Santos and New York Cosmos secured it, and now an Angus man has captured the signature of the man regarded by many as the greatest ever exponent of the beautiful game.
And 21-year-old Andrew Buchan is so proud of his meeting with Pele that he has had the superstar’s signature inked on his arm as a permanent reminder of the day he met his hero.
Andrew’s brush with Brazil’s three-time World Cup winner came at the Collectormania 24 event in Birmingham’s NEC earlier this month, a film and comic con event which drew huge crowds as well as a stellar line-up of stars from the worlds of film and sport.
Andrew and younger brother Jamie headed south after the prospect of meeting the legend popped up.
“He was a sensational footballer and I also admire him greatly for his humanitarian work – I’ve always been a fan,” said Andrew.
“Jamie was looking at conventions online and when he told me it was possible to meet Pele I started hyperventilating,” said Andrew.
“Armed with ‘change’ shirts of both the Brazilian national squad and Pele’s club side Santos, Andrew got two treasured photos alongside the man who bagged a remarkable 1281 league goals in just 1363 games.
“Before the second one he tapped on my Santos crest and said ‘this is the best team in the world’.
“It was an incredible experience.”
Pele also autographed Andrew’s right arm, and the Angus fan gingerly protected the signature on the journey home and overnight until he could head into the Invictus tattoo studio recently opened by his older brother, Kevin Finlay, in Forfar’s North Street, who opened up the shop on a Sunday off to fulfil a family promise.
Kevin said: “I’d always promised Andrew and Jamie that their first tattoo would be on me and this was Andrew’s first, so it was just him cashing in on the deal.”
After grinning and bearing the pain of the tattoo, Andrew added: “Mind you, Pele’s full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento so I’m glad he didn’t sign that on my arm.”