Hi, I’m Matthew and I’m glad you visited my website. I’m a football shirt collector and have over 450 football shirts of clubs and national teams from all over the world in my collection. All of my shirts are displayed in section “Collection”.
I’m a Manchester United supporter since 2002. My passion for football shirts was born thanks to this club. In life of any fan there is one special moment… a special thought… there is a desire to identify with the team that moves your heart. What is a better way to become close with a club than buying its shirt?
A lot of years ago I bought my first football shirt in secret. Nobody knew about it. However, the first breakthrough moment was when I’ve bought my sixth shirt. Then I took my shirts out of the wardrobe, put them on the floor and thought that owning the shirts is something cool.
That day was when I first thought that I would like to own more football shirts. Up to this day the only change in that idea is that I use the word “more” more often – I want to have more of them, more and more.
After Manchester United shirts in my collection appeared Poland national team shirts. It was a natural step for me, because I always supported my national team. It was the first team ever that I have seen in my life. Just as a kid I was very disappointed during World Cup 2002.
What happened after? I cannot really tell. I don’t know which shirts I bought next and which teams’ these were. When I had quite a big collection of shirts I found out that part of my collection were fakes. I had to get rid of fake shirts in my collection. This made me sad because my collection got smaller, but collecting fake shirts would be unreasonable. Now I’m collecting only original official shirts because they make history.
I was tricked many times in my life when buying shirts – sellers have sold me fakes. The experience I acquired in this unpleasant way changed my attitude – I don’t tolerate fakes, I’m their enemy and my opinion is such practice must be fought. I was learning and acquiring experience about football clothing for many years. Thanks to this you can find a lot of information which allow you to gain knowledge about shirts in the section “Shirts knowledge”. There you will find articles which help you spot a fake football shirt or advices regarding safe shopping.
My collection evolved a few times over the time until reaching the present form. Some time after removing fake shirts from my collection (few years?) I decided to reduce it’s size. This time it was my voluntary decision. I applied a new rule that all of the shirts in my collection must be new with all tags and labels. Their condition must be exactly the same as shortly after leaving the manufacture.
That decision reduced my collection even more than removing fakes from it because I was wearing some of the shirts, especially Manchester United shirts. My collection decreased from several hundred pieces to several dozen pieces.
Why did I decide to make that decision? There are a couple of reasons. The first one is availability. If something is easy to acquire and has a low price, there is a danger of buying shirts uncontrollably out of routine, because second-hand market of football shirts is enormous.
The second reason is that I want to have not easy to acquire and unconventional collection. Acquiring a brand new shirt is harder than searching nearest second-hand shops or auction portals. I’m not interested in collecting shirts just for quantity, because after some time… I could become like a second-hand shop myself.
The third reason is the uniqueness of particular specimen. Nowadays if you want to have a shirt of any team, you take out your wallet and you can buy one in shop. However such shirt is from here and now, maybe from one or two previous seasons. But what if you desire to have a shirt from ten or fifteen seasons ago? Finding such old, unique but new shirts is nearly impossible. In my collection there always will be brand new specimens, even if they would be the very last new shirts of their model in the world, including those from a few years back. I will keep them intact – such is the collector’s job 🙂
Let’s deviate a bit from myself and my collection. The private collectors very often possess historical treasures. Many times there were situations, especially in numismatics, when we wouldn’t be able to admire many exhibits if the collectors hadn’t preserved them. A part of history would be lost forever.
I too would love to be such collector. I wish to be able to show my collection years from now in pristine condition. A football shirt is produced for a season or two and that is it – the design is abandoned after that. Undoubtedly I will transfer my collection to a younger generation or to a museum in several dozen years and who knows, maybe it will be one of the few collections thanks to which young generations would see and touch the past exactly the same as it was?
However, when changing from a picker to a collector there should be established some rules. It isn’t as important WHAT you are collecting as HOW you collect and how much you know about your items. A plenty of collectors have their own rules and I also have mine:
– I’m collecting only brand new shirts with all tags and labels,
– in my collection there are only men’s shirts in sizes S/M/L/XL/XXL, I don’t accept shirts in other sizes and women/youth/kids shirts,
– all shirts in my collection are not personalized (no name and no number on the back), because I want to collect the history of clubs and national teams, not particular players,
– I’m collecting only two types of official original shirts – replicas and player issue versions, I’m not collecting T-shirts (supporter shirts, tee jerseys),
– I’m not owning duplicates in my collection, but I consider the replica and the player issue as two different versions,
– I’m not collecting retro shirts and any other projects.
All shirts in my collection must meet the rules mentioned above. If you haven’t started yet, I encourage you to begin your beautiful adventure with football shirts. Establish your own rules of collecting and try to stick by them, then your collection will give you a lot of pride and joy! 🙂
On my website you can find a lot of articles about football shirts thanks to which you can get to know curiosities, information and news from shirts world. You can also find a lot of knowledge which helps you become a collector. Visit my website often to check for updates. Enjoy! 🙂