD) in my mind as it is a memento in my opinion, even if I am not into soccer. I guessed that the person which my friend knows would think that I am crazy but at the same time I thought that I would not sell something like this for under 100 USD or so. I rather want to estimate the price by an auction starting from the mentioned 300 Euro as I do believe that there might be collectors who see a value in the jersey.
Surprisingly I got an answer later on and my friend told me that this guy he was talking about is very interested and that he would like to know the link to the Ebay auction and time when I start the auction. That means for me that there is already at least one potential buyer. But I said that he should wait one or two weeks and I still think about it and as I have to get all information’s together and that I do have to write the text for the auction later on.
If everything works good then I have some money to spend for my more important interests. I do save up money for a Fender Stratocaster guitar for example. Playing guitar is a much bigger passion for me. And I really want to have a better guitar some day. I love Fender guitars. So, let´s see how the story about the jersey ends. I might write about it again.