My first football shirt: The Bruised Banana podcast

Q: What was your first shirt? Is there a story behind it?

Alex: The 1988-90 Arsenal home shirt, when I was five. 

My dad bought me the full kit after we won the league at Anfield in 1989. I can still feel the shiny polyester but I remember it most vividly from that year’s Panini sticker album (also my first). I remember being very taken with the bold red and white against the luscious green backdrop of the Highbury pitch. Unfortunately, I no longer have it but I do still own my prized ‘Champions’ scarf from the same year. 

Dan: The 1994-95 Arsenal away shirt.

I went to my first live game in ‘93 and was hooked from the start, so when they released the kits for the following season I dragged my mum and grandad down to the old Arsenal World of Sport shop in Finsbury Park and got them to buy me a shirt as an early birthday present. I still have it and have decided it’s a family heirloom now.

Tom: I grew up in Surrey and Sussex with a dad who didn’t really care about football, so I didn’t get a shirt until 1998 – the England home kit from the World Cup. 

That was the peak of my England fandom and I remember running down the street when Campbell scored against Argentina only to return to the TV to discover it had been disallowed. I also remember my dad buying me cans (probably just a can come to think of it) of Fosters to drink even though I was only 15.

Q: What is your favourite shirt? Why is it your favourite?

Alex: Predictably, the Bruised Banana – I just love the colours and design. It’s probably a tie between that and the 1992-94 home shirt. It features (in my opinion) Arsenal’s best ever crest and will forever be synonymous with my ‘Cup Kings!’ 1992/93 season review video from when we won both domestic cups, both against Sheffield Wednesday. I watched the tape all the time as a kid and it marked the start of my true obsession with the club.

Dan: Favourite Arsenal shirt is the 1992-94 Home shirt. I’m a sucker for a centralised badge and it has probably one of the top three collars of any shirt ever. 

Favourite non-Arsenal shirt is probably the PSG kit from 94-95. Again, one of the greatest collars of all time.

Tom: If it has to be a shirt I own, then I would pick the 2006 France kit. Being half French, I was given it for my birthday that year with Zidane 10 on the back. He went on to have an incredible tournament and headbutt Materazzi, so the shirt became an instant classic. 

For Arsenal, it’s the blue away kit from 95/96 with the big lightning bolt design. I would love to have that with Bergkamp 10 on the back.

Q: What is your favourite football moment?

Alex: “It’s Freddie Ljungberg again, pushed out by Barthez, WILTORRRRRRRD!!!” I was lucky enough to have been there with my dad. Memories for a lifetime.

Dan: Favourite football moment I experienced in the flesh: Ruud van Nistelrooy hitting the bar with his penalty at Old Trafford in 2003. Favourite football moment ever? Winning the league at Anfield in ‘89.

Tom: For a moment on its own, it has to be another Campbell goal, this time one that stood – his header in the 2006 Champions League Final. I have never celebrated a goal more, it was insane. The tension of that final, the red card, and then Sol popping up with that header was just indescribable.

It ended in despair but nothing can take that moment away.


Alex, Dan and Tom make up the Arsenal podcast The Bruised Banana. Naturally we approve of the name, and for what it’s worth the pod also has the best cover art I think I’ve seen for a podcast.

Listen to the pod here.

Phil Delves

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