Former England cricketer denies selling 'fake' autographs
Dermot Reeve's autographs by the legendary batsman Donald Bradman are forged, says expert
Dermot Reeve is a familiar name to many cricket fans.
The Hong Kong born cricketer, known as a good all-rounder, played 29 One Day Internationals and three Test matches for England from 1991-1996.
In 1996, Reeve's most celebrated year, he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year and received an OBE. He later become a BBC commentator.
Donald Bradman is a name which has passed into cricketing lore. His batting average of 99.96 is unlikely to ever be beaten, and has been the envy of most international batsmen since.
Bradman is regarded as Godlike in his native Australia, where stamps and coins have been issued in his name.
Now, in a bizarre twist, Dermot Reeve has been accused of selling falsified Bradman memorabilia over eBay.
Chris Anderson, regarded as the leading expert on Bradman's signature by the Bradman museum, has called into question items which Reeve sold on eBay.
"I am certain these Bradman signatures are just not genuine," Mr Anderson told Australia's Daily Telegraph.
"In fact, they are very poor simulations of a genuine Bradman signature."
Reeve is a long-time Bradman collector and also considers himself an expert.
He signed a statement sold with the autographs confirming they are genuine, and is unapologetic about guaranteeing their authenticity.
"If you had collected Bradman's signature for 15 years, and had letters written by Bradman - handwritten letters - would you not consider yourself a good judge on whether something is authentic?" said Reeve.
Reeve's career was hit by scandal in 2005 after he admitted to cocaine use.
Since then, he has become a prolific trader in memorabilia on eBay - and says he has no intention of stopping, despite Mr Anderson's comments.
The stakes are high: a single Bradman autograph is typically worth over A$200 (US$181). The baggy green cap that Bradman wore in his final Test sold for A$400,000.
But Anderson remains adamant that the signatures are not genuine.
"They are not written with the same speed and fluency as the Bradman signature. There are pen lifts in places where there shouldn't be," he said.
"A number of letter formations are totally wrong, with one obvious example being the letter 'B' in Bradman. And the 'man' part of the 'Bradman' name is illegible, when it is usually a very legible part of the Bradman signature."
Fake signatures can have many tell-tale signs. When collecting autographs, it is always necessary to consult an expert to ensure that they are genuine.
At Paul Fraser Collectibles, we currently have two of the rarest, most sought-after - and genuine! - sportman's autographs.
For more information on our sports memorabilia, please contact Adrian Roose at email@example.com or telephone +44 (0) 117 933 9503