DOUG Bierton collects vintage football kits that are worth a packet.
His company Classic Football Shirts, co-founded with pal Matthew Dale in their student digs at Manchester University in 2006, boasts a warehouse crammed with over 500,000 items, a stones throwaway from the Etihad Stadium.Doug Bierton collects vintage shirts and sells them with Classic Shirts[/caption] Classic Football Shirts famously reunited Ian Wright with his old memorabilia[/caption] The Classic Football Shirts warehouse houses over 500,000 items[/caption]
In recent years, they have grown from strength to strength – launching pop up shops around the globe and selling over 1,000 shirts a day.
Earlier this month, they visited LA, Miami and New York, where they met David Beckham and Giorgio Chiellini.
While back in 2021, they successfully reunited Ian Wright with his old memorabilia.
The shirts, themselves, provide talking points and long-lasting memories that makes them even more valuable.
Some ark back to the great players that wore them, while others are groundbreaking designs that have been repeated in kits of today.
In good nick, they can net you a fortune.
However, there is one kit that could be worth as much as £1,000.
What makes a kit valuable?
The Euros and World Cup are huge triggers for nostalgia.
That’s why the most valuable shirts are linked to those tournaments.
“The World Cup sends everything crazy because football shirts evoke memories,” Bierton told SunSport.
“You remember where you were when you watched your first World Cup match. You clips and reruns of old tournaments on the TV in the build-up to the tournament.
“Then, you see the shirts the players are wearing and you think, ‘I wouldn’t mind being like the Brazilian Ronaldo, scoring loads of goals and having that shirt he wore.”
He continued: “I was obsessed with the 1990 World Cup.
“I was five, and I don’t really remember watching the games that much.
“But I had the highlights on VHS and me and my brother watched it so many times, we burnt the video out in the end.
“Moments like England taking on Cameroon and Lineker scoring the penalties, (Sergio) Goycochea becoming a hero against Italy with a gold chain hanging out his shirt.
“(Frank) Rijkaard spitting at (Rudi) Voller, Paul Gascoigne tears… it was the time before football was really commercialised.”Retro shirts are popular because of the memories associated with them[/caption] Diego Maradona’s Argentina shirt from 1994 is a collector’s item[/caption]
Three Lions on a shirt
For that reason, his favourite top is England’s Umbro kit of that era, as worn by David Platt, Gary Lineker, Terry Butcher and Paul Gascoigne.
But it’s the Admiral number from the 1982 World Cup that was the most commerical.
Today, in mint condition, that sells for £350.
“The one that’s voted for as the most popular is normally the 1982 shirt, with the design across the shoulders as worn by Kevin Keegan.
“If you think back to 1966 and before and beyond, it was just a plain white shirt for England.
“But Admiral were the ones who did something a bit more bold, which makes it cool.”
How they get their hands on shirts
Finding the shirts can prove tricky for Doug and Matthew, although somehow they have become well-stocked.
“I can’t tell you all the trade secrets, but sometimes sourcing shirts comes with great difficulty,” Doug revealed.
“We’ve been going for 15-years now, so we’ve got a lot of contacts in place to be able to find the items.
“We look in the clearance section, where you can get shirts from £9.99 that you can’t get on the high street, or we get them from clubs and manufacturers around the world.
“We also work with players to get very rare match-worn shirts and people get in touch with us and offer us their old shirts, which we do trades and valuations for.”
So, what’s the valuable?
There are honourable mentions for Germany’s 1990 World Cup kit as one of the most sought after, as well as USA’s 1994 shirt they wore when they hosted the tournament.
Doug explained: “The flag pattern across the chest of the Germany shirt was so different for the time. It really revolutionised football shirts from that moment on.
“Graphics and bold designs became much more prominent, which makes it a very important piece.
The German shirt is worth around £200, depending on the condition. I’d say the USA shirt could go for around £500.”
But, according to Classic Football Shirts it’s these three that are the most valuable.
That’s followed by Germany’s 1990 green away shirt that could cost £600.
Finally, Argentina’s blue away from the 1994 World Cup, modelled by a demonic Diego Maradona, would fetch you £500.
Word to the wise, check your wardrobes now.