Before the mega money flowed into Stamford Bridge, Chelsea FC weren’t quite at the same level as they are now. In the 1991-92 season they finished 14th, with their record signing that year being Tommy Boyd for a modest 875,000, pocket change compared to the Abramovich era. That season the number 12 was worn by a selection of players, mainly Joe Allon, Graham Stuart, Damien Matthew, Kevin Wilson & Craig Burley as there were no squad numbers issued. The match shirt is quite different from the replica and was produced to be used game after game. Again something they probably don’t have to worry about now…
This is a wonderful iconic game-used, and well used at that, jersey belonging to the legend that is Northern Irelands George Best. It was worn in his second season in the NASL which was probably his best during his US stint. He tied the league on assists that year, the majority being for his team mate and top goalscorer Steve David.
The jersey was made by Sokka and has had plenty of use, seemingly he was only issued a couple for the season due to the financial pressures within the club, and was warned against swapping it with opposition players! To read more about the Los Angeles legacy of the NASL league, have a read here.
This is the away match worn shirt of Daryl Horgan of Dundalk FC, from their title winning tilt in 2014. Having moved to another Lilywhites in 2017, Preston North End, this was when he was terrorising League Of Ireland defences playing 46 times and scoring 9 goals in the process. This nicely designed away shirt was made by Umbro and was an unusual colour scheme for Dundalk and was well received by the fans.
Photo (c) Sportsfile
A rather unusual goalkeeper shirt that research reveals was worn by Swedish legendary net minder Thomas Ravelli in the World Cup Qualifier vs Scotland in Hampden Park, Glasgow 09/09/81 (see match photo below). Even though it was badged Adidas, it also has the Cup Star label, and featured a rather fetching one piece design incorporating an under carriage. This was introduced to stop the shirt slipping out of his shorts while he performed his customary acrobatic leaps. This innovation was offered to various goalies in that period, including Peter Shilton, but safe to say it never really took off.
This shirt, which was made by Umbro in Ireland, was worn by Tony Marsden (Cork Hibernians) in the League Of Ireland representative XI match at Dalymount Park, Dublin on the 3rd of February against the Lega Nazionale (Italian League B) team. The game ended a one all draw. Incidently, Giorgio Chinaglia, who went on to play with Pele in the NASL for the New York Cosmos, was in the team that day.
Here is the same style, worn against the Football League XI in 1971.
The home, away and goalkeeper shirts made by Adidas for the Northern Ireland team for use during World Cup 1986 in Mexico. Here is a great article about the whole tournament from Culture Northern Ireland.
This Aston Villa shirt is one of my favourites from the 1980s. Designed by Hummel, who produced a few iconic shirts then, namely the Spurs and Denmark jersies from that time. This differs from the replica with an embroidered makers logo and club crest, with a sewn on number on the back. Added bonus that David has signed it at some point. Here are some great photos from Aston Villa vs Blackburn in the FA Cup 3rd Round replay on January 10th 1990. I am publishing these courtesy of photographer (c) Clive Lawrence, check out his brilliant website here.
These two photos are copyright Clive Lawrence and must not be reproduced without his express permission.
This beautiful umbro shirt comes from the 1971-72 Derby County first division championship year. It was worn by club legend Roy McFarland and features his signature on the front. In true fashion of the era, it has been well-used and features many battle scars. A classic design, believed to have been modeled on the England jersey of that year, at the behest of one Mr Brian Clough who was their legendary manager. For more on the full history of Derby County football shirts, I wholeheartedly point you in the direction of the wonderful Derby County Kit History web page which has loads of great pics and info.
My first featured football shirt is this 1980 New York Cosmos beauty that was worn by former Dutch international footballer Wim Rijsbergen. One of the best designed shirts in my collection, and why not, Ralph Lauren had a hand in it with each kit reputably costing 300 dollars to produce.
There is a lot of interest in the New York Cosmos in the last while. The original team folded with the demise of the NASL in the mid 1980s but Eric Cantona has gotten involved and they hope to enter the MLS in the near future. For those who want to find out more about this iconic team, I recommend the fantastic book and movie ‘Once In A Lifetime‘.
This football shirt is from the NASL era when they were more akin to a rock group then a football team. Huge crowds would witness Pele, Beckenbaur, Carlos Alberto and many world stars strut their stuff. Wim Rijsbergen was one of the supporting players but a Dutch international with 28 caps, who played with the likes of Cryuff and Neeskens.
For more on Wim’s time in the NASL, check out his page here on the fantastic nasljersies website, which has more stats then you can shake a stick at.