I read an article about Kate Moss the other day. Okay, I had a quick look at the photographs as well.
The prose featured a long list of the fashion designers she had posed as a model for, including Jean-Paul McVeigh. I’m sure they got the spelling wrong in the newspaper.
Now I am to fashion what the Venus de Milo is to sleeves. I take the Clarkson approach – Nikes, classy jeans, metal band T-shirt in the summer and Berghaus or Harris Tweed jacket in the winter depending on circumstances. Boring maybe, but full of integrity. The office look was permanently – and literally – consigned to the bin when I retired and, I’m sorry hipsters, your look ain’t for me.
But the piece about the lovely Kate got me thinking about my NCFC “fashion” backstory. Basically, the club employs outsiders to design it, and you buy it or you don’t. I often did.
The first purchase I remember making I will always associate with Robert Fleck, who scored so many goals while wearing it. You remember the yellow home Asics top with the green stripes falling off the shoulder? I loved it so much I bought the white away version as well. And the black tracksuit with the satiny flashes. I actually wore that for proper training when playing myself.
There was then a fallow period until you-know-what. More polite writers than me would refer to it as “egg ‘n’ cress” but it will always be “birdsh*t” to me. But how many of us couldn’t wait for the team to turn out in it?
I so regret I eBayed it to a newsagent in Costessey at the turn of the century. I’d love it back now.
The 1902-2002 anniversary shirt was a bit different, of course. Halved in light grey (when it should have been white) and Man City blue, season ticket holders were invited to pay a couple of quid extra and have our names printed on it in miniature. Me and my friend Keith both took up the option.
Our shirt sponsors at the time were the Digital Phone Company (no, I don’t know what happened to them either).
Penney, M appears two centimetres below the bright red DPC letter P in all its glory. Under the C, you can see g,K (which should have read King, K. Several other folks’ names were obliterated altogether by the logo. What a monumental marketing cock-up).
There then followed the Worthy-era Proton home shirt – which I hated – and the green and black Lotus away one, which I loved. When I moved a couple of years ago I gave them both away to what some people might refer to as “occasional fans” but exceptionally nice people in Coltishall. I’ve given several NCFC shirts away over the years – you can only wear one at a time.
Obviously I’ve bought and retained many of our recent shirt issues – all of which I love apart from the one with the green ingress to accommodate the blue Aviva logo.
But there was a happy interlude within this tale for me. Almost immediately after we’d seen off Chelsea in the “Youth Cup Final” some kind individual at the club decided to donate the entire squad’s fully-laundered training kit to a charity shop in NR3.
Mrs P and I happened to know the then manageress quite well. She telephoned to tell her: “It’s all outside, priced up in baskets. Get him up here now if he wants to fill his boots.”
We had no idea what she was on about to begin with, but I eventually got the gist.
I ended up with Ricky Martin’s zip-up Errea pitchside jacket, James Vaughan’s training top and a second one with “AC” on it. It might have been Alice Cooper’s, but I doubt it.
A complete top and bottom with Mrs P’s initials (SR) on. A few other tops for me. And… Darren Huckerby’s black training shorts. All have a good laugh at me by all means, and no erotic references please, but wouldn’t you have bought them for £3? They’re fantastic for walking the dogs on Trimingham beach in the summer – some locals even remember who the original possessor was!
The story of how I acquired Bryan Gunn’s multi-layered, ridiculously flamboyant tailored shirt I will leave for another occasion.
Unless I can persuade Kate Moss to tell you in the meantime…