Our second (and mercifully last) light-hearted, retro shopping guide for the festive season. Here’s another selection of some of the more questionable football merchandise that, half a century ago, might have been finding its way into your Christmas stocking alongside the tangerine and lump of coal.
The 1960s was renown for being a decade of bold and innovative fashion, so let’s kick-off with some natty footballing attire that Terry and Julie might have worn out every Friday night around Waterloo. There is nothing basically offensive about a Wonderful Club Name T-Shirt supplied by Essex Soccer Bargains per se, it’s just that in the advert the team names look, a bit, well, crayoned on. We would follow our avowed policy of ‘awkwardness through number of characters’ to make sure the Head Crayoner at Essex Soccer Bargains was earning his 66 pence (not an inexpensive price for the sixties). We would have demanded our t-shirt personalised with BTLM’s favourite Dutch football team – Nooit Opgeven Altijd Doorzetten Aangenaam Door Vermaak En Nuttig Door Ontspanning Combinatie Breda. You more commonly know them as NAC Breda, but we do acronym informality like Jason McAteer does shampoo adverts – badly. Anyway, it’s Christmas and we expect to be indulged.
Sticking with the theme of questionable choices for football sartorials: how about some Supporters’ Socks from the quirkily named Soccasox of Rugby? There’s a rather limited selection though and no indication that they are available in the team’s main strip colour either. What would be the point of having Arsenal socks if they weren’t red? BTLM is also curious why Peterborough is an available option, particularly when many bigger clubs with larger fan bases are not.
Wake up in the morning, switch on your Club Tablelamp by Colour Shades Ltd. and recoil in horror as a sickly Celtic green or Burnley claret casts a feeble, psychedelic light across your bedroom. Not good for hangovers we reckon. Still, the authentic plastic base is a nice touch.
Completing a jigsaw puzzle is an estimable endeavour, just as long as your efforts lead to you eventually uncovering an image of wildebeest grazing by a Serengeti watering hole at sunset. Revolutionary New Jig Saw Puzzles by Frecol Ltd fail to grasp the point of jigsaws at all. The image you put together has to be diverse, challenging and ultimately interesting and attractive. Who wants to spend hours putting together pieces of bad teeth, dodgy moustache and lank hair for the questionable prize of revealing the face of a 1970s Bolton Wanderers defender? And yes, we were thinking of Sam Allardyce when writing this.
We get rattles. We get why they were popular back in the day and why people might want to buy one. We are, however, quite frankly rattled by H.C.Briggs (Camping Equipment) Ltd. and the stock of Genuine Ex-Government Rattles they are making available to the public for just 10 shillings each. After spending literally seconds thinking about this, BTLM can come up with absolutely no reason any government of the day should have a stock of decommissioned rattles to sell on in the first place. Even were we to get past this mental hurdle, we wonder why these rattles should be considered of the highest quality simply because they originate from an organ of public service. I mean, you wouldn’t boast about the quality of your haircut if the council did it, would you?
Freaky, misshapen mantlepiece ornament, fragile Wellington boot for the very gentle of foot or drinking vessel of choice for people with wrong-shaped mouths. You pay your money for a Liqueur Glass Boot and you take your choice.
Post-war football magazines rarely published an issue that did not contain multiple adverts promoting some sort of path to a healthier and happier lifestyle for all. BTLM has a favourite here: it’s Captain W.P.Knowles and his brochure on How To Keep Fit By Better Breathing. Come on now Captain Knowles, it’s got to be more a pamphlet than a brochure surely? How much space do you need to print ‘Breath In….Breath Out…’
More thrilling, written word shenanigans to while away a few minutes before the Christmas Day Only Fools And Horses repeat. Adverts are designed to sensationalise and promote content, but if Soviet Weekly can come up with nothing more enlightening than ‘it’s cold in Siberia’ to tempt people to buy their propaganda rag, that Christmas present of an annual subscription is going to lose its lustre very rapidly. Especially as we bet the vague football reference in the advert is merely a front for endless stories about collectivised farming.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you from BTLM, we’ll look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.