USA – Away – 1990
The first World Cup Finals that I properly followed was USA ’94. My brother had just come back from a tour of Europe with the Panini sticker album, and we both chose to follow Ireland (or at least he told me to). After they were knocked out we followed Brazil since they were the best team in the world, and when you are 9 years old winning is everything, which is why everyone at my school in Cambridgeshire supported Blackburn Rovers. Amazingly Bulgaria made it to the Semi-Finals, eventually being knocked out by Italy, they then lost to Sweden in the 3rd place play-offs, Henrik Larsson had the coolest hairstyle in the Panini sticker album, almost as cool as the ginger guy from the USA.
This country didn’t exist when I was growing up, I remember when I was 7 years old having to do a project ona European nation and I was given Czechoslovakia. I wrote to the Czechoslovakian embassy and they gave me a leaflet. True story.
I bought this shirt from Phil who runs oldfootballshirts.com, and amazing website which is attempting to create an online history of every club and country’s football shirts. It’s a fantastic website, well worth a look.
Total cost – £9.39
Total cost of collection – £364.52
Close by to the football shirts in the vintage shop were some ‘vintage’ 80s Adidas shorts. I couldn’t resist trying them on, there is a photo, but you’re not seeing it.
A couple of months ago I visited a vintage clothes shop in Sheffield and saw an old Mexico shirt, I didn’t buy it, but on the way home I decided that I would start this project. This weekend I took another trip up to Sheffield and made sure that I popped in again. The Mexico shirt had gone, but there were two national team shirts that I didn’t yet have in my collection.
This is the shirt that the Russian team wore at Euro 96. They found themselves in a tough group containing both finalists, and Italy (World Cup finalists in 94). It could have been very different if Russia had held on to this fantastic comeback against the Czech Republic.