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Thierry Henry – 2006 – Scotland vs France

The Euro 2008 qualifying campaign is a tough one to look back on as a Scotland fan, imagine getting your hopes up beating France twice before throwing it all away in the second last game against Georgia leaving it down to beating World Champion’s Italy on the last day of qualifying.

With that disappointment in the past now, we have some fond memories to look back on now including both historic victories against France, Home and Away.

This jersey comes from the home game at Hampden where Gary Caldwell netted the only goal of the game, in front of 57,000 fans, from a Paul Hartley corner in the 67th minute. For me this top is an absolute winner and one of the best French kits produced this side of the millennium. My favourite thing about it has to be the badge with the teams and date embroidered underneath is just a sheer touch of class by adidas.

Thierry Henry lined up along side fellow compatriots Eric Abidal, Frank Ribery, Claude Makelele, Lillian Thuram and Patrick Vieira but all this firepower couldn’t force its way through the defence of Caldwell and Weir.

The ex Arsenal and Barcelona forward gained 123 caps for France where he ranks 3rd on the al time appearance list, behind Hugo Lloris and Lilian Thuram. Henry also holds the record for most goals for France at 51 goals scored.

The club career of Thierry Henry is also outstanding, having played at the very top for most of his career with Juventus, Barcelona, Monaco and most notably Arsenal. It is at Arsenal where Henry really peaked, winning two Premier Leagues (one invincible) and two FA Cup’s, finishing runner up in the 2003 Ballon D’or, just behind Juventus star Pavel Nedved.

Thierry would win the Champions League at the second time of asking after his first ended in a 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in 2006 with an 81st minute goal from Belletti sealed their fate. Two years later he would arrive at the Nou Camp and a year later getting to the final in Rome where Henry would call back the years to terrorise Manchester United once again.

In all, Thierry Henry is one of the best to ever do it with 360 goals in 789 games, a World Cup, European Championship, Champions League, multiple league winning medals and golden boots. He will also go down as one of my favourite players which isn’t as much of an achievement compared to the other awards listed.

Shout out to Graeme Alexander for lending me his collection of tops. Some more icons of the game coming soon.

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The Weird and Wonderful World of Motherwell Football Collectibles Volume 1

As a Motherwell fan and a collector of random Motherwell memorabilia nothing comes close to this book by Matt Johnstone. Collecting different pieces from collectors in and around North Lanarkshire including the likes of jerseys, programmes and pendants from the footballing side of the book but also it looks into Motherwell fans trainer collecting habit and everyone’s favourite football game, Subbuteo.

A solid 258 page read takes you through the history of Motherwell Football Club starting off with the formation, ground and colours and travelling through the years and bouncing around European teams the mighty well have come up against.

If you like the sound of the book you can buy it using the link here: The Weird and Wonderful World of Motherwell Football Collectibles Volume

However it’s not just the book we’re covering today as we have been so kindly been given some Daft Laddie merch to coincide with the launch of the book. A take on the classic Admiral Welsh kit of 76′ that features the two stripes arching around with claret and white replacing the green and yellow of the original. It wouldn’t be complete without the Daft Laddie logo and Daft Laddie Apparel badge.

If you want to have a look at the Daft Laddie merch shop for T-shirts and Matt’s other book “Saturday is Service Day” you can here: https://daftladdie.bigcartel.com/

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Stephen Craigan – Motherwell’s Most Capped Player

Looking all the way back to eighteen years ago to 12/02/03, we would find a young Northern Irish lad receive his first international cap in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Finland.

From then on Craigan would receive an impressive 54 international caps from 2003 to 2011 while racking up some impressive victories such as a 1-0 win over England in 2005 and a 3-2 victory over Spain in 2006, who would go on to become European champions from this Euro 2008 qualifying group.

Over the course of the Euro 2008 qualifiers, Craigan would go unbeaten from the 06/09/06 win over Spain to the 21/11/07 where Spain would get their revenge. In this time, Northern Ireland would beat Denmark, Sweden, Lichtenstein twice and Latvia while drawing with both Scandinavian teams as well. During this time however Craigan was unfortunately dropped for what should have been an easy away game to Latvia, Northern Ireland lost 1-0 and proved how crucial he was to the Northern Ireland set up.

These two jerseys here are both from Northern Ireland’s 2004 Caribbean tour where they played against St Kitts and Nevis, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. They only team they didn’t beat were Barbados who they drew with 1-1.

He has also held his own against some of the worlds best such as playing against a young Robert Lewandowski in 2009, Raul, David Villa and Fernando Torres in 2006, Andrea Pirlo in 2010, Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2007, Dimitar Berbatov in 2006 as well. However none of these generational talents compare to the numerous times he’s faced my dad at badminton over the years.