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February 05, 2022 2 min read

While the glory days of Manchester City are undoubtedly happening right now, the peak of their kit history came much earlier, with classically plain shirt in the 70s and wonderfully interesting Kappa design in the 90s.

For the latest in our My First Football Shirt series we caught up with David Conn, writer for the Guardian and author of Richer Than God: Manchester City, Modern Football and Growing Up to talk about these old Manchester Citykits, Colin Bell and Brazilian team goals.

What was your first football shirt?

I was given for my 8th birthday a full Manchester City away kit. It was the famous red and black striped one. It came in a box and the kit was folded up inside, in tissue paper. I supported and loved the club very much, and it was the most magical present I could have had.

What is your favourite ever football shirt?

My favourite football shirt is not that one, but City’s sky blue home kit of the early-mid 1970s, with its badge of a ship and red rose. There was no sponsor, and fans of my generation have never really got on with the strange eagle City introduced for the badge more recently. I feel emotional looking at that kit worn by a player like Colin Bell or Willie Donachie, and even writing about it now. It evokes for me the innocent love I had for my club, before as an adult and journalist I understood the commercially exploitative thrust of modern football. The shirt, the beautiful colour, and the badge, are woven into memories of my childhood in Manchester, which was very happy, and my love of Manchester itself, as a place to be from.

What is your favourite ever goal?

I have always loved the goal scored by Carlos Alberto for Brazil in the 1970 World Cup final.  It is the ultimate team goal, features all the skills including a sublime sidewards pass by Pele, it was scored at the highest possible level, and it also encapsulates everything we grew to love and feel about Brazil embodying the beautiful game in its most thrilling interpretation. We must all try not to let thoughts of Brazil’s meltdown in the World Cup to dull such wondrous images.


Thanks to David for taking the time to speak 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.