We caught up with Alex from Panini Cheapskates to talk about Spurs in the 1990/91 FA cup final, the perfect France 82 shirt and Philippe Albert’s chip for Newcastle United.
What was your first football shirt?
It was a Spurs home shirt from 1990/91, bought for me by my parents a couple of week’s before that season’s Spurs vs Forest FA Cup Final.
I had proudly declared myself a Tottenham fan off the back of Lineker & Gascoigne’s exploits at Italia ’90 (which, growing up in a non-football household in a town without a club in the top seven divisions, was pretty much my first exposure to the game) and was super happy to have a shirt of my very own. It was white with natty navy blue trim and a little button-up collar, and immediately became my favourite thing in the world. I remember being just absurdly happy on the day of the game, even though I’d only be watching it on TV.
The amazing, interminable beauty of Cup Final Grandstand, beginning at what felt like four in the morning and taking you right through to kick-off, is a genuinely cherished childhood memory.
As an excitement-prone kid with a taste for E-numbers, I was in a frenzy by 3pm, but it turned out the only person even more over-excited was my idol, Gazza himself, who tore around the pitch like a hyperactive toddler for 15 minutes before destroying his own knee ligaments trying to poleaxe Gary Charles.
I cried into my lovely new shirt as my hero was carted off on a stretcher, never to be quite the same again. 15 minutes after that my other totem, the incorruptible Lineker himself, botched a penalty, and I was inconsolable as my shirt got another drenching. Regardless of Spurs’ eventual victory, this was probably a long old afternoon for my parents.
What is your favourite football shirt?
I’m lucky enough to currently own just shy of 100 shirts, thanks mainly to some rare luck in charity shops, the odd eBay binge and one extraordinarily fortunate shopping expedition in Tokyo.
If I restrict myself to just shirts I own, I’m very fond of Germany’s shirt from 1994 (though I accept 1990 is even better) and the classic red Hummel ‘Danish Dynamite’ shirt worn by the swaggering Danes of 1986. I have a soft spot for Man Utd’s green & gold ‘Newton Heath’ affair from ’92-’94 too, mainly because of just how good Cantona looked in it with his collar flicked up.
If I had to choose though, I have a France top from 1982 that I really think is just perfect. Blue with red & white pinstripes and a tricolour Adidas stripe down the arms, a big fat white ‘V’ on the neck, and an beautiful embroidered badge which will chaff your left nipple something cruel. Yum.
What is your favourite goal?
I’m sure my answer to this will change like the wind but I’ll go with Philippe Albert – Newcastle United v Manchester United.
I remember watching this in a pub with my Dad, aged 13, and the collective groan of pleasure from the entire room being almost unsettlingly primal.