First off, full disclosure – I consider Simon Shakeshaft, one of the co-authors of The Spurs Shirt along with Daren Burney and Neville Evans, to be a friend of mine but this review is not biased. One of the reasons I’m friends with him is his sheer breadth of knowledge around football shirts and that really comes across here.
When Shakey combined with James Elkin to write The Arsenal Shirt four years ago, I didn’t really know him and that remains one of my favourite books – but this is better again. Ideally, there would be a book of this kind for every club.
Tottenham’s kit history is full of notable events, not least the introduction of white shorts for European ties, the boundary-pushing of the Admiral, Le Coq Sportif and Hummel periods, the Umbro ‘long shorts’ in the 1991 FA Cup final and the more recent trend towards third kits which don’t offer a huge amount of differentiation from the away strip (lol).
Apologies for the pictures, but we didn’t want to give any of the content, which is easily worth stg£30 of your money.
It would be easy – or at least straightforward, once you had the raw materials – to put together a book of matchworn shirt and breeze through the bare details, but the three authors have scratched beneath the surface and then dug down some more to the roots of the various stories.
They have managed to get tremendous access to former players, managers and administrators for first-hand accounts of the various stories and the mythbusting element really appeals to us – the truth of the club’s switch to white and navy, the inspiration for the Euro white shorts and the infamous 1987 FA Cup final, when half the team were missing the Holsten logo, are unearthed.
As well as the in-depth look at all of the shirts, there are separate stand-alone chapters on the all-white look, tracksuits, goalkeepers’ shirts, kitmen and laundry ladies and ‘the ones that got away’, those shorts for which matchworn examples couldn’t be found.
To top it all off, the back of the book features a gallery of all of the Spurs kits, wonderfully rendered by Daniel Gellatley.
If you are a Spurs fan or know one, we doubt there’s a better Christmas present to receive or give. Even if you don’t support them and just like kits, it’s an essential purchase.