I love football shirts, their limited life-spans can evoke so many memories when you see one whether it's 1, 5 or 10 years old. From around the age of 12 until my late 20s I wore football shirts regularly (some more stylish than others), they are just one of the most comfortable pieces of clothing you can get.
Liverpool are of course my first footballing love, but AS Roma come a close second (thanks to my Grandfather & Totti) and then there are the all the other teams I've loosely followed over the years. Before I settled on Roma, I was more aware of Inter Milan. Mainly because of the real Ronaldo and then Christian Vieri, but also because they signed England midfielder Paul Ince.
Both Real Madrid and Barcelona have iconic kits, but Valencia is the time I'd prefer to see succeeding in Spain but La Liga isn't a league I really follow.
Internationally, only once have I ever had the chance to see the Indian national team play on TV and that was when I caught some highlights of a game while on holiday in Dubai. Somehow though, I managed to get my hands on their kit and it's one I still wear from time to time now.
During Euro 96, I wanted nothing more than an England shirt but I've never owned one. Brazil and Italy on the other hand, it's a completely different matter.
Favourite club kits
|#||Club||Season(s)||Home or Away||Manufacturer||Sponsor||Colours|
|5||AS Roma||2000-2001||Home||Kappa||INA Assitalia||Red|
|6||AS Roma||2002-2003||Champions League Away||Kappa||Unsponsored||White and silver|
|9||Barcelona||1999-2000||Centenary Home||Nike||Unsponsored||Red and blue|
|10||PSG||2004-2005||Home||Nike||Thomson||Red, white and blue|
- The kit worn when winning the Champions League in 2005, the greatest final and the last shirt we wore with Reebok before they were bought by Adidas. I owned more than one, the second one had Morientes' name on the back.
- Despite owning every home shirt from 1995 onwards, this was the one I remember wearing most. I'd wear it to play football once a week and bought a long sleeve version for the winter too.
- In my time following Liverpool, this is the away kit I've loved the most and that's even before Fernando Torres wore it and tore Manchester United apart.
- What a debut kit from Warrior, one of the most comfortable shirts I've ever owned. Sadly the sponsor's print hasn't survived as well as the rest of the shirt after all these years.
- The shirt I got to see Roma win Serie A in.
- Roma were in-between sponsors and I was able to pick an unsponsored version up. Very comfortable but unflattering unless you have the right physique.
- Roma finally signing up with one of the bigger players, having worked with Kappa and Diadora for a long while. Again, a very comfortable kit and the Roma kit I've worn the most.
- Barcelona's centenary kit was fantastically simple. I didn't own it 1999, but about 10 years later when it was reissued.
- Long before PSG were fashionable, I had their version of the Nike template of the time. The most rigid fitting kit, but it looked good.
Favourite national team kits
|#||Club||Season(s)||Home or Away||Manufacturer||Colours|
- A very similar kit to the one worn by Roma 2002 (#5 above), the kit was special because it had nothing by the FIGC emblem on the chest.
- Without question, the thickest football shirt I've ever owned. Sadly tainted by Brazil loosing in the 1998 World Cup Final, it's still one of those iconic shirts.
- I have a special edition commemorating the 2002 World Cup Final. The shirt has RONALDO on the back and the number 9 on both the front and back along with embroidery commemorating the location of the final. It's only real outing from my cupboard was to see the 2012 Olympic men's football final where Brazil sadly lost to Mexico.
- I still remember going to Nike Town London to buy the Nike+ band and a new pair of astro turf boots to play football in and coming across the India national team kits in store. Both the blue home and orange away I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to own it.
Kits I missed out on
There are three kits that I should have made the effort to get.
- Liverpool's 2018 Champions League Final shirt: sadly not a happy story, but it was a great kit to wear all the way to the final and better than the one worn a year later as the team lifted the trophy.
- 1994 Italy home kit
- Germany's 2014 Word Cup shirt
Moving into the mainstream
Manufacturers have started taking their kits from the stands and our onto the streets. Starting least season PSG collaborated with the Jordan brand. This season Adidas have teamed up with Palace Skateborads for Juventus and both teams wore special edition kits recently.
YouTuber David Vujanic put together a video looking at all the kits he has and BT Sport have a rolling web series called What I Wore where footballers look back at the kits that they wore through their careers.
With a little boy, I'm sure I'll buy him many football shirts over the next 10-15 years but for myself less so.
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