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February 05, 2022 2 min read

It's rare that we go into an interview with less football shirt knowledge than the interviewee, but in this latest addition to our 'My First Football Shirt' series, we might have to concede defeat.

Neal Heard is a football shirt connoisseur and author of the brilliant The Football Shirts Book, and was good enough to talk to us about his earliest and best football shirt memories. This included a Dalglish Scotland shirt from the 70s, a Saint-Étienne classic and Pele's greatest World Cup moment.

 


What was your first shirt? 

It is between two. The Wales Admiral 1976 shirt, that stands the test of time, or the Scotland shirt from the same era that they wore to the World Cup.

I’m a Welsh boy but I was also a Liverpool fan and I loved Kenny Dalglish who was Scottish, so I ashamedly got a Scotland shirt (and they knocked Wales out of the World Cup!).

I particularly remember getting the Scotland one for Christmas. It came in a box made by Umbro and I still remember picking it up.

 

What is your favourite football shirt? 

That’s the impossible question. I always go back to the Saint-Étienne 1981 shirt (made by Le Coq Sportif).

It struck a chord at the time, especially as you didn’t hear much about foreign teams. Then you saw it. Green-and-white pin stripes with a massive sponsor. It was so exotic.

What is your favourite football moment?

Pele Dummy x M.Marritt

Pele dummy by Marcus Marritt

On the pitch, I always go back to when Pelé dummied the ball past the goalie in the World Cup final. I know he bloody missed but it is genuine genius. The speed of how he did it, I’ve never seen anyone try and do it since.

Great moments with the fans always get to me. Pitch invasions like Manchester City. That is what it’s all about for me. Football without fans is nothing.


Big thanks to Neal Heard for chatting with us. There's something truly special about Saint-Étienne shirts; without a doubt one of the best teams for kits in the 80s!

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. Discover Alan Shearer's first ever football shirt, Carl Anka's most cherished football moment, and more football memories. All proceeds go to the charities CALM and Willow.