My favourite football shirt: Rob Warner

Imagine designing a World Cup winning shirt and then adding in the colours of your favourite team. Just because you can. Well that is what Aston Villa fan and football shirt designer Rob Warner did.

We spoke to Rob as part of Your First Football Shirt an illustrated book of interviews with footballers and famous fans raising money for CALM and Willow. Grab yours here and read the extract from the book below.

First football shirt

1987 Aston Villa Hummel design

My first shirt was the 1987-88 Aston Villa home shirt made by Hummel. It was an absolute belter.  I had it for Christmas. Full kit. I was allowed to be a full-kit wanker because I was eight. I drew an “8” on the back (for David Platt) with a marker pen.

Favourite football shirt

Peru shirt design

I would have to say Peru because that sash is so identifiable from the Seventies and Eighties. The best was the Adidas one with a honking great big crest on it from 1978.

Italy 2006 away was probably the favourite shirt I’ve designed. The technical brief was to get the players to run faster.  

We collaborated with designer Neil Barrett and he came up with the aesthetics of superheroes. We added navy lines to the appearance of the home kit to make it look like the players were moving, even when still.

The white away shirt was meant to be an alter ego to the home shirt. It was like a superhero costume with a V-neck t-shirt overshirt.  

I put the coaches and goalie in claret and blue because I’m a Villa fan. And I could. So Italy won the World Cup in Villa colours.  

Favourite football moment

My old man is quite a bit older than me. Villa got to Wembley in 1996 and he’d never been. I was a season-ticket holder and I managed to get him a ticket. I met him outside the stadium and he was crying.

David Platt England BelgiumDavid Platt scoring for England v Belgium
Illustrator:  Michael Parkin

In terms of one memory, I remember being able to stay up for England v Belgium in Italia 90. When Platt scored that volley, as a Villa fan, it was super special.

Your First Football Shirt book
Grab your copy of Your First Football Shirt here.

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