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Autograph please! A philographer’s notebook, an anecdote of football

Kolkata, Dec 27: As Real Kashmir FC players were Thursday practicing for the upcoming match against East Bengal FC at Salt lake Stadium, M N Nath, seemingly in his 70s, was desperately watching them through the fence.

A smile was visible on Nath’s face as his eyes followed the players being trained by Coach David Robertson.

The one-and-a-half hour practice session culminated. Players started packing up for the hotel. The restlessness of Nath saw no bounds.
“Krizo….Krizo,” he shouted.

Carrying a green and white colour notebook and a ball pen in his hand, Nath rushed towards the players who had started heading to the bus.
“Autograph please!” he said.

For Nath, it has been a routine for the last 50 years to get an autograph from every new player, who enters the city for a game.“I have thousands of such autographs of footballers who played here. And every autograph in my collection is attached with a photograph of that particular player,” he said, pointing towards his notebook.

Since morning, Nath had been waiting for RKFC players practicing in the stadium to ensure he managed to get the autographs from all of them.“As soon as I heard the team will practice in the stadium, I picked up my notebook and came here,” he said.

Nath, who has been a football lover since childhood, said his collection of autographs has been an achievement for him.“Who will have such a huge collection of autographs of footballers? It gives me immense pleasure to interact with the players and also keep their souvenirs,” he said.

Nath said he will attend RKFC’s matches against Kolkata giants to watch the performance of his favourite players.

Like Nath, scores of other football fans including children were waiting outside the stadium and the hotel to interact with the RKFC footballers and its head coach.

RKFC Kolkata leg will begin Friday with a match against East Bengal FC at Salt Lake stadium here.

The team will lock horns against Mohun Bagan FC on January 6.