WHO ARE YA? Tom Finch, TOFFS

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1) Who are ya?
Tom Finch, 20
2) Who do you support?
The Arsenal
3) What was your first game?
Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool, 2001 FA Cup Final, 12/05/01
4) What do you do for a job?
Graphic Design / Marketing / Photography / Sew-on Numbers…A bit of everything really
5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?
I haven’t, although I have played 5-a-side at The Emirates, does that count?
6) How did you get into it?
Family business
7) What do you get out of it?
I can’t… [The question was “What”, not “How”! 😉 – GM]
8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?
Know your stuff! You never know when someone might ask you the score between Bolton and Sheff Wed in 1982! [16 Feb – Bolton won 1-0, 08 May – Bolton won 3-1, 07 Sep – Wednesday won 3-1 – GM]
9) If you could do it all again what would you change?
I wouldn’t change anything really…
10) Who’s your footballing hero?
Although there’s been a few players I admired growing up, such as Henry, Riquelme, Zidane, Aimar, my footballing hero has always been Dennis Bergkamp (AKA God).

CAMPO RETRO SHIRTS – a review of the Centenario Jersey

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My friends at Campo Retro were kind enough to send me one of their top notch retro shirts to review.

I got the top of the Team Colours range shirt, the long-sleeved Centenario, in navy and old white.

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The parcel arrived at work today, and Campo really make a lot of effort to ensure that the whole package (no pun intended) is bob on.

The outer postage sack contained the folded and bagged shirt plus a badge, carefully wrapped in Campo printed paper.

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Now, I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of replica shirts, especially the shiny, polyester ones that retail for between £45 and £65! I don’t do man-made fibres, but I do do cotton; and the Campo shirt is crafted from lots and lots of the stuff – lovely 100 per cent soft handle luxury 200grm cotton fibre. It feels great, and the construction looks bulletproof, with the football shirt resembling the cotton top I had to wear for football and rugby in games lessons at school that lasted me five years!

The Centenario is modelled on the very earliest football shirts, which were themselves modelled on the contemporary rugby and other sporting tops of the time, as can be seen on display at the National Football Museum.

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An old football jersey, on display at The National Football Museum

Campo describe the shirt as:

…a fusion of modern attention to detail and classic tailored style seen in the early 50’s. It features a smart covered button placket with a contrast mini stripe under its tailored collar, together with smart flush finish cuffs.

Lots of individual processes have gone into making the shirt, with an amazing level of attention to detail. The yoke at the back of the neck is reinforced, as is the armpit area, which has a diamond-shaped gusset to aid with movement and prevent the stitches from bursting.

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The covered buttoned placket and collar are also things of beauty, and you can really see the thought and effort that have gone into producing the garment.

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Campo have designed the entire Stadio range to be customised to your favourite team with a neat little Campo branded pin badge housing on the hem. I got a black and white badge included with my shirt, but I could also use any of the pin badges with butterfly fixings from my extensive hipster and classic badge collection if I so desire, safe in the knowledge that the badge won’t damage my shirt by putting pin holes in it!

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Pin housing & embroidered arm logo

Another nice touch is the embroidered Campo logo on the right sleeve, in self-coloured stitching so as not to be too shouty.

Like the last England shirts to be made by Umbro, this is a smart casual shirt that is as much at home in a bar on a Friday or Saturday night as it is on the terraces on a matchday. As I wanted to go for a smart casual look, I didn’t specify the optional extra number personalisation, but Campo can stitch a high quality cotton canvas number to the back of the shirt if you like.

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I am looking forward to living with the Centenario in my wardrobe, and seeing how it ages after wearing and washing it. I expect a good level of colour fastness based on the quality I’ve seen so far, as long as I follow the washing instructions of course, and for it to last me a long, long time. I’ll update this post with comments on the fit and how it washes once I’ve lived with it for a bit.

You can buy the Centenario jersey here, and view the rest of the extensive Campo Retro range.

Follow Campo on Twitter – @CampoRetro

Lastly, here’s the mighty Ivan Campo – just because I can!

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WHO ARE YA? Anthony Cooper, Campo Sports Ltd

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Campo Retro, quality retro football shirts

1) Who are ya?

My name is Anthony, I’m 25 years old and live in Manchester

2) Who do you support?

Being from Manchester it was natural to support Man City of course! But I lie, I was a Man City fan because of my Dad and went to school during United’s most successful years being surrounded by United fans whilst we sat in the depths of League 1.

3) What was your first game?

My first game was Everton at home. It was the first game of the 90-91 season and we won 1-0. I honestly cannot remember any of it as I was only two. I have it from memory as my Dad told me he hid me under his jacket to get me through the turnstiles for free.

4) What do you do for a job?

I work at http://www.camporetro.com/ doing partnerships and social media work. The kind of job I’ve been striving to get over the last few years through side projects like the Football Blogging Awards, which is how Campo discovered me. Not only did them offer me a job, they agreed to sponsor the Football Blogging Awards in a multi-year deal!

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

No, unfortunately. I once applied for a job at Man City and was turned down. Also, I never really plied my trade playing football, as quite frankly, I am shocking with a ball at my feet! I can see my future working with plenty of football clubs from a commercial point of view at Campo but at the minute my number is zero.

6) How did you get into it?

I started by writing a football blog and one thing led to another.

7) What do you get out of it?

Being able to work in football and work in something you enjoy. You spend about half your life working so why spend half your life being miserable!

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

I would say to others if you get an idea in your head and think it could work, why not try it. I told a couple of friends and my brother about the Blogging Awards before starting it. They laughed and told me it was stupid. Last year we reached 10m people and took 30k votes. Next year we expect it to at least double [It will, ‘cos of all the votes for No Standing!!! – GM]. Although it’s not easy! Expect a lot of hard work and all of it unpaid. I’m yet to see a penny of hundreds of hours work put in for the Football Blogging Awards but it’s all been worth it to get to where I am now career-wise.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Nothing. Why live with regret? What I will do is look at it from a future perspective and think how can I improve it.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

I have plenty of idols and of course I’m going to choose a City legend. I would have to say either Shaun Goater or Shaun Wright-Phillips. Both were knocked-back throughout their early careers, being told they would not make the cut, and I suppose the message is is that you should never give up. At City they prospered and are now held in the hearts of thousands of City fans I’m sure.

Many thanks, Anthony.

Follow Campo on Twitter

View the shirt range

Campo also support one of the fine football publications that I write for, The Football Pink

INTERSPORT World Cup 90 Edition Catalogue Match Insert

I bought a load of Match magazines from 1990 recently, and in one of them was this great INTERSPORT catalogue insert.

Being 1990 and all, everything’s gone a bit dayglo and rave-y, with shellsuits, loud graphics, geometric patterns woven into the man-made fibre shirts, and unnecessary spot colour on the boots!

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The front cover – featuring happy England & Scotland footballers!

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England & Scotland kits, and a young Owen Hargreaves!

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His & Hers Scotland kit, plus Andy Roxburgh & Sir Bobby Robson…

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A handy visual guide to Italy, DIadora gear, & other nation’s adidas shirts…

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The Groups, & youth wear…

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Boots, balls & goalie gloves…

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More boots & balls…

Prices vary, but you’re looking at a very expensive (for the time) £59.99 for the Diadora Magic Van Basten boots! But then they are pro level.

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The back cover – INTERSPORT shops nationwide. Remember any of them?

I grew up with Pilch’s in Norwich, and lived in Nottingham for 20 years so knew the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre well. I live in Bradford now, and Bridge Street is a faint shadow of what it once was. Nostalgia, tinged with sadness at the passing of so many great sports shops…

N is for… Nabisco England Soccer Stars Tactic Cards

This set of 8 football cards with psychedelic illustrations of top England players on the front, and black and white illustrations of tactical hints on the back, were issued in 1977.

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You had to collect the tokens from boxes of Shredded Wheat and send them off (enclosing a stamped addressed envelope – very important that) to the Nabisco marketing department.

In return, you got a small set featuring 8 large cards (2 x 4 footballers – Mike Channon, Gerry Francis, Kevin Keegan, and, somewhat bizarrely, Colin Todd) plus a cardboard folder to keep the cards in.

The folder has a message from Gerry Francis on the back, plus a printed facsimile autograph of the player.

I picked mine up for a reasonable sum from an ebay seller, as a postage saver for a badge I wanted (an old brass and enamel Halifax Town badge).

My cards came with provenance – a letter from R Davis, Brand Manager at Nabisco, who apologised for the delay in sending the cards out:

I apologise for the delay involved in sending these to you, but unfortunately you did not enclose a stamped addressed envelope with your application. We have a limited amount of cards and wallets and we felt it was fairer to give priority to those applications with a s.a.e. enclosed. We have now dealt with all properly completed applications and I am pleased to enclose your requirements.