Getting Shirty

Should I ever get to be a multi-billionaire, living a life of luxury in a mansion in the Home Counties (and considering the form of the first thirty-three years of my life, this is somewhat unlikely), I will devote a whole wing of said mansion to old football shirts. Of my many football-related obsessions, very old football shirts is my longest lasting, and it will probably stay with me for the rest of my life. The first football kit I ever had bought for me was (little did I realise it at the time) a design classic. The 1981 Spurs kit was a triumph of minimalist design, and it’s one that they have failed to reproduce ever since. This season, I note, Spurs have reverted to the simpler badge that they had on their shirts in those days. The irony of this is not lost on me. In an era when more and more time is devoted to squeezing money out of fans through the medium of third kits, Europe-only kits and anniversary one-off kits, don’t the manufacturers realise that we really want shirts that are simple, preferably slightly ludicrous, not covered in trinkets and preferably not highly flammable? The early 1980s were the last Golden Age of football shirt design, and they were also the first time that football shirts became both marketing and sponsorship tools. Shirts became...

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