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  • February 05, 2022 2 min read

    Your would be hard pressed to find another person out there as passionate about Wales and their national team Elis James is, so it was no surprise to see The Dragons come up once or twice in our latest My First Football Shirt series chat.

    We caught up with comedian and actor Elis to talk about his love of Wales football shirts and Mark Hughes volleys.

    What was your first football shirt?

    The Umbro Wales Home shirt, 1990-92. I got it for my birthday after we beat Belgium in October 1990, with Rush, Hughes and Saunders scoring. I still have it! It's quite similar to the one England wore at Italia '90, and is absolutely lovely.



    What is your favourite football shirt?

    Adidas Wales Home, 1984-87. Everything about this shirt is stunning - classic adidas trefoil and three stripes, and the tight mid-80s fit makes it look iconic.

    We were a good side in that shirt as well, we beat Spain 3-0 at the Racecourse in Wrexham and came very close to qualifying for Mexico '86.

    A close second is the adidas Swansea Away shirt from 1981, that we got promoted to the first division in at Preston - such a classic design, and I particularly love the Swansea badge from that period.

    What is your favourite goal?

    Illustrator:  Pol-Eduoard Flores

    Mark Hughes' volley against Spain in 1985, or Alan Curtis' goal against Leeds, when we beat them 5-1 on the first day of the 1981-82 season.

    I can't decide! It was Swansea's first game in the top flight, and Curtis had had an unhappy time at Elland Road - the look of sheer joy when the ball hits the back of the net is superb. Hughes' volley needs no explanation - wow.

    "It needs no explanation.  Wow.”

    Elis James


    Thanks to Elis 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.

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