We caught up with Michael Park, writer at Scottish Comedy FC (@ScotComFC) to talk Thierry Henry wonder goals for Arsenal, Le Coq Sportif chessboards and O Fenômeno dominating Serie A for Inter Milan.
What was your first ever football shirt?
I’m a Kilmarnock fan but until I was 8, I was the recipient of many a hand-me-down Rangers shirt. It wasn’t until the 1996/97 season that I received my first Kilmarnock top.
Kilmarnock, Le Coq Spotif, 1996
It was one of those Le Coq Sportif checkerboard affairs that were so popular in the mid-nineties with some pretty heavy duty elbow pads. I remember that the material was so thick and synthetic that it was almost impossible to wear if the temperature was more than about 10 degrees but I adored it.
After extensive searching, this is the best photo that I could get my hands on. In this squad picture from 1996, the shirt’s worn not by my hero- Dragoje Lekovic- but by Colin Meldrum who is now a coach for Celtic’s youth ‘keepers. That’s got to be a worry for them.
What is your favourite football shirt?
It took me a while to choose but when I thought back to the massive debt of gratitude I owe to James Richardson and Football Italia, I realised that there was only one answer.
This was the first Inter shirt that Ronaldo wore and it seemed a just a little darker, just a little more menacing than Inter shirts before or since. With good reason: they were a more ominous proposition that season; with the likes of Ronaldo, Youri Djorkaeff and Diego Simeone they were like a juggernaut, winning 21 of their 34 games and only narrowly losing out to Juventus.
Also, it was the last one before they dropped Umbro for Nike and their homogenised designs (culminating in the template-fest at Euro 2004).
O Fenômeno, coupled with the glorious Pirelli logo, how could I not pick it?
What is your favourite goal?
It has to be Thierry Henry’s strike for Arsenal against Sparta Prague in 2005/06. The goal that would see him surpass Ian Wright’s goal tally.
The long ball from Kolo Toure is immaculate and Henry manages to take Sparta’s entire back line out of the game with one touch, but not just any touch. A two-footed jump,controlling the ball with his heel which controls the ball and saves him having to take another one before that finish. That finish! Genius.
You can see the defenders begin to realise what’s happening as they try to take up a decent position. Poor buggers.