Match worn shirts
For some supporters owning a replica of your favourite team’s latest shirt or retro jersey isn’t enough - they have to own a piece of history by investing in a match worn jersey and holding in their hands an actual item of clothing once worn by one of their heroes in a game - often still imbibed with their blood, sweat and sometimes even tears. Not surprisingly then, match worn shirts are on the fastest growing aspects of football shirt culture with jerseys worn by Manchester United and Liverpool amongst the most sought after.
Just recently ex-Manchester United and England star Nobby Stiles sold his collection of shirts at auction with a United blue away shirt as worn in the 1968 European Cup Final going for £30,500. Alan Ball’s 1966 World Cup Final jersey was sold recently for £51,750 although Geoff Hurst’s shirt from that legendary match surpassed that figure. It was on sale at Harrods earlier in 2010 for an incredible £2.3m!! Hurst sold the shirt back in 2000 for £91,750 - demonstrating the investment potential of such items. Foreign shirts are also big business as demonstrated by the sale of Pele’s 1970 World Cup shirt that was eventually snapped up for £157,150.
But it’s not just vintage shirts that are going for big money. Modern day match worn shirts by the likes of David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard are highly desirable as are jerseys from the recent past as worn by players such as Thierry Henry, Eric Cantona or Jurgen Klinsmann.
Since the dawn of replicas there are many little clues present in match worn shirts that enable individuals to distinguish them from tops bought at JJB. The way the numbers are sewn, the quality of the fabric and especially the label all separate match worn from replica. Unfortunately there are still many unscrupulous dealers about so buyers should be careful when buying shirts that are claimed to be match worn.