When Campo Retro offered free World Cup T-shirts to Salut! Sunderland readers and invited their verdicts, Paul Dobson – aka Sobs – was the first to throw up his hand. He opted for Belgium. Here’s the shirt, above, but worn by another member of the Dobson clan, and now comes the verdict …
With age comes wisdom, so they say, but that’s not always true when clothes are involved. Hence my medium shirt should really have been a large, and is therefore in the hands of, or rather on the back of, our Ian.
Thankfully, that means it looks a lot more like it’s being worn by someone who could still be a footballer rather than a manager attempting to relive his youth.
My selection was the Belgian top, in deference to Sunderland’s large contingent of Belgian former players, such as Simon Mignolet, Tom Peeters, and …. well, I think that’s it. There’s also the fact that they could currently put out a perfectly acceptable starting 11 consisting of Premier League players, and the name of their assistant boss – Vital Borkelmans.
As you know, it’s white, with the national colours of black, yellow, and red providing a natty trim around the sleeves and collar. The immediate impression is of a classy-looing football shirt, but wait – as with many good things, the real winners are in the detail. There’s the emblem embroidered on the left breast, featuring icons of the World Cup – subtle, but effective – then the real killer, the fabric.
As Ian said, he wouldn’t fancy wearing it in Belgium in January, but that’s where 1970s cutting-edge fabric technology comes in. Basically, it’s a kind of mesh that was designed to keep soft European footballers from overheating in the heat of the Mexican World Cup of that year. It’s not too obvious, but a slightly closer look reveals the structure and adds to the interest.
In short, it looks smart and it’s kept him cool in what we’ve had of the summer so far. “Mint”, to quote the lad wearing it.
* the youth vote is coming soon. Keir Bradwell will offer his thoughts on the Brazil top he received from Campo Retro. From his first reaction, looks like another satisfied shirt-wearer.
And here’s another chance before the World Cup kicks off tonight, to cast your vote in Salut! Sunderland’s grand choose-a-second team poll. The USA are still way ahead with Gus Poyet’s Uruguay second and Sobs’s Belgium third.