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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Fan finishes quest for '96 sticker album

A man from Portsmouth has finally completed his 1996 Merlin Premier League sticker album by tracking down the last six missing players in the flesh.

Former Newcastle hero Philippe Albert now sells fruit and veg in Belgium.
 Philippe Albert was a particularly tough one to find.

Adam Carroll-Smith, 29, took six months to track down Gary Penrice (QPR), Lars Bohinen (Blackburn Rovers), Keith Curle (Manchester City), Philippe Albert (Newcastle), Scott Minto (Chelsea) and Stuart Ripley (Blackburn Rovers) and persuaded them to pose for a photo to complete his collection.

The players were tough to find with Albert working in the fruit and vegetable trade in his native Belgium and Bohinen taking part in a Scandinavian version of Strictly Come Dancing.

Carroll-Smith has written a book about the experience and told the BBC: "They were all fantastic, really accommodating guys... No matter how modern the game gets, football stickers will always have a nostalgic quality."

Despite the effort, the sticker book is no longer in existence as Carroll-Smith threw it into the sea claiming it was proof that he had now ‘grown up.’

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