Being a Sunderland fan is not easy, and few can relate to that more than the person we chatted to for our latest My First Football Shirt interview. However, on the plus side you do get to see some beautiful kits down at the Stadium of Light, and at Roker Park before that.
We spoke to the Blizzard’s Jonathan Wilson about classic counter attacks hideous Sunderland football shirts and no fuss Uruguay football shirts. This interview was featured in Your First Football Shirt book of interviews.
What was your first ever football shirt?
It was that hideous Coq Sportif Sunderland shirt. White with two red pin-stripes on each side. Really dreadful shirt, but when you’re a kid and a Sunderland fan you do not really have much option.
What is your favourite football shirt?
I like very plain shirts – simple, no fuss. So the blue Sunderland away shirt we wore to beat Newcastle in the play-off in 1990 would be up there for the combination of design and the emotions felt while they wore it, or for pure design probably the Uruguay shirt of the 70s – pale blue with a white collar.
What is your favourite ever goal?
Darko Pančev for Crvena Zvezda against Bayern in the first leg of the 1991 European Cup semi-final. Brian Laudrup was beaten to an Olaf Thon through-ball by Slobodan Marović. Although tight by his own corner flag, Marović played a delicate pass to the right-back Duško Radinović, who flicked it inside to Miodrag Belodedici.
The Romanian, still in his own box, helped the ball on to Robert Prosinečki, who glanced up and curved a 60-yard pass down the line for Dragiša Binić to chase. He outpaced Hans Pflügler, and whipped a low cross between Jürgen Köhler and the goalkeeper Raimond Aumann for Pančev, arriving at the far post, to slide home.
Everything was controlled, precise, and yet, because of the pace of the move, it was virtually undefendable.
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.