Monday 31 December 2012

The Football Attic Podcast Episode 3 - Retro Football Kit Design

What do you get if you cross someone with chronic insomnia, a bloke on the other side of the world and a geektastic level of enthusiasm for football kits?

The answer lies within the next 50 minutes of your listening time, good friends, for we at The Attic have produced (at loooooong last) another episode of The Football Attic podcast!

We still haven't managed to get iTunes working (curse you Apple!!!) so to download it, it's the rather retro method of 'Right-click and Save As' from the link below:

Football Attic Podcast Episode 3

Have a listen, enjoy, and as usual please do let us know what you think... :)

Saturday 29 December 2012

Panini: Football 80

I’m a big fan of the ‘white album’. Some say it epitomised the peak of popular culture around the time of its release but I have a more balanced point of view. For me, It was experimental in certain areas but also rested heavily on its obvious strengths to provide a combination that’s rarely been bettered. Perhaps we’ll talk about The Beatles later, but for now, let’s stick with Panini.

Football 80 was their third domestic sticker album for the UK and was the first one I ever owned. It had many familiar aspects retained from previous collections, but you could sense a notable intent to try out the occasional new idea and tweak a few things here and there too.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Puma ads (Manchester United), circa 1978

What do Joe Jordan, Gordon McQueen, Allan Simonsen, Jimmy Greenhoff, Brian Greenhoff, Andy Gray, Johan Cruyff, Chelsea FC, the Austrian national team and the Argentinian national team have in common?

No, they haven't all been signed by Roman Abramovich at one time or another. The correct answer is they all wore Puma football boots in the late 1970's, and to prove the point, here are a couple of ads showing the first two on the list doing just that.

"Puma make fourteen different soccer boots. One of them will help you play better" said the ads. Had you taken the plunge and bought two, however, you'd have really seen your overall standard improve...

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever - The Final

Newcastle Brown & Wang! 

No, not a night out on Tyneside... well, maybe it is for some, but no, not here my fellows, for this is the Final of the Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever!!!

After starting out with 96 sponsors from the annals of English and Scottish football, we're down to the final two. And what a journey... Stone cold classics such as Crown Paints, Sharp, JVC and Granada Bingo (shut up!) have all fallen by the wayside and it's the mid-80s stars of Oxford United (remember them?) with Wang Computers against the north east stalwarts Newcastle Brown Ale... for Newcastle United, obviously.

Once again, our thanks and gratitude go out to John Devlin for kindly allowing us to use his fantastic illustrations. John's work can be found at the True Colours site and he is also on Twitter so pay him a visit and give him a follow.


Ah sod the rules, it's the Final!

Voting closes at 23:59 GMT on Monday 31st December - so we will all get to start 2013 safe in the knowledge that the Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever will have been decided!

Right... Off you go!

Thursday 20 December 2012

Pelé's Soccer, 1980

At what point does the human brain reject the hopelessly inadequate images of our youth and demand something with more detail and clarity?

This question is most apposite when discussing classic video games. Take Pelé's Soccer, for example. Here was an arcade football game created for the Atari 2600 which should have proved that technology had moved on from the days of ‘pong football’. The reality, however, saw you moving players around on your screen that looked like pixelated blobs. Quite honestly, they could have been anything.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever - Semi Finals

So we're down to the final four, and despite it looking like the Final was to be a re-run of the 1986 Milk Cup Final between Oxford and QPR, fate has intervened and made it a semi final encounter instead.

In the other semi, that there London meets Oop North so expect bare-chested barrel-shaped supporters and plenty of apples and pears... or something...

So, will it be an all-London final? Or will you all go for some full on Wang action (honestly, this stuff writes itself)? Or will we all be gannin' doon tha' toon for a bottle o' Newky Broon?  Ant n Dec... Spuggy...

Monday 17 December 2012

Great Tracksuits of Our Time: No.6

The sixth installment in our 'Great Tracksuits' series comes courtesy of Sam Swaffield, co-editor of The Seagull Love Review. A devout Brighton fan, Sam's keen to draw our attention to the apparel worn by his team during one of the high points of their history...

"As a kid growing up in the 90's, all I'd known was Albion kits manufactured by highly suspicious brands. The likes of Ribiero, Super League and Sports Express all had a shot at the stripes, and none of them are in business today.

The 80's though, as we all know, was a golden era. Our Adidas days, between '79 and '86, are viewed by my generation as some sort of kit utopia, where the historic stripes were dropped for an all royal blue dream, the West Germans no doubt unequivical over the phone to Hove; "For you Brighton und Hove Albion, ze stripes are over".

Pictures of the kits are easy to find. The British Caledonian emblazoned sheen of the '80 shirt is a classic, and the red Nobo away shirt of '86 is definitely worth a look. For what I like to call 'Leisure Wear' though, it is a different story.

Official team snaps from '82 show a classic Adidas 2-piece tracky; coaching staff in royal blue trousers and body with white sleeves and customary box fresh Copa Mundials.

For the FA Cup Final in '83 however, Adidas went into overdrive. First a new kit just for the Final (a cotton number with red and white pinstripes, danke schön), and then a new tracksuit for the journey to the team hotel and subsequent round of golf. This classic Albion apparel, a set of which I've never seen apart from in the video below, scrapped the white sleeves for dashing white and red go-faster stripes across the chest and embroidered FA Cup Finallist detail under the badge.

As Albion kit goes, this is the pinnacle. If I had one, I, too, would wear it with royal blue suede Sambas, and saunter around Brighton, king of sports casual, seagull savant, pride of Sussex.

It's worth noting in the video Chris Ramsey looking like Marvin Gaye, Jimmy Case rejecting Adidias and dressing like a crap Scouse Bruce Springsteen, and David Icke, dodging the lizard people, to actually present the piece. Happy days indeed."

Our grateful thanks go to Sam Swaffield for telling us about his 'Great Tracksuit', and don't forget, we'd love you to do the same by dropping us a line. Email us at admin [at] thefootballadmin [dot] com with all your details, and you, too, could see your words appearing in a future 'Great Tracksuits of Our Time' article!

Thursday 13 December 2012

Subbuteo poster, 1983

Nothing could be more guaranteed to brighten up a young child’s bedroom wall than a Subbuteo poster. It’s been proven scientifically, probably. By the time this masterpiece came out in 1983, the masters of the flick-to-kick revolution had been annually publishing posters and catalogues for decades, each with its own distinctive graphics and identity.

The premise, as ever, was a simple one: to show off the myriad teams and accessories available to buy for the avid collector. Here, those same teams could be seen surrounding the big football motif; row upon row of colourful sporting soldiers, marching (as best they could when their feet were glued to a hemisphere) across this parade of printed perfection.

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever - Quarter Finals

From the 96 came just 8 - It's The Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever Quarter Finals!

Round 4 ended last night and there were several more shock exits.  Both of Liverpool's remaining entries took a bow, falling to the mighty Wang (fnarrr) and a concerted campaign by Ipswich fans to keep Pioneer in.

And so we come to the final 8 and what a line up it is! But enough of this...I mean, seriously, I know no-one's reading it...I could just say what I want here...I could call Frankie Boyle a racist...he'd never know! As it is, I'm not going to say that as it's patently not true...or was I?

Once again, our thanks and gratitude go out to John Devlin for kindly allowing us to use his fantastic illustrations. John's work can be found at the True Colours site and he is also on Twitter so pay him a visit and give him a follow.

Sunday 9 December 2012

Matthew Wassell's Top 5... Pogs

We're pleased to welcome back Matthew Wassell to The Football Attic with another Top 5 list - this time on a popular collectable game from a couple of decades ago...

For a craze that lasted roughly one summer in the middle of the 1990’s, I still have a soft spot for the game of Pogs.  To be truthful though, these days I am more entertained by looking through my varied collection of multicoloured cardboard and plastic discs rather than actually playing the game itself (which wasn’t all that exciting back then, come to think of it).  As this is a blog about football curios, I thought I’d look out five Premier League and La Liga pogs to photograph and share.

(Whilst looking through the collection, I came across a few disturbing non-football pogs such as one displaying a photo of a baby’s body with a tiger’s head.  This didn’t make it into the Top 5 you’ll be glad to read…)

Saturday 8 December 2012

Kevin Keegan's Soccer Annual 1977

By the time this annual had been published in 1976, the pastey-looking footballer on the front cover was well on his way to 100 top flight goals in England. Kevin Keegan was already something of a poster boy for young fans as a hot-shot striker for both Liverpool and his country, and this first of three eponymous annuals aimed to provide an insight into a blossoming football career.

Beyond the inviting full-colour cover were 96 pages, all printed in black and white. Quite how inviting that would have been to a young child unwrapping this book on Christmas morning one can only wonder, but the seemingly dull pages were surprisingly interesting to read - in fact quite the opposite of what you’d expect from a lightweight title.

Friday 7 December 2012

Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever - Round 4

Yes it's Round 4 - The Round of 16 - of The Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever!

Round 3 finished yesterday (Thursday) and as usual the results can be viewed here. Coventry finally bowed out to frankly more deserving sponsors, but the greatest shock of the round was Sharp, stalwart of Man U for 12 years, being ousted by QPR's Guinness. Honestly, is this the point we've reached? ;-)

Anyway, this is where it gets really interesting with the final 16 sponsors battling it out. Hitachi may have gone, but Crown Paints and Candy still fly the red flag, but the legendary CP faces seriously stiff competition in the form of anybody actually reading this anyway?

Once again, our thanks and gratitude go out to John Devlin for kindly allowing us to use his fantastic illustrations. John's work can be found at the True Colours site and he is also on Twitter so pay him a visit and give him a follow.

Thursday 6 December 2012

Great Tracksuits of Our Time: No.5

Our good friend Rich Nelson from the always excellent 'Escape To Suomi') provides us with this contribution to our 'Great Tracksuits' series:

Arsenal (1989/90):

Sunday 2 December 2012

Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever - Round 3

We've reached Round 3 - The Round of 16 - of The Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever!

Round 2 ended on Friday and the results can be viewed here. And what a set of results they are! Hitachi defeated by Avco, Panasonic losing out to TDK and the biggest travesty of all, Granada Bingo losing to Blackburn's McEwans!!! ;-)

So with the first lot of seeded casualties, the remaining 32 sponsors now fight it out amongst themselves.

Once again, our thanks and gratitude go out to John Devlin for kindly allowing us to use his fantastic illustrations. John's work can be found at the True Colours site and he is also on Twitter so pay him a visit and give him a follow.

Saturday 1 December 2012

Videoblog 2: Kick-Off (MB Games)

Chris O returns with the second Football Attic Videoblog, this time taking MB's Kick-Off as its subject.