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Eddie Mair | 11:57 UK time, Monday, 4 February 2008

as I boarded a train yesterday, who should be sitting there minding his own business but the Liverpool footballer Stephen Gerrard.

He was in my carriage at the other end, so I was able to look on as person after person bothered him for autographs. There was endless signing, posing with people for snatched mobile phone shots, and handshaking and smiling. No-one was turned away, and as people left him, you could see the excitement that meeting their hero had generated. Maybe he was completely fed up being approached but he didn't convey that.

Footballers - sometimes justifiably - get a bad press. And there will be those who say that for the money he is on he should bloody well sign as many autographs as the public want. But I admired him for doing it for so long and without a word of complaint. Of course I approached him to ask if he wanted my autograph, and then I was escorted from the train.

This is not Jack and Vera.


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