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KARACHI: The world’s greatest footballer, Leo Messi, has an interesting way of signing autograph. He writes Messi in a swishy, slanting style whereas underneath that he pens Leo. There’s certain artistry to it.

On the other hand his arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo keeps his signature relatively more legible. So Messi scores high even on that count. What about the sports personality of the (20th) century Muhammad Ali’s autograph. Well, that and some top-notch international musicians’ signatures can be seen in Titans exclusive sport and music memorabilia that went on display at the Sanat Gallery on Saturday.

The two-day exhibition carries a decent, and dazzling, variety of collection-worthy memorabilia belonging to international superstars. There’s guitar genius Slash (of Guns ‘n Roses and Snakepit fame) whose signature on a Stedman Pro guitar is as convoluted as his hair, because it is difficult to know whether what he’s written is Slash or his real name Saul Hudson. To be honest, it’s not that difficult.

And yes, the Boss, one of the greatest vocalists ever, Bruce Springsteen’s name is there too, on the back of a pair of jeans, with an LP of his iconic 1984 album Born in the USA.

Perhaps the keepsakes related to boxer Muhammad Ali are the ones that will attract more viewers because not only is there a red boxing glove signed by him on view but another exhibit highlights his famous 1975 fight with Joe Frazier, alongside his picture on the cover of the magazine Boxing Illustrated. For all Ali fans, it’s a must-see.

It will make them happy to read ‘Ali won via 14th round TKO’.

Of course, with the good comes the bad. The reference is to Iron Mike Tyson. His signature on a pair of boxing shorts is accompanied by the claim ‘baddest man on the planet’. The way it’s written gives the indication as if he did that in less than 90 seconds, the time period he used to take to knock his opponent out.

Apart from these great personalities’ autographs, collectors and art lovers will find in the exhibition signed items of sporting giants Pele, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Michael Jordon, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Usain Bolt and our very own Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2015

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