Click pic for larger picture....
Before my single season (90/91) of enthusing and actively supporting Southend United, there had been an earlier run (1976 - 78) of total football craziness. Although mostly, it was peripheral bits - sticker books, Shoot magazine, facts and fashion - that had me hooked rather than the game itself.
Facts: The bottom-feeding fortunes and shifting positions of underdog clubs, Workington, Grimsby and similar were followed like a weekly soap opera. If asked (not often) I could rattle off the home grounds, away colours and club nicknames of any English league team.
Fashion:76 - 78 were the seasons when Admiral become the Kings of Club Kits. Sweeping aside the regulation ringer shirts, or pre-war style plain tops for futuristic, space-age designs: flared tracksuits, sleeve stripes, inverted chest stripes, multi-coloured collars all snappily badged and branded with the Admiral logo. For me the absolute cracker in the catalogue was the sky blue Coventry tram line design (or egg timer as some call it). Genius! Available in four colour variations - blue (home) red, yellow (away)and the legendary brown outfit (2nd away).
It's no understatement to say I was entirely obsessed by the Coventry kit (sky blue variant) and other tramline variations - Wales, Dundee, Saudi Arabia. As 'soccer' began to break in the States Admiral's magic could be spotted dressing dynamically named US clubs: San Francisco Fog, Detroit Express, Philadelphia Fury L.A. Aztecs (I found an Aztecs shirt in charity shop in '91, but binned it eventually. Worth a fortune now)
Footballing ledge George Best spent two years with the Aztecs, and provides the source material for today's musical motif.
Don Fardon - Belfast Boy