We caught up with Josh Prior about getting 14 KANCHELSKIS on the back of his Manchester United shirt, Aston Villa yoghurt shirts and Dennis Bergkamp wonder goals. Josh runs Vote Vintage a great store with a quality collection of classic football shirts. This interview was part of our My First Football Shirt series.
My first shirt wasManchester United home shirt from 1994/96 with 14, KANCHELSKIS on the back. In my defence, I was young and my father did not support a football team (other than claiming to support Crystal Palacebecause he was born in Croydon) so no local team was forced upon me. Naturally I chose the best team who were playing the most attractive football at the time, which happened to be Manchester United, in the early stages of the emergence of Fergie’s ‘Class of ‘92’. What a great team and kit combination.
It may not be particularly eye-catching but it has become a classic. The shirt has an image of Old Trafford in the background under the title “The Theatre of Dreams” and that’s exactly what I thought it was back then – the ground where my footballing dreams came true. The red body with black collar colour scheme is a change from the usual red and white uniformity of the past kits. Umbro is the classic British maker with its iconic concentric rhombuses on the right breast. The left breast is emblazoned with a new-look badge, which takes on a new form with pointed edges reminiscent of a coat of arms.
My mother was not best pleased when informed by a seven-year-old version of me that I must have 14 KANCHELSKIS on the back as well as a pair of F.A. Premiership (as it was known then) badges on the sleeves. Could I not have 8 INCE or 4 BRUCE on the back? No Mother, that just would not do.
My favourite shirt is the Aston Villa away shirt from 1993-95 seasons. I have sold many of these during my time as a vintage clothing seller but I have recently acquired one with 7 HOUGHTON on the back, which I just cannot let go.
It is my favourite ever shirt, partly because of the memories it holds, but also the bordering-on-ridiculous colour scheme. It is so odd, it’s almost garish. The green and black vertical stripes (with red pinstripes thrown in for extra pizazz) give the impression it was designed by a child who won some kind of kit-designing competition – yet somehow it works.
The sponsor always plays a role in the aesthetics and subsequent memories of a shirt for me; in this case what more could one want than MULLER, the well-known German yoghurt giant? The red rectangle with white lettering on top of the stripes just screams…err…yoghurt. Another key aspect is the brand, in this case, Asics. Simple and good quality but with very little impact visually, just the small label on the right breast.
Finally, the shirt has the 1994 Coca Cola Cup Winners badge perched proudly above the club’s crest on the left breast. For die-hard Villa fans like myself this is a constant reminder of a better time aka when we actually won trophies. UTV.
What is your favourite goal?
My favourite goal has to be Dennis Bergkamp’s goal for Netherlands vs Argentina in the 1998 World Cup Quarter Final. A sublimely deft touch to bring down Frank De Boer’s 60-yard diagonal cross-field Hollywood ball, then a swift one touch turn inside the flailing Argentinian defender Ayala and finished with a delicious outside-of-the-right-foot finish into the top left corner – leaving the keeper grasping at thin air. The non-flying Dutchman then spins away in jubilation and collapses onto the floor in a star shape of pure ecstasy. For me, during those ten seconds, football was perfect. The grace, technique and pure audacity, added to the calmness shown in such a high-pressure match, combines to make this goal my favourite ever. What an incredible goal. If I could only watch one goal on repeat for the rest of my life it would be this.