I have an impression that my website lacks a place like this – an album containing photos of my collection. Why? Aside from the shirts that I add to the collection (meaning this website), I sometimes show you various photos on my social media, but… they aren’t on my blog and quickly disappear among the tons of posts. By the way, this is a great time to ask you – do you follow me on social media? If not, do so now! 😊 This way you won’t miss any curious articles, shirts and photos 😉
Each album starts with our first photo, so this one will start with my beginnings as a collector. The article will be about my first steps in collecting football shirts. To be honest, I must point out now that I don’t have any photos from my first days and weeks, because… I didn’t take them. I didn’t expect my passion to grow so much and lead me to this point! Of course, I regret a little bit not having pictures of my collection since the very first shirt, but from the other side I’m not a person who lingers in the past. I’m working with the materials that I have and now I will show you what I own 😊
The firsts photos of my collection that exists in its present form are from 2017. In that year I decided to collect only new shirts with tags. Naturally, all important things and changes in my life are strictly associated with number 17, so… it was certain I would make an important decision that year. Next such an occasion in 2117 😉
The first photo shows my shirts I owned after telling myself “from now I’m collecting only new shirts”. Next photos show you how my collection grew with time.
You need to know that making a decision to collect only new shirts wasn’t easy for me, because in the result I had to get rid of the majority of the shirts that I owned. Really! My heart was broken when I had to say goodbye to all the used shirts. Are you curious what my room looked like before this groundbreaking change? Look at this…
I rejected a plenty of shirts. From my entire collection, there were left only a handful of tricots. Looking back nowadays, I see that my decision was brave and… I don’t regret it! I’m proud I was able to choose a difficult option, because now I can see its benefits. I have a few hundred shirts in the collection and I don’t feel overwhelmed by them or that I’m making a second hand shop in my room. I feel I’m collecting an intact history of football. I store shirts in the same condition that they were produced in 😊
That time is for me the example, that difficult decision, that at the time was really hard, because fall over your world and makes all what you achieved to this time is squashed, in a long time perspective can make a lot of goods. It shows me, that in our life we need to makes decisions that are hard for here and now, because they will profit in the future. There are people saying that collecting doesn’t teach you anything. Never listen to those fools 😛
I started discarding all used shirts and leaving only new ones. Obviously, the process of acquiring only brand new tricots was and still is harder, even for financial reasons. You won’t go out to the second hand shop or buy them on a Facebook group for a few euros. As it turned out, instead of buying a couple used shirts, I started buying just one new tricot. With time passing it started to please me and despite it created more problems than just financial ones, I have decided it was the right way for me. What kind of problems? Mainly availability, because…
Football shirts are excellent items, which are produced for a strictly defined and relatively short period of time. This facts gives me much joy. Why? Because football shirts become unique and are more and more difficult to acquire over time, provided we are considering new shirts with tags, not piles of used shirts in second hand shops or auction portals. For me as a collector it’s beautiful that there is a day when the shirt starts to exist, then takes a unique place in history and… then a new one appears ends the life of the previous tricot. Isn’t it something great that you have an opportunity to collect an item that in a while will be unavailable? For me, it is!
Therefore, after a few years you can have problems getting a particular shirt brand new, because its time has simply passed. That shirt isn’t and never will be produced again. When I get an intact shirt and save it in this condition, I’m saving a unique history associated with this shirt in its original, pristine condition. It drives me and was a motivation to restructure my collection.
I slowly collected shirt after shirt and over time my collection grew once more, this time giving me more satisfaction than my previous one containing used tricots. From time to time, but not often, I like to take out my shirts to admire football’s history. In the past a couch was enough to present all shirts! ;p
The next occasion to see them all was when I had 118 shirts. Be careful, because on the photos from that time you can see tricots those aren’t in my collection anymore. Why? Me and my collection are developing over time and my collecting rules are becoming stricter and stricter.
I suppose you may be a little bit surprised, but trust me, creating your own collecting rules that you later adhere to in case of each football shirt that you want to collect, gives you a lot of satisfaction and makes your shirts a collection, not a group of random shirts. Just think – how many shirts could I buy if I visited all second hand shops in the city in a week? 100? 200? Maybe more? How much would it cost? A thousand, two or three? What satisfaction would that give me? I think none at all. I would feel like I had a randomly gathered group of shirts collected without any rules and requirements.
That’s why when I grew as a collector, I decided to tighten my rules more and more and each of the shirts must have met them. For example in the photos with the couch and my 118 shirts, you can see the blue shirt of Netherlands NT. This shirt is not in my possession anymore. What was the reason to reject it? The lack of one part of a paper tag. Triviality? Foolishness? Maybe. My dream and passion is collecting shirts intact and in the original condition to save the real history and in order to do this, I decided the shirts must have literally all that they had when they left the factory – there is no accepting a lack of even one part of the paper tag with the catalogue number, because it is a crucial element of the shirt. Netherland NT shirt wasn’t the only one that left my collection for various reasons 😉
In the end, there is one more thing I really want to recommend to everyone – a scratch map. One of my targets is collecting all FIFA members. I scratch all the countries from which I have a NT shirt in my wardrobe off the map. It’s a small thing, but gives a lot of joy. Really! When you are scratching off any country, there always are positive emotions and… every collector likes to look at his progress, that’s why I recommend to buy a scratch map to every collector 😉
That’s all about my beginnings. How about yours? What did they look like? At what stage of collecting are you? How many difficult decisions have you made? Are you identifying as a collector having a collection or not yet? I would like to read about your history so write it in the comments below. Now I wish you perseverance in collecting because it surely will be helpful 😉