Hang on, let me think here….sweet cigarette cards, REAL cigarette cards, bubble gum cards, Esso coins, world cup stickers, leather footballs, plastic footballs, enamel pin badges, replica kits, current day kits, football magazines, autographs, football books, match day programmes….

For as long as I can recall, something like 50 years now, I’ve collected something to do with the glorious game of football. But, that all adds up to nothing when compared to the fascinating collection of ‘stuff’ featured within the pages of the ‘Football Gift Book’ just published by the ‘Got, Not Got’ chaps.

Let me tell you how they came upon my radar. A few years back, I had a lunch with some old work colleagues who introduced me to one of their then current colleagues, a fella named Rob Stokes who told me he collected goalkeeper memorabilia. He also then tried to get me involved in a sitcom idea that he and a few of his other pals had been working on. Only, I couldn’t get past the fact that he collected goalkeeper stuff.

I told him that for me, he should concentrate on the goalie stuff and forget the sitcom project, as I thought it was a great idea to do something with all that. Thankfully that is what he did, eventually publishing a book called ‘Glove Story’ with the ‘Got, Not Got’ writing and design team of Derek Hammond and Gary Silke.

Rob and the chaps did a tremendous job with it, not only highlighting the ever-changing kit over the years, but also interviewing legendary keepers who all had fascinating stories to tell.

I was then contacted by Derek who knew of my work on the 2004 book ‘The Fashion of Football’ asking me to get involved with future publication’s and I sent over some images of trainers from a 1970 Freemans mail order catalogue.

Well, nice fella that he is, he has recently sent me a copy of ‘The Football Gift Book’ and I can report it is a riveting read. The amount of pictorial and subsequent text research is simply staggering and it reveals the amazing range of products available over the years.

Among the 160 odd colour pages, and by way of whetting your appetite, you will find the stories behind the footballing Action Man, Subbuteo, Air Fix Players, Corinthians Pro Starr, dodgy kits, the classic sports bags, silk scarfs, rosettes, football comics, Sportspages (loved that shop) football boots, videos and video games, football on telly, and so much more.

What’s more, I hear a volume two is already in work, so there is a lot more to come in a year or so.

If any of the above has got you thinking of your own possibly by-gone collection, then I can recommend this book without hesitation.

My only problem now is that my old mum threw my boxes of stuff out years ago, and I’m now beginning to buy a lot of it back….

(Sorry Lou)

The Mumper of SE5


The Got Not Got Gift Book is available here