"We have no clients,....we have fans !!"

Sebastian Vettel en Hans Verbakel

My name is Hans Verbakel, I am a passionate sports fanatic and live in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. After a 25 year carreer in Finance, I decided to start in 2015 with Collectables Unlimited. Collectables Unlimited is a company specialised in purchasing and selling Sports Collectables, Sports Memorabilia and Sports Autographs.

At the end of 2015, I was struggling with the question, what I wanted to do with the rest of my life after a 25 year succesfull carreer in Finance. My motivation and passion to continue in Finance was not there anymore, and so I decided to follow my heart and started a new company, Collectables Unlimited (CU). I was always a passionate hobby Sports memorabilia collector and by starting CU, I managed to turn this hobby into my new profession which gave me new energie and passion. At the age of 10, I received my first autographs from PSV football players like Willy vd Kuijlen, Jan van Beveren etc.  After that moment, my fascination for Sports Memorabilia growed every day, untill today.  Meanwhile, I have built a collection with more than 6.000 (autographed) Sports memorabilia items. So I am one of the happy few who could make a living out of his hobby and untill today I have never regret one single second, the dicision to quit finance and start a new business. In the last 42 years I have learnt a lott about Sports memorabilia and I specialised myselve in Autograph authentication. I have met many important sporters personally over the last 40 years and the most important lesson that I have learnt, is that in the end these famous people are just humans like we are. Treat them with respect and you will receive respect in return. The list of sporters I have met is to large to publish here but for the record a few names;  Bjorn Borg, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Emerson Fittipaldi, Joop Zoetemelk, Lance Armstrong, John McEnroe, Jos en Max Verstappen, Johan Cruijff, Romario, Maradona, Uain Bolt, Jan Janssen, Ricard Krajicek, Valantino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Michael Phelps, Arie Luijendijk and almost all important racingdrivers (F1, WRC DTM, Le Mans etc etc). Most special one was Romario. He lived in Ulenpas Ooijevaarsnest, a few blocks away from my house in Eindhoven at the time he played for PSV Eindhoven. At least ones a week I went to his house and ringed and 9 times out of 10,  his wife or other familly members or friends who where over, opened the door and told me “Romario sleeps”. But when you visited him in the evening when Romario was awake, he was the most friendly famous person I have ever met. He always signed our jersey's, photo's cards etc every time without any problem and after that he often said, “Come one, let go tot the other side of the street (there was a grassfield) and let’s play football. I will never forget that one time when we played with the 4 of us against Romario alone and we lost 10-4 (!!) and all Romario did was laughing and telling us just to practice harder. What an amazing guy and a great football player. And he has not forgotten his friends in Eindhoven because now and then he returns to Eindhoven, invites his best friends from the early days and invites them to restaurant El Patio Andaluz for a meal, a good chat and a lott of drinks !! So, over the last 40 years I have created a huge network which started when I a young kid. Nowerdays, people contact me often for help, when they have doubts about the authenticity of a specific sports autograph or object. This is my speciality. I see and/or authenticate thousands of autographs every week, with specific proprietary methods and have also a large time related reference database. For example Muhammad Ali’s autograph was completely different at age 20 compared with his autograph at age 65. So an old Ali autograph on a new photo is impossible and can never be genuine. This specific knowledge arised from long term experience but also by following worlshops from the famous Americain forensic document expert Thomas Grogan but also from world leading Sports memorabilia experts James J Spence Jr, Ron Gordon, Richard Albersheim, and Kevin Keating. Without any single doubt, I daresay that no one in the Netherlands has more knowledge in the field of Sports Autograph Authentication tan I have. 

I have published on international sites about forgeries (www.isitreal.com) and have advised as expert, the auctioneer Sports memorabilia from the famous auction house Catawiki for many years. When the auctioneer had doubts about authenticity of objects and autographs he contacted me for advise. Also sometimes television programs or radio shows ask me for help when they want information about (signed) Sports Memorabilia. In the past I delivered also many items tot the National football Museum in Middelburg and after movement in Roosendaal. Also fundraisers contact me for authentication and help. I also still work on contract together with online auction House Catawiki as “Verkavelaar”. This means that if you have an object with a minimum value of Euro 1.000,= and you want to sell it through auction house Catawiki, but you have no clue or no skills how to organise and manage such a process, you can contact me. In that case I can help you out, from the beginning to the end. I do the (pre)sales the logistics and eveything inbetween. You don’t have to do anything in this proces. Just contact me for more information if you are interested in this service.

Last but not least, I buy Sports Memorabilia. If you have an old tennisracket in your attic or some autographs from famous sports people or maybe other sportsmemorabia or even an old panini sticker album, just contact me through the contact page.If you are personaly looking  for a present, or for something special for in your man or woman cave, office, (bed)room or canteen,  than take a look in our Webshop, the Bargain and Koopjes, Auctions, or Exclusive selection. If you are looking for something which is not there, just contact us. Almost always we can help you throught our (international) network on no cure no pay base.

If you own a company and you want to buy an expensive bottle of wine for your good client, remember that you make more impression with a hand signed jersey from Johan Cruijff (for example if your customer is fan 😉) an exclusive one existing special piece,  than with another bottle of wine in the row. You can contact us if you also want to surprise your client and make a indelible impression and a have a client for life.  

Our motto is “We have no clients, we have fans” so I am looking foreward to meet you and let you experience,  feel and taste our passion. See you soon !

My Best Regards,

Collectables Unlimited

Hans Verbakel