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February 05, 2022 2 min read

Italia 90 is generally considered the moment when England fell back in love with football. After years of issues around hooliganism, Sir Bobby Robson's team took fans on a journey, ultimately falling short at the semi-finals. 

So it is no wonder that that tournament - and as a result the football shirts England wore throughout it - is the corner stone of so many Three Lions supporters' memories today. 

Comedian Josh Widdecombe is one such fan, as we spoke to him as part of our 'My First Football Shirt' series. But much like England's fate at the tournament, Josh's memories of that England shirt were to become heartbreaking.

What was your first football shirt? 

Italia 90 illustration

My first shirt was the England Italia 90 shirt, which had embroidered under the England badge the words "Italia 90", so it couldn't really go any better than that. But then we did a school pantomime and someone else played Gazza, I lent him that shirt and never got it back. There was a lot of debate over whether I'd been given it back – I hadn't – but that was the end of it. A heartbreaking story.


What was your favourite football shirt?

Denmark x Hummel Illustration

I love that Denmark one from the Eighties, the Hummel one, it's absolutely beautiful. I haven't done it as a drunk-eBay purchase because it's £200, I've checked. I don't know how I'd smuggle it into the house.

What is your favourite football memory?

Lineker Italia 90 illustration

Not Gazza's tears, but the bit when Gary Lineker turns to the bench and says "have a word with him". Not for Gazza but for Gary Lineker, because that's what I think elevates him as probably the greatest living Briton.

Thanks to Josh for taking the time to speak with us!

If you want to read more about the football memories of footballers, writers, and more you can buy the full Your First Football Shirt book. All proceeds go to the charities CALM and Willow.

You can also browse our collection of England shirts, which includes some of the 90s classics that Josh spoke about. See the whole collection here.