The Difficult Second Album: Euro 2016 – Pens, Pencils & The Beard Of Ledley

Hello again.

It’s been a while. The World Cup seems a long time ago. The drawing, the stickers, the being harassed out of bed at 6.45am to explain ourselves to confused radio presenters… that all seems a long time ago too.

For those who have just discovered us, what happened in the summer of 2014 was this: we, a thrifty pair who wanted to fill the Panini FIFA 2014 World Cup sticker album but couldn’t rationalise the estimated £450 outlay on pictures of tiny men, decided as a cost-cutting measure to draw the stickers ourselves. We began the day the World Cup began, with the faint notion of finishing by the time the tournament ended a month later. The “stickers” we drew, neither of us having much in the way of an artistic bent, were uniformly awful. And I mean awful. All 640 of them. It is absolutely essential that the world understands that we know we can’t draw. But draw we did…

We thought a few friends and family might find our quest gently amusing and, I suppose, we were right. What we hadn’t banked on was that plenty of others would too. Our drawings – our terrible, terrible drawings – found their way to seemingly every corner of the internet, to the BBC and the Guardian, to radio breakfast shows, to the front page of our local paper, to Simon Mayo, to magazines in Iran and Japan and Mexico and beyond, to the “and finally” bit on the actual proper telly news, to a teeny part of a Panini-obsessive book, to a lovely little mini-documentary, and, ridiculously, to an actual exhibition.

Obviously, this was all really, really silly. But it was also fun, and a bit scary, but mainly fun. And, most importantly, we finished on time, putting the finishing touches to our approximation of Spain’s Pedro a mere fifteen minutes before the final kicked off. So, we succeeded – we succeeded in filling the entire 2014 World Cup Panini album for zero pounds and zero pence.

So, that’s where you find us: two years later, a new tournament looming in the shape of UEFA Euro 2016 and Panini having churned out an accompanying album boasting a thoroughly alarming 800 stickers.


Eight hundred stickers.

I don’t mind telling you that drawing 800 stickers in 30 days, each one taking about 15 minutes, is quite an undertaking. We drew 640 in 32 days last time, and it nearly killed us. There are only two of us, and we have actual jobs and, in many ways, actual lives. I re-read the blog from 2014 recently, and it provides a decent picture of two sleep-deprived people slowly disintegrating over the course of a month, desperately trying to complete a bafflingly pointless quest that had taken over their lives without them ever quite meaning to. It scared me.

With that in mind, to make this foolhardy task worth attempting all over again, we would like to try and harness the wonderful support we’ve received in the past, by raising some money for charity. By clicking on our Virgin Money Giving page, you can donate to two charities very dear to both of us, Cancer Research UK and Macintyre Charities, giving us the motivation to keep churning out our dishevelled little men even when our brains and bodies are telling us to stop. AND, if you’re in our top 100 donors by the time Euro 2016 comes to a close on July 10th and we – hopefully – have finished the album, you will get a personalised Panini Cheapskate picture of your very own face. If you happen to be one of these lucky(?) 100, we hope for your sake you’re not easily offended.

So there you have it. That’s the plan.

800 stickers

30 days

2 soon-to-be-shells of people

1 album

Oh God.

While you wait for Euro 2016 to begin and our odyssey to start, why not give us a follow on Twitter (@CheapPanini) for a constant stream of wonky pictures. Oh, and of course you can CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW if you’re the super organised type. Please do spread the word, it’d be lovely to raise a tidy sum for two very worthwhile causes, and do check back soon. It’s going to be a very long month, but it would be great to have you along for the ride.


Alex & Sian


6 thoughts on “The Difficult Second Album: Euro 2016 – Pens, Pencils & The Beard Of Ledley

  1. How bloody fantastic to get this update in my inbox this morning! Brilliant that you are back and doing this again – can’t wait for the Euro’s to start now. Good luck guys!


  2. Hurray! You have made an old woman very happy. If that doesn’t give you encouragement to complete your quest, I don’t know what will… I look forward to your interpretation of the smiley faces and dodgy haircuts, and I’ll be happy to give money to spur you on. Hurray!


  3. Hello Alex and Sian,
    Only five years old for the last World Cup, the Panini sticker book craze went largely unnoticed by my more artistically inclined son. This time around though, he has noticed and just yesterday spent some of his pocket money to buy himself the book. A little bothered by the fact he was about to dole out goodness knows how much more of his pocket money to fill the thing, I casually mentioned that during the World Cup someone drew all their stickers instead. A Google search lead us here and now he is hooked. So, you have inspired a seven year old boy to draw along with you this year. France is done, half way through Romania. Thanks for the inspiration. We will return the favour and leave a few pounds on your charity page. Good luck to you both with this year’s drawings and your fundraising. Kirsten (& Freddy)


  4. Hi guys. Your latest post just popped up on a random ‘inspire me’ search. What a fantastically random and original challenge to undertake. You are truly wasted (I don’t mean drug addled, although how you cope with the stress of a tight schedule and fast approaching deadline, is your own business). The blog posts are incredibly well crafted. Not just a documentation of your daily toil. Truly entertaining. If your artistic talent was even remotely equivalent to your writing prowess, then the whole show simply wouldn’t work. I think you’ve struck the perfect Panini /prose partnership.
    Looking forward to following your artistic endeavours for the remainder of the tournament. It will be good to get behind a team who tackle a seemingly impossible mammoth challenge with a completely 2D and haphazard approach, even if it does fill me with an incredible sense of deja vu.
    I absolutely love it. Keep up the good work!



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