Wednesday, 19 December 2012

AWM - Signing at the Daggers

Last Saturday, I finished the final leg of the ABIDE WITH ME Book Tour by signing books at the club shop of the team I have supported almost my entire life - The Mighty Dagenham & Redbridge F.C.

I turned up with my box of books and my seven foot poster/banner thing, having no idea what to expect. I'd not heard of a book signing on a match day at a football club before - although I'm sure there have been many, though none ever at the home of the Mighty Daggers.

Gone were the white shirt and black trousers, and shoes, of all the previous book signings this year, and on where my jeans, trainers, and Daggers shirt. 

When I arrived at the club shop, I was absolutely delighted to see the Daggers had provided me with a large table and space enough to put up the banner/poster thing.

The seven foot poster/banner thing, as modelled by my little girl, Summer, earlier this year - before I painted the front room.

My table at the Daggers

It was half-past one. An hour before kick-off. I had no idea what the interest would be. But the interest was phenomenal.

The books flew off the table, and on more than one occasion I had to ask the wonderfully friendly staff at the Daggers Shop to chuck me some more over so I could fill it up again. A few supporters even bought more than one copy - one for themselves and the other as a present for someone else. One lad - about nine or ten - picked up a copy and held it out for me to sign. I gently said to him it wasn't really a children's book, and he said - 'It's all right, it's for me dad' - and nodded to a bloke in the corner of the shop, his back turned to me, looking at the replica shirts. I signed the book for the lad, and said for him to pay at the counter.

 Signing books in my old Daggers shirt, not able to keep that silly grin off me face for the entire time I was there. Brilliant :)
And it wasn't just Daggers supporters that bought the book, Barnet supporters also indulged. And a proper friendly lot, they were.

I had chats galore about old Daggers matches, past players and glories, and about what it was like to come to the ground in the old days.

In heaven? Yes I was :)

The books continued to fly off the table, almost constantly. I began to look up at the clock. It was heading for three o'clock. I was getting nervous. Kick-off time. Barnet. A local derby. A must win game if we were to have any thoughts about keeping our good run going.

I watched the match from behind the goal with Mollie and Charlie, Charlie's best mate, Shay, and my dad.  We won one-nil with a belting curler of a shot from Matt Saunders straight to the top corner from the edge of the box.

What a day.

I want to thank all the staff at the Daggers shop for being so supportive on the day, to all the Daggers and Barnet fans who made the day so special. I'd also like to thank my publisher - Darren - for working so hard to make the event possible, and to Michael, Teresa, and Steve from the Daggers for sorting everything out at the Daggers end.

An incredible end to an incredible year.


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