The Football Shirt Collective

Taking football shirts out of the cupboard and into the spotlight

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My favourite football shirt - Nick Szczepanik

We caught up with Nick Szczepanik, football writer for the Independent to talk; footballers that smoke, finding amazing football kits in charity shops and Marcel Desailly curling one in for AC Milan.

What was your first football shirt?

I’m pretty sure my first football shirt was one we had to buy for games at Hove Grammar School. It was cotton, navy blue with white collar and cuffs, like a Scotland shirt. But my mum came from Leeds, so the first club shirt I was given was a Revie-era white one. It was the days before official replicas, so I assume my aunt sewed the badge (the one with the owl in a blue circle) onto a plain white football shirt.

What is your favourite football shirt?  

It’s a terrible thing for a Brighton fan to say, but my favourite shirt ever is the one Crystal Palace wore when they first went into the old first division in 1969 (and anyway Brighton and Palace weren’t rivals at that stage).

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Crystal Palace, 1969

Three colours on one shirt was unusual when so many teams seemed to wear boring all white or all red kits, but the combination worked. The player seems to be smoking a cigarette while having his pic taken, if you look at his right hand - and he needs to hold off the hair dye!

But my favourite shirt of the few I own is one I found in a charity shop for three quid (below). It is a long-sleeved player-worn Brighton shirt from the 1990-91 season - you couldn’t buy the long-sleeved versions in the club shop - and still had some mud on one of the sleeves.

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Brighton, 1990/91

Steve Gatting played left back in quite a few games that season and never wore short sleeves, so I assume it’s the one he was wearing in the 2-2 FA Cup draw at Anfield and/or the 4-1 play-off semi-final victory over Millwall!  The charity was one that the club’s chief executive at the time had once worked for, so I wonder if he was having a clear-out and sent a load of surplus gear to his old mates.

What is your favourite goal?

Marcel Desailly for AC Milan in the 1994 European Cup final against Barcelona. As a rubbish centre back myself, it was thrilling to see the big man, one of my all-time favourites, playing in midfield, pulling off a smart interception, running for a return pass and then curling the ball round Andoni Zubizaretta and in. In my dreams ..

Have you ever found a classic football shirt in a charity shop?  Let us know on twitter.com/thefootballsc.

Shirt of the day: Newcastle United, Umbro courtesy of Neil Stokoe

Is it the end for Pardew? He looks like a broken man. As St James Park prepares for a massive protest here are a couple of classic Newcastle United kits courtesy of Neil Stokoe.

Which is the better kit? Let us know on twitter.com/thefootballsc

My favourite football shirt - Andy Mitten

We caught up with Andy Mitten, writer for The National, FourFourTwo, M.E.N, ESPN and more, to talk; Manchester Utd red home shirts, smart black kits and Norman Whiteside making him cry.  

What is your first ever football shirt?

Manchester United’s red home shirt from 1980. I was seven, but loved that shirt worn by my first hero, Joe Jordan.

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Manchester United, Adidas, 1980 (source: Classic Football Shirts)

I didn’t have the shorts or socks and I remember a cut in the collar so I think it must have been a second, but I still wore it until it was worn out.

What is your favourite ever football shirt? 

I’ll try and not make this all Man United and I respect the iconic colours of many clubs, the black and white stripes of Notts County and Juventus, the green and white of Betis or Celtic. I don’t like the annual changes, but then I don’t buy football shirts any more.

The last kit I was struck by was Real Sociedad’s all black, Nike, away kit which they wore in the Champions League in 13-14. I saw them wear it in Lyon and it looked so simple and smart. It didn’t have a sponsor, the team played well and won their biggest game for years in front of 6,000 travelling fans.

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Real Sociedad, Nike, 2013/4 (source: footballkitnews)

I’m always struck by how smart Real Madrid look when they walk out at Camp Nou wearing all white.

What is your favourite ever goal? 

I’ve never felt as I did when Roy Keane equalised against Juventus in Turin in 1999. It wasn’t a particularly great individual goal, but for the first time in my life I felt like I was going to watch the team I supported in the European Cup final.

And that felt better than anything I’d ever felt watching football before. I know I’m supposed to say Sheringham or Solksjaer’s efforts from a few weeks later, but you can’t help how you feel. As a kid, I cried when Norman Whiteside scored the winner in the 1985 FA Cup final.

Is this the best ever Manchester United goal?  Let us know on twitter:

Here are some other articles we thought you would like:

MY FAVOURITE FOOTBALL SHIRT - ANNIE EAVES

MANCHESTER UNITED, ADIDAS, 1982 - GARY BAILEY’S TYRE

MY FAVOURITE FOOTBALL SHIRT - IAIN MACINTOSH

Shirt of the day:  Scotland, Umbro, 1990

As Scotland prepares to vote Yes or No here is another classic kit courtesy of marconerli.

If you have a shirt to share let us know on twitter.com/thefootballsc.

Is this the Tartan Army’s greatest ever kit?

Roy Keane - Manchester United vs. Juventus, 1999

Ahead of a great favourite football shirt coming up on Friday, here is Roy Keane scoring for Manchester United vs. Juventus in the Champions League (2:22).  

To quote the article, “I’ve never felt as I did when Roy Keane equalised against Juventus in Turin in 1999. It wasn’t a particularly great individual goal, but for the first time in my life I felt like I was going to watch the team I supported in the European Cup final. And that felt better than anything I’d ever felt watching football before.” 

Do you agree?  Was this Manchester United’s best ever Champions League goal?  

Let us know on twitter

Here are some other articles we thought you would like:

MY FAVOURITE FOOTBALL SHIRT - ANNIE EAVES

MANCHESTER UNITED, ADIDAS, 1982 - GARY BAILEY’S TYRE

MY FAVOURITE FOOTBALL SHIRT - IAIN MACINTOSH

Shirt of the day:  Spurs, hummel, 1989/90 courtesy of Alex Moore 

We love Hummel kits on the Football Shirt Collective.  Denmark, Spurs even Real Madrid have all had shirts created by the Danish shirt makers.  And who can blame them.  Hummel kits are classic and often get a shout out in our “my favourite football shirt” pieces. 

This Spurs kit from Alex Moore is another Hummel classic.  V neck collar, 3D number, arrows on the sleeve.  Worn by Paul Stewart.  What’s not to like.  It is a winner.

Here are some other kits we thought you would like:

MY FAVOURITE FOOTBALL SHIRT - MAX RUSHDEN

SHIRT OF THE DAY:  TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR, HUMMEL, 1990/1 COURTESY OF @ALEXEROBERTS

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR, HUMMEL, 1986-87 - OSSIE’S TESTIMONIAL

If you have a favourite kit to share let us know on twitter.

Shirt of the day:  West Ham, Adidas courtesy of marconerli 

Ahead of the West Ham vs. Hull later tonight here is a special Adidas, West Ham kit from Nerli Ballati Marco.  It is a great picture but can you name the year?

If you have a shirt to share let us know on twitter.com/thefootballsc

My favourite football shirt - Luke Edwards

We caught up with Luke Edwards, North-East sports reporter for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, to talk classic England kits, genius Leyton Orient kits and Gary Lineker needing a sniff at goal.

What was your first football shirt?

My first football shirt was the 1986 England, Umbro World Cup one.

What was your favourite football shirt?  

My favourite football shirt is the Leyton Orient won from 1978 FA Cup run. 

Leyton Orient, 1978 (source: Toffs)

It was a white shirt with white shorts with a red line down either side on the front which joined up with the same two red lines on the shorts. Genius.

What is your favourite goal?

My favourite goal would have to be Gary Lineker’s for England against Germany in the 1990 World Cup semi-final because it encapsulated everything that was great about my boyhood hero. A sniff of a chance and he drilled it into the bottom corner.  You can watch that goal here.

Here are some other articles we thought you would like:

My favourite football shirt - Julien Laurens

My favourite football shirt - Paul Wilson

My favourite football shirt - Mark Ogden

Ahead of a cracking favourite football shirt article, coming up tomorrow, here is Gary Lineker scoring for England against Germany in the 1990 World Cup semi-final.  

To quote the article; “Gary Lineker’s goal against Germany in 1990 World Cup semi-final … encapsulated everything that was great about my boyhood hero. A sniff of a chance and he drilled it into the bottom corner.”

Here is some more information about that England, 1990, Umbro shirt that Lineker made famous:

England (Umbro) 1990 - Love got the world in motion

Shirt of the day:  London Red, iwanttoworkfornike 

Ahead of Arsenal vs Manchester City here is another class design from the team at I want to work for Nike.  Simple, bold, classic.  

For those who don’t know about these guys. Nerea Palacios has crowd funded a campaign to design and create football shirts, designed by fans for fans.  

You can find out more here:  http://www.supporters.pro/

My favourite football shirt - David Conn

We caught up with David Conn, writer for the Guardian and author of Richer Than God: Manchester City, Modern Football and Growing Up to talk; gift wrapped kits, Colin Bell and Brazilian team goals.

What was your first football shirt?

I was given for my 8th birthday a full Manchester City away kit. It was the famous red and black striped one. It came in a box and the kit was folded up inside, in tissue paper. I supported and loved the club very much, and it was the most magical present I could have had.

What is your favourite ever football shirt? 

My favourite football shirt is not that one, but City’s sky blue home kit of the early-mid 1970s, with its badge of a ship and red rose. There was no sponsor, and fans of my generation have never really got on with the strange eagle City introduced for the badge more recently.

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Manchester City, 1972

I feel emotional looking at that kit worn by a player like Colin Bell or Willie Donachie, and even writing about it now. It evokes for me the innocent love I had for my club, before as an adult and journalist I understood the commercially exploitative thrust of modern football.

The shirt, the beautiful colour, and the badge, are woven into memories of my childhood in Manchester, which was very happy, and my love of Manchester itself, as a place to be from.

What is your favourite ever goal? 

I have always loved the goal scored by Carlos Alberto for Brazil in the 1970 World Cup final.  It is the ultimate team goal, features all the skills including a sublime sidewards pass by Pele, it was scored at the highest possible level, and it also encapsulates everything we grew to love and feel about Brazil embodying the beautiful game in its most thrilling interpretation.  You can watch that goal here.

We must all try not to let thoughts of Brazil’s meltdown in the World Cup this summer to dull such wondrous images.

If you have a classic football shirt to share, let us know.  You can follow us on twitter here.

Here are some other articles we thought you would like:

My favourite football shirt - Julien Laurens

My favourite football shirt - Paul Wilson

My favourite football shirt - Mark Ogden

Shirt of the day:  Napoli, Macron, 2014

Double denim is pretty controversial at the best of time but on a football kit?  

Napoli have pushed the boat out following their camouflage away kit and we at the Football Shirt Collective salute them.  Bravo.

Ahead of another great my favourite football shirt article coming up tomorrow here is Carlos Alberto’s goal for Brazil 1970 World Cup.  

Is this the ultimate team goal?

My favourite football shirt - Mark Ogden

As England bask in the glory of 3 points against Switzerland, we caught up with Mark Ogden, Northern Football Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph to talk Admiral England shirts, David Platt and black kappa kits.  

If you have a shirt to share tweet us a picture on twitter.com/thefootballsc 

What was your first football shirt?

It was the Admiral England shirt from around 1980, just before the one which was worn during the 1982 World Cup. It wasn’t the best looking kit in the world, and pretty sure I knew nothing about it being bought for me, but it’s the one which started me off with a few kits post-1982.

What is your favourite football shirt?

The black 1991 Juventus away shirt, made by Kappa, which was sponsored by UPIM. Always love the Juventus kits, but I remember seeing a Pierluigi Casiraghi goal on Football Focus or Saint & Greavsie and thinking that the kit was even better than the goal.

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Juventus, Kappa, 1991

It started a trend for all black kits, with Manchester United wearing one in the early years of the Premier League.  Still have Juve shirt and, surprisingly, it still fits me 23 years on. Holland’s adidas kit at Italia 90 was another good one.

What is your favourite goal? 

Hard to pick one, but World Cup goals always seemed to mean more as a kid, so it’s a toss-up between Bryan Robson’s 27 second goal against France in 1982 and David Platt’s goal against Belgium in 1990. I’ll say Platt’s — just…

Have you got a shirt gathering cobwebs in your cupboard.  Let us know on twitter.

Here are some other articles we thought you would like:

My favourite football shirt - Julien Laurens

My favourite football shirt - Paul Wilson

My favourite football shirt - Jonathan Wilson

David Platt - England vs. Belgium

What a goal. What a volley. What a kit.  If you think of Italia 90,this England volley always comes to mind.  Is the Umbro 1990 kit England’s best ever?

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