Arjan Wijngaard

What a Collection! Courtesy of Arjan Wijngaard

I was absolutely delighted to “meet” Arjan Wijngaard on a Facebook group this week. Over the past 25 years he has built an incredible collection of almost 3000 shirts and he kindly agreed to do a Q&A for TheShirt2010.co.uk

If you can help him in any way, please do make contact with him direct via his website www.voetbalshirts.org

1. When did you start collecting shirts?

I started collecting in 1997

2. So, twenty five years ago. What was your first shirt? Can you remember?

My first shirt was an Everton one; it was given to me by some Everton fans I met on holiday in Spain

3. Why? Are the Toffees your favourite team?

Yes, Everton is my favorite English team. I try to visit Liverpool/Goodison at least once a year and have 86 shirts from them. Other favorite teams are my local team, FC Groningen and Feyenoord. From FC Groningen I have the most shirts in my collection, 168

4. Where do you source most of these shirts? A minimum of 300 euros per team per season now is a lot!

I don’t buy shirts at the moment they are launched. For me it is not important from which season the shirt is. Prefer to collect one home and one away shirt from as many  teams as possible with a special interest in non-league. Shirts from older seasons are a lot cheaper and from clubs from lower leagues I get some help, so the shirts are sometimes cheaper.

5. Has Brexit harmed your searches?

Unfortunately yes. It’s now more difficult to ship the shirts from UK to the Netherlands because of customs regulations. It’s also more expensive

6. Have you heard of similar big collections?
Most other collectors I know are collecting shirts from one team, and they have less. Besides these, I know a few people who have simIlar collections.

7. Do you have any advice for new collectors?

Think of what you want to collect and think of a budget for one shirt and eg a monthly budget

8. Is there any shirt you would murder for?

I’m still looking for a matchworn Cup Final shirt from FC Groningen from 2015. The only trophy my team has ever won!

9. Any club /fan you would particularly like to thank?

There is not one. I’d like to thank specially the volunteers from non-league clubs who where very helpful to add a shirt from their club to my collection. I think there are several shirts in my collection where it is the only one in the Netherlands. If someone is reading this and their club is not in my collection yet (you can check the shirts I have on www.voetbalshirts.org) and they want to help to get/donate a shirt from their team in my collection, please contact me. You will also find me on Instagram Facebook and Twitter

10. Do you have a “goal?” At x, 000 shirts l will say “stop” or do you intend to continue as long as you enjoy your fascinating hobby?

I intend to continue as long as I like it. It’s not only having the shirt, but also searching for it, going to visit games and stadiums, contact with other collectors and talking about shirts and football in general. In time I will have lack of space, but I will think of a solution when that moment comes!

Arjan, thanks so much for the insight into your collection. As I said, I look forward to grabbing a coffee with you the next time I am next in the Netherlands.

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