Doing The 92

My name is Steve Hall. I am a Brit who lives in Spain and who loves football.

In 2010 I cycled to all the 92 football league clubs in England and Wales. I set off in May and finished on 23 September 2010. I was met with almost universal kindness, hospitality and friendship.

I had great plans for retracing the route in 2020/2021. Sadly Covid and then a long spell in hospital scuppered my plans. (See www.theshirt2010.co.uk/uncategorized/jigsaws ) I will soon announce a new trip.

Please check through the site to learn more about the project, the people involved and how you can also help and get involved.

Thanks

Steve

DoingThe92

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End of Season


Yes, it’s the end of another season and what a season it has been. All four divisions and the lower leagues have all been affected by the Covid pandemic. Players, managers and their families have all experienced the storm. Almost all games have been behind closed doors and whilst it “seems” that the end may be in sight, it would be foolish to be over-optimistic. We also had the unedfiying launch of the European Super League which looks to have collapsed as quickly as it appeared. Chelsea and Manchester City will play in the CL Final. Congratulations. Tomorrow we will see whether Manchester United and Arsenal will make the finals of the Europa League. Manchester City are a whisker away from the title and Norwich has already taken the Championship.

What it also means, of course, is that clubs are off-loading this season’s kit and there are some bargains to be had. Fulham, who have had a torrid time and will probably drop down this week sent me a newsletter today and Brentford and West Ham sent me their offers yesterday. Have a look! All are from the official club shops.

www.officialwesthamstore.com
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George Best


George Best was, and still is, without a doubt one of the game’s most legendary and recognizable figures. “Good. Better. Best.” Check out the official collection and discover all T-shirts, retro shirts and casual socks.

The COPA George Best collection is made under license from The George Best Company Ltd and features a range of T-shirts that pay homage to one of the game’s most legendary and recognisable figures. The inspiration for this collection is a selection of famous photos from the archives of IMG, Mirrorpix, Press Association Images and the private George Best archive.

We want to offer you a pair of George Best casual pixel socks as a free add-on to your next George Best order over € 30, placed before May 1st 2021. Enter code ‘GEORGE‘ at checkout and the socks will automatically be added to your parcel.

We hope to see you soon on copafootball.com.



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Iron Maiden

I recently did a blog about “Random Shirts.” l’d have to say that you don’t get much more random than this latest arrival from West Ham… It’s Iron Maiden edition. With the possible exception of Atletico Madrid’s spiderman extravaganza, l am struggling to find a more random shirt. Still, l guess if you are a fan of West Ham and Iron Maiden, you will go out and buy it!

The back story is that the group’s Steve Harris is a huge West Ham fan and this is the second time they have collaborated following the success of the “Die with your Boots on” theme of 2009.

The shirt is available on their online store and their retail sites.

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Random Shirts


The Way We Were – The shirts in Sky’s First Season

Random Shirts – Random Thoughts.

Well, it’s been 20 weeks since l had the Cardiac Arrest and l have had plenty time to think. So here is a little collection of random thoughts about shirts.

145 euros – £120

I wrote last week about the obscenely-priced one-off Barcelona shirt for the league match against Real Madrid. The 120 pounds price-tag seemed outrageous to me. At the same time, my thoughts went to some of the other wierd and wonderful shirts across the world. Gone are the days when Liverpool were in red other for a clash of colours. Likewise, Chelsea would be in blue, Manchester United in red and Manchester City in light blue. Now, it seems that any excuse to play in lilac or turquoise with green trimmings (probably fluorescent!) is a good one. Why? To sell more 2nd and 3rd kits…. and keep the sponsors happy!

Caversham United – Balls to Cancer

Obviously sometimes the reasons for a new, second or special kit are laudable. I liked Caversham United’s kit to raise money for Balls to Cancer. (Buy here.) I respect the fact that they have made the charity the main sponsors for this season and wear a very smart kit. I also respect Sevilla’s attempt to highlight the plight of local cucumber growers with their (in)famous cucumber logos. La Hoya of Lorca took the love of agriculture to the nth degree with a shirt covered in images of broccoli.

Then we have the case of Milan this week who tried to launch a 4th kit. Naughty! Serie A banned it which immediately made it a collectors’ item!

I refuse to even comment or show this season’s zebra abomination by Manchester United. Whilst the centenary kit divided opinion, surely Sir Matt Busby and Tommy Docherty must be turning in their graves. I don’t think l have disliked a shirt so much since “that” Coventry Chocolate crime against humanity.

Manchester United – “Proper” colours
The Centenary Shirt that launched a Movement
Coventry City – “Universally Despised”
Caversham United – Stylish Kit
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Rant Of The Day

I was sent the weekly newsletter from FC Barcelona today. I can’t claim to be a supporter as I am a huge fan of Real Madrid but always read the updates.

Today I was pretty appalled to see the price of the match shirts for this week’s El Clásico. (The biggest game in the Spanish calendar – a Real Madrid v Bracelona fixture.) Tragically because of Covid it will again be behind closed doors
but the eyes of Spain and much of the football world will be on the match.

145 euros for the adult shirt and 70 euros for the kid’s shirt. That is approx. £125 and £60 at today’s exchange rates. Am I alone in thinking that is an obscenity (un abuso in Spanish)?

Everyone makes their own choice what they spend their money on but, from my personal point of view that pricce cannot be justified!

Rant over – enjoy the game!


145 euros – ouch!
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Partisan Prague


Partisan Prague Football Club

As I plan my next trip (cycle/tuktuk/train?), my mind wanders more and more to Central and Eastern Europe. Poland, Czechia, Hungary and the Ukraine all beckon. So, by chance, I came across this interesting story about an expat/immigrant team in Prague. I contacted them and said they had a history worth sharing and they tweeted back that they would be happy for a blog in TheShirt2010. As many of you know, I have been an expat/immigrant for much of my adult life and the short history of PPFC reminds me of my own Deportivo Galicia in London. If you are involved with an expat side anywhere in the world please feel free to make contact and I will be happy to highlight you!

The story so far ….”So here it is… It all started in 2000 when an Irishman – named Gerry Keaty – wanted to give ex-pats a chance to have a kick about in Prague (and have a beer afterwards). It started out as a 3v3 format, played in a basketball gym in the city. By 2001 a few more players joined and it became a 6v6 format. In 2002 there were enough players to form an 11-a-side team and PPFC was born! From 2002 – 2009 the club operated as a “friendly” club. Just playing against stag-dos, village teams and basically anyone who fancied a match and a beer. Then in 2009 the Prague Ex-Pat league began. From 2009-2012 the ex-pat league went from strength to strength. But, with only 6 teams PPFC wanted more of a challenge. So… the club entered the official Czech Football League pyramid.

Despite having no budget, the club achieved promotion in its second season season, powered by goals from Federico “Fede” Arcomone. This little Italian was magic. Without doubt one of the best players to pull on the shirt and key to our early success. In December 2014, just after winning “Player of the Year”, Fede Arcomone tragically passed away. The club was devastated and still have his name on our bench every game!

2014/15 season and now things get crazy… despite the club doing well on the pitch, off the pitch things take a serious turn. The club’s treasurer had been stealing money and had not paid any of the outstanding bills (pitch hire, kit, balls etc.) He then did a runner. Due to this, the club was relegated back to the bottom of the pyramid. 16/17 the club achieves promotion, back to the 8th tier. Then in 19/20 PPFC are promoted to the 7th tier. The only ex-pat team to ever reach this level.



….and now in the 20/21 season we have an A Team who are sitting top of the league and a new B Team playing in the 9th tier. No owner, no money, just an amazing group of lads and a love of the game! Gerry Keaty had no idea…
RIP Fede”

2020 – 2021 New Kit

For more information follow them on Twitter or Facebook. As you can see, they have had some cracking shirts and I am looking forward to seeing them in real life. When I am in Prague, I will look in. I am assured I will be welcome and I am sure you will be well treated too.

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Virtual 10KM

A Shirt Of Beauty



Well, this one is a bit different! Facebook threw a sponsored post in front of me and for the first time in living memory, I checked it out. The only reason I increased Zuckerberg’s wealth is because I saw a gorgeous shirt. I clicked through to read about a Virtual 10KM event that looked fun …… especially with the magnificent shirt.

Their website says, “The run of the year! Get your original Guinness World Records certificate and medal! On 19th September we start the official world record attempt of the most virtual 10km /6.2 mi runs within 24 hours and you can participate!This is an official Guinness World Records certified run!”

This is how it works:

1. you can run anywhere in the world.

2. if you feel like it, join our exclusive running group on Facebook (optional).

3. on the day of the run, record your run with a running app or watch and upload a screenshot or photo to our running portal.

4. after the run, you will receive your certificate to download and we will send you your medal (if you have added it) within 24 hours.

Sign up for the run HERE with either:
Original Digital Proof of Participation (download after the run) without medal or

Medal Medium (8cm / 3.1in – shipping within 48 hours after the run) 
+ Original Digital Proof of Participation (download after the run)
or
Medal XL (11cm / 4.3in – shipping within 48 hours after the run)
+ Original Digital Proof of Participation (download after the run)
or
Proof of Participation and the exclusive medal both hold the official Guinness World Records Attempt Run Logo and are handed out, even if we donot break the record – which we will, for sure :-)”

Virtual 10K Run

So, I registered and will be running to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. 10K may not sound a lot but I am still in hospital (week 19) after a cardiac arrest and still on crutches. I managed about 70 meters this afternoon, so 10K is a genuine challenge for me. No matter, I have five months to move up to this. By my maths, that’s adding about an extra 2k per month. Cracked it!”

Even got my virtual bib!


If you want to get involved before then, Specsavers Opticas in Spain are organising a Virtual Dog Walk ….. although you don’t need a dog. Full details here

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Terry’s Badges

I had a friendly chat with Terry from Terry’s Badges yesterday. I will be asking him to produce a badge for my next charity ride (Details soonest!) I am always happy to support small businesses and promised to give him a shout out. So whether you want to buy one of the hundreds of different badges he has in stock or want a badge of your favourite club produced, pop by his website and give him a shout.

He says, “

I had a friendly chat with Terry from Terry’s Badges yesterday. I will be asking him to produce a badge for my next charity ride (Details soonest!) I am always happy to support small businesses and promised to give him a shout out. So whether you want to buy one of the hundreds of different badges he has in stock or want a badge of your favourite club produced, pop by his website and give him a shout.

He says, ” Welcome to my Web Site! This site is dedicated to Non-League football badges. 

I have always had a passion for non-league football, as a player, manager and chairman of my local clubs. I enjoyed 21 successful years as a player with Stokenchurch FC, Lane End FC and Beacons Bottom Athletic FC. I also played for the very successful Lane End United FC Sunday side.

I collect English non-league badges plus I have many for sale as you will see on this site! I also design and produce badges for 100’s of Non-League clubs up and down the country. I only use the best enamel and fittings as most of you will testify.

I am a keen AFC WIMBLEDON supporter and attend all home and some away games. I also like to visit loads of non-league grounds. I also design, produce and sell all AFC’s  badges with all the profits from these badges going to AFC! As far as I am aware we are the only club to have a framed set of badges for every season!

If you click my “sales list” you will find the 100’s of badges I have for sale.  If your club/business require a badge please contact me for production details.

If you have any queries please use my “contact” link.

TERRY





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Manchester Phoenix

Manchester Phoenix AFC

Manchester Phoenix AFC

I picked up an interesting story on Twitter last night from a club I knew nothing of – Manchester Phoenix AFC who are raffling off the sponsorship of their magnificent new kits. Yes, I had heard of this before but it was interesting to be involved in a real-time event. There are still a few spots left so if you are interested in getting involved make contact with Zoe Beck, as below.


I contacted Zoe to know more and she sent me a most interesting personal reply.

“Steve, our club Manchester Phoenix AFC was formally known as Old Trafford United FC based in the Greater Manchester Area. I took over the club in October 2020 and decided that I wanted to rebuild the club and become more community focused.

We started on a little field in Sale, Manchester with only 6 players and since I’ve been in charge we now have a First and Second Men’s open age Teams from 18 years up and the club has currently around 80 members made up of players and volunteers. We have this year partnered up with an amazing community based charity known as 0161 community who promote a strong, unified Mancunian working class identity – people of all backgrounds uniting to take control of their neighbourhoods. They seek to empower the unheard and provide youth with skills, guidance and confidence. They have two hubs where they provide sanitary products, clothes, food and toys for children. They also provide free activities for kids such as Boxing, Art, Football and music.

So throughout this year we will be fundraising and raising as much awareness for them. As Chairlady if you had told me this time last year I would be running a football club, I would most probably have laughed, but it really is the most enjoyable experience. The buzz of being at the side of the pitch is like a experience I can’t explain.  It has its ups and downs but I wouldn’t change a thing. I have a great team behind me in the form of President and First Team Manager Nigel, Club Secretary Tom and Vice Secretary CJ and Second Team Manager Grant and his assistant manager Aaron. And my players are not just my players they’re like my sons and whilst I’m chair I’m going to do my very best for them, as they do for me when they step out into the pitch.”

If this resonates with you, please contact Zoe and who knows for just £25 you could be the shirt sponsor in just the same way Carling and Guinness, Sharp and Chevrolet have been. Good Luck! I have also been asked to give a BIG shout out for GripActive who have been a great partner and have designed and produced this stunning kit.

Website: Manchesterphoenixafc.co.uk
Facebook: @manphoenixafc
Twitter: manphoenix_afc
Instagram: manchesterphoenixafc

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R.I.P. Frank Worthington

I am sad to announce the death of one of the game’s Great Entertainers, Frank Worthington (b.23/11/48, Halifax)

I wrote a blog about Frank back in September 2020 prompted by an email from his daughter,Kim. The overwhelming response to a previous Facebook forum post by me about Frank was that he was uniquely loved by everybody in football. I span a few of the anecdotes and memories into an article and forwarded it to Kim hoping it would give his family some joy. I am devasted to now write after his death.

All the Facebook fan forums and all the Twitter threads have a common theme today. Frank was a man loved by every football fan. Even the supporters of his opponents have been rich in their praise. This is almost unheard of. I have read literally hundreds and hundreds of posts in the last 24 hours. Without exception, every single fan has hailed him as a legendary player, a great entertainer and someone who could single-handedly make an unexceptional game magical. Hundreds have lamented his lack of England caps, his lack of medals in Europe and, perhaps the greatest compliment ever, “Oh, if only he had played for us. We’d have won everything.” Manchester United and Liverpool fans wince when they realise just how close they were to signing him. Leicester, Birmingham City and Bolton fans recall goal after goal, anecdote after anecdote. Sunderland and Southampton fans remember his successful stints whilst Huddersfield fans all remember knowing that the precocious kid was indeed going to be a star.

It is invidious to quote just a few of the many tributes but I especially liked these. All are quoted with permission:
“I attended a charity dinner in Northern Ireland when Frank was guest speaker. He told about playing against Tommy Smith (Liverpool) when he beat Tommy on the outside, beat him in on the inside, did a drag back, then nutmegged him and crossed the ball to his teammate who scored!!!!Tommy chased Frank back to the halfway line for the centre, roaring his head off shouting to Frank, “If you try that again I’ll break you in pieces and stamp on whatever’s left over. You’re not going to leave this place alive!!!”
Frank shouted to the ref, “Ref, ref, did you hear that??” The ref said, “I think Tommy was talking to you Frank!”
Ian Getty, Ballymena Utd fan and a real fan of all football nostalgia!

“About 5 or 6 years ago I was sat in a pub in Meriden and sitting a table away from me was Frank Worthington. I said to my wife, “He scored one of the best goals I’ve ever seen.” So my wife said, ” Go and tell him.” So I did. Immediately Frank jumped and said, “Shall I talk you through it?” And he then demonstrated what he did in the middle of the bar using me as the defender. We had a 10 minute chat about old footy and he was so eager to talk .When he asked me who I supported and I said Coventry , he said “You lot always gave me some stick but so did everyone else but I loved it.” Only a few weeks later his daughter announced he was was suffering with Alzheimers but you would never have known . Of course Frank denied it …
Claudio Cardellino, Coventry City and football fanatic.

If anybody else has tributes that they would like added, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Frank Worthington, The Great Entertainer, R.I.P



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