Dickie Felton

I write about music and football

In the football sense I was the result of a mixed marriage on the Mersey. Mum was red, dad was blue.

To confuse things further, the first football shirt I owned was a shiny polyester Tottenham Hotspur jersey.

In the early 1980s Spurs were dominating the FA Cup Final with back-to-back wins.

And kit supplier Le Coq Sportif was dominating shelves in my local sports shop.  

The French producer of athletic shoes, activewear, and sporting accessories must’ve had a marketing team years ahead of its time.

With several top flight clubs wearing its logo, Le Coq Sportif flooded northern towns with Spurs shirts along with the claret of another kit client – newly crowned European champions Aston Villa.

I’m eight and the anthem Ossie’s Dream (Spurs Are On Their Way to Wembley) spins round my head in-between episodes of The Amazing Adventures of Morph. And for a split second it seemed like my club affiliation might be more influenced by Chas and Dave than Rush and Dalglish.

So there I was on Crosby beach in my Spurs 1981 FA Cup Final shirt pretending to be Ossie Ardiles jumping over jellyfish and scoring on the sunbaked sands.

A year later we sit around our Radio Rentals hired TV as Bryan Robson scores against France within 30 seconds of England’s World Cup match at Spain 82.

That seals shirt number two for me. And I get the England Admiral red away top for Christmas.  

Six months later I’m at my first big match.

Dad takes me to Everton for a massive FA Cup 5th round tie.

Funnily enough – against Spurs. Bearded and brilliant Argentine Ricky Villa is among the leading cast of Garth Crooks, Gary Mabbutt and Glenn Hoddle. Howard Kendall’s blues subject the north Londoners to their first FA Cup defeat in almost three years thanks to scruffily scrambled goals from Andy King and Graeme Sharp.

But it wasn’t the blue of Everton or the brilliant white of Tottenham that endured.

Nobody Told Me by John Lennon was riding high in the charts in January 1984 and these were strange days indeed.

As Britain is battered by a hurricane I have a sleepover at my mate’s and Match of the Day Live is Aston Villa V Liverpool.  

We sit glued to the set as Ian Rush scores a sublime hat-trick at a foggy, freezing Villa Park.

He’s dressed in a magnificent all yellow Liverpool away kit. His second goal is a sensational left foot volley, his third is a work of wonder, controlling the ball on his thigh before chipping the ball over the advancing Nigel Spink.  

That pinstriped Umbro creation goes straight to the top of my wish list. I mither mum for the yellow Umbro shorts and socks to complete the entire kit. And I’m soon recreating Rushie’s treble in the back garden until nightfall each day for the remainder of the season. Of course 1984 is special as the Reds claim the league title, Milk Cup and European Cup for the fourth time.

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