Lady seamstress stitching Admiral football shirts in the 1970s in a factory

The birth of the replica football shirt, 50 years on

At what point did football fans stop looking like they’d just finished work and begin wearing shirts like players? Historical clips tell us the sea change happened around the 1980s, but the seed was planted in December 1973 when the first official club replica football shirt went on sale publicly.

You could call it a happy accident. But fifty years ago a modest firm in the Midlands called Admiral managed to open floodgates to a multimillion-pound industry over a cup of tea with then Leeds United and soon-to-be-England boss Don Revie.



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