‘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.
Interviews include Alan Shearer (Newcastle United and England), Josh Widdecombe (Quickly Kevin), Dan Walker (BBC), Lucy Bronze (Lyon and England), Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford and England).
Quotes from interviewees:
“My first football shirt was the 1982 Newcastle United home shirt (made by Umbro). My favourite player was Kevin Keegan, so I wanted the same shirt as him.” – Alan Shearer, Newcastle United and England
“My first shirt was the 1990 England shirt (made by Umbro) which had “Italia 1990” embroidered under the England crest. We did a school pantomime and someone (in my class) was playing Gazza so I lent him my shirt. I never saw it again.” – Josh Widdicombe, Quickly Kevin
“My first ever shirt was the Spurs FA cup shirt of 1981. My Dad was a Spurs fan and tried to brainwash me from an early age, but I turned my back on him and went for my home team of Crawley Town instead.” – Dan Walker, BBC
“My Dad’s is Portuguese and one year we went on holiday to Portugal and my parents bought me the full Portugal kit. It was burgundy with green shorts. My best mate had the full Brazil kit and we used to play Portugal v Brazil in full kits.” – Lucy Bronze, Lyon and England
“My first shirt was a Chelsea shirt with “Chalobah 62” on the back. We couldn’t afford to buy football kits as a kid, so had to wait until I made my debut in pre-season against Crystal Palace in a friendly for my first proper one!” – Nathaniel Chabolah, Watford and England
Quotes from charity partners:
“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
Funds to publish the book are being raised through a Kickstarter campaign: