Barbados – Away – 2008
Bolivia have an amazing home record given how poor they are on the road, this is thanks to playing at an altitude when the visitors struggle for breath. This season they thrashed Diego Maradona’s Argentina 6-1 in La Paz.
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Over the past couple of weeks I have become a tad obsessed with eBay, the number of times that I’ve typed “*insert country here* shirt” must be well over a thousand by now, aswell as regularly checking the national shirt category.
I’ve been concentrating my search on the more obscure footballing nations whilst also keeping an eye out for a bargain from other countries. Fortunately my father works from home, so he’s been there to sign for the steady stream of parcels arriving on a daily basis.
I now had 3 football shirts in my possession, the St Kitts & Nevis home shirt, the Israel away shirt, and an England shirt from France 1998. That’s a collection, so it seemed obvious to me that I ought to finish my collection. To do this I would need to collect a national shirt from each of the 208 FIFA nations.
I assume that it’ll be fairly easy to come across shirts from any of the top 50 ranked nations, and therefore also fairly cheap, perhaps being able to pick them up in charity shops, or on eBay for a few quid. I decided that the best plan would be to pick up the rarer nations through eBay as they occur, and also to listen out for any friends taking day trips to Kyrgyzstan or Brunei to pick up the really hard to find shirts.
It has dawned on me that this could be a fairly expensive project, so I’m going to have to look out for bargains. 208 shirts at £50 each would cost me £10,400 whilst I’m still paying off my overdraft from my student days.
The first shirt I found on eBay was this Costa Rica shirt, making the CONCACAF region the most represented in my collection of 4 shirts.
The 29th of August 2008 saw the Pepsi U-17 Tournament come to London Road. England were to play Israel, and I decided it would be the funniest thing ever if I turned up as the only away fan, so I bought the shirt on ebay for about £12.
England take on Israel at London Road
England romped to a 1-0 victory infront of 2002 spectators thanks to goal from Theo Walcott’s cousin Jacob.
I couldn’t be bothered to go, but I did get my hands on this lovely shirt.
In the summer of 2004 three Posh players were called up to play for their country, St Kitts & Nevis, two small islands in the east Caribbean. Calum Willock, Sagi Burton and Adam Newton all took part in a friendly against Northern Ireland, and then in the World Cup qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Calum Willock scored twice as St Kitts & Nevis sent shockwaves through the footballing world when they beat Barbados 3-2. The sugar boyz were through to the group stages, including Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico and St Vincent & The Grenadines.
I was able to follow the games on SKNVibes, and a contact in Basseterre got hold of the national team shirt for me. It cost a fair bit in postage, and sending money over via Western Union, and in a surprise import tax which I never quite understood.
About 6 years ago I decided to start collecting Peterborough United shirts. I had just signed up to eBay, and before I knew it I’d got my hands on 6 or 7 Posh shirts. Six years later I am the proud owner of almost a hundred Posh shirts dating back to 1975.
I have uploaded photos of most of them to Oldfootballshirts.com, a wonderful website that aims to catalogue football shirts from all over the globe.
I have alot of people to thank for helping me accumulate my collection. Especially those who have asked for nothing more than a pint in exchange for a classic 1980s shirt.
My top 5 Peterborough United shirts:
For a couple of seasons in the late 70s we changed our home colours to the Argentina look. My brother bought this one for at the Steve Cooper Memorial Day auction for me when he’d had a bit to drink. I got it signed by Tommy Robson and Colin Foster.