WITH just minutes to go in a gripping World Cup final between Germany and Argentina, Sian Pratchett found a crucial gap and filled it – with a felt-tip drawing of Spain’s Pedro.
It just so happened the Barcelona winger was the last player to be finished in their now globally famous home-made, home-drawn World Cup sticker book – and after 31 days, 639 drawings, and 80,000 hits on their blog, Mrs Pratchett and husband Alex could take pride in their achievement.
Now, with close to 3,000 Twitter followers, the big question for the crafty couple from Iffley Road is what next?
Mr Pratchett, 30, who manages Scribbler card shop in New Inn Hall Street, Oxford, said: “It is such a ridiculous undertaking it feels faintly silly to say I am proud of it, but people around the world genuinely seemed to find something to be amused by in it.
“A lot of people have been asking us what we’re going to do next and the answer is we really don’t know.
“Other people have said we should auction the book, but we’re quite attached to it.”
The couple, originally from South Wales, and together since they were 17, started drawing their own stickers at the first fixture – Brazil v Croatia, and ended as Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in extra time.
As a child, Mr Pratchett had a 1994 World Cup sticker book but never managed to complete it, so he hoped to achieve a dream.
It was his sensible wife’s idea to save a bit of money by drawing their own stickers.
They starting sharing the charming miniature masterpieces on a blog, Panini Cheapskates, to amuse friends, and before they knew it had thousands of hits worldwide.
Overjoyed Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger and his home-made caricature
Mr Pratchett said: “It was quite unbelievable, we had people following us in 150 countries.
“Some people want us to do the Premier League, but the appeal of this album is that everyone around the world shares it.
“A lot of people have asked us to do their portrait, so we will take a look at that.”
A dejected Argentina captain Lionel Messi, and his Panini drawing
COUNTRY’S FANS PREDICTED the WINNER... ‘BUT DON’T CRY FOR Me ARGENTINA’
Germany fan Chris Jacobi, above, predicted in the Oxford Mail on Saturday that his team would triumph, although he said it would finish 2-1.
The Oxford University student, 22, watched the 1-0 win in the Oriel College common room with a group of friends, including about half a dozen countrymen.
He said: “It was amazing and we were so happy. We were looking forward to it and it was all that we wanted.
“After the 7-1 win against Brazil in the semi-final were were confident, although looking back to before the tournament it was a surprise.
“It was close as I predicted but I didn’t get the impression we would lose.”
Argentina fan Esteban Cichello Hübner, above, got his prediction spot on – but he was not celebrating.
The Oxford Tutorial College Spanish tutor said in our pre-match piece Germany would win 1-0 in a “boring” encounter, in a repeat of the 1990 World Cup final.
He said: “For some reason history is cyclical and it was more or less the same as in 1990.
“I feel Argentina played very well and I didn’t see a huge difference between the two sides.
“We had chances but Germany were a little bit more clinical.
“The dream of becoming champions was frustrated in extra-time, but I was very proud of Argentina.”
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Our top stories
7:43am Saturday 31st January 2015
IT'S been snowing overnight in Oxfordshire and here's some of the pictures our readers have sent in.
9:00am Saturday 31st January 2015
THE POPPY Appeal’s fundraising target has been smashed in the county.
3:17pm Saturday 31st January 2015
THREE men have been arrested after a man was left with "serious injuries," police say.
1:20pm Saturday 31st January 2015
A British military healthcare worker has been brought back to England for Ebola monitoring after suffering a needle-stick injury while treating a person in Sierra Leone.
9:30am Saturday 31st January 2015
Danny Hylton has warned Oxford United will get “eaten alive” at Stevenage today unless they match their hosts’ appetite for a battle.
8:30am Saturday 31st January 2015
BUILDERS and Oxford University dons have celebrated “topping out” one of Oxford’s newest and most prominent buildings.