One of the whole points of our My First Football Shirt series is to display the emotional connection people have to kits and moments from the game, and that is exactly what we got in this latest chat with Alex Perry.
We caught up with ESPN sports writer, Alex, to talk about goals with emotional attachment, Torquay shirts that are so ugly they are beautiful and Kevin Hill sneaking up on the goalie.
I support Torquay United, but like many youngsters my first football shirt was a hand-me-down from my older brother, a Manchester United fan. It was United’s third shirt from the first season of the Premier League in 1992-93 – the green and gold Newton Heath throwback. I still have it. All the money in the world would not part me from that shirt.
What is your favourite ever football shirt?
My first ever Torquay United match was a 2-1 win over Devon rivals Exeter City on Boxing Day 1994. Our home shirt that season was so ugly it was actually beautiful.
What is your favourite goal?
This is like asking me to pick between my mum and dad – but I have to do that every Christmas, so here goes… David Platt's volley for Englandagainst Belgium in the 1990 World Cup because it’s my earliest football memory and my brain is yet to convince me otherwise. That Dennis Bergkamp for Arsenal against Newcastle United because he absolutely did mean it. And Kevin Hill sneaking up behind the keeper, because who could get tired of watching it?
#OnThisDay 1990 David Platt scored this volley for England against Belgium at the World Cup, to set up a quarter-final with Cameroon.
My favourite goal, though, is just a routine cross from Wayne Carlisle finished off by a trademark Tim Sills header – the goal that confirmed Torquay United would be promoted back to the Football League in the 2009 Conference play-off final. World class goals are scored week in, week out. But goals that offer that kind of emotional attachment are, for many fans, a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.
Thanks to Alex for speaking with us!
If you want to read more about the football memories of players, writers, and more you can buy the full Your First Football Shirt book. Discover Alan Shearer's first ever football shirt, Carl Anka's most cherished shirt and more. All proceeds go to the charities CALM and Willow.