Sigh. My first kit was my favorite player at the time. A player who was under-appreciated by the Aston Villa faithful. A player who I had picked in my first days of being a fan and stubbornly stuck by despite the fact that he was not very good for long stretches of the season.
A player who would go on to abandon Aston Villa for Liverpool and never did very well there. And I loved that kit. It had numbers, and badges, and everything.
Unfortunately, I feel too ashamed to wear it anymore. And thus my 2010-11 Aston Villa home kit (it’s the claret and blue one) with Stewart Downing’s number and name on the back sits unused in my closet, simply collecting dust.
My history in football doesn’t go back very far. I became a fan of Aston Villa in 2010 and so don’t have a full appreciation of the breadth of all the great kits we’ve ever seen. That said, I’m a sucker for elegant, simple design. And when Aston Villa made the FA Cup final last year, a lot of attention was paid to their last Cup-winning team. With that, I was made aware of this beauty, the kit they wore in the final against Manchester United in 1957. My god. It’s so simple, and so clean. Would I prefer that the colors were switched? Yeah. But those colors in that pattern have history now, and I’d love to have that kit.
It has to be Christian Benteke scoring against Norwich.Oh that’s easy. Christian Benteke scoring to make it 1-1 against Norwich in a meaningless Premier League match in March 2014. The ball came from a pinpoint pass from Ron Vlaar (!) who sent the ball about 30 yards to a pretty well-marked Christian Benteke. Benteke then, displaying everything that made him one of the most fun players I’ve ever gotten to watch, handled it perfectly off of his chest, turned deftly, and volleyed it behind him into the back of the net. That goal was everything that was fun about a team that hasn’t been much fun in this decade.
Thanks to Robert for speaking with us!
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.
You can also browse our collection of Premier League shirts and pick-up a classic here.
Collection of retro and vintage football shirts from the early nineties to the present day. All 100% original and shipped from the UK. Browse our shirts from Premier League clubs, Serie A, International and more.