Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund are a club that have, in recent years, seemed to go hand-in-hand. Klopp, You'll Never Walk Alone renditions, Nuri Sahin. These two clubs have a lot in common, and today we can add one more common connection between the two, after our chat with Craig Easton.
The very first kit I ever owned was the Liverpool home shirt from 1979-82 as worn by my boyhood hero Kenny Dalglish and my Dad’s favourite player, Graeme Souness. I was only 4 when my parents bought it for me on the way back from our holiday in Cornwall and my Mum even sewed King Kenny’s iconic number 7 on the back.
It’s a simple design but it just looks so cool and was a kit synonymous with success. The Liverpool team of that era were untouchable, winning League Championships, League Cups and European Cups in one of the clubs most successful spells. Everything about it oozes class, firstly it’s made by Umbrowith their logo and the simple liver bird club badge sewn in golden yellow. Then you’ve got the sponsor, Hitachi (the Japanese electronics company) emblazoned across the chest in white block capitals.
Liverpool were the first ever club in history to have a commercial sponsor on their jersey’s and they didn’t muck about. I love the way it looks and I used to liked the sound of the word when I was little. When Souness smashed one of his 25 yard blockbusters into the top bin and then turned around to celebrate, it was like HITACHI! Take a bit of that! There is one negative though; the material. I don’t know what it was made from but I can only describe it as being a nipple burner. After three hours running about pretending to be Kenny Dalglish, I’ve got to say there was a fair bit of chaffing and even a spot of blood on more than one occasion, but it was well worth it.
Die Continental, who sponsored Borussia Dortmund for just over a decade from 1986 until their European Cup victory in ’97, are a German health Insurance giant. And whilst that might be quite a bland sponsor, the symbol was anything but – and neither were the players who wore it. Matthias Sammer, Andreas Möller, Karl-Heinz Riedle were all some of my favourite German players from the early 90′s, but after Denmark’s shock win at the 1992 European Championships, I had a special admiration for a talented attacking Dane called Flemming Povlsen.
Ally that to the fact that you wouldn’t miss the kit on a poorly lit motorway in the middle of the night, and I couldn’t wait to spend my pocket money. I mean, it’s luminous yellow, how good is that! Over the years Borussia Dortmund have never strayed from their famous bright yellow and black colours, and even though I don’t think the subsequent sponsors have had quite the same visual impact as the big, black C, the club’s colours make the famous ‘Yellow Wall’ inside Signal Iduna Park an amazing spectacle to behold.
Thanks to Craig for speaking to 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.
We also have some 90s Borussia Dortmund shirts, featuring that classic Die Continentale sponsor. Browse them all here.