My favourite football shirt: Neal Heard

We caught up with football shirt connoisseur and author Neal Heard to talk about this first Liverpool shirt, love of St Etienne and football being rubbish without fans.

It is an extract from Your First Football Shirt.  An illustrated book raising money for CALM and Willow.  

Order your copy here and Neal’s The Football Shirt book here.

Your first football shirt

It is between two. The Wales Admiral 1976 shirt, that stands the test of time, or the Scotland shirt from the same era that they wore to the World Cup.

I’m a Welsh boy but I was also a Liverpool fan and I loved Kenny Dalgish who was Scottish, so I ashamedly got a Scotland shirt (and they knocked Wales out of the World Cup!).

I particularly remember getting the Scotland one for Christmas. It came in a box made by Umbro and I still remember picking it up.

Your favourite football shirt

St Etienne print

That’s the impossible question. I always go back to the St Etienne 1981 shirt [made by Le Coq Sportif].

It struck a chord at the time. You didn’t hear much about foreign teams. Then you saw it. Green-and-white pin stripes with a massive sponsor. It was so exotic.

Your favourite football moment

Illustration of Pele dummying the ball

Pele dummy by Marcus Marritt

On the pitch, I always go back to when Pele dummied the ball past the goalie in the World Cup final. I know he bloody missed but it is genuine genius. The speed of how he did it. I’ve never seen anyone try and do it since.

Great moments with the fans always get to me. Pitch invasions like Man City. That is what it’s all about for me. Football without fans is nothing.

Order your copy of Your First Football Shirt here and Neal Heard’s The Football Shirt book here.


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