Pretty Poly

Pretty Poly: The History of the Football Shirt

Our friends at Stanchion Weekly sent me this very interesting release this week. I copy it in its entirety

“Pretty Poly tells the fascinating story of the football shirt, charting its dramatic evolution over a 150-year period, from modest beginnings to a product at the centre of a billion-dollar industry. An emblem of everything it means to be a fan, the football shirt evokes memories of triumph and disaster and acts as a symbol of belonging to a chosen footballing tribe. Packed with facts, figures and anecdotes, Pretty Poly explores the history embedded in every feature of modern-day strips.

It covers their ever-changing shape, the emergence of dedicated club and national colours and the often surprising reasons behind them. It also looks at the companies and designers behind some of our favourite strips, and explores the birth and exponential growth of the replica-kit industry. Along the way, we learn the histories of the iconic sponsors, names, numbers, patches and badges, and meet the kit collectors with a burning lifelong passion as we delve into the burgeoning vintage kit market that feeds their interest.

The author:

Alex Ireland is a university academic, football writer and kit collector. He has written about football kits and football history for a number of publications including World Soccer, Halb Vier and United We Stand. Alex supports his local side, Manchester United, and collects 1990s long-sleeve club football shirts.

Ric Pennington (aka. Pennodraws) is a graphic designer/digital illustrator based in Stockport. He has worked with his beloved Stockport County and Venezia FC in the past and has had his artwork featured in magazines, books, match day programmes and gin bottles. You can find out more information and a selection of his artwork at

The book can, of course be bought from Stanchion Books


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