I am a self-confessed football shirt geek. I used to spend all of my free time as a kid drawing kits in paint on our first PC. I had made a template and everything. I also have an obscene number of shirts in my parents’ loft. I dread the day my Dad rolls up at my house with them as I’m not sure where I’ll put them all! There are some really special ones in amongst the collection. Some are very grand, I have an original 1999 Barcelona centenary half-and-half home kit that I bought back from a trip to the Camp Nou, and some are amazing because they are one-offs, like a set of prototype Peterborough united shirts from 2001, when I was lucky enough to design the club’s actual kit!
What was your first football shirt?
My first shirt was the 1994 Manchester United home shirt. It was the one with a picture of Old Trafford subtly printed into the fabric. It was an epic shirt and had all the hallmarks of a top kit, especially the collar.
It was made from the same, slightly elasticated material that you’d expect the cuffs of sports jackets to be made from which meant it stood up on its own with no fuss or question, which is probably one of the reasons it feels so memorable as truly being the shirt of Cantona’s era.
It was the shirt that saw the class of ’92 properly graduate to the first team, with David Beckham wearing number 24. In the shirt’s second season, United’s famous group of ‘kids’ wore it as they marched to the league and cup double.
With it making it’s final competitive bow against Liverpool in the FA Cup final, a game won buy a sublime Cantona volley that seemed to pass the other 21 players on the pitch before nearly bursting the Wembley net. I still love that shirt and still have it amongst the ridiculous mountain of kits I have stashed in my parents’ loft!
What is your favourite shirt?
This is so tough! But I think the best shirt I’ve ever owned is the Wales home shirt from 2000 by Kappa. It used the same fitted template as the Italy kit worn that summer at Euro 2000.
It was so amazingly retro but at the same time super forward-thinking. The slim fit cut and ultra plain design, just the badge on the front and the Kappa logo on each sleeve, was nothing like the other kits of the time.
We were heading into a time of hi-tec football with over-constructed garments that, when you look back now, just look revolting. 16 years on and that shirt has had the summer of its life and still looked better than any kit on show at Euro 2016.
What is you favourite goal?
These questions don’t get any easier! I think technically there are some goals that just make your jaw drop in wonderment: Bergkamp against Argentina in 98, Giggs against Arsenal in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final, anything that left Paul Scholes’ right boot from about 20 yards out; but these goals don’t take my top spot. My favourite goal of all time has to be David Farrell’s hat-trick goal for Peterborough United in the 2000 play-off semi final against Barnet.
Having already scored two absolute blooters, Farrell picked up the ball wide on the left and from about 30 yards out, he hit this effortless first-time pinger that lifted the ball over Barnet keeper Harrison, who had strayed off his line. It was just one of those incredible nights.