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Got, Got, Need! Are you part of the growing football sticker craze?

PUBLISHED: 06:30 05 June 2014 | UPDATED: 09:32 05 June 2014

Adam Gretton, one of an army of men who collect Pannini World Cup stickers. Photo: Steve Adams

Adam Gretton, one of an army of men who collect Pannini World Cup stickers. Photo: Steve Adams

It is a decades-old pastime that could have been excused from fading away in the digital age we live in.

However, the tradition of buying football stickers every World Cup is just as popular as ever with a few days to go until the start of the Brazil tournament.

Italian firm Panini has been producing World Cup sticker albums since the 1960s with schoolchildren across the country trading their “swapsies” to fill their sticker album.

However, there appears to be a growing number of grown men and women who are buying up packs of stickers by the dozen and swapping their doubles at their workplaces.

As the England football team make their final preparations for the start of the World Cup, children and adults across the country have been gripped by football fever by collecting Panini stickers.

The children of the 1970s, 80s and 90s appear to be reliving their youth by filling their 2014 World Cup albums.

Workplaces across Norfolk have also got involved including colleagues at Archant and Aviva.

Collectors have used social networks ahead of this World Cup to update people on the progress of their collection and to trade swapsies using the Twitter hashtag #gotgotneed.

Panini was founded in 1961 by the Panini brothers in Modena, Italy, but it wasn’t until 1978 that Panini became popular in the UK during the Argentina World Cup.

Age appears to be no barrier when it comes to collecting stickers this year.

Mike Rosendale, 78, of Walcott, on the north Norfolk coast, has already filled his album and spent two months completing it, which included a bulk purchase from Panini. He has since donated his hundreds of leftover stickers to the children of Stalham Junior School.

“I have an interest in football and saw the book in the shop and I thought I would get one. I soon became obsessed and could not wait to get to the shop to buy more packs. Australia was the first team I completed and South Korea was the hardest.”

“I have found that there is a lot of information about the World Cup in the total collection and, I do not regret the cost of purchasing the stickers at all,” he said.

Panini claims that equal amounts of every sticker are printed. However, all collectors have their theories on why certain stickers are harder to come across than others.

It could also be an expensive pursuit. Two mathematicians at the University of Geneva calculated that the number of sticker packs you would have to buy on average to fill an album would be 899, costing more than £400.

Kris Wood, of Unthank Road, Norwich, added: “My 7 year old son Louie started the collection whilst I was away offshore and my wife said it would be fun if I could help him when I was back. Little did I know the obsession that took over when I got back, buying ten packets at a time. We finally completed the album last week. My wife is glad it’s finished as I’m not spending every waking hour on eBay searching for the last 10. I really loved doing it. It took me back to my childhood and for the first time in my life I completed an album, thanks mostly to my own expenses!”

• The 2014 World Cup Brazil collection official album consist of 640 stickers.

• A pack of stickers costs 50p and includes five stickers.

• There are 32 teams to collect.

• Every team has 17 player stickers to collect, a team photo and shiny of the team’s badge.

• There are 24 stadium pictures to collect.

• There are also special glitter stickers featuring the Panini logo, Fifa Fair Play logo, official World Cup ball, World Cup trophy, and World Cup mascot.

• Every year Panini prints more than a billion stickers.

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