We pop down to London’s Brick Lane to see The Art of the Football Shirt by author Neal Heard. It really is a treasure trove for any retro football shirt geek…
If you’re in or around London on July 26-27, 2017, get to Brick Lane and The Art of the Football Shirt. The show is curated by Neal Heard, author of A Lover’s Guide to Football Shirts, and features some of the all-time favourites from the iconic Adidas West Germany 1990 shirt, Hummel’s mid-80s Denmark, Fiat-sponsored Boca Juniors, a few AS Saint-Etienne jerseys, among a host of others.
For those of us who remember football before 1992, there are a host of classic English club shirts, such as Arsenal’s yellow with black triangle Adidas away strip (1991-93), Manchester United’s blue leaf third kit from the same period, and Liverpool’s last champion side’s silver away kit.
There are some Italian classics in there; early 90s Vialli-era Sampdoria (home and away), AC Milan, and mid-90s Nintendo-sponsored Fiorentina. Memories of Gazzetta Football Italia came flooding back. There are some classic French kits – both club and country – from the seventies through to the nineties.
There’s also an interesting political section, including a classic DDR (East Germany) kit, the USSR, FC Sankt Pauli’s LGBT+ rainbow trim shirt, and a sky blue and white striped Stockport County away shirt that was withdrawn mid-season during the Falklands Conflict as it resembled Argentina’s jersey.
I managed to get a quick chat with Neal, and hopefully didn’t insult him by decrying the absence of England ’82 (Admiral) and Guinness-sponsored Queens Park Rangers (1982-83) – the QPR shirt seems to have been a popular request. I have one and I’m very proud of it…
Personally, I feel also football shirt design lost its way in the mid-90s, after all, it had the 1980s – the best era for shirts – to follow.