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We had the enviable opportunity to peruse the colors and crests on the racks of the Classic Football Shirts warehouse. Nestled in the shadows of Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, the aisles upon aisles of shirts and gear worn on the hallowed football pitches all over the world spark vivid memories tied to these historic pieces.

Each strip from the classic patterns down to the blood stains bring to mind moments cherished by footy fanatics far and wide. Moments that evoke a simpler time before every football fan had virtually every match from every corner of the globe streaming in their hands.

For Gary Bierton, preserving the moments and history before cell phones filled the stands, has been the mission for the passion project that first began in 2006 with the inception of Classic Football Shirts, founded by his older brother, Doug and friend Matthew Dale.

“It takes you back instantly, you know,” recounts Bierton as he sits in a warehouse with over twenty thousand kits ranging from the most loved to the most loathed, from well-known to the most unknown clubs around the world. “I’m looking at that France ’98 shirt. I can remember where I was when I watched the World Cup final in ’98. It puts you back in the room instantly.”

With Classic Football Shirts, Gary has been instrumental in buying, documenting, and providing the biggest collection of football shirts online in the world for fans and teams alike.

Looking for the 1999 kit worn by the treble-winning Manchester United squad? Take your pick: David Beckham. Paul Scholes. Roy Keane. It’s all there on their website.

The digital gatekeeper of football relics began in student housing his brother Doug and his partner, Matt,  finished university studies in Manchester. More so a clubhouse with a few rails carrying product for passers-by, with the first pop-up shop happening in 2018.

Not long after starting Doug and Matt got things started, Gary found himself working holidays cataloging shirts as he followed his own path at the Manchester Business School.

“I don’t think any of us expected to be here in 2019,” laughs Bierton as he recalls moments from the store’s infancy.

As the de-facto leader of marketing and brand growth, he has leveraged the collection into pop-up stores across the UK and exhibitions showcasing kits from brands such as Nike, adidas, Umbro and Kappa.

Classic Football Shirts created their first exhibits under the brand ‘Fabric of Football’. The cataloging the shirts online had already started years before and the catalog just kept growing.

Around the same time the team at Classic Football Shirts was expanding their online presence they got ready to dive into retail pop-ups.

Bierton’s mother raised concerns about the uncertainty of a career choice as a glorified second-hand merchant. Friends too wondered about the sustainability of the idea and where this side project would take them next.

Bierton continued to see the growth even those around him questioned the career choice. The doubters turned into believers when they saw the hundreds of people clamoring to get a chance to purchase a shirt at a London pop-up.

“A lot of my friends live in London and they come to see what you’re doing. Then they’re like, ‘Why are people queuing down the street to look at this stuff,’”

His friends might have been slow to catch his vision but it did not take long for them to realize the influence Classic Football Shirts has on the culture.

The impact of companies like Bierton’s has been far-reaching. Today tastemakers and fashion-centric individuals outside of the game and culture are choosing to rock classic football kits with growing frequency. Players have cross-pollinated their influence into different avenues. Seeing Drake or Kylie Jenner showoff their favorite football shirts on the ‘Gram is commonplace.

Brands like adidas and Nike have geared their campaigns and collections to fuse fashion with sports as a way to be more inclusive of the audience they are marketing to.

From the avid fan to the casual enthusiast of the game entrenched in everything fashion, leveraging the influence of designer juggernauts such as Virgil Abloh and Gosha Rubchinksiy has blurred the lines of ready-to-wear runway designs for the pitch.

That wasn’t always the case. Bierton recalls the moment that his type of inventory transcended the hardcore football fans.  “Not until maybe 2013, 2014 did it become a fashionable thing,” he says. “The moment we realized it had gone a little beyond from what we thought, was a post with Kendall Jenner wearing a Juve ’98 Kappa jacket.”

Celebrity influence has turned shirts that might otherwise be forgettable into hype-fueled items. The aforementioned Italian club Juventus donned rose pink Adidas kits for the 2015-2016 campaign. As soon as Drake and Snoop Dogg were captured wearing the shirts across social media, fans pillaged retailers to ride the trend.

But for Bierton, the affinity and passion for shirts will never fade. Beyond the trends and influence driven by the who’s who of music and design, he knows there’s someone looking for that vintage kit from his beloved Manchester United or the local Macclesfield Town football club shirt.

Regardless of the buyer, he’s thankful to play a part in connecting with fans and new aficionados.“It’s bigger than football. And we’ve come from the perspective as football fans, but then it becomes more than that. You can keep it quite rigid or open up to anybody.”


Italia 90 is an iconic World Cup. For England, it was a special one. A team full of Gary Lineker, Peter Beardsley, John Barnes, Stuart Pearce and Paul Gascoigne. The Three Lions reached the semi-finals of this tournament, the furthest they have gone since their famous 1966 win.

It wasn’t just the players or the performances, especially from Gazza, that struck a chord with the world of football. It was the home and third kits. The home kit is an iconic one but the blue one is, in my opinion, the best ever England shirt.

Both shirts had a beautiful collar, one that wouldn’t look out of place on the fashionista’s of the world. As the culture has grown, shirts like the home and third kit have become more and more sought after due to their aesthetics. With the home shirt being the normal all white shirt featuring fantastic red numbers and the team lined up against the rest of the world looking slick.

It’s the blue shirt, for me, that is astounding. Featuring in, arguably, the best World Cup song ever by New Order ‘Three Lions,’ the blue third shirt is a grail of many. A shirt that can only be bought either in remake form or for $100+. The best place to find shirts, ClassicFootballShirts, only has one of these available for sale and it is listed for £249.99.

It’s rare but I can still dream of ever wearing such a good shirt. Despite the home and third being the best shirts that England have ever worn, a special mention to the away kit. A simple red version of the shirts, the kit is perfect for those who believe that red should be the home kit colour forever and always (or just for those that prefer the red version).

Conclusion: a trio of kits, all offering a cool aesthetic to the football fashion gurus out there, but only if you’re willing to part with a whole load of cash. I would if I could…


Picking up where they left off, Classic Football Shirts and Sheffield FC release the new home shirt for 2017/18 manufactured by Joma. With current trends of ever increasing prices of kits, boots and gear going up every year, Sheffield are offering their new strip for just £19.99. This price makes the kit the cheapest on the market worldwide.

“We believe fans come first and everyone has the right to support their team in the beautiful game” – Richard Tims Sheffield FC Chairman

The Joma Sheffield FC 2017/18 Home Kit is available now at


World Cup qualifiers are back and with the showdown at Azteca right around the corner, we thought it would be fitting to highlight a kit that was at the forefront of many epic matches.


The Kit: USMNT 1995-98

Brand: Nike

Worn By: Cobi Jones, Eric Wynalda, John Harkes, Alexi Lalas, Claudio Reyna, Tab Ramos, Kasey Keller, Joe-Max Moore, Brad Friedel, Jeff Agoos, Earnie Stewart, Brian McBride, and Preki

The Story:

The 1994 World Cup truly put everything into motion for football in the US. While many predicted a group stage exit, the USMNT rose to the occasion and qualified for their first knockout round in decades. While the Adidas stars and stripes will forever represent that epic “coming of age” moment in American football history, the new Nike strip would now represent the squad’s serious intent on reaching new levels.

July 14, 1995 – Copa America

Here the Americans totally stole the show by not only achieving the seemingly impossible task winning their group but shutting out the reigning champions Argentina 3-0 in the process. This still stands as one of the most impressive American campaigns in a major international tournament.

November 2, 1997 – Nil-Nil at the Azteca

The mid 90’s saw the rivalry with Mexico spark into life. There was a genuine animosity between these two sides and the Americans were now a threat to Mexico’s long-held dominance of CONCACAF. In a world cup qualifier match the USMNT would grind out a historic draw at the Azteca. This result would secure the Americans first-ever point on the road against Mexico.

February 10, 1998 – Gold Cup Semifinal

While never having logged a victory over Brazil, one nil losses to the Brazilians in the previous 3 meetings left the Americans believing there was a way to finally get one over on the South American juggernauts. A long range strike from Preki and goalkeeping masterclass performance by Kasey Keller to preserve the clean sheet would give the American side their first and only victory over the mighty Brazilians.

Where to cop: The good people at got you covered with plenty of these bad boys including a few match issued and game worn gems. 


The worlds first football club, Sheffield FC have announced a partnership with sportswear stalwart Joma Sports in honor the clubs 160th birthday and upcoming 2017/18 season. The announcement comes after a fruitful sponsorship which Classic Football Shirts and will see the three brands work in unison to maintain the heritage of football. 

Sheffield’s home and away kits are set to drop June 2017 while a special heritage shirt will release on October 24th to celebrate 16o years of existence of #theworldsfirst. Sponsored by Classic Football Shirts, the kit takes inspiration from the earliest known designs worn by Sheffield FC, taking fans back to 1857. 

“We’re delighted to work with Joma to take our unique history and brand identity out to the world. Our sponsorship with Classic Football Shirts was labelled “one of the coolest shirt sponsoring partnerships in recent history” so adding Joma to the shirt will be special. Our 160th birthday is just five months away and we’re currently involved in a number of international projects making it a great time for fans to get involved & support football’s first club”. -Sheffield FC Chairman, Richard Tims

For more an the Sheffield FC, Joma and Classic Football Shirt partnerships and new kits keep it locked to, and

Also make sure to cop the latest Sheffield F.C. gear at