A History of the World Cup in 24 Objects: David Goldblatt on an 1872 England shirt

| 08 July 2014

A History of the World Cup in 24 Objects: Writer David Goldblatt on a 142-year-old England shirt

A photo of an extremely old white football shirt with a red and yellow cap next to it
Kirke-Smith England Shirt (November 30 1872)© National Football Museum
“So I think the thing I like about this old football shirt the most is that if you look closely in the centre of the chest you’ll see there’s a whole series of little crotchet air holes.

“It gives the sense of how long football’s been around for: this is so far removed – its materials, its stitching, its design – from a contemporary football shirt made from synthetic material.

“You know, this is knitted cotton with a virtually hand-stitched England badge on it.

“But that’s what I love about it: football’s been around now for over 150 years and while this is completely different from the shirts you see today it’s still fundamentally recognisable as the same thing.”

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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