What was your first football shirt?
There were a couple of football shirts kicking around in my early childhood, but my first proper one was the 2004/05 Leyton Orient away shirt – it was black and the worst feeling polyester material I’ve ever worn.
I’d grown up in East London but my family were moving away, so my mates clubbed together and bought me the full kit as a leaving gift. We were a bunch of 15-year-old lads so it was an impressively touching gift for them to be so thoughtful. I’ve still got the kit to this day, though the stigma of wearing a full kit means the shorts and socks only get seen when I’m moving house.
What is your favourite football shirt?
From a non-partisan point of view, I loved the 2005/06 Arsenal burgundy kit, though it’s probably the memory attached to Thierry Henry wearing it that I adore more than the kit itself.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Orient could have had the best kit of all-time in the 2013/14 season, when we secured a deal with Samsung for the home kits and EA Sports’ FIFA 14 for the away strip. It is one of the coolest shirt sponsors you could hope for, but we tarnished it a little by making it a fairly ugly gold colour. It is, in a way, so typical of Orient – almost brilliant, with a hint of self-inflicted damage.
What is your favourite football moment?
As a lower league fan, you have to keep your eye on the Premier League and European football to remind yourself that quality football does exist, somewhere.
For me, Sergio Aguero’s goal to win the Premier League for Manchester City was the absolute pinnacle of what I love about the sport. I’m not even a City fan, but the excitement, unpredictability and sheer jaw-droppingness of it all made me completely lose it.
From a personal level, Jonathan Tehoue’s goal for Orient against Arsenal in the FA Cup in 2011 was my favourite O’s moment. Trailing 1-0, super sub Tehoue came on and scored a beautiful goal which sent everyone crazy inside Brisbane Road.
It might not seem a lot for many, but getting an FA Cup replay to go to Arsenal was a huge deal – I went to the replay and we lost 5-0, and Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick. It’s important to humble yourself occasionally as a football fan, and that certainly did.
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