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British Club Tops

Marvin Johnson – 15/16

The man who made Fir Park twist and shout, Marvin arrived in Motherwell in February of the 14/15 season from Conference League team Kidderminster Harriers FC. He would play over 50 games where he would be deployed in every position down that left hand side from left forward to left back. Only scoring six goals during his time at Fir Park although one of these will go down in the history of Motherwell Football Club.

At the end of the 14/15 season, Ian Baraclough poorly guided Motherwell to 11th in the league after Stuart McCall left to join a confident Rangers side who they would meet in the playoffs and were hungry to get back to the top. A 3-1 victory for the Well’ away from home was a massive help for their stay in the league and gave them hope for the second leg.

It was during this second leg where Johnson would cement his legacy in claret and amber. In the 52nd minute, Johnson would cut in from the left and try a shot from a fair distance out and a deflection off one of the Rangers defenders saw the ball fly up and dip over Cammy Bell after comically trying to punch the ball away. After that goal went in, Motherwell ran riot and finished the game 3-0.

The season after, where this top is from, was better for Motherwell as they finished a much more respectable 5th place in the league with Johnson leaving for Oxford Utd for an undisclosed fee which was good business for the Well’ as they were able to get a sell on percentage as he moved to Championship side Middlesbrough. Johnson now plays for English side Sheffield Wednesday after being released by Middlesbrough.

I thought of showing this top now as it is going back to the pinstripe but a proper claret and amber one and not a black and amber like this seasons which has mixed reviews. I think the problem with this seasons away top is so mixed as this top is still in recent memory and it is such a nice top that shows the clubs true colours.

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British Club Tops

Nottingham Forest – 02/03

The 02/03 season saw Scottish attacking midfielder Eoin Jess arrive at Nottingham Forest who would finish 6th in his first season, just inside the play-off spots, however they were defeated in the first round by Sheffield Utd. The 18 time capped Scot would go on to play 86 times for Forest over a 3 season spell which saw promotion hopes turn into league relegation.

Starting his career in Aberdeen, he would play over 200 games for the don’s before making his first move down to the Premier League with Coventry City where he would play along side fellow Scots Gary McAllister and Gordon Strachan as they finished just above the drop zone in 17th place. After that one season in England, Jess would return north to Aberdeen where he would bring his total appearances with the club to over 300, ranking himself 11th in the Aberdeen all time appearance rankings.

A season loan and then a permanent move to Bradford City followed before he reached Nottingham Forest. Arriving as promotion hopefuls, it was not long before they were relegated down to the third tier of English football. They would stay in league one until they were promoted back to the championship in 07/08 where they most recently finished in a respectable 9th.

Nottingham Forest had began using Umbro kits in 1986 with them using their famous red as the main home colour but the away and third kits would catch the eye during the Umbro tenure as they would go through yellow, blue, white and green kits with some being more bizarre than the next. Forest would finish with Umbro and go back to Adidas before moving to current kit makers Macron.

This kit also features the sponsor of ‘Pinnacle Insurance’ who sponsored the top for five seasons between 98/99 to 02/03.

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British Club Tops

Motherwell 21/22 – Home and Away

We are taking a closer look at both of Motherwell’s home and away jerseys for the upcoming 21/22 season now that I have them in my possession.

First up we have the home top and it is very much what you expect from a Motherwell home top.

The obvious colours of claret and amber are used with amber being used as the main body with claret being used as a hoop around the body with a white border surrounding.

The collar matches the pattern of the cuffs with both being white with a claret and amber stripe in the middle.

A nice hidden feature of this top is lyrics being featured above the tag an the inside of the collar reading “Claret and Amber Colours True” as the well will always be far ahead of green and blue.

The one criticism I do have with the top is only with the hoop as it does not wrap all the way round the back of the jersey as I do not think it looks fully finished.

The away top has been more controversial amongst fans as it is not a typical Motherwell away kit, with some comparing it to a Livingston kit.

I actually like the kit and it’s a shame that some don’t as a pinstripe design will always look good if you have the right colours and black and amber do go well together, giving me an industrial vibe which is quite fitting for the steelmen.

Similar to the home top, this also has lyrics along the back of the neck but this time it reads “Since I Was Young, I Followed On”.

Again, I do have one criticism and it is that the pinstripe isn’t continued right down as it breaks for the sponsor but other than that it’s a nice look for the well boys.

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British Club Tops

Aberdeen – 99/00

The 99/00 season was a bit of a mixed one for Aberdeen fans. Finishing bottom of the league is certainly not something to celebrate but reaching two cup finals that season is an unbelievable feat but unfortunately it was the two old firm sides who stole the silverware at both League Cup and Scottish Cup finals.

This jersey comes from Cato Guntveit who started for Aberdeen in the League Cup Final at Hampden Park. The Norwegian was brought off at half time after being 1-0 down to Celtic. During the second half, fellow Norwegian Thomas Solberg was sent off and that was the end for Aberdeen.

Guntveit joined Aberdeen at the start of the 99/00 season having arrived from Brann where he would return in 2002 after 69 appearances The Don’s.

During Aberdeen’s run to the League Cup Final, they eliminated teams such as Livingston, Falkirk, Rangers and Dundee United with the last two being a fairly respectable achievement for Aberdeen.

Only avoiding relegation due to Falkirk’s stadium not being up to SPL standards, meaning they would not play their playoff game against Aberdeen. They also managed to qualify for that seasons UEFA Cup Qualifying due to finishing runners up in the Scottish Cup to league champions Rangers.

Coming from Puma, this kit is a classic late 90’s/early 00’s with the tidy white collar that is complimented by a small V-neck. The thick band of Puma badges running down the arms gives it retro vibes, especially with that CIS Cup Final Badge plastered on top of it. Whoever wanted them to be so large should get a pat on the back because they look fantastic as they match the top very well.

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British Club Tops

Louis Moult

Seeing this Moult having another setback to his career made me want to look back at his time at Motherwell and just remind everyone the damage this guy can do.

Arriving at Motherwell from Wrexham, Moult came with a reputation for goals after bagging 23 goals in 37 games for the red dragons. Bagging 15 league goals in his first season at Fir Park, he would help guide the steelmen to a solid 5th place finish under Mark McGhee. Disappointingly finishing 9th in the league in his second season at Motherwell with McGhee getting sacked not to long into his second tenure at Fir Park. Even though this was a disappointing season, Moult still managed to find the back of the net another 15 times in the league even after playing seven less games.

With the departure of Mark McGhee, former assistant manager Stephen Robinson would take control at the club. Unfortunately we never got to see this combination of Moult playing under Robinson for long as he was always destined to leave for a better club, however we are always left with the fond memories from the start of the 17/18 season.

The road to the league cup final wasn’t easy having topped our group, we narrowly pushed for a result against Ross County in extra time. Easily knocking out Aberdeen 3-0 with a stunning goal from Louis Moult after he flicked the ball up facing away from the goal and making Aberdeen goalie Joe Lewis turn it into his own net. A goal from Hartley and another from Moult would see the well play at Hampden but this time against one of Glasgow’s ugly sisters.

Rangers came up next and I speak for all well fans when I say this is probably one of the best goals I’ve seen in claret and amber. With the first half ending 0-0 someone had to step up in the second and who else but our man Louis. A tidy finish from a scramble in the box followed by an absolute belter of a first time chip over put the nail in the coffin for this once dead club.

Unfortunately the final didn’t go in our favour as we got beat off Celtic but we won’t forget everything you done for the ML1 and thanks for making us believe.

Always believe in your soul
You’ve got the power to know
You’re indestructible
Always believe in…… LOUIS MOULT

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British Club Tops

Motherwell 82/83

We’re keeping the Motherwell tops coming since there was clearly a huge demand after posting my Motherwell kit collection a couple of weeks ago.

So this time we have the first Motherwell top to ever feature a sponsor, Scottish Brewers. This was worn during the 82/83 season where Motherwell finished 8th in the Scottish top flight, missing out on the drop by seven points. This league title was won by a strong Dundee Utd team where there was only one point between United, Celtic and Aberdeen.

During the pre season for this season, Motherwell played Leeds at Fir Park where the away side won a comfortable 4-0. The main thing to take away from this game however is that Motherwell had a guest appearance from former European Footballer of the Year George Best after his contract expired with San Jose Earthquakes

This would be the first kit Patrick would make for the well, with their last coming two seasons later in the 84/85 season before moving to Umbro for a season then Matchwinner. Patrick’s kits had similarities as they bolstered a central badge and the branding coming on the sleeves.

The collar on this top is very 1980’s as it is overly large while using a deep V-neck and using horizontal amber stripes against the claret of the kit. There isn’t too much to say about the kit other than the thick block amber in the middle surrounded by claret with the amber stripe running down the side of the top.

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British Club Tops

Fabrizio Ravanelli

From winning league titles with Juventus and Lazio to being relegated with Middlesbrough and Derby, the career of Fabrizio Ravanelli has had its highs and lows.

Starting his career in Italy, 1986, with Perugia before making moves to Avellino, Casertana and Reggiana. It would be in 1992 where Fabrizio would gain his big money move to Juventus and become a cult hero after scoring in Juventus’ 95/96 Champions League final win, in Rome.

After playing over 100 times for The Old Lady, Ravanelli got a move to England but not for one of the big 6, instead it was a £7million bid from Middlesbrough. Unfortunately Boro were relegated however Ravanelli was one of the leagues top scorers and also took Middlesbrough to both League Cup and FA Cup Finals where they were beaten by Leicester and Chelsea.

A brief stint in France saw the Italian finish second in Ligue 1 with Olympique De Marseille before moving back to Italy and winning another Scudetto with Lazio and adding a Coppa Italia winners medal to his collection. Then moving back to England for a brief time with Derby and another relegation followed.

The strangest move on this list however is when he made a move up north to Scotland to play for Dundee. Only playing a total of 5 games for the Dee, scoring a hat-trick against Clyde in the League Cup. Ravanelli was sacked alongside other top earners after the club were no longer able to pay their wages.

Luckily I’ve managed to get my hands one of those 5 jerseys and what a jersey this is to be honest. I’m all for XARA jerseys and this can get added to that pile. Unfortunately the Magners sponsor patch ruins it which is no fault to XARA as they make up for it by using a neat collar and a sash along the chest to match.

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British Club Tops

My Well Collection

As the new Motherwell top has just recently been released I thought that there was no better reason for me to fork out mine and the old man’s collection of Well’ tops and talk about a few of my personal favourites.

First up we’ve got one of the oldest from the collection with the away top from the 87-89 seasons. Made by Matchwinner, this Well top looks way ahead of its time with the two thick claret and amber stripes along the shoulders. The collar also looks great as it features a mainly claret collar with a smaller amber trim wrapping round the neck. The one thing that does show this jerseys age is the badge on the centre of the chest that has been embroidered onto the top instead of nowadays where it is usually a patch stuck on. What better sponsor to have on the front than Ian Skelly.

Next up we’ve got another away top but this time it’s from the 99/00 season and is made by Xara who now unfortunately don’t produce football kits as they made a few memorable Motherwell kits such as this one. This was the second time ‘The Steelmen’ had ever had a black away kit and definitely one of the first in recent memory not to feature either claret or amber throughout. A black kit with tiny tramlines running up and down the top that included the Xara ‘X’ every so often. Similar thin black lines were used at the edge of the white collar to give the shirt that bit more detail. You also can’t beat an embroidered MFC badge on an away kit.

Taking the third spot on our list is the only home top to feature and it’s Admiral’s first Well top coming in the 91/92 season although the second season it was played in as it is the same top as the famous 90/91 Scottish Cup winners top with the difference being instead of Ian Skelly as the sponsor, it’s phone company Motorola. You can read more on this when I covered the 91′ semi final top not too long ago.

One of my favourite tops that is a bit love or hate for some Motherwell fans but I think it is stunning. The only Hummel top to feature on this list but its a cracker. Being used in the 92/93 and 93/94, Hummel only made the home and away for these seasons before moving on. Keeping the Motorola in black along the front, it’s behind the brand that is the unusual part with the white and claret diagonal broken stripes makes this jersey unmissable. The claret collar with amber trim really completes this top along with the proper Well badge.

Last but not least and my personal favourite Motherwell FC jersey has to be the black away kit from 05/06 that features a Zoom Airlines sponsor along the thick claret sash. Fitted with a thick claret collar with a black and claret trim to match the shirt and a pretty deep V-neck makes this recent design feel old school along with the claret and amber trim around the baggy sleeves.

This is my favourite top as I was the mascot at the time this jersey came out and it’s always nice to look back at pictures of my younger self kicking a ball about the famous carpet of Fir Park. Here is a pic of a young specky me modelling the jersey and a fan.

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British Club Tops

Luka Modric – Tottenham 10′

Luka Modric has won all there is to win at club level with Real Madrid but before his big money move to Los Blancos, Modric was showing off his talent in North London with Tottenham Hotspur.

Arriving from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008, for a then club record fee of £16.5 million after turning down both Manchester City and Newcastle Utd, Luka would play 160 games for the North London outfit, He would be directly involved in 44 goals with 17 goals and 27 assists.

Not often a goal scoring threat, Modric is able to create a chance out of nothing in the middle of the pitch with most of his game time at Spurs coming from the central midfield area or out on the left midfield.

Tottenham almost doubled their money on the Croatian, when Real Madrid paid £30 million for his talents. Luka’s role in the midfield became more industrious and hard working for Madrids Galacticos compared to him being the main creator of the team, as his role was in London. In Madrid he was part of a deadly midfield trio with German Toni Kroos and Brazilian Casemiro as the three won four Champions League titles and two league titles, becoming one of the best midfields of the modern era.

It wouldn’t be until 2018 that Luka Modric would earn the recognition he truly deserved. After winning the Champions League and captaining his country to their first World Cup final, Modric was awarded with FIFA’s and UEFA’s best men’s player of the year award along with a Ballon D’or.

This top was the first of seven home jerseys designed by Puma, taking over from Kappa in 06/07 to their deal finishing in the 12/13 campaign, with Under Armour stepping in. Over Puma’s tenure, they kept the home shirts mainly the traditional, always using white as the primary and navy as a secondary colour. Puma would change their style a few times, using a crew neck, a V-neck and also a collar to keep in line with the trends of the time.

A closer look at the white body of the jersey reveals small air holes in the jersey, helping to keep the players body cool, along with a different material running up the side of the top, for the same reason. This top comes with two felt Premier League badges on each sleeve and felt name and numbers with the sponsor being a bit more sympathetic to the club colours than some of the modern jerseys. The jersey is finished off with a large embroidered cockerel.

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British Club Tops

Steven Naismith – Everton 15′

Starting his career off at Kilmarnock in 2004, Naismith would make 71 appearances while scoring 24 goals that would help secure a move to Glasgow to join Rangers in 2007. After spending five years with the Gers’, winning three league titles, a Scottish Cup and two League Cups, Steven would make a move down south to Premier league outfit Everton. Three and a half years at the Toffee’s and 123 appearances later, Naismith would move to Norwich in a fight to keep them in the top division. Unfortunately his talents were not enough to help the fight and Norwich were relegated and after a full season in the English Championship, a move to Hearts on loan would help secure them a top six finish in the Scottish Premiership and a permanent move was made for just over one million pounds.

We will be having a look into his time at Everton and then diving deep into this jersey from Everton’s 15-16 campaign where Naismith made ten appearances before making the switch to Norwich in January 2016.

Credit – Steven Naismith with the perfect hat-trick vs…. – Squawka Football (tumblr.com)

During the 15-16 campaign, Naismith’s three goals would all come in the same game as Everton overcame Chelsea 3-1 as Naismith came on as a substitute in the ninth minute due to an injury on Bosnian midfielder Muhamed Besic.

This top is very similar to most Everton kits around this time as most use the blue and white template and sport the synonymous Chang beer. However Umbro have placed a lot of small details to be found within it such as the Latin under the badge, ‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum’, which translates to only the best is good enough. An NSNO can also be found on the back of the neck.

The top would not be complete without the Barclays Premier League patches on the sleeves and the lion on the Barclays lion on the bottom of each number.