If you’ve been involved in the football shirt space in any capacity over the past year or so, you would’ve seen or heard the name Ellis Platten. Ellis, perhaps better known by the name of his YouTube channel AwayDays, has made a successful transition from a content creator who focused primarily on matchday content, to a creator who folds in shirt videos on a regular basis.
I was keen to chat to Ellis and find out what that transition was like from his perspective. We sat down to talk about his journey so far, his interest in shirts, and a little bit of what’s in store for AwayDays in the years to come.
Big thanks to Ellis for taking the time to speak to us!
Q: Hey Ellis! Thanks for chatting with us today. Could we start with the usual sorts of questions; what’s your name, where do you come from, and what do you do for a living?
A: My name is Ellis Platten, 24, originally from just outside Great Yarmouth but currently residing in Ely. I’m a content creator & Freelance presenter.
Q: What about your favourite teams? Who do you support, and alongside those clubs are there any other teams you have a fondness for?
A: My favourite teams are Leeds United and FC Porto. Leeds I inherited from family members from a young age, my first season was actually 03/04 which was fantastic fun at that age as I’m sure you can imagine!
FC Porto was a weird one, a chance trip to Porto in 2016 saw me fall in love with the city and the fanbase too, everything about the club appealed to me and since then they’ve become a part of my life. Thankfully they have a plethora of beautiful shirts too!
Q: Let’s talk more about your journey with AwayDays. Was the channel something you’d wanted to do for a while, or was it more something you stumbled into?
A: The channel was always made to get me more experience in front of a camera as the goal was always to work in Football/sports media in some capacity but I never imagined the channel itself would become a platform for me to earn a living from!
Q: What was the football YouTube space like in those early days? In what sort of ways have things developed, both for yourself and more broadly?
A: The space in the early days was FAR less polished, not many channels put much or any effort into content. It was always ‘film something raw and publish it’ at least that’s how the football space seemed to me at the time. It’s amazing to see how channels and the space as a whole have evolved over time too.
Q: Of course, we’re here to talk more about shirts, and let’s jump back to 2019. What made you take the leap into creating football shirt content?
A: I always had an interest in shirts more from a fashion standpoint, it always intrigued me how I personally felt that football shirts were more fashionable and desirable to wear than most generic, mainstream clothing brands. However, my channel purely focused on football matches and whenever I’d make another different piece of content no one seemed to care. However, I finally took the plunge and uploaded my first piece of shirt content and after a week or so I realised there was massive potential for shirt content on YouTube as a whole.
Q: Had you been collecting shirts for a long time, or was it a passion which developed more recently?
A: I’d always collected shirts here and there but never with the intention of being a ‘collector’. I’d just buy a couple each season that ended up being a mini collection or so to speak due to that being all I was able to afford and justify at the time.
Q: What was it like entering the football shirt community? Did you find people were sceptical, or was it a more welcoming experience? Be as honest as you like!
A: UMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM, haha.
I would say the issue with any community is that there’s always someone out there who has been doing it for longer or who has a ‘better’ or ‘larger’ collection than you. So there’s always going to be pushback especially in terms of the way I go about doing my videos too. My videos are made for YouTube, I’ve always said that I’m not the most knowledgeable person on football shirts, I don’t want to be nor will I ever claim to be either! I aim to make fun videos with shirts as the topic which can annoy people who want me to delve deeper into shirts which I do get but ultimately that doesn’t translate to views long term on YouTube and this is a job for me when everything is considered.
I have made efforts since first joining the ‘community’ to become more knowledgeable but this hasn’t been to make people like me. It’s more of a case that I do have a small section of younger viewers and I feel it’s my responsibility to know more than the ‘average’ Football fan about shirts so I can try to educate them on the very basics at the bare minimum too.
Ultimately I’d say the community sees me as marmite which is fine with me I guess.
Q: Do you think the shirt community has grown over the past couple of years? From your perspective, have you noticed more YouTubers looking to get involved with shirt content?
A: The shirt community has 100% grown in the past few years, I think COVID has been a huge factor with people exploring new hobbies in lockdown etc and also with people beginning to realise the ‘value’ of old shirts they have. I can only see the space continuing to grow in the same manner that American vintage sportswear and sneakers etc have gone.
I actually think we’re a decade or so behind in regards to that. Football is the biggest sport in the world BY FAR so the desire to collect or invest (I use that word very loosely) in retro football stuff will only continue.
100% more youtubers have become interested in shirts, though more of just fashion pieces and items to wear than seeing it as a topic to make content on.
Q: You’ve probably been asked this dozens of times, but what are some of your favourite shirts of all time? What about some of your favourite brands, either historically or at the moment?
A: I would say my favourite shirt of all time is the FC Porto ‘Ipswich’ template (the Holland ‘88 design) and always will be. I will probably never own it with it only being available to players who wore it in the 1 or 2 games it was ever worn in.
In terms of eras I would say:
Adidas – 80s
Umbro – 90s
2006 onwards – Nike
I think the majority of what Nike are doing now is so far ahead of every other manufacturer.
Q: Do you have any goals for your personal collection? Any grails you’re hunting for in particular?
A: It’s weird because I’m very fortunate to be able to almost purchase shirts for my job and I’m incredibly aware that that is a very unique and fortunate position to be in. Perhaps one of the negatives for this is that the majority of shirts for me are no longer out of reach. If I want a shirt I tend to be able to get it so the magic of getting a grail is something that has maybe worn off on me a tad as I’m making 2 videos a week about shirts so it’s becoming a revolving door of content etc. I think in a year or so when the interest in the channel is inevitably lower then I’ll take stock of the collection I’ve built and enjoy it more I feel.
I think matchworns are more out of reach so naturally that’s where my biggest interest/desire currently lies.
Q: Congrats on the FA Cup gig by the way! How did that come about, and what sort of things can we expect this season? Any other things we can look forward to from yourself and the channel?
A: Thank you! I literally just received an email a few weeks before the 1st qualifying round and it was like a dream come true. I originally started making content with the goal of one day working with either Leeds, England or the FA so to be officially able to look back one day and say I’ve done that is something I’ll never forget.
My plans for this season are to take my Football shirt hunting series far and wide to different countries/locations and see what mental shirts we can find!
Q: And finally, do you have any advice for people either looking to start a YouTube channel of some sort, or someone who wants to start getting into shirt collecting?
My biggest advice for shirt collecting is – buy what you want/like. Pretty much daily I get tonnes of people asking me what shirts to buy and my response will always be ‘shirts you like’ don’t be influenced by others and buy what you genuinely like.
In regards to YouTube my advice is – you only get one chance to make a first impression, make sure what people see of you on their first watch is something that will stick with them and want them to return for more.