A Poppy (NOT political), A Goal of the Month, and Steve Sidwell’s Matchworn Shirt.
Remember, Remember the 5th of November….
November 5th 2016 will be remembered by Brighton fans for a couple of things other than Guy Fawkes. The Seagulls produced fireworks of their own, away at Bristol City, specifically in the 13th minute. Midfielder Steve Sidwell picked up a stray ball in the centre circle, spotted the City ‘keeper off his line, and launched a wicked left footed strike from just about the halfway line which cleared the goalie to put the Albion into the lead.
The celebrations that followed honoured absent teammate Anthony Knockaert who was away on compassionate leave after the passing of his father. The players picked up Knockaert’s shirt from the bench and held it in the air.
The shirts worn by the Brighton players for this match were all adorned with the symbol of the Royal British Legion, the famous red Poppy. As has become the annual tradition in British football, on or around Remembrance Day, the 11th of November, teams shirts carry the Poppy emblem, and after the matches the shirts are auctioned to fans, and the proceeds passed to the charity*
I was delighted to be able to bid for a Brighton shirt, and even more so when I secured Steve Sidwell’s shirt, complete with grass and mud stains, loose threads, and of course his signature.
The DRY-FIT fabric is what you’d expect, comfy for the players, and the colours are bright. The Brighton badge is a woven patch, the Nike tick is embroidered and the Poppy is a heat transfer.
On the sleeves are the SkyBet EFL Championship patches (does anyone call it the EFL other than the media?). As I already said, the back is a disaster; it’s all white and looks ridiculous. Why no stripes? Why not at least half stripes with a patch for the name and number? All the other manufacturers (Adidas, Under Armour, Puma, NB etc) have stripes on the front and back of their shirts, it’s about time Nike did the same.
The EFL number and nameset is in their custom designed font and features the Prostate Cancer UK logo in the numbers.
As I mentioned, this is the Poppy shirt Steve Sidwell wore, and scored that wonderful goal, for which he was awarded the SkyBet goal of the month award. He featured in the Brighton match programme for the QPR game on 27 December 2016 holding the award, he was further honoured with a centrefold poster, with him wearing the Poppy shirt!!
I’ve been lucky enough to buy a few Brighton Poppy shirts over the years, Lewis Dunk’s from 2011, Craig Davies’ from 2009 and Brunos from 2014, I’ve also bought other charity shirts for amongst others Cancer Care and Red Nose Day.
*FIFA take note, the Poppy is not a political statement.