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Opinion

Newcastle United kits bringing a tear to the eye

2 years ago
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Leaked images of the alleged new Newcastle United kits for next season, reveal a nod and a wink to the rugby/David Ginola/hoopy maroon and blue away kit of 1995-96, and a, well… minimalist effort for the home kit (see below). And they look clingy.

The same images have appeared in an article on the Chronicle website, and while I’m not assuming these images are the real deal yet, there’s nothing quite like a bit of football strip conjecture to while away an afternoon. The site shows a multitude of tops for a few teams. It would be lovely to think that fans of other clubs are turning their attention to the annual variation on a theme of how to spend quite a lot of money.

It would also be lovely to think that this is the most pressing news we have until the club is sold, we buy a couple of strikers, and the world is a better place.

Now, I haven’t bought a new top for myself since the Asics kit of our first season in the Premier League.

My in-laws have generously bought me a few tops over the years, and Mrs S knows my misty-eyed preference for the kits from yesteryear…if it’s got a blue star, pin stripes, or a badge in a circle, you can’t go far wrong.

The ‘leaked’ 2018/19 NUFC home shirt:

And some might argue that maybe there are bigger things going on in the club to think and write about. But two tops that I opened as presents, neatly folded in my mind as Bobby Dazzlers, had me thinking about why this stuff matters. Even though one of them was the relegation top of 2008-09, adorned by Michael Owen.

In the days before clingy tops that were harder to grab while you play, football tops were cunningly good at hiding the side effects of my brave and noble attempts to keep our local pizza shop afloat. Pathetically, as I have arms that I can best describe as feeble, mine stuck out of the baggy sleeves like two chips escaping a tent.

Back in the heady days of ‘Giz-a-job Sounness’, Adidas made us a kit with a particularly white top. This was fronted with Northern Rock as the sponsor in gold lettering. Talking with some of the lads in my Year 11 class, we all agreed that we liked it. We talked about this nearly every lunchtime for weeks as they revised for their exams.

Their final lesson was a celebration of everything they and the class had achieved over the year; a momentum boost just before the pen-to-paper day of reckoning. After we had talked through the first group’s work, the lads stopped me and asked if they could say something. They produced a bouquet of flowers for their other teacher, who looked over at me with either a tear in her eye or a sudden allergy, and a bag for me. “We thought a size large. What with the pizzas and that, sir!”

The ‘leaked’ 2018/19 NUFC away shirt:

There in the bag was the new top, with Stainsby and 9 printed on the back. I developed the same instant allergy as their other teacher.

A few years later, as my Year 11 form class sobbed their way through our final form time together, the almost negative of the earlier top, with black and white reversed, was presented to me by a group of the girls in my class. I walked out that day with a framed photograph of Alan Shearer scoring his 200th goal for the club, a Newcastle United tie, and wearing my new top. Suspiciously, the allergy had returned.

Were we successful in these Newcastle United kits? No.

Will they be celebrated twenty years later, remastered by Toffs or Score Draw? Who knows.

But somewhere, this new kit will be a present, or a first kit, and it’s going to create an allergy for someone.

You can follow the author on Twitter @georgestainsby
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