Your first football shirt: Nostalgic book release from the Football Shirt Collective

You may have noticed from our previous articles that our love of Italian football also extends to the culture and fashion that is associated with it.

In January 2018, we sparked some debate with our list of the ‘Top 10 Azzurri kits of all time,’ while the discussion surrounding March’s ‘Top 15 calcio kits of the past 50 years’ (also featured in the Guardian) got even more heated.

Since then, we have all calmed down a bit and are now looking forward to another dose of football shirt nostalgia in the form of a new book soon to be presented by the Football Shirt Collective.

Your first football shirt

‘Your First Football Shirt’ is an illustrated book of interviews with footballers and famous fans about their first and favourite football shirts, with all the profits going to two charities: CALM and the Willow Foundation. It is produced by the Football Shirt Collective and Season Annual, and funded by Kickstarter.

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Those interviewed as part of the project include Alan Shearer (Newcastle United and England), Josh Widdecombe (Quickly Kevin), Dan Walker (BBC), Lucy Bronze (Lyon and England) and Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford and England).

Favourite goals

As well as favourite shirts, the book also features a selection of favourite goals from interviewees. We particularly enjoyed this quote from The Guardian’s Amy Lawrence:

“George Weah’s virtuoso goal versus Verona (1996) has stuck in my mind ever since I watched it on Channel 4 and it made me actually fall off the sofa. He picked up the ball in his own penalty area, sashaying the entire length of pitch, past a string of opponents, to score. Such power and elegance.”


As you can see from the image above, the book also features some beautiful illustrations from a team of contributing artists.

All for a good cause

Those who purchase the book will also be helping out two great causes described here in detail by those involved:

“Willow’s Special Days provide seriously ill young adults with precious memories.  With the Football Shirt Collective based entirely on memories itself, and Willow’s football heritage, it’s a perfect fit for the charity.  Receiving a generous donation from this incredible book will be a real boost and enable Willow to support many more young adults and their loved ones during a difficult time.“ – Bob Wilson OBE, Willow Co-Founder and Life President

“CALM is all about reaching men in terms that are accessible and via channels in which they already exist; be it comedy, music, sport, art or the collective bonding over our favourite football shirts. So we’re delighted to have teamed up with Football Shirt Collective on this project and we’re hugely grateful to be one of the charity beneficiaries. With the World Cup just around the corner there’s no better time to immerse yourself in football nostalgia and, who knows, maybe this book could start a conversation that could really make a difference to someone’s life.” – Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM

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When they are not releasing books, the Football Shirt Collective are dedicated proponents of football culture and nostalgia. Their website tells stories, and sells vintage football shirts, t-shirts, art and apparel inspired by special football moments.

How to get a copy

If like us, you can’t get enough of football nostalgia and love a classic shirt, this book deserves a space on your bookshelf. And remember, 100% of the profit will go to two amazing charities!

You can grab your copy of ‘Your First Football Shirt’ here.