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  • February 05, 2022 3 min read

    We caught up with football shirt aficionado and balls.ie content producer and editor, Mikey Traynor, about his first Manchester United shirt and favourite Cristiano Ronaldo goal. This interview was done as part of our My First Football Shirt series.

    What was your first football shirt?

    My first ever football shirt was the blue Manchester United away jersey from the 1996-97 season, with Cantona 7 on the back. He was the reason I watched football as a kid, and I supported him more than the club at the time (I was 8).

    I remember thinking I was the coolest kid rocking up to the Bobby Charlton Soccer School camp near where I lived, but some older kids made fun of me because I was wearing a youth sized jersey (again, I was 8) and the printing was smaller. Weird thing to try and mock someone for looking back. That kickstarted my love affair with United's blue away jerseys, although they peaked in 02/03 and 08/09. My next was the insane purple Ireland goalkeeper jersey from 97 once I'd found my calling as a keeper, so I have to give that a shout out too.

    What is your favourite football shirt?

    This is a ridiculously tough question, and my mind will have changed the second I send this reply, but here it goes. I have to say I consider the Holland jersey from Euro '88 to be the best jersey ever, but if you're asking me for my personal favourite, I'm going to have to go for the Real Betis home jersey from 03/04, the Kappa jersey, simplicity at it's finest.

    I've got a thing for the classic Kappa jerseys from the time such as Italy and Roma, even Spurs was nice (ruined by the Thompson logo though), but Betis for me - and I think it's because the green and white are Ireland colours - is the one I'll pick.

    Also, I used to play a lot of Pro Evo 4 and did damage with Joaquin on the wing, so there's a bit of that too. I bought it a few years ago on eBay and it's probably my most worn to 5-a-side, still so comfortable. It's probably the one in my collection I show off the most so that's as good a shout as I can give you.

    What is your favourite goal?

    So this one is easy because last summer I was lucky enough to be in Lille to see Robbie Brady score that late winner against Italy in Euro 2016. I had dreamed about going to see my country play in a major tournament my whole life, and for it to be such an important goal and such a big moment was more than a dream come true. Best moment of my life.

    That said, it wasn't much of a goal without the context, so I'll also say Cristiano Ronaldo's 40 yard banger against Porto in the Champions League in 09. That goal gets nowhere near the love it deserves. Also Yoann Gourcuff's outlandish goal for Bordeaux against PSG in the same season. YouTube it. Sorry, I'll stop now. 


    Pick-up your own United classic in our store, featuring Beckham, Cantona and Ronaldo namesets. Browse all Manchester United shirts here.

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