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 ) 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.





The Design Museum

Fans St. Pauli, Regenbogen Fahne Hamburg, 29.04.2016, Fussball, 2. Bundesliga, FC St. Pauli – TSV 1860 Muenchen 0:2

Football: Designing the Beautiful Game
8 April – 29 August 2022 at the Design Museum, London

Designing Football


In the build-up to the 2022 World Cup, the Design Museum presents the first
major exhibition on the design of the world’s most popular sport, football.
Paying homage to a game with unparalleled cultural significance, the exhibition
will reveal how human creativity has pushed the game to its technical and
emotional limits.

Over 500 historical objects which tell the stories of everything from club
legacies and team badges to the world’s most significant stadiums and
innovative kit used to perfect performance.

The exhibition includes objects from game legends such as Edson Arantes do
Nascimento (Pelé), Lionel Messi, Zinedine Zidane, Diego Maradona, Roberto
Baggio, George Best, Michelle Akers, Xavier (Xavi) Hernández Creus, Pernille
Harder and Geoff Hurst.

Kicking off on Friday 8 April 2022, the Design Museum’s exhibition Football:
Designing the Beautiful Game will showcase the ways in which design has
shaped the world’s most popular sport. Take a journey through more than
500 objects, films and interviews in sporting performance, kit development,
stadium design and more. Become immersed in defining moments from
football history, with star objects telling the stories of club legacies and game
legends including Pelé, Lionel Messi, George Best and Diego Maradona and

Featuring the master-planning of the world’s most significant football
stadiums to the innovative materials used in today’s boots, the graphic
design of team badges and the grassroots initiatives pushing back against the
sport’s commercialisation, the exhibition offers an insight into the people and
processes that have made football what it is today.

Created in collaboration with the National Football Museum in Manchester,
this exhibition opens in the build-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The
exhibition is divided into five sections: Performance, Identity, Crowds,
Spectacle and Play. An immersive set design will draw out well-known
elements of stadium architecture from the player’s tunnel to the stands.
The journey begins by looking at performance through the lens of the design
and the production of football equipment over its 150-year history, including
efforts to devise new tools to allow teams to play longer, faster, and more
consistently. See how lightweight boots and aerodynamic balls have evolved
and the industry has developed shock-absorbent pitches and restorative
exercise routines. Packed with major objects such as the two footballs used in
the inaugural 1930 World Cup final and match-worn boots from George Best
and Lionel Messi, visitors will be given an insight into how design has helped
perfect the sport.

From street-corners to world-class stadia, football’s cultural significance is
unparalleled, creating meaningful communities, and uniting people across the
globe. In the section on identity, play back precious moments and connect
with football culture through fan-led memorabilia such as kits, posters,
programmes and more. As well as examining rare designs worn by legendary
players such as Pelé, Zinedine Zidane, and Diego Maradona, this section also
touches on the Hillsborough Disaster, including a Memorial Banner, designed
by survivor Peter Carney from 1989.

Relive the sensation of being part of a match day crowd through an
immersive stadium reconstruction in the Crowds section. Stadiums have a
detailed design process that considers sound, sightlines, and movement to
maximise the fan experience. Be guided through some of the most complex
stadiums from around the world, including landmark venues such as
Wembley, Stamford Bridge and San Siro, alongside future-facing projects from
leading industry figures like Herzog & de Meuron, Populous and Zaha Hadid

In a year that also celebrates 150 years of The Football Association in the UK,
explore how tournaments and the media have transformed the game into the
world’s most popular spectator sport. See how the establishment of official
tournaments, television viewership and social media has allowed fans to
connect to the sport and turned football into a multi-billion pound industry.
Examine the oldest surviving FA Cup and a set of World Cup posters, while
archived radio clips transport you through sporting history.

The show ends by returning to what football is at its core: a chance to play.
Celebrating the freedom, creativity and imagination the game inspires, this final
section explores the different ways people engage with football beyond the pitch,
from collecting to gaming, fan ownership to community activism. Discover early
examples of tabletop games such as Blow Football and Subboteo, and video
games including the FIFA series, Football Manager and Sensible Soccer.
Throughout, hear a specially commissioned soundtrack by Coda to Coda, recording the
voices of fans and players from the highest tiers of professional football through to
grassroots level.

Eleanor Watson, Curator said:

“Football is a hugely significant industry across the world and it employs a vast
network of highly specialised professionals, with designers and architects
playing an important role in shaping the development of the sport for over 150
years. Football: Designing the Beautiful Game shines a spotlight on the role
that designers, architects and fans have played in the history of football, from
performances on the pitch to the atmosphere in the stands. It is the design
story behind the world’s most popular sport”

Families are invited to take part in a bespoke trail produced by Lima Studio, which
uses multi-sensory experiences to animate the exhibition’s content for children of
all ages. Design your own kit, build your own football stadium and more.
Football: Designing the Beautiful Game aims to promote plurality, diversity and
inclusion throughout. Everyday heroes of the sport will be celebrated, and visitors
will be encouraged to share their own views and visions for the future of football.
Football: Designing the Beautiful Game opens on Friday 8 April 2021
at the Design Museum. Tickets for the exhibition are available to book now


Fulham 2021/2022

Fulham FC are back in the Premier League and to celebrate have a great sale on all the shirts from the Championship season 2021/2022. These are brand new shirts, brand new with tags in bags and start at just £10!! Rush to their official online shop to grab a bargain.


QPR Convivia

Convivia 2022/2023

Queens Park Rangers Football Club is delighted to announce Convivia as our new shirt sponsor.

Convivia is our sole Principal Partner and this three-year deal will see their brand displayed on the front property of QPR’s home and away strips.

Founded by lifelong QPR fan and season ticket holder Roy Ledgister, Convivia is an innovative property and tech investment firm that is committed to transforming the lives of low-income tenants through luxury accommodation.

QPR’s 2022/23 kits, proudly sporting the Convivia brand, will be unveiled on Friday 8th July.

Euan Inglis, QPR’s commercial director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to enter into this agreement with Convivia, which will see the Convivia brand name feature across our front of shirt property.

“Roy is a lifelong supporter so I know seeing his company name across the front of QPR’s shirts will be a very proud moment for him and his family.

“Roy is a hugely inspirational individual. Not only will the club benefit through the partnership with Convivia and Roy, but we are already discussing how QPR in the Community Trust can tap into Roy’s leadership and motivational skills, and the work he does in inspiring youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds to be the best that they can be.

“The partnership really is an all-encompassing one and one that we are hugely excited about.”

Ledgister, who grew up in Shepherd’s Bush and attended Cardinal Vaughan School, has spent, and dedicated a vast amount of his life to the area. His decision to sponsor the club is driven by his passion for the R’s and QPR Trust, as well as his commitment to giving back to, and supporting, the community in which he grew up.

Ledgister said: “As a lifelong QPR fan, signing this new sponsorship deal is a genuine honour. Aside from my passion for the club, I have strong connections to the local area and as a brand, we are fully committed to supporting the community and encouraging individual progression and development, regardless of background or income.

“The team and I look forward to working with QPR over this next three-year term and being part of the club and its supporter network.”

Focused on driving social mobility, Convivia has a clear vision to establish the gold standard of luxury affordable housing through a unique procurement model and proven design methodology.

Already working closely with Local Authorities and established Housing Associations across the country, the brand is committed to ensuring its Homes become synonymous with positive change.

In July 2021, Convivia secured an equity investment deal worth hundreds of millions and has since acquired five buildings with each positioned in strategic locations across the UK.

The next Convivia building will open its doors in autumn 2022, offering tenants luxury affordable housing, underpinned by cutting-edge technology, unique sustainable features, and revolutionary communal facilities.

About Convivia

Influenced from the Latin ‘Convivio’ with origins in “community / coming together”, Convivia is a fast-moving real estate and Proptech business on a mission to establish the gold standard of luxury affordable housing through its unique procurement model and proven design methodology.

Mobilised by CEO, Roy Ledgister, Convivia secured an equity investment deal in July 2021 worth hundreds of millions and has since acquired five buildings with each positioned in strategic locations across the UK.

The Convivia Group is an active trading company registered in the UK with its entities backed by private equity. Headquartered in the Southeast, the next Convivia building will open its doors in autumn 2022.

For more information, visit:


Pitch Publishing

It is always a pleasure to receive a newsletter from my friends at Pitch Publishing and today’s mail was especially interesting. There were two books that particularly caught my eye and that I thought needed highlighting.

The Beautiful Game and The Ugly Truth is an emotive examination of football and its ties to dementia. Evidence of its impact is continuing to pile up, from Jeff Astle’s death in 2002 being ruled as a result of heading footballs to Sir Bobby Charlton becoming the fifth member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning side to be diagnosed with the disease.

The author is Kieran Gill and because he normally writes for the Daily Mail I don’t normally read his work. I will make an exception for this book. He joined the Mail in 2014, initially through their trainee scheme, and has contributed extensively to their award-nominated Enough is Enough campaign concerning dementia in football. Kieran hails from the north east of England but now lives in the south east. This is his debut book, covering a topic close to his heart.

The second book that caught my eye was When Asia Welcomed The World. This is the story of the 2002 World Cup, a tournament that saw heart-warming stories and controversy intertwined. In my opinion it is still one of the most interesting/dramatic World Cups ever. The book resurrects the great characters who lit up 2002’s biggest footballing stage – Ronaldo, Oliver Kahn, David Beckham and Rüştü Reçber among them – and examines the tournament’s controversies and giant-killing upsets.

The author is Danny Lewis who is a freelance sports journalist and author of The Boleyn’s Farewell: West Ham United’s Upton Park Swansong. He also contributed to the widely acclaimed compendium Iberia Chronicles. After earning an undergraduate degree in Multimedia Journalism at Bournemouth University, he has written for The Athletic, ESPN, Copa90, The FA and Planet Football among other publications.

To read a sample chapeter or see Pitch Publishing’s entire catalogue visit



2022-2023 New Shirts

Yes, it is that time of the year again when clubs large and small start launching their shirts for next season. This year is no different from any other and I am pleased to showcase some of early “arrivals.” Over the next few weeks I will feature many of the more interesting shirts from around the world. Enjoy!

Fraser Forster – Spurs
Spurs 2022 -2023
Manchester United

Unsurprisingly, Manchester United were hot off the mark. You have a chance to win a shirt here


Real Madrid and Adidas had a very grand launch. An impressive shirt and pretty much what one would have expected from them both. These and all the other kits are available at the official Real Madrid website.


Everton Shirt Auction

Everton Shirts

I have been a supporter/sponsor to One Love in Southend for a couple of years since a friend volunteered there. I was, therefore delighted to see them getting involved with football shirts. To be more accurate a fellow supporter, Lee Neagen, has managed to get a James Rodriguez shirt and is kindly auctioning it.

I will let Lee explain: “To all my Everton friends (well, I only actually have 2 🤪) and anyone else that might me interested,

We have now received the 3 signed Everton shirts that was very kindly donated by Peter Kenton‘s son who works at Everton football club. The auction for these shirts have already started and here’s what we’ve got for them so far:
Jordon Pickford signed shirt is currently at £105
James Rodriguez signed away shirt is currently at £100
Seamus Coleman shirt is currently at £225!

Seamus was asked to sign the shirt and then asked what it was for. When he found out, he took the shirt to all the squad and got them all to sign, so a pretty special shirt this one. Let me know if you want to make a higher bid for any of the shirts. The auction ends at our charity quiz night on the 20th May, where we are raising as much as we can for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Children’s Charity and for the One Love Soup Kitchen City of Southend

Everton Away

Details of the night:


Ready to show off your general knowledge expertises, have lots of fun and raise money at the same time?If the answer is YES, please purchase your tickets for you and your team mates via the link below 👇🏼 Please select ‘Quiz Night’ so we can put your name down on the ticket list!



Thomas Frank and Robert Rowan

Brentford fans attending Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub on Saturday to have their heart screened received a surprise visit from Thomas Frank and Christian Eriksen. Fans, staff and volunteers received a boost as Thomas and Christian attended to meet those involved and learn about the initiative taking place in west London.

The heart screenings, organised by the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) in association with the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, took place in memory of the Club’s former Technical Director Robert Rowan. Around 200 fans and members of staff from Brentford FC were screened across the weekend, financed by Robert’s memorial fund.

A range of fundraising activity has been taking place in recent years for the fund including the charity challenge A-K-A-DAY which is designed to encourage and support health and wellbeing. It aims to inspire people of all ages and abilities to get out and move for at least 1km each day throughout the month of May.

Club staff have also been involved with Head of Medical, Neil Greig and James Purdue, Head of B Team Athletic Performance, running marathons last year with the Brentford Lifeline Society also contributing. 

Speaking on Saturday, Suzanne Rowan explained her involvement with CRY, “We discovered CRY after Robert passed away in November 2018. We got in touch with them, explained what happened to Robert and did a bit of research to find out more about them. It was perfect support for us. Brentford FC got involved and we’ve been supporting them ever since. 

“They do a lot of good work. They screen young people between 14 and 35. A lot of the money they raise goes towards screenings, research and they also support families as well so they do a lot of important work.”

Thomas Frank, a close friend of Robert’s, hoped that the sessions could help to save lives. “I think it is a very good way of remembering a very good friend of mine. And it’s such an important thing – hopefully these testing days ran by CRY will maybe save one or two lives.”

Christian Eriksen offered his encouragement and stressed the importance of these check-ups and tests. “I think it’s very healthy thing to do. And obviously it’s something that even in my case, something happened like you wouldn’t know was going to happen. So, to get that cleared out the way from a doctor’s perspective is only a positive. To do a test for a few minutes and get everything sorted out and be safe for your family and for everyone else then it is a very positive thing. It’s not only for you, it is for everyone around you.”


  • Robert died suddenly in November 2018 after suffering a fatal cardiomyopathy episode. He is still fondly remembered by all at Brentford FC and the Club has been raising money for CRY at a variety of events over the past three years.
  • Robert had been with Brentford since late 2014 and was appointed as the Club’s Head of Football Operations in the summer of 2015. As well as managing the day-to-day football operations at Brentford’s Jersey Road Training Ground, Robert oversaw the strategic direction of Brentford B – the Club’s elite squad of players aged 17 to 21, before taking on the role of Technical Director.
  • CRY aim to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research, and supporting affected families.
  • Every week in the UK at least 12 young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions. In 80% of cases of young sudden cardiac death there are no prior symptoms of a heart defect.
  • Suzanne will be organising additional screenings in conjunction with CRY north of the border in Kirkcaldy, Fife 9-10July and in Dundee 24-25September.

Brentford Heart Screening


Thomas Frank and Robert Rowan
  • Fans aged 14-35 can register for a heart screening backed by funds raised in memory of Robert Rowan

A weekend of heart screenings has been organised for young Brentford fans in memory of the Club’s former Technical Director Robert Rowan. Brentford fans aged between 14 and 35 years old have the opportunity to book one of 200 places available at the cardiac screening sessions which will take place at Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub on Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May.

The sessions will be carried out by the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) in association with the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. CRY aim to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research, and supporting affected families.

Every week in the UK at least 12 young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions. In 80% of cases of young sudden cardiac death there are no prior symptoms of a heart defect.

Robert’s memorial fund was set up following his sudden passing at the age of 28 on Monday, 12 November 2018. The fund has been supported by a host of fundraising activities including the efforts of the Club’s Head of Medical, Neil Greig and James Purdue, Head of B Team Athletic Performance who ran the Manchester and London marathons respectively last year, raising over £30,000 from donations from Brentford fans, staff and players.

The Brentford Lifeline Society have also provided financial support for this initiative. It follows the Society’s recent purchase of two defibrillators and a LUCAS machine which affords uninterrupted automatic chest compressions during CPR. These items are already available for use at both the Brentford Community Stadium on matchdays and the Club’s training ground.  

Eligible fans have been emailed with instructions on how to register ahead of the 12pm deadline on Tuesday 19 April.

Robert’s wife, Suzanne Rowan, has organised the screenings and remains a close friend of the Club. Suzanne said: “The work CRY do is so important in raising awareness of sudden cardiac deaths and supporting those affected. We are so thankful to everyone who has donated to Robert’s fund which has helped to support CRY’s heart screening events.

“Screenings can dramatically reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac deaths. I encourage eligible Brentford fans to book in for one of the sessions available if they can.

“If we can make the difference to just one family, the fundraising efforts will be all worthwhile.”

Jon Varney, Chief Executive of Brentford FC said: “Robert’s memory lives on at Brentford. He made a huge personal and professional contribution to the Club and to our colleagues. Now, his contribution, and the contributions from all those who have donated, will be felt across the Brentford community.”

Note: I know this is not a typical “The Shirt” post but as as somebody who has just come out of hospital after a cardiac arrest, it is a subject close to me. I commend this initiative.


Football Stadium Photography

It was a pleasure to meet David Shields at the Ideal Home Exhibition in London recently. He had an excellent range of his photography on display and was, deservedly, very busy.

David says, “Since 2005 I have been photographing stadiums, I have captured over 102 including all league 92 plus a number of non-league and European.

The first game I went to was back in 1979, I do not remember much about the match itself but I do remember pushing my way through the turnstiles, standing on the concrete terrace and watching the snow fall silhouetted against the floodlights, my love of stadiums began that night. I still get taken back there when i visit a stadium now,  I hope the prints in this collection will help do this for you.New prints, panoramics and special montages will be added to the collection each week, If your club does not feature then please contact me.”

Here is an example, my very own Theatre of Farce AKA Priestfield but to see his complete catalogue go to

Gillingham – Priestfield Stadium

1889 Books

1889 Books

1889 Books is a labour of love. A love of books, a love of football and a love of
the underdog – preferably all rolled into one.

I believe in fair shares for fair effort. Publishers who only give authors the standard 10% return on their effort are the equivalent of sweat shop owners – the big publishers are battling to preserve an outdated, bloated model where wealth is preserved in a few hands. Independent publishing does not have to go hand in hand with reduced quality, as they’d have you believe.

Football themed books are just a part of what I do. I reckon to know a thing or two about football novelshaving read and reviewed over 60 of them here at SteveK1889

I was once told by a literary agent that a novel based around football isn’t marketable
because football fans won’t read fiction; they lap up biographies and autobiographies (almost entirely ghost-written, and works of fiction in themselves?) but not novels. There is a myth that football novels can only be like Roy of the Rovers – i.e. not worth reading unless you’re a nut. But the best football fiction only uses football as a backdrop to life. After all, no one says I don’t live in the countryside so I won’t read Tess of the D’urbervilles because it is a “farming novel,” or I don’t like the Police so I am not reading Ian Rankin!

Here are some of my titles:

The Lives Of Stanley B

Mat is an established writer on the game and this is his first novel (there is another in the pipeline).

TheLives of Stanley B is as good a football novel as you’ll read anywhere. It proves the point, I believe, that you don’t have to be a football fan to appreciate fiction like this. The story threads of four main characters are deftly woven together, and it is a boat – the Stanley B – itself a survivor, at the centre. All the characters share a love of the game and its power as a diversion from the harsher realities of life. Forget Fever Pitch, The Lives of Stanley B gets to the heart of why football matters – written by an author who actually understands the game.

Mat’s other books are:  Barcelona to Buckie Thistle, Minnows United: Adventures at the Fringes of the Beautiful Game, and Another Bloody Saturday. 

I have also been proud to work with another established football writer, Gary Thacker, on his two football novels, The Games People Play and A Whole New Ball Game. These novels follow an English coach in the lower leagues of Spanish football and his relationships, his successes and defeats both on and off the pitch. It is great escapist fiction, perhaps for your summer holidays by the pool.

Gary’s other books are: I Don’t Even Smoke! – A brief history of life, love and football through blue-tinted glasses. Oh yes, and a cigar.

Cheers, Tears & Jeers – A History of England and the World Cup, and

Beautiful Bridesmaids Dressed in Oranje: The Unfulfilled glory of Dutch Football

I published But He Got the Ball Ref because I was looking for a book on the Laws of the Game for my son and couldn’t find one. There didn’t seem to be a book to explain the laws in an easy way for people to understand. It was also born out of a frustration with fellow fans (and pundits) not understanding things like what constitutes a red card “That wasn’t a red card for me, Jeff. He clearly goes for the ball.” So many people think they know what the laws say, but as soon as they open their mouths to shout abuse their ignorance is apparent. With lots of illustrations to make it simple for even the thickest of ex-footballers parading similar ignorance on prime-time TV, it is full of my little prejudices – and I hope it amuses.

Historical Football Stories is a collection of the oldest football fiction in the world, plus a couple of new stories inspired by the originals. The original stories were published in 1905 – some are great little stories, others are fascinating for the insights they provide into the early game. They include an early PG Wodehouse story.   

The Evergreen in red and white is where it started for me. It tells the fictionalised story of a Sheffield United legend who was part of the team who were the best in the country in 1897/98. The first professional Romani footballer, who went on to play for Liverpool and Preston. I spent the best part of 2000 hours researching and writing it, and when I struggled to find a publisher to have faith in me, I decided to go it alone. It was long-listed for the Historical Novel Society Indie award in 2015. It is only a football novel in so a far as the main character is a footballer, but it is about so much more. 

Sharpe as a Blade is a book like no other. It is an honest, first-hand warts-and-all memoir of a working class journey from the backstreet terraces of the 50s to the football terraces of the 60s and 70s. It’s all here: the swinging sixties, the birth of the British beat boom that conquered the world, the heady days of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, through to the 70s where rock stars sparkled, new wave garage bands preached anarchy, and football violence escalated out of control. There is no sugar-coating in the story of this ex-terrace legend. Most publishers would not dare.

Sharpe As A Blade

All books are avaialble at