We caught up with Luke Taylor, founder of the Culture Division to talk Newcastle United Brown Ale sponsorship, pretending to be Laurent Robert and beating Sunderland 5-1. This interview was part of our My First Football Shirt series.
What was your first football shirt?
The first shirt I got was the 1998/99 Newcastle shirt. As a Newcastle fan, this is an iconic shirt with it being the last one with the Brown Ale shirt and was released in the year Ruud Gullit dropped Big Alan Shearer vs Sunderland and Sir Bobby Robson became a manager. Aesthetically, the shirt featured a blue trim and a big collar. The shield is ditched from the back of the shirt (which I was delighted to see) and of course, the Brown Ale sponsor finished off the shirt.
What is your favourite football shirt?
My favourite Newcastle shirt is the 2002-03 away kit. A beautiful grey base with a thick navy stripe down the centre was great. Despite no Brown Ale sponsor, NTL was one I remember from being a kid and that sponsor featured on some of my favourite shirts to wear when growing up.
The 02/03 kit was one I strongly remember wearing a lot when playing myself, pretending to be my favourite player (at the time), Laurent Robert.
Away from Newcastle, my favourite shirt is the 2010/11 FC Barcelona kit purely based on the team wearing it and how they played. Winning the Champions League against Manchester United with a sublime performance from Lionel Messi and the way they played throughout the season under Pep Guardiola was beautiful and probably the best team I've ever watched. Not only was it the way they played but the kit itself was exquisite. Simple red and blue with yellow trim. Lionel Messi and co. looked slick when taking over world football.
What is your favourite football moment?
When thinking of my favourite football moment, there is so many to choose from I don't know if I could narrow it down to just one. For example, witnessing Newcastle play in the Champions League was enough to make me happy, despite the state we've been in recently.
When the Toon beat Sunderland at home 5-1 was also a high point for me. Seeing Hatem Ben Arfa score those two special goals vs Bolton and Blackburn, in person, was something that has stuck with me as well.
Looking away from Newcastle and into world football, living through Ronaldinho's and eventually seeing Lionel Messi grow through his career has been a pleasure and I struggled the day Ronaldinho retired and I think I will when Leo decides to call it a day as well.
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.