Merry Christmas

Posted by John Devlin

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Thank you for all your comments, emails and for visiting the site! Its very much appreciated!

Come back again before the new year for a little something interesting…heres to 2011!


Newcastle United Kits 2010-11

Posted by John Devlin

newcastle-h-10-11After 15 years Newcastle United have ended their association with adidas and switched to their German rivals Puma for their new outfits. Stealing the club from under adidas’ noses must have put the pressure on Puma to deliver kits that were of the highest standard and anticipation was high to see what the club would wear. Puma’s first set of outfits, for me, do deliver. Much to the disappointment I’m sure for some of the Toon faithful they are template driven although the home does have its own identity which should please fans in the North-East. The home includes the new neck design Puma premiered in the World Cup along with black ‘shoulder pads’ that arc down each sleeve. Fortunately this is the only design element that really breaks up the famous black and white stripes – although the white flashes that run from the neck down to the armpit do continue on the sides of the shirt which seems a bit of an unnecessary distraction. Personally I’ve grown tired of seeing Newcastle’s stripes broken, disjointed and generally messed about with over the last few years. Although last year’s adidas effort was better than some I would like to see the stripes presented on the shirt unadulterated next year.

newcastle-a-10-11Although they are simply template designs in my opinion the away and third are the best of the bunch here. Great to see a good old traditional Newcastle away colour introduced – blue. The design is great, the shade of blue spot on and the whole kit hangs together very well. Not 100% sure about the Puma ‘belt buckle’ effect in the shorts waistband (also present on the home kit) but to be fair at least its something different and it is rapidly growing on me. Only downside is though with many players wearing their shirts untucked (what happened to the ruling that all shirts must be tucked in – wasn’t that a yellow card offence at one time?) the branding is often lost.

newcastle-3-10-11The all-white third also looks stunning and like the rest of the Puma kits fit really well. Essentially its a straightforward reversal of the away with blue now providing the trim.

A great set of kits for Newcastle – let’s just see the black and white stripes rendered plainly next season!


Blackpool 2010-11 Kits

Posted by John Devlin

blackpool-h-10-11Blackpool’s first ever season in the Premier League sees the side turning out in good, solid home and away outfits. Nothing stunning – simply practical, sturdy kits that do the job. To be honest the move on from last season’s strips (which incidentally at the time were marketed as 2009-11 outfits) is very slight and I’m guessing the club decided to refresh the design when new sponsors wonga.com were announced, but didn’t want to reinvent the kit for this milestone season. The home shirt is of course the traditional tangerine with a neat white neck and large Carbrini logos on each sleeve. Discrete flashes of white are disguised inbetween slight flaps of fabric on each shoulder and down the front of the shirt. A similar trim continues on the shorts.

blackpool-a-10-11The away kit is simply a reversal of the home (a strategy I applaud!) allowing for mix and match outfits of all tangerine or all white when necessary.

Given the lack of sides that wear orange or yellow in the top flight is a third kit really necessary? Still, everyone else is doing it so why shouldn’t Blackpool? For me the two tone blue striped kit is the pick of the bunch. The shades work well together and the tangerine trim on the shorts and socks really sets off the whole design.

blackpool-3-10-11My only criticism relates to the lack of equivalent tangerine trim on the shirt which gives the whole kit a slightly unbalanced colour scheme. Perhaps the presence of the wonga.com logo in a very bold but unfamiliar and un-corporate pink was deemed to have clashed with any additional tangerine. It may have been a better solution to switch the wonga logo to Blackpool’s traditional colour. Interestingly, also from a corporate branding consistency point of view, the Carbrini logo appears in different colours on the shirt, short and socks. Odd when you consider its sits on navy blue in all three occasions.


The National Football Shirt Collection

Posted by John Devlin

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Although replica shirts still sell solidly and interest in new kits is increasing, one area of football shirt culture that is really growing rapidly is match worn shirts. No Sports Direct bargains here, the widening market in match worn shirts gives us ordinary mortals a chance to own a piece of history; a shirt off one of our hero’s backs complete with blood, sweat and sometimes tears. And thanks to The National Football Shirt Collection I recently held a Gazza shirt from Euro 96 that I imagine had all three.

image-2image-3image-muThe National Football Shirt Collection (TNFSC) is without doubt one of the most impressive collections of match worn shirts in the country. This collection is now being unveiled to the public via their new website that was launched recently and reveals, piece by piece, the jems of their incredible haul of match worn shirts. Highlights on show already include Denis Irwin’s shirt from the incredible 1999 Champions League Cup Final, Tino Asprilla’s 1996–97 season Newcastle United shirt and Glenn Hoddle’s Spurs shirt from the 1981 FA Cup Final replay – but there is plenty more to come. Collections of shirts as worn by greats such as Lev Yashin, Jimmy Greaves, Stanley Matthews, Peter Shilton & Gordon Banks are all in the TNFSC and will soon be presented on the site.

There are separate sites for the extensive collection of England and Wales match worn shirts and those pages will become complete in time with similar pages for Scotland and Northern Ireland coming soon.

TNFSC is the work of Neville Evans, whose collection has grown rapidly since his first purchases in the mid-1990s, and is curated by Simon “Shakey” Shakeshaft, an expert on match worn shirts and their authentication and the man behind the www.walesmatchshirts.com website that features his own enviable personal collection of Welsh jerseys.

Neville Evans’ collection of football memorabilia has been displayed, in part, in numerous exhibitions around the globe including the National Football Museum (due to re-open in Manchester next year) with whom Neville works closely. But the shirt collection has never been available to view in full anywhere – until now.

The site is very much a work in progress but will eventually include details of every shirt held in its vaults although due to the sheer scale of the project this may take years!

Visit: www.thenationalfootballshirtcollection.com
www.englandmatchshirts.com
www.walesmatchshirts.com


Millwall Away Kit 1967–72

Posted by John Devlin

millwall-a-67-72This Millwall shirt, a standard late-60s long sleeved crew neck, found fame not only thanks to Millwall’s “Class of ‘71”, but also by its association with Derby County. It was April 1969, Brian Clough’s white-clad side had just clinched the Division 2 title and were due at The Den.  The Lions’ players, whose home strip was also white at that time, lined up at the tunnel and sportingly gave the Derby team a guard of honour as they ran on to the pitch wearing…Millwall’s red away kit. A cock up by the Derby kit man (possibly still thinking the Lions played in blue) meant he hadn’t packed the Rams’ change strip. To make matters worse, the mistake was immortalised in playgrounds throughout the land as the photographer for a football card series was at the ground that day to capture player mugshots. Knowing his insistence on his players’ immaculate presentation at all times you can bet Cloughie was seething. It wasn’t all bad for Derby though – they beat Millwall 1–0.

Worn in: Away wins at Bolton (4–0) and Preston (1–0) – both also in the 1968–69 campaign.
Worn by:
Eamonn Dunphy, Derek Possee, Harry Cripps

For more on Millwall’s kits from the 1960s, 1970s & 1980s pick up the latest edition of Backpass magazine – the leading retro football mag – on sale now!!