My Favourite Shirt - Part Twenty Four
Part Twenty Four of My Favourite Shirt has Ed Wellard from Home Shirts and his 1986/87-1987/88 Tottenham Hotspur 3rd Shirt.
Ed doing his best Glenn Hoddle impression and the shirt on its own
Why is this your favourite shirt? I’ve got a real soft spot for Le Coq Sportif Spurs Centenary Shirts from 1982. My first kit. I had the home and my older brother the sky blue away. Really nice.
The hummel shirts Spurs had in late 80's were amazing. I had the iconic '86 home shirt. It’s mad to think that the away, and the incredibly unnecessary 3rd were top drawer too. An embarrassment of riches.
I wish I'd got my hands on all of those shirts when I had a brief burst of buying old kits in my 20's when I had a disposable income pre-kids and you could pick them up relatively cheaply on ebay. I did get hold of the away and third, plus the home we wore in the '87 cup final that was the same as Real Madrid’s.
Anyway, the navy blue Tottenham 86 third is one of the best shirts of all time, in my honest opinion, so I’m going with that.
What memories come to you when you see this shirt? It's full of nostalgia of being that young. Carefree. The world opening up to you. Falling in love with football. I was 8 years old then, when I did the Mexico WC Panini sticker book and 86/87 was my first season of going to games. Tottenham seemed glamourous and progressive too. Becoming a PLC and having all this merchandise to flog to youngsters not encumbered by cynicism.
Spurs had great players and played great football. Former glories were recent history. That season we made a challenge for all three domestic honours, but ended the season with nothing. I went to nearly every home game and the cup final at Wembley on my birthday too.
I'd play football for my school or district and then my dad would drive us up to Tottenham in his red XR3i - so 80's! We'd get there very early for a decent spot near a barrier, read the programme and lust after the merchandise. Snigger at the swearing. Me and my brother found the guy selling peanuts hilarious. We still shout "peeeannuts!" at games now.
We'd always leave a few minutes early and run miles to whatever side street we had parked on before getting a kebab on the ring road and driving home. It all felt really exotic compared to the Kent coast where I grew up.
I really loved Chris Waddle. He was and is my favourite Spurs player, despite all the greats we’ve had. I thought he was so cool as a kid. I had a go at growing a mullet in homage to him. I missed him so much when he left Spurs.
I loved the Adidas Marseille shirts that “magic” Waddle played in, both the 90/91 and 91/92 are beautiful. I’d love to get hold of those shirts, even reproductions. There’s some amazing videos of his time there. He was a phenomenon. It’s cruel that he’s remembered for the missed pen against West Germany, not how well he played at Spurs and Marseille. He was brilliant at Italia '90 too. Just imagine if that shot against West Germany hadn’t hit the post or that crazy lob from near half way line hadn’t been tipped over the bar. He’d be a national hero.
Who was the best player to wear this shirt? (Glenn) Hoddle is very much the best player to have worn the shirt. One of the best to have worn any football shirt.
If I’d said the '86 home, instead of the 3rd, I really would be able to say the best player to ever play, Maradona wore it (in Ossie’s testimonial May '86 – I'm still angry that I wasn’t allowed to go with my brother and dad on a school night).
And the worst? I read in a piece by the writers of the sublime Spurs Shirt book, in a recent programme, that Spurs hardly wore it because the dark blue was deemed to clash with refs uniforms. It was only worn 3 times - away at QPR in 86/87, then Coventry and Wednesday in 87/88.
We had a great side then, too, so very few bad players wore it.
I think you’d have to go for Gary Stevens or Mitchell Thomas but it really wouldn’t be fair to say that they were bad players.
How do you feel the shirt of the past compare to today’s? We’ve had some good spells. Those Le Coq Sportif and Hummel ones were great and of course coincided with a good spell which is always a factor in them becoming loved.
The brief Umbro spell was OK and we won the cup in '91 in a nice one.
The Pony ones were aptly named. Rubbish shirts, rubbish team.
The Adidas ones came at a bad spell for Adidas shirts, but a few good away shirts.
I’m really fond of the Kappa era Spurs kits from mid-2000's. After Uni, in my 20's, I worked in the North West for a couple of years on construction sites and went to loads of away games. Then I moved to Stoke Newington and went to loads of home games too. White Hart Lane was just up the road and it was relatively easy and affordable to go. Dodgy feeds of the games were always on in a Irish pub on the High Road if not. The Hoddle and then, particularly, the (Martin) Jol years were loads of fun. Full of hope. The club was on the up but we still didn't expect much, so win lose or draw the atmosphere was good. When we got that first season in Europe, it was amazing.
Plus the Kappa shirts were really good. I know the fat lads weren't impressed but I loved them. The 2005/6 home and way, which me and my son both have are great. I wish I had the 3rd which I think is even better. I feel a bit ashamed that I’ve worn those shirts to death playing 5 aside or riding my bike. Kinda think that they’re there to be worn, not forgotten about, though. It’s part of what I love about the #homeshirts thing with JJ. My son came out with “kites are only happy when they fly”, to me once, and I think that applies to shirts. They should be worn and enjoyed. Weirdly, I have never been keen on wearing shirts to games though.
Puma did a few nice ones, but it was the exception that proved the rule. The 2010 home and 3rd were good, and were worn by a decent side. Rafa van der Vaart, (Gareth) Bale and (Luka) Modrić were awesome in that 1st season in Champions League.
Under Armour weren’t the best but 2010 home stands up, particularly as that feels like the peak of the Harry (Redknapp) years so you remember them fondly, plus nearly all of the away and 3rd's were good.
The Nike era has been alright. Just a little bland. The fade one was terrible. Again, the away and 3rd's have been were the interest has been. It’s funny how shirts like the green 3rd from last year go from being largely disliked to loved because of that amazing night in Amsterdam.
Why do you support Spurs? It’s really about family, for me, I suppose. I’m always a bit surprised by people that don’t support same team as their dad.
You don’t really choose do you. It just happens. Once it’s in you, it’s never gonna leave, is it?
Timing must be a part of it, too though. Spurs were great at that age when you start supporting a club.
My dad fell in love with the Spurs '61 double side, watching it with his old man and uncles. He went to games with his mates. Funny hearing about him going with his pal who was Chelsea and going to one or other with each other every week. Can you imagine that now?!
It’s always been a catalyst for meeting up with dad and my brothers, and my cousin and now their kids too.
I’ve made loads of good friends through them being Spurs fans. I went to Burnley away with my mate Ned recently, with our lads, and we were talking about how long we’d been going to games. We realised that it we’d met at a brilliant away day in Leeds in 2004. 1-0 win. Great atmosphere. (Stéphane) Dalmat in his brief spell looking like he could be amazing. It think it was when I first heard the “Oh when the Spurs” in slo-mo with the wiggling fingers. It sent goose bumps down my neck. It was a lot slower and drawn out back then. Haunting. It’s almost back to normal speed at games now.
The Pochettino years were an absolute joy, plus my boy was falling in love with Spurs and coming with me to pub and the odd game. Availability and cost of tickets and travel makes it far harder than it’s ever been to go, which is really sad for my boy. He’s having a very different fan experience from me, but it's lovely watching games with him. Sharing the moments.
What was the first game that you went to and what was the score? My first game was Newcastle in '86. First home game of the season. A 1-1 draw. 2 points thrown away after Peter Beardsley's last minute equaliser dribbled over the line. A great introduction to being #Spursy.
Between that hummel spurs kit and that silver Newcastle away, there were some special shirts on show.
How would you summarise Tottenham’s season before the current break in action? Pretty bleak. Sad to see Poch go. Really sad. I’m not on board with Mou or his brand of management or football. Poch needed money not replacing with a narcissist.
The best we’ve had it were under men of dignity – Jol and Poch. Win lose or draw, I could get behind them. It doesn't feel like that with Mou and his blame game.
The break from football has been a nice respite from anger and disappointment and frustration of it all. Levy's cynical response and Mou's training session, despite social distancing, have managed to maintain it, though.
I wish it’d come a week earlier before Red Bull (Leipzig) knocked us out of the CL. I did corporate for that, from a mate who had connections at Gazprom. It came at a terrible time for us.
I really hope they don't play out the rest season behind closed doors, as seems to be the plan. Football without fans isn't football.
Your best XI from your time supporting Tottenham? I asked my dad the same question, and he just went “Harry Redknapp's". I should’ve saved time and done the same, but here it is:
Subs bench – Erik Thorstvedt, Steve Perryman, Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, Michael Carrick, Luka Modrić, David Ginola, Gary Lineker, Dimitar Berbatov, Jermain Defoe, Jürgen Klinsmann
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