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04/12/2012 09:05, Report by Andy Mitten

Eric and Me: Andy Mitten

Eric was duly waiting the next morning. It was Bastille Day and he was wearing a French national shirt and sporting a beard flecked with grey. He is taller, wider and more imposing than you might imagine. After we’d done a great interview - the highlight being when he said: “My best moment? I have a lot of good moments but the one I prefer is when I kicked the hooligan” - I told Cantona about the couple and asked him to sign something which could be auctioned.

“I would like to do this,” replied the King, except there was nothing like a shirt or poster to sign. We were in the conference room of a Marseille hotel, standing by the obligatory flip chart of A2 paper. “Just write something on there,” I said, eyeing the big felt markers. “What?” he asked. “You’ve just told me that you’re an artist. Show it,” I replied. “Or write a message to the people of Manchester.”

With that, Eric did a Miro-esque squiggle and a message. So as not to crease it, I ‘borrowed’ the whole roll of paper and tucked Eric’s work in the middle. Smartly framed, that squiggle auctioned for £2,500 in a working class Manchester pub. I would have been happy with a tenth of that – which is what a signed Ruud van

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More than a footballer

"We were in the conference room of a Marseille hotel, standing by the obligatory flip chart of A2 paper. 'Just write something on there,' I said. 'You’ve just told me that you’re an artist. Show it'.”
- Andy Mitten

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