Friday, 29 November 2013

Holy Grail No.2 - Argentina 86 Home Shirt

The first ever article that appeared on the Attic was billed as “Holy Grail No.1”. The numbering would clearly suggest that this was perhaps the first in a series and to that, I would say that yes, it was…I just never quite got round to writing about no.2. Until now!

So sit back and wallow in what will turn out to be yet another tale of obsession and ultimate futility!

It’s 1986 (really? What a surprise!) and the 11 year old me is standing in Devlins’ newsagents, unsure as to whether he should spend 42p of his 50p pocket money on what would be his first ever copy of Shoot! In the end, he / me / I buy / buys it, drawn by the World Cup Review inside, the cover of which features Maradona cradling the inspiration for Holy Grail No.1.

It’s possible that my obsession with football kits in general was started by my love of Maradona’s shirt, but whether that’s true or not, it certainly captivated me at the time. It’s hard to say what exactly I loved about it, but I distinctly remember being impressed that the middle stripe was white and not the usual blue. Moreover I loved the holes! This wasn't just an aertex thing, t-shirts at the time were made from what was known as ‘tea bag’ material – I had a lovely camouflage one…and later some fetching Y fronts with tea bag (settle down) inserts…

I was aware of course that replica shirts were available, but such was my naivety and newness to football, I had no idea that my local Intersport wouldn't stock such an item. Never mind the fact the Falklands war and the Hand of God made the possibility of seeing an albiceletse shirt in ANY sports shop in England virtually nil!  Having confirmed the unavailability of said artefact and this being pre-internet days, I scoured the ads in the now purchased Shoot! and once again drew a blank.

In the coming years, I would religiously check every available sports shop or ad I could find and always got nowhere. I seemed destined to never obtain any of my holy grails. As time wore on, I realised that Argentina would surely be changing their kits for the World Cup due in 1990 and sure enough, when Maradona et al stepped out at the San Siro against Cameroon, they had indeed changed their outfits…and what an abomination they were! The blue stripe was now firmly back in the middle of the road and above it some kind of comedy V neck from the late 70s! With heavy heart I accepted the beauty of that Le Coq Sportif shirt was gone forever.  Looking back at old magazines of the time, it seems you could buy a version of this shirt, but I just didn't care for it.

Sorted! Respect Due!
By USA 94, a decent design once again adorned the AFA squad, but also, once more I could find nowhere that sold one! I’m sure it may have been available from a mail order outlet somewhere, but I never managed to find one and so it fell to Score Draw to provide me with my first ever Argentina shirt the following year. OK so it was an unofficial one and it had wide stripes (with the blue one in the middle), but it was only £19.99 and by now I just wanted something!

My first proper AFA shirt would be in my possession a mere 12 months later with the beautiful 96-97 design. I’d seen a slightly different version at the Atlanta Olympics earlier in the year and had loved it on sight! And now, finally, I had my very own Argentina shirt!!! I still didn't have a 1986 one though…
By the time eBay was a part of my life, I’d trebled my collection by purchasing both the home and away World Cup 98 shirts. I would have had even more but the AFA selected Reebok as their supplier for some godforsaken reason and the designs they produced were possibly the worst ever seen - the WC06 one gives them a run for their money!

1990...sort of...
It’s now 2003 and the 28 year old me has discovered the joys of eBay! What a great way to spend money!!! The first obvious search is for Argentina shirts and straight away there was a whole load of 86 shirts available wasn't there? Of course not!!! There was a whole load of Reebok crap, a bunch of 2002 shirts and some 1990 ones (the ones with the plain neck) available, but nothing of any real…oh hang on, what’s this???  A 1990 shirt, but this one has the 2 blue lines in the neck just like the actual shirts at the time did!!! My first taste of eBay last second bidding success and £57.50 later and I was a happier man. Yeah I know the badge isn't right and it too should have holes...that's for another time...

Still, there was that emptiness inside, a holey-shirt shaped hole. Surely eBay was my best bet? Over the next 12 months I saw a few gems, all way out of my price range of course. I even saw a shirt from the Eng V Arg Mexico 86 ¼ Final, but I think the list price was around the 5K mark. Around this time, I began to realise that it was almost certain that proper replicas were never produced, meaning ultimately that if I was ever to obtain one, it would have to be player worn and given I had a child and a mortgage by now, that was obviously not going to happen.

This left me CRESTfallen
So…where did that leave me?  Pretty much without hope…until suddenly there started to appear newer retro shirts…proper looking ones too! Well, almost…3 different versions appeared. One had a sort of tea bag material, but the badge just had ‘86’ on it instead of a proper AFA one. Another had a proper badge, but was bereft of holes. The third was the worst of both of those…86 badge and no holes! Nevertheless, they were better than nothing and I promptly ordered one each of the former two. There were also some away shorts appearing as well with again, several different versions, none of which quite got it exactly right!

Would someone PLEASE make one with a decent badge and some holes??? Was it too much to ask??? Would I ever get my Holey Grail??? HA!

The answer would come only a few weeks later. On a cold November day (I assume it was cold, it was November), I chanced upon yet another 86 retro shirt, which were by now, quite common. It looked slightly different though. I checked it out and…OMG, HOLES!!!! And a proper badge!!!! Not only that, but the material was decent quality and the holes were…well, proper holes!!! Not like the other one I had which just had…the wrong holes (oh come on!). The one slight issue was the price. I think there were 2 available, a medium and a large and both were on for 140 euros…approx £100 (the seller was in Switzerland).  I contacted him and managed to agree a price of 99 euros, which made it a total of £83.46. It was the most I’d ever spent on any shirt by a long way (well, by £25.96), but it was entirely worth it!

A week or so later and it was mine! Oh happy day!!! I had found peace at last…weeeeelllll. You should know me better than that. While it was as near perfect as I could possibly hope to get without hunting down an original squad member, it wasn't quite right…yes it had holes, but they weren't as large as the actual shirts. And the neck wasn't perfect…and the badge etc etc…

The "right" holes
As such, I still continue my hunt, which led me to purchase this 1989 beauty earlier this year. Yeah the badge is a bit high and it’s not an 86 one, but look at the holes…


I need help…

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Focus On... Giles Metcalfe

A familiar face to football nostalgia fans on Twitter, Giles Metcalfe becomes the latest person to step into the spotlight as The Football Attic finds out just what makes football fans tick...

Full Name:
Giles Metcalfe

Current blog/podcast(s):
No Standing

Northallerton, North Yorkshire

17 February

6 ft 3 in

Giles Metcalfe
Engaged to Ailsa

Step-children James and Abbey

2004 Ford Ka

Favourite blogs/podcasts:
Football Attic; Got, Not Got, The Goldstone Wrap, Two Unfortunates, No Clash of Colour, A United View on Football

Team(s) supported:
Bolton Wanderers, England, Bradford Park Avenue, Brighouse Juniors

Favourite football player ever:

Biggest thrill while blogging/podcasting:
First time Football Attic and GNG published my stuff

Biggest disappointment while blogging/podcasting:
Scammers and rip-off merchants promising the moon on a stick

Best countries visited:

Favourite food:
Roast Beef dinner

Miscelleaneous likes:
Football, coats and jackets, trainers, shoes and boots, vintage and retro stuff, the 60s and 70s, Italian scooters, Mod, watches

Miscellaneous dislikes:
Ignorance, prejudice, football hooliganism, liars and cheats, DIY

Favourite TV shows:
MOTD, The Football League Show (if Bolton have won), TOTP 78 (if post-punk bands on)

Favourite actors/actresses:
Michael Caine, Julie Christie, Clint Eastwood, Liam Neeson, Bruce Willis, Phil Daniels

Favourite musicians:
Doves, The Jam/Weller, Small Faces, The Who, Neil Young, The Byrds, Love, Shack, Jake Bugg

Best friend:
My partner, Ailsa

The Byrds (1970)
The Byrds
Biggest drag in blogging/podcasting:
Not getting published (hence set up my own blog)

Personal ambition:
To be discovered as a writer/blogger, play for BWFC

If not in your current career, which job would you do?
Football writer/journalist/astronaut

Which person in the world would you most like to meet?

Favourite activity on a day off:
Sleeping, jacket or trainer shopping, blogging

Our grateful thanks go to Giles Metcalfe for contributing to our Focus On feature, and don't forget, if you've got a football blog, podcast or other project, you can take part too. Just visit our info page and fill in all your details - we look forward to hearing from you!

Previously in Focus On:

(Image of Pelé by Ricardo Stuckert/PR [CC-BY-3.0-br (], via Wikimedia Commons. Image of The Byrds by Joost Evers / Anefo (Nationaal Archief) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Football and Comedy: The Fast Show (1994)

People often say 'Art imitates life', but it's just as true to say that comedy imitates football. A perfect example can be found among the three series of The Fast Show, a BBC TV series that contained more than its fair share of football references.

Here we see a short sequence from one episode that features Chanel 9 Neus, a pseudo-Latin American TV programme that doesn't allow paltry production values to get in the way of some truly awful broadcasting.

On this occasion we're treated not only to the usual shambolic news bulletin one would expect from Chanel 9 but also a sports report containing the latest football results from the land of El Presidente.

Here are a few things to look out for...

The opening titles for Chanel 9 Neus. For some reason, I always found it deeply amusing to see a piece of meat being hacked with a cleaver alongside more generic current affairs imagery. Perhaps it was just me...

Poutremos Poutra-Poutros (played by Paul Whitehouse) bids us a warm 'Bono estente' and the usual job of trying to identify as many random English cultural references in the dialogue begins.

Co-presenter Kolothos Apollonia (Paul Shearer) joins in with the brilliant line: "Aknopo dopra filla Whiskas - fullameatygoodness."

Apollonia: "Obrigado TIP I say Foghorn Leghorn."
Poutra-Poutros: "I say I say I say BOY!"

First football reference: the oft-mentioned Chris Waddle.

A short 'Presentation Commerciale' for the very reasonably priced 'Cielyn Gizmo'.

Sporto! (mia specifica Foota...)  Time to go across the studio to visit Antonios Gubba (Simon Day) who has all the final scores from Section Una.

I love the fact that all the matches finished 0-0 with the exception of one that was abandoned due to 'violencia'. As for the team names, each one is a joy to behold, my favourite being Bombo Chipolata. Strangely a Liverpool-supporting schoolfriend of mine could never pronounce 'Borussia Mönchengladbach' when he was very young and always said 'Munchen Brunchen Gladback' as an alternative. Perhaps that's where The Fast Show got it from...

"Antonios... Mentale!"

No visit to the Chanel 9 Neus studio would be complete without a bit of 'Heth-eth-eth, eth-eth-eth-eth-eth...'

The bulletin ends with Poula Fisch giving us one of her customary weather report. Who'da thought... SCORCHIO!

As Antonios Gubba blows his whistle for the final time, we say Boutros Boutros-Ghali to Chanel 9 Neus, but this won't be the last visit to The Fast Show for our 'Football and Comedy' series, of that you can be certain....

Previously in 'Football and Comedy':

Friday, 15 November 2013

Panini 2002 World Cup Album

We at the Attic don't just write about our own experiences of football nostalgia, we also like to be a conduit for Victor M Rey shares his memories of his first ever Sticker Album...

The 2002 World Cup is the first football championship I remember, but if there is something that I remember better than the World Cup itself it is the Panini Sticker Album.

I was 7 and I was living in Venezuela. Despite Venezuela has never played a World Cup, the people followed the football, specially their parents/grandparents' country football team, like Spain (this is my case), Italy, Portugal... And most of the children had the Sticker Album.

Everybody in my class had the album, we changed between us our repeated stickers in order to have the maximum number of stickers possible.

Regarding the album, the first pages talk about old World Cups, the countries who have won it and stickers with the photos of the stadiums in Korea and Japan... and some pictures of the 2002 WC pets!

The rest of the pages were, as usual, dedicated to the participant countries. Each page has the country's logo, name in some languages (English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German...) and a photo of their main line-up. It has something curious, it is that some countries, instead of a line-up, their had a picture with the head of the players (I used to joke with my friends saying they hadn't enough money to pay for the photo). The rest of the page has the photos of the players, with their city of birth, age, weight and height.

The pages that belong to the countries of the last group (like Russia) has fewer stickers, because each sticker has the photo of two players, a really interesting thing.

I remember I spent all my summer trying to get all the stickers. I had around 10 stickers left, so my father helped me calling Panini in order to complete the album.

It was the first football sticker album I completed by myself, and I remember it with great emotion.

Thanks to The Football Attic for letting me share my experience.

Huge thanks to Victor for sharing his sticker album memories there...if you'd like to share anything from your past (preferably football nostalgia related, we're not licensed therapists!), drop us a line and let us know to admin [at] thefootballattic [dot] com...

1994: Football of the Future

The year is 1984. Charlie Nicholas is the poster boy of British football, Bryan Robson and Ray Wilkins share the British transfer record and players everywhere are earning more money than they've ever done. Where would it all end, or more specifically, what would football be like ten years hence in 1994?

That was the question Shoot! magazine asked 29 years ago, and to find the answer, it assessed the state of the British game at ten-year intervals leading up to 1984.

"Stanley Matthews was on £15 a week in the winter and £12 a week in the summer in 1954" said Shoot! as if to reinforce the stereotypical view of post-war austerity in Britain. "Blackpool, then in the First Division, carried a staff of 39 full-time professionals and their weekly wage bill for players was not more than £650... The terrace admission price was 1s 9d (8.40p). Match programmes cost twopence (0.75p)."

It all sounds like chicken feed by today's standards. The biggest British transfer back then was the £30,000 Tottenham paid Aston Villa for Danny Blanchflower, and even that was exceptional given that most players were still going to training sessions either by bus or bicycle because they couldn't afford a car.

Ten years on and Jimmy Greaves was the star of the day, earning £60 a week, while Tottenham had a wage bill of £2,500 for its staff of 35 people. Match day programmes would have set you back one shilling while five shillings would have got you a place on the terraces to see the match. As for the biggest transfer deals, the bar had been raised to £116,000 following Denis Law's move from Manchester United to Torino in 1962.

And so it went on with monetary comparisons made for 1974 and 1984, the year when this Shoot! article was published. All very interesting too, but one has to wonder how all these values equated when inflation was taken into account. What could Stanley Matthews have bought with his weekly wage of £15 and how much is it worth in real terms from a modern-day perspective?

As ever, The Football Attic intended to find out, so what follows is a series of graphs that show the changes in value for each of Shoot's main criteria based on their 2013 worth. Also shown on the graphs are the predictions made by the magazine as to what values they expected to see in 1994 (more of which later), plus the real values for 1994 and the years that followed.

Weekly Wage For a Top Footballer

Click for larger view

Having heard that Stanley Matthews earned £5 per week during 1954 and Jimmy Greaves earned £60 per week in 1964, Shoot! went on to explain that West Ham's Bobby Moore picked up the equivalent of around £230 per week during 1974 - the equivalent of £2,038 per week in today's money. "He drove a Jaguar and his wife had a sports car and they lived in luxury in a magnificent house called Morelands," Shoot! went on to say.

As for Charlie Nicholas, he was raking in £2,400 per week in 1984 while at Arsenal - over £6,500 per week by today's standards. "If football earnings continue to increase at the same rate as in the last 20 years" said Shoot back then, "a top First Division star in ten years time can look forward to netting around £30,000 a week!" As it is, that figure turned out to be nearer £10,000 per week in 1994, but that was nothing compared to the £50,000 per week that Javier Hernandez was earning at Manchester United in 2012. Using the Mexican as a randomly chosen top player of the era, his weekly earnings were far greater than even Shoot! could have predicted.

Top-flight Football Match Ticket

Click for larger view

Paying one shilling and ninepence for a ticket to see Stanley Matthews in 1954 was the equivalent of paying just over £2 in today's money - a bargain whichever way you look at it. A decade later you'd have been paying double that, and in 1974 you'd have been paying the equivalent of £6.62. Curiously the real cost of a ticket for Highbury in 1984 was slightly less than the 1974 equivalent.

In 1984, Shoot! magazine was predicting that a ticket for a match in 1994 would cost as much as £25 - that's £68 in current terms. This turned out to be a big over-estimate as the real value was just under half-that, but it's true that ticket prices have continued to rise dramatically. The cheapest ticket for a match at White Hart Lane this season currently stands at £37.

Match-day programme

Click for larger view

It can be argued that today's match-day programmes offer much more content and higher production values than the offerings of 1954. Even so, the tuppence you'd have paid for one back then - 15p in today's money - still seems paltry.

The cost of a programme was up considerably come 1964, although the cost remained relatively constant right up to 1984 when it was worth just over £1 in 2013 terms. That, however, didn't stop Shoot! predicting that in 1994 "match programmes will cost £5." You'd have actually paid around £1.50 back in 1994 (£2.53 today), whereas a guide to the match at Stamford Bridge in 2013 will still only set you back £3.

Highest British Transfer Fee Involving a British Player

Click for larger view

You hardly need us to provide a graph to tell you how much transfer fees have sky-rocketed over the last few years. Gareth Bale's £88.5 million transfer from Tottenham to Real Madrid in 2013 dwarfs any previous transfer involving a British player, even taking inflation into account.

Just for once, Shoot! was almost spot on with its prediction that in 1994 the record transfer fee would be £5 million. In 1992, Paul Gascoigne moved from Tottenham to Lazio for £5.5 million - the equivalent of £9.6 million in today's money. Ten years further on, Rio Ferdinand's move from Leeds to Manchester United resulted in £29.1 million changing hands (2013: £40.1 million).

Shoot! Magazine

Click for larger view

Looking ahead ten years on from 1984, Shoot! predicted that it would cost £3 in 1994 "and it would continue to be the best read in football." Modesty aside, the magazine actually costed 70p in 1994 (£1.18 by today's values) and was still only £1.80 when its final issue was published in 2008 (2013: £2.03).

Shoot! cost just one shilling when it was launched in 1969 and its value in modern terms barely changed over the next 15 years, costing 8p in 1974 and 33p in 1984.

Poking fun at the past

If you're not now reeling from the statistical tidal wave that's just hit you, we end with a little light relief.

As anyone that used to watch Tomorrow's World will tell you, long-range forecasts can sometimes prove hilarious with hindsight. Such is the case as we look at Shoot! magazine's predictions for what football would be like in 1994.

"We at Shoot have been looking into our crystal ball and forecast that in 1994 there will be a British Super League with Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen joining nine elite clubs from England." So far, so wide of the mark. "Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Spurs are the English clubs likely to lead the revolution, with many of the smaller clubs either going to the wall or surviving with staffs of part-time professionals." Now we're getting somewhere...

"Synthetic pitches - with the infamous bounce controlled - will be commonplace," it proclaimed, "...and most major clubs will carry a sponsors name in their title, for instance GUINNESS RANGERS at Shepherd's Bush [QPR]." If only - the thought of seeing CARDIFF MALAYSIA would surely have been a sight to see...

It continued: "Matches will be played on summer Sunday evenings, and there will be one televised match every Saturday... There will be no standing on the terraces at British Super League matches because the grounds will be all-seaters." A virtual bullseye there, although Shoot! may not have predicted the reason for the changes in the first place.

With a final glimpse to the future, we see the illustration of two players on what we assume is a synthetic football pitch wearing sponsored shirts, elbow pads and full length gridiron-style pants instead of shorts. Though most of Shoot's predictions turned out to be hopelessly wrong, we're glad to see that this one wasn't any different.

(Inflation calculations courtesy of This Is Money)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

We Are 2!

Two years ago today, the Football Attic cranked open its dust ridden hatch and let down the ladder of nostalgia for you all to climb up and sample our aged goodness... this analogy really isn't working is it?

Never mind that, it's our birthday!!! To celebrate, let's get all meta and be nostalgic about nostalgia! So come with us as we take a journey through our short lifespan...

14th Nov 2011 - We are born and the world instantly becomes a better place!

18th Nov 2011 - Our first proper post...Rich bangs on about a shiny piece of plastic

15th Dec 2011 - Chris writes something about Ceefax and the Attic explodes!

6th Feb 2012 - The Football Attic graces Twitter with its presence - the world is never the same again!

14th Mar 2012 - The Football Attic Confessional is launched.... and quickly forgotten ;-)

30th Mar 2012 - The League of Blogs is founded

23rd May 2012 - The League of Blogs Wallchart is complete!

4th July 2012 - The first Attic publication, the League of Blogs Sticker Albums are created!!!

10th Aug 2012 - The first Football Attic Podcast is recorded, covering the subject of Panini

30th Aug 2012 - Nearly a year after we came into being, Rich finally accepts Facebook exists and we join.

7th Sept 2012 - Rich's 5 Worst Subbuteo Items finds itself on the Guardian's 'five things they liked that week.'

28th Sept 2012 - The first Great Tracksuit Of Our Time makes its debut.

14th Nov 2012 - Our 1st Birthday!

16th Nov 2012 - The Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever tournament begins!

1st Jan 2013 - WANG!

5th Jan 2013 - Our 2nd book, the Football Attic Annual sells out and goes worldwide! ;-)

22nd Feb 2013 - Re-e-brand!

10th Mar 2013 - Chris creates a Subbuteo wallchart as it would have been in 1900

31st Mar 2013 - The League of Blogs returns!

5th Apr 2013 - We make our first appearance in Backpass Magazine

30th Apr 2013 - The vote for the Worst of Modern Football begins - won by "Greed in general"

21st May 2013 - What was England's Greatest Ever Kit? 'England 82', apparently...

7th Aug 2013 - We take a look at the trends in kit manufacturing

4th Nov 2013 - Numbers on the back of shirts is so passe...

14th Nov 2013 - We are 2! Oh yeah... we covered that...

So what's set to grace the Football Attic pages over the next two years? Well we've got a podcast coming up very soon and before you know it it'll be time for the League of Blogs 2014!

Of course we couldn't have made it this far if it wasn't for you lovely people who bother to read our ramblings or engage with us on Twitter, etc, so a huge thank you to all who've dropped by and liked what you've seen and of course an even bigger thanks to all those who have contributed articles to the Attic.


Rich & Chris

Monday, 4 November 2013

Wrong numbers?

Football is a game of numbers. Scorelines feature numbers, league tables feature numbers, Gareth Bale's bank balance features numbers (quite a few, actually). Perhaps the most important numbers, however, are those featured on the backs of the shirts worn by the players. Shirt numbers have been around since 1928 and though they've been somewhat crowded out by sponsor names, player names and all manner of other paraphernalia, they remain an important feature of any football shirt.

The future might be bright, but it didn't feature shirt
numbers on the front for Halifax Town
These days, you'll also see numbers on the front of the shirts when there's a major international tournament taking place, the World Cup adopting that idea in 1994. This wasn't the first time it had been tried, however. Halifax Town were pioneers of the 'number on the front' way back in 1971 when they played in the Watney Cup competition against the likes of Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion. Halifax, sporting a recently introduced kit of orange shirts and blue shorts, looked a little peculiar as they tried to set their numerical trend, and predictably enough it didn't seem to catch on to any great extent.

Francis Lee adopts the gridiron look in November 1972.
Similarly, a variation of the theme also failed to stick beyond the 1972/73 season when Manchester City wore a change strip featuring numbers on the shirt sleeves. Looking more like an American football shirt, these numbers looked good enough alright, but perhaps were a little ostentatious. On a more practical level, it begs the question "Where's a number best located?"  Presumably shirt numbers are used mostly by the ref for disciplinary situations when identification of a specific player is most important. Having a number on both sleeves, however, seems slightly excessive, one could argue.

Kenny Dalglish celebrates numbers on shorts during
the 1973 Scottish Cup Final.
Of course numbers aren't just confined to the football shirt. Numbers on shorts are not uncommon, and for a twist on that tradition, one need only look to Celtic who for many years wore numbers not only on the front of the shorts but on the backs too. The fact that they wore numbers on the shorts at all came about because (if Wikipedia is to be believed) Robert Kelly, former chairman of the club, couldn't bare to see the famous green and white hoops obscured in any way shape or form, so onto the shorts they went.

Billy Bremner looks for someone to hug that also
loves blue sock tags.
The last bastion for number wearing, it seems, is on the socks. When it comes to that piece of apparel, there was only one team setting a trend back in the 1970s, and that was Leeds United. Don Revie's team raised a few eyebrows in the early part of the decade when they were seen sporting blue tags that were stitched into the socks complete with player numbers and frilly white tassels. Another example of style over substance, it was nothing if not original but ultimately added to the cannon of trends that never quite caught on.

Middlesbrough v Coventry 1974: Too clever by calf
The same can be said of Middlesbrough who certainly showed just as much creativity with a neat variation on the numbered sock tags back in 1974. On at least one occasion, they appeared to wear red socks with numbers stitched into the backs of the turnovers, apparently embroidered in as part of the sock fabric itself.

Though just as gimmicky, there's no denying that this was perhaps the most original slant on the 1970's obsession with finding a new way to display a player's number... even if it did require the socks to stay up throughout the entire match to fulfil their usefulness.

So what now for numbers? Will we see a revival to match that of four decades ago? Can we expect numbers to be displayed on wrist bands or tattooed into the foreheads of the players of the future?  As the 1970's proved, anything's possible.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Videoblog 4: Club Colours (1998)

If you heard our recent Football Attic podcast, you'll know we're borderline nerdists when it comes to football kit design. To prove that point beyond any reasonable doubt, we bring you our fourth Videoblog which takes as its subject a book all about football kit design.

Club Colours is its title and Bob Bickerton is the author and illustrator. If you want to know what's between the covers, watch the video and perhaps leave us a comment afterwards to tell us what you thought.

Club Colours
published by Hamlyn
ISBN: 0-600-59542-0