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British Club Tops

John Ruddy – Motherwell 09/10

Starting his career with Cambridge United, he would only play the one season before getting his move to the Premier League with Everton for a fee around £250,000. While at Everton Ruddy would go on loan a total of nine times but his most successful spell would be his last, moving up to Scotland with Motherwell.

Starting off as an initial 6-month loan in summer of 2009, Ruddy would take the first team spot in his stride, doing so well that he would extend his stay for the rest of the season.

Ruddy would finish the season with 15 clean sheets in 34 appearances with one of the highlights of this season coming in the second last game of the season, a 12 goal thriller against Hibernian at Fir Park. Hibs would go 6-2 up with Motherwell leaving it late with a 90+3 screamer from another Everton loanee Lukas Jutkiewicz.

After leaving Motherwell, Ruddy would move to Norwich to work under former Motherwell man Paul Lambert. In his first season with the canaries, he would become pivotal in Norwich’s promotion to the Premier League. Ruddy would also be voted Norwich’s Players Player of the Season in his first Premier League season keeping them in the league with a very respectable 12th place finish.

He would make his England debut against against Italy in a friendly in August 2012 after he was ruled out of Euro 2012 due to a broken finger but things worked out as he married his wife Laura on 2 June 2012. Prior to the Euro 2012 tournament, he jokingly cited breaking his finger as the reason he was able to have his wedding on that date.

Currently 34, Ruddy is backup keeper at Wolves but was key to helping them get back into the Premier League as he won the 17/18 Championship Golden Glove with 24 clean sheets and represented Wolves in the PFA Team of the Year. He was then replaced by Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio in their return to the Premier League.

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British Club Tops

James Tavernier

Signing from Wigan in 2015 for £200,000, with teammate Martyn Waghorn, Tavernier would start his Rangers career in the Scottish Championship. Scoring a free kick on his debut in a 6-2 victory against Hibernian in the first round of the Scottish Challenge Cup, Tav would also score his first league goal against Alloa Athletic in a 3-0 victory.

A free scoring right back who has racked up a very impressive 18 goals in 46 games while also assisting 11 last season (20/21). Not only an attacking threat but also a defensively sound player as he was part of the defence who conceded 13 goals in the league last season.

Also worth noting that he was the man to captain Rangers to their first league title since 2010/11 and stopping city rivals Celtic from winning the coveted 10 in a row.

This is the first kit made by British manufacturer Castore who signed a five year deal with the club. The first thing you notice is badge that features the five stars to symbolise their fifty league titles. The league badges on the sleeves also match up with the tops colours red, white and blue. A small message reading “follow follow” can be found behind the collar.

There is also faint diagonal lines running through the top in a darker blue to the royal blue that is used for the main body of the top.

It is also worth noting that Rangers re-released a special edition to mark their historic league win that featured a golden badge and Castore badge with some embroidery reading “Champions 55, 20/21”.

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British Club Tops

Artur Boruc

Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc started his career with Pogoń Siedlce before moving to Legia Warsaw. In 2005 Boruc was loaned out to Scottish side Celtic who quickly made the move permanent after noticing his quality. He made his debut in a Champions League Qualifier against Slovakian side Artmedia Bratislava after replacing David Marshall for the second leg of the tie. Quickly establishing himself as number one between the sticks due to his shot stopping, self belief and arrogance which would get him into bother at times with opposing fans.

Keeping 17 clean sheets in his first season helped Celtic win the 05/06 League title and the League cup. He would go on to lift the next two titles and another League cup while adding a Scottish Cup.

His most memorable moments for the hoops consist of keeping clean sheets against the likes of Manchester United and Benfica in the Champions League. He also saved many of crucial penalties such as in the penalty shootout against Spartak Moscow to help Celtic move into the Champions League group stage.

He would make his final appearance for Celtic against Old Firm rivals Rangers in a 2-1 victory although he was subbed off due to breaking his finger. He would move to Italian side Fiorentina where he would spend two seasons before moving to England with Southampton and Bournemouth before moving back to Poland with Legia Warsaw who he currently plays with at the age of 41.

This top comes from the 09/10 season, his final season at Celtic where he was unable to win any major honours to cap off his time at with the bhoys.

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British Club Tops

Joe Wark

Motherwell have been blessed with a number of great full backs such as Stephen McMillan, Jim Griffin, Rab McKinnon, Steven Hammell and most recently Stephen O’Donnell but we’re focusing on the man who came before them and set the standard at the back, Joe Wark.

Signed from junior side Irvine Vics in 1968, Wark would make his claret and amber debut against Tranmere Rovers in what would be a bizarre first game as 3 minutes in goalie Keith MacRae picked up an injury meaning Wark would spend the remaining 87 minutes in goals, keeping a clean sheet and helping the well to a 2-0 victory.

In his first season, Joe would play as an inside forward and would score 8 goals helping Motherwell lift the Second Division title. This season would also include a hat trick against Montrose.

As football began to develop, so did Joe, as he was soon moved to left back to become one of the first of a new breed of overlapping defenders who would bomb up the pitch and whip crosses into the attackers in the box. As much as he was a threat down that left channel, he also possessed great awareness which saw him establish himself as one of the best full backs in the country.

Unfortunately it was tough competition to get into the national team with both Celtic’s Danny McGrain and Rangers’ Sandy Jardine being the preferred full backs to Wark. He did however gain one international honour when he represented the Scottish League XI when they played the Football League XI in 1976. Not only did Joe not get the international recognition his consistency deserved but he never actually won any major honours, not even reaching a final but don’t let that fool you into thinking that he wasn’t brilliant.

A total of 580 appearances over a 16 year career brings him up to third in Motherwell’s post war all time appearances with only George Stevenson and Bobby Ferrier playing more. During his time at Motherwell, he was part of the teams who beat Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City in the Texaco Cup.

After retiring in 1984, Joe got his coaching badges and spent time at the club as a coach and assistant manager but also took up a role as kitman for a small period of time. Knowing Joe, he would probably have taken on the job of groundsman if Andy Russell hadn’t already claimed it.

As for this top, what a beauty eh? Coming from all the way back in 1976, it got used until 1978 but was later reused as Motherwell weren’t keen on their kits for the next season. Made by Admiral, this top is more of a yellow than an amber but still looks just as good with the (slightly faded) claret MFC embroidery used for the badge. This jersey is a number 2, probably from a brief stint at right back, even though he was most notably known to wear the number 3 but this was given to us and signed by Joe before his death in 2015.

Mr Consistency and an absolute legend for the club.

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British Club Tops

Fulham – 02/03

For this post we are throwing it back to the early 2000’s with a Fulham top from their time in the FA Barclaycard Premiership. This season would be a regular season for the lily whites as they finished the season in 14th position, one place lower than the season previous.

Looking at that team now you would probably have placed them a lot higher as they had brilliant players such as Edwin Van Der Sar, Louis Saha and Steed Malbranque. This poor season would see manager Jean Tigana sacked in the April of 2003 with recently retired Welsh Defender Chris Coleman taking over who would guide the team into the top half of the division in 9th in the 03/04 season.

This jersey is from Scotland midfielder John Collins who played 65 games for Fulham before retiring in 2004. Before playing for Fulham, Collins would play in the Premier League with Everton and also played in France with Monaco. He is mainly remembered for his time at Celtic where he won the Scottish Cup in 1995.

Collins played 58 times for Scotland, scoring 12 goals with one of them coming on the opening day of the 98′ World Cup in France with a penalty against Brazil. Unfortunately Scotland never made it past the groups and still never have made it past the groups in any major tournament.

Made by Adidas, this Fulham top uses their famous lily white as the main body with the contrasting black used for the thick collar, side of the top and inside of the arms. The red in the badge is also used at the front of the neck. This was Adidas’ last kit with Fulham from that deal but Fulham brought back Adidas strips and have been with them since 2013 after moving from Puma, Airness, Nike and Kappa.

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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