Firstly, we at Balls.ie would like to thank each and every person who entered our "Favourite Jersey Ever" competition in conjunction with Life Style Sports.
Some of the entries not featured in this highlights post were absolutely fantastic, and it was almost impossible to whittle it down to what he have here.
That said, the following entries perfectly captured what we were looking for, and while we could only pick one winner, we felt the need to salute these great jerseys and stories.
This is my blue and white man Utd away jersey from 94-96 with cantona on the back. It's my favourite because as a 6 year old I adored cantona and wore this jersey to school constantly with my collar up.......I think the collar is stuck in that position!!
I also used to stare at the jersey constantly because if you look closely it had the names of past great man Utd players, such as Law and Best, and players that were current to the jersey's time, like May!!
A cracking jersey, and an iconic one in terms of the Premier League, the names of club legends is a nice touch, and we hope you weren't being sarcastic regarding David May..
Here is the first jersey I ever bought (largeboyssize) thanks to my communion money all the way back in 1990 and sure we all know what happened that year. A few years later I had the pleasure of meeting my childhood hero Packie Bonner and got a few things autographed including the jersey. He said to me " that's the kind of thing you frame and stick up on your wall" so I did.
You bought it with your communion money, that's fantastic. You actually got Packie to sign it? That's amazing.
Hi, this is my entry. I played in the Munster Minor hurling final with Limerick this year, 2015. As a kid, my mother was always encouraging me to play hurling and brought me to all my matches and loads of county matches. I always wanted to play for Limerick and she always believed I would play at some stage. Sadly she passed away 5 years ago but this jersey means alot to me as it reminds me of her. Only for her work I would not have this jersey.
Congratulations on reaching the Munster Minor hurling final, and your Mammy sounds like a wonderful woman.
While I have not owned it for too long, or that it would be considered a classic old school kit. This Colombia jersey that they wore during the 2014 World Cup easily has to be my favourite jersey, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, my wife is Colombian, and brought this back from Colombia in early 2014 as a surprise present for my 30th birthday.
Secondly, while I remember the early 90s Colombian team fondly, it was slightly before my time to really love, like say the recent Barca teams or France in 98 or what have you, but with Ireland not qualifying for the world cup last year, there woud've been a lot less excitement for the world cup than usual. but Colombia was a nice fall back, and the fact that they played some of the nicest football of the tournament, and scored the best goal, had the best player/top goalscorer etc, made it more interesting, and this jersey made me feel a little bit Colombian for a brief moment last summer. And as I said before, due to my wife's nationality, this jersey is as important a symbol for our family as an Irish football or rugby jersey.
The Colombians were a joy to watch last year, and that was an excellent gift from your wife, fair play to her.
Here is a photo of my 2011/2012 Fulham Jersey. When I heard of this competition I just had to enter simply because this garment is much much more than just a jersey to me. It represents a sense of pride and belonging. This Jersey has been with me through some of the most momentous occasions of my life. A trip from kenmare in Kerry to Selhurst park in 2013 where I witnessed one of the goals of the century by Pajtim Kasami as his volleyed effort darted into the top left corner of the goal.
However not so long after, this jersey was used to wash away the tears and pure feeling of dystopia as Fulham were relegated to the football Championship. Despite this I continue to wear my Fulham jersey with pride and passion as my friends count their premier league winning titles being fans of Manchester United and Chelsea. But for me that's not what football is about. Football is about feeling welcome, about getting that feeling our euphoria every time your team steps foot onto the playing field. And Fulham for me are much more than just a football club. We're a family. And every time I put on this jersey it reminds me of everything the club stands for and that I why this Fulham jersey is the most important jersey which I possess.
That Pajtim Kasami goal... And to see it live? Wow.
John William Barry
In a lot of ways Gianfranco Zola was the premier league's greatest ever player. He was never the best per se, but he brought a joy to the everyday drudgery of the premier league back then and was the epitome of the classy continental player when there were only a few of them. Without him and Cantona we'd be watching a decidedly less beautiful game.
The jersey is special to me because it reminds me of when club football was actually enjoyable, when there was no Abramovic, no 60 million pound transfers and you didn't have to shell 75 quid a month for some football. Ironically, Gianfranco probably played a pretty big part in attracting Roman to West London, but alas.
As for the jersey itself, the sturdy collar, sparkling royal blue and one of the best sponsor-shirt combos in league history mark it out as an absolute beauty!
A great jersey from a great player at a great time for football. Great entry.
We can only dream about being there in Genoa, great to see the whole family kitted out too.
Anonymous Whatsapp Man
That jersey is as close to perfection as you can get, we are glad to see how much you cherish it. (We had your number but didn't catch your name)
And our winner...
I have a number of jerseys in my house, but when it comes to choosing a favourite, it has to be the Ireland Goalkeeper Jersey of 1996/97.
The first qualifying campaign growing up I remember is France 98. Mick McCarthy’s first attempt at reaching a major tournament saw the rise & fall of David Connolly’s Ireland career, the last goal Ray Houghton would ever score for us and very interesting jerseys. Everyone immediately thinks of the infamous Orange jersey of this period, however it’s the goalkeeper top that made the biggest impression on me.
The aesthetics of this jersey are beautiful, and an absolute far-cry from the bland boring present day offerings. Described by balls.ie themselves as “The Purple Acid Trip”, the jersey incorporated FAI watermarks with explosions of colour splattered across a lovely purple material. It wasn’t as loud & noticeable as Jorge Campos Mexico jerseys, but it oozed class. It is immediately recognisable and widely praised amongst Irish football fans to this day.
Apart from its beauty, the jersey means so much to me given the extent of my attempts to acquire it. Around October 2010, looking at Google images of this jersey, that I decided I simply must have it. Given its age and rarity, I soon found myself browsing eBay day after day after day searching for it. This desire sparked an unhealthy obsession of buying numerous football jerseys online, at the expense money needed for college at the time. It took 18 months of searching, the purchase of several other nice but inferior football jerseys, (including a smaller version of this jersey that only fitted a child) before I eventually got it. A seller in Australia was crazy/kind enough to list it. I wasted no time of putting in a bid of thirty euro more than the original reserve to ensure I got it in time for Euro 2012 that summer.
I’ve taken the jersey with me on several away trips since the Euros. Its long sleeves keep me warm on the colder trips and usually spark up conversations from other admirers of the top. These Germans thought the jersey (or the owner of it) was that insane that they insisted on a picture (see attached) with it. I gladly obliged.
I take great offence to anyone who criticises it, it is simply a work of art.
Wow. Fantastic jersey, clearly a long-term reader, friend of the Germans, David Connolly reference, and you're clearly a jersey-nerd... Francis, you have absolutely hit the nail on the head for what we were looking for, and you've won youself a €500 Life Style Sports voucher.