Alex Perry wouldn’t swap his first Manchester United shirt for all the money in the world

We caught up with ESPN sports writer Alex Perry to talk about goals with emotional attachment, Torquay shirts that are so ugly they are beautiful and Kevin Hill sneaking up on the goalie.

What was your first ever football shirt?


I support Torquay United, but like many youngsters my first football shirt was a hand-me-down from my older brother, a Manchester United fan. It was United’s third shirt from the first season of the Premier League in 1992-93 – the green and gold Newton Heath throwback. I still have it. All the money in the world would not part me from that shirt.

What is your favourite ever football shirt?


Torquay United, Matchwinner, 94

My first ever Torquay United match was a 2-1 win over Devon rivals Exeter City on Boxing Day 1994. Our home shirt that season was so ugly it was actually beautiful. Here it is being expertly modelled by my living room floor:

Special mentions also for the following:




What is your favourite goal?

This is like asking me to pick between my mum and dad – but I have to do that every Christmas, so here goes…

David Platt’s volley for England against Belgium in the 1990 World Cup because it’s my earliest football memory and my brain is yet to convince me otherwise.

That Dennis Bergkamp for Arsenal against Newcastle United because he absolutely did mean it.

And Kevin Hill sneaking up behind the keeper, because who could get tired of watching it?

My favourite goal, though, is just a routine cross from Wayne Carlisle finished off by a trademark Tim Sills header – the goal that confirmed Torquay United  would be promoted back to the Football League in the 2009 Conference play-off final.

World class goals are scored week in, week out. But goals that offer that kind of emotional attachment are, for many fans, a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. 

Check out our marketplace for vintage Manchester United shirts and prints.


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