I’m excited to announce that the Admiral Sportswear documentary ‘Get Shirty’ is being shown on the 4th August as part of the fantastic ‘Jumpers for Goalposts’ football culture festival that runs from the 3rd–4th August at Printworks, London. The festival has a superb line up of events, podcasts, talks, screenings and stalls and looks like being THE football event of the summer. For the football kit fanatics Neal Heard will also be appearing which will be well worth catching.
I was fortunate enough to be featured a fair bit in Get Shirty, so naturally the documentary is something very close to my heart. It was such an honour to be involved in its production and it’s wonderful to see that its popularity has endured.
Award-winning director and film-maker Andy Wells at Fox Films first approached to be in the documentary as one of those ‘talking heads’ that pop up throughout such programmes. Gradually as production went I was featured more and more and Andy described it as me almost acting as ‘unofficial narrator’ throughout the programme.
It was fascinating to revisit the Admiral years, focusing naturally on their impact on the world of replica kits and how they pretty much created the football shirt market we see today. Their importance in terms of football kit culture and design cannot be underestimated and I was so pleased to play such an active part in telling their story and how this small company from Leicester redefined the football apparel landscape.
To fully immerse the doc in 70s culture a room in an empty house in South East London was converted into a typical home of the decade including brown/orange wallpaper, old fashioned TV and a young boys bedroom covered with football, and especially Admiral, posters and magazines. Andy invited me to look round the house and it was interesting chatting to the set designers as they went about their work re-creating that unique 70s flavour.
A year or so later, Andy got back in touch asking if I could film some more sequences for the programme as he wanted to expand my contributions a bit. I travelled back up to a pub in London to film the scenes after having shaved off my beard that I had grown in the meantime in order to fit in with the earlier footage.
The night of the Get Shirty first screening on ITV was so exciting and once I got over the awful sight of me on the box (the camera does put on at least half a stone you know!) I sat back to enjoy the brilliant programme Andy had created that explored the Admiral story and legacy along with some great interviews with Admiral head honcho at the time Bert Patrick, incredible kit designer Lindsay Jelley and Peris Hatton, a shirt collector who shared his wonderful collection of original Admiral clobber
It was such a thrill to be involved in the programme and so fast forward a couple of years and I’m so looking forward to hooking up with Andy and Peris once again at the screening where we will be taking part in a panel and Q&A about the programme and the importance of Admiral. It will be great to really explore and discuss the Admiral story once more. I’ll also be doing a book signing after the screening so if you are planning to attend the Jumpers for Goalposts festival please do come over and say hello!
For full details of Jumpers for Goalposts visit: