The Daily Echo has signed Zoltan Liptak.
Yes, that’s right ... one of the more obscure former Saints players put pen to paper, especially for us, to help autograph hunters Michael and Steve Morrison complete their quest to collect all the post-war signatures of players from the club. Liptak made seven appearances, all as a substitute, when he played at St Mary’s in 2008/09. The Hungarian centre back moved from Ujpest on loan to shore up a leaky Saints defence.
He has since returned to his home country to play for Gyori ETO, near the Slovakian border.
But now Liptak has returned – if only in ink form – to the south coast. His signature’s arrival straight from Hungary to the Daily Echo HQ, has helped Steve and Michael whittle their collection down – to just one left outstanding. And the remaining one is called Whittle!
“He’s (Liptak) proved quite elusive to get hold of, but the support from the Echo has been very humbling and I can’t thank you enough for their support in getting his autograph for us,” said Steve Morrison.
“The power of the press is incredible and it’s helping us make that one last big push across the finish line.
“What we have is probably the biggest collection dedicated to one club in the world.
“We are getting it fully valued, but the ball park figure is probably around £30,000. “We would ideally like the club to put it in cabinets on display when it’s completed.”
Steve and Michael’s last great quest in their post-war challenge is to find Jim Whittle. The Scot made two appearances for Saints in 1953/54 but returned to his homeland, where he played for Ayr United. He also played for Hamilton, Hearts and Cambuslang Rangers. He passed away in Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, in 2001. The pair started collecting nine years ago and to locate Whittle (and maybe and example of his signature) will be the culmination of an epic adventure, which has seen them communicate with an oil rig off the coast of Brazil and out-bid a very rich American businessman.
The father and son team have hoarded more than 2,800 signatures and have already started to negotiate the pre-war era, already collecting 100.