Continuing our series on collectors of United shirts, next up Josh Iggulden.
I still have the first autograph I ever collected; Alex Russell on the back of my programme as a seven year old at the front of the NRE. From there on I would grab the odd autograph where I could, and only really started collecting memorabilia seriously around ten years ago. Since then I have amassed a collection of hundreds of autographed cards, pictures, balls, shirts, over 4,000 programmes and hundreds of shirts, some of which are match worn. My shirt collection is dominated by Cambridge United, although I have a variety of teams, and even a few P*sh ones (say it quietly though).
2012/13 Nick Pope Match Worn Shirt
We’ll start with a Premier League and England goalkeeper. I was lucky enough to be able to sponsor Nick Pope when he was on loan at the Abbey, and received his shirt at the end of the season, although I had to wait until he returned with York I believe, to be able to get it signed. In my opinion, Nick is one of the best goalkeepers I have seen for the U’s in my 22 years watching, and the fact he is a local success story make it even better. If you look closely, you’ll see the club recycled the shirt worn earlier in the season by Jed Steer, so it’s a double match worn shirt almost.
1991/93 Home & Away Shirts Signed by John Taylor
Although before my time (my first game was Forest away in 98), these are some of the most iconic shirts in the club’s history. These shirts were worn when the U’s came close to promotion to the brand-new Premier League, and was the last shirt worn by Dion Dublin. I do have a copy of the brilliantly remade version released earlier in the year, as unfortunately these originals are way too big for me to wear. I was fortunate to be gifted these by my Uncle, who wore them to many games home and away. I managed to get these signed by Shaggy and will hopefully be able to add more members of the squad at a later point.
2011/12 Harrison Dunk Match Worn Shirt & Boots
Cambridge United legend and all-round nice guy. This is his shirt from his first season as the club, when he instantly became mine and many other fans’ favourite player. As you can see the shirt is unwashed and signed, and, probably through constant annoyance, I was fortunate that Harrison gave me his boots at the end of the season. Unfortunately, this is now one of many shirts I have no room to display in my home, so it does not get the viewing it deserves. We can all agree that he has been a fantastic servant to the club and will hopefully be given the testimonial he deserves.
2013/14 FA Trophy Final Shirt Worn By Marvin The Moose
Those who know me will know that I had the honour of working as Marvin the Moose for three seasons. Among the highlights of the job were Manchester United at home, being punched by a Northampton fan and having the Luton fans on strings every single game! The standout games though must be the two Wembley appearances, as the whole days were fantastic. As Marvin I was allowed access to the tunnel areas and pitch side at Wembley and got to mingle with thousands of fans at both games. This shirt is the shirt I custom printed for the FA Trophy final, signed by the whole squad, which brings back great memories of an incredible season for the club. You will probably have noticed that the costume changed the season after, this is because the club, in midst of the play off celebrations, forgot to take Marvin with them back to Cambridge, and the costume was thrown out by Wembley staff!
2008 Play Off Final T-Shirt
Although not technically a shirt, and from a very forgettable game, this is my favourite piece of memorabilia I own. This is the culmination of around 10 years of autograph collecting; waiting around after games in all weather just for one random ex player to sign a tiny space on the sleeve. The first autograph on this was Lee Mcevilly at Cambridge City in pre-season, and it spiralled from there, to over 100 signatures. The shirt includes famous names such as Charlie Wassmer, Ashley Croker, Darren Byfield, Alie Sessay and Ismail Yakubu. Some of the more notable names include Dion Dublin, Roy MacFarland, David Moyes, Steve Claridge, Steve Fallon and Andy Duncan. There came a point when I had to stop getting autographs on the shirt as I ran out of space.
You can follow Josh on Twitter at @officialOosh and if you have a collection of United shirts, no matter how rare or interesting you want to showcase please get in touch via Twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org