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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.

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British Club Tops

Willie Pettigrew – Dundee United 81′

Arriving from Motherwell for £100,000, in 1979, after scoring 80 goals in 166 appearances, Pettigrew was known as one of the most clinical finishers in Scotland. It is during his time at Motherwell where he would be called up by the national team, earing five caps, where he would be competing for a place against the likes of Kenny Dalgleish, Joe Jordan and Derek Johnstone.

During his time in Dundee, Willie would lift the Scottish League Cup back to back in his first and second years at the club where United would almost win the cup double in the 80-81 season getting so far as the final before Rangers would beat them 4-1 at Hampden in the replay as the original fixture ended 0-0 after extra time. Davie Dodds would score the only goal for Dundee United during the game.

After the final Dundee United would cash in on Pettigrew, making a profit after selling him to Hearts for £120,000. It is here where Pettigrew would help Hearts gain promotion to the top flight.

This kit resembles the Netherlands 76′ that is also on the website. As both are made by Adidas and use very similar colours although Adidas moved with the times and over the next five years they would introduce their own branding on the front of the shirt and on each of the numbers used on the back. The collar has also changed from a round neck to a more modern ‘V’ neck with a large collar being black to contrast the bright tangerine colour of the top.

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British Club Tops

Nick Cusack – Motherwell 91′

On the 3rd of April 1991, Motherwell would play Celtic in front of 41,000 fans at Hampden Park. The result of this match would end disappointingly for both teams as none of them would manage a single goal the closest effort being a 90th minute free kick by Ian Ferguson which crashed off the post.

This would mean a replay would have to take place on the 9th of April. The second leg would be a lot more entertaining for the 31,000 fans that made the trip back to Hampden on a very wet and windy evening, as they got to witness a six-goal thriller, as Motherwell overcame the Bhoys 4-2.

Celtic would take the lead due to an unfortunate own goal by Tom Boyd as a corner played into the box caused havoc and eventually bounced off Boyd and ended up in the back of the net. A quick reply from Dougie Arnott would see the Steelmen bounce back level but it would not be for long as another set piece error would give Anton Rogan his second goal of the season while leaving Motherwell 2-1 down going into the second half.

(Cusack, right, celebrating after the game)

At the start of the second half, a ball forward from Luc Nijholt found Dougie Arnott in the box and his perfectly executed header found the back of the net for his second goal of the game to get Motherwell back on level terms. Things would soon get better for The Well as an unbelievable thunderbolt from Colin O’Neill would see Motherwell take the lead for the first time in the tie. To rub salt into the wounds of the Celtic players, Stevie Kirk would score an audacious chip that would land perfectly into the top right-hand corner.

(O’Neill ,no. 4. celebrating his screamer) Credit for both match pictures –
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=motherwell+celtic+4-2+1991&docid=608054175345561692&mid=28D753BDA67A030AFA2E28D753BDA67A030AFA2E&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

Dougie Arnott would be named man of the match as only one game would separate Motherwell from a much-needed trophy and as many Motherwell fans would tell you, the rest is history.

Now onto the jersey. Admiral have produced a fans favourite jersey here as not only is it memorable for being a Scottish cup winning jersey but it is also an instant classic due to the pattern moving around the collar to the white and claret stripes breaking up the torso from the sleeves. The darker amber pattern running through the top gives the top depth and helps it shine in the sun which makes it a stunning top.

One thing that makes Motherwell tops so unique is the colours, claret and amber, which they have been using since 1913 as only a handful of teams surprisingly use, with AS Roma and Bradford City AFC being the most notable few.

This warm up top was first showcased as Motherwell lifted the Scottish Cup at the end of the 90-91 season and would be used throughout the well’s 91-92 campaign featuring the S.F.A. Cup Winners embroidery along with Admiral branding on the front, back and zip.