Earlier this week, we reviewed every single football shirts from the inaugural Premier League season. Each shirt was illustrated by Mark and Andy from, From 12 Yards. We took the time to speak them both about their favourite football shirts and how they got into the business of illustrating football shirts. First up Mark.
1990 Liverpool home shirt by Adidas. John Barnes, my favourite Liverpool player tearing it up on the wing bringing grown men to tears.
I always had a huge fondness for the grey shirt growing up, knowing this my parents got me the red one, I won’t lie - as soon as I opened it I forgot all about the grey version - the beautiful rich red just glowed in front of me like the brief case scene from Pulp Fiction. It was stunning, I loved that shirt and wore it all the time. Shirt… shorts and socks… yes… full kit wanker on my birthday, thanks mum.
Growing up, Football Italia on Channel 4 was my education and my weekend obsession, like many it holds a special place in my heart. Choosing an Italian side to support was hard, the style of play, the calibre of players, the kits – those incredible kits and beautiful badges. Flairs firing off in the stadiums and James Richardson sitting outside a cafe with an ice cream, genius.
This sparked my obsession with all things Serie A and so that’s how I came to see Batistuta smash it up in the beautiful 1998-99 Fiorentina home shirt. Fiorentina, Batistuta, Nintendo. What more do you need? Sometimes a sponsor just partners a shirt perfectly and takes it to another level, this was the perfect example of just that.
What is your favourite football moment?
It’s hard to not talk about Liverpool’s Champions League win against Milan in 2005, every emotion I went through that evening… but there's one fond, honest true to the heart moment from my childhood that always pops up in my head: Gazza’s special goal against Scotland in Euro 96 … I remember celebrating that like we’d won the Euro's.
Not only was it one of the most beautiful goals known to man, something me and my friends would try reenact on the common for weeks to come and a celebration to match (also copied every goal scored) but I lived next door to a horrible, bitter Scotsman who tried to ruin most weekends, so to rub it in his face celebrating running around my mums garden as a young kid while I could hear him swearing and making noises that sounded like he’d potentially need a new tv that same day after the match was just golden.
How did you get into illustrations?
Growing up I watched and played a lot football and I drew. I took art in school and I remember spending many weekends and evenings drawing my favourite bands and my favourite football players. This is probably the first time I started to draw kits.
If I was more switched on I would have drawn my favourite bands in my favourite kits – an opportunity missed for GCSE art. I spent a lot of time drawing Liverpool players such as Rush, Barnes and Grobbellaar as well as others I liked such as Carlton Palmer and Chris Waddle. Those Sheffield Wednesday Kit’s I just loved, even the mad goalkeeper kits and the Crest! A thing of simplistic beauty.
What is your favourite shirt to illustrate?
This is very difficult as we have illustrated so many stunners. I would have to say as a present for my girlfriend who is passionately Venezuelan, I created an abstract print based on the 1994 Venezuelan home shirt.
She’s not a football fan as such, she watches the World Cup is about it but she absolutely loves the print, the kit choice, the fact it’s a little more abstract and it’s a piece of home – so it feels kind of special. I love seeing it sitting there pride of place in her home.
What work are you most proud of?
I loved creating the Ronaldinho t-shirt we sell. It has a raw, punk, mad illustration of his face on the chest-front pocket area and an abstract bespoke no.11 on the back. It’s a homage to ’that goal’ he scored against David Seaman in 2002. Did he mean it? Of course he did!
Order your own personalised From 12 Yards in our marketplace. Select any 3 prints and go.