Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Match Fit (featuring one the few decent songs about football)

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


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Furtheron said...

George Best - what a player. What a sad case of a man though sadly.

I watched a great programme with his son talking about what a nightmare of a father he was. It was very touching and sad at the same time.

However let us remember the man though as a great great footballer.

John Medd said...

We met Bestie in '96. He was doing one of those after dinner speech thingies. We got their early and he was in the bar (as per) having a drink. He was great company and, here's the thing, very small: it's amazing Tommy Smith or Chopper Harris didn't have him for breakfast. He signed a couple of books for me that I'd had since I was a kid. Top man.

Mondo said...

There was a fantastic Nationwide or similar documentary about George Best made in the early 70s when he was still lodging with some ol' dear but attending openings of boutiques, nightclubs and pouring champagne fountains.

His first wife Angie is a Southender and mates with one of Mrs M's older cousins (married to the owner of legendary local nightclub TOTS at the time) she used to have hook ups with them when Angie (and George) came back to visit friends and family.

I've just remembered I saw him doing a signing at Waterstones in Leadenhall St not long before he died - tiny, but bright yellow poor sod.

drew said...

It was always a NY Cosmos strip that I wanted.

Don't have a story about George Best. But when I was working as a joiner in my late teens, we used to knock off early on a Friday and go to the pub.

One Friday my tradesmen said, it's sad isn't it. I asked what was, and he pointed over to the corner where a jakie was sitting slumped in the corner, steaming.

I was informed that it was Jim Baxter and I couldn't believe the state of such a legend.

You may remember slim Jim, he was the joker who played keepie uppie at Wembley in 1967 when we thrashed the world champions 3 - 2

Mondo said...

Don't remember slim Jim - I'll check him on Youtube, another tragedy.

Always Loved the Cosmos tops (and Tampa Bay Rowdies). I picked one of these up on Ebay as reasonably priced alternative last summer, worth a pop.

Rob The Builder. said...

Does the fact I immediately recognised Coventry's firebrand striker Ian Wallace suggest I was similarly obsessed by the game at that time ?

Mondo said...

Is that who he is - I thought it was this bloke from the Average White Band.

PS - don't forget to chip in with Football Shirts You Have Worn here..

Piley said...

My first England Strip was in 1980, the really striking one with the strips going across the top, man I loved that kit. When I think of it, I always see Kevin Keegan in it.


Mondo said...

Almost all of the Admiral's kits were classics weren't they P - but like Golden Wonder crisps, Corona drinks and Fleetway style comics - don't know why they died out when the 80s arrived. Have a peep here for a related gallery of goodies