Ex footballer emotional over restoration of memorabilia
BBC’s The Repair Shop always provides plenty of heartwarming moments as prized possessions are restored back to their former glory. And this week’s episode featured a treasured item dating back to a special day over 50 years ago.
Former professional goalkeeper, Peter Grotier, brought in a football programme from a momentous match that he had played in back in 1970. He was part of the West Ham team who flew out to New York that year to play an exhibition match against Brazilian football club Santos FC.
Not only was Peter playing alongside one of his heroes, Sir Bobby Moore, who joined him in the West Ham Squad, he was playing against his other footballing hero; Pelé. This was right after Brazil won the World Cup.
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Peter recalled the time fondly. He revealed: “I’m 19 years of age and I’m flying out in a jumbo jet out to New York, and I’m going to play against the greatest goal-scorer that’s ever been.”
Peter played the first half and the first minute of the second half and “didn’t mind at all” when Pelé got two balls past him into the net.
After the game ended in a 2-2 draw, Pelé signed the match programme for Peter and it is an item that he cherished ever since. But over the years the memento had faded and become increasingly fragile and unstable.
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Peter outlined: “The reason why it got in such a bad condition was because my family, we moved around to eight different houses, so it was packed away and folded, something I should never have done.”
The Repair Shop’s paper conservator Angelina Bakalarou was able to restore the programme without compromising Pele’s iconic signature. And the transformation made Peter quite emotional.
“Oh, wow! Oh, wow!” he reacted upon seeing the restored programme.
He continued: “Yeah, that’s unbelievable. I actually feel I can open it now without – fantastic.”
It looked as though Angelina was getting rather emotional too as Peter admitted: “It was a big thing in my life to play in that game and it all comes flooding back now. So, thank you very much.”
The former West Ham player plans to leave his cherished item to his 17-year-old grandson Joseph, with the proviso that he doesn’t ever sell it. Joseph has followed in his grandfather’s footsteps by captaining the Essex side Wivenhoe Town FC Under-18s.
The Repair Shop airs on Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC One.
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