1997-1999 Tottenham Home Shirt
By StoppinHo (I am Brazilian)
With the Bill Nicholson match v Newcastle coming up I have decided to review my favourite Home shirt, the 1997 – 1999 Shirt made by Pony. When I say my favourite home shirt, it’s the favourite home shirt that I own, as my absolute favourite is the umbro 1991 shirt, the one that we played in for the FA Cup triumph v Nottingham Forrest.
I got this shirt on my first Trip to England in August 1997. People asked me why I was going to England, and I replied to watch Spurs play at White Hart Lane. They of course branded me a nutter as would most of the English fans as it was smack bang in the horror that was the 90’s Spurs team. I arrived in Southend shortly after landing at Heathrow and the next day made the trek to White Hart Lane, the home of the Not so Mighty at the time Spurs.
When I got off the tube at Seven Sisters and walked up to the ground, it felt like my pilgrimage. When I walked into the “Spurs Super Store” I thought i was in heaven. All the spurs gear was there, but not enough money to purchase it all. But I would be back…..
So I purchased the Home Kit. This was the first time I saw the kit as I don’t believe the club had a website, I had no access to the internet at home and when I embarked on my trip, the season had not started. (I spent 3 months in USA before hitting the UK). I must say I did not like this kit at all. I hated the design, the feel, the look…. everything about this shirt I didn’t like but I had to have it, so the purchase was made. 17 years later I’m glad I bought it. Its nice to mention that in those days the shirts were changed every two seasons, to make it affordable to fans… where has that idea gone? Either the home or away shirt switched each season, so they were introduced in subsequent years and held a two season residence. Double the memories perhaps, 97/98 we were almost relegated.
It’s a bizarre shirt, so different from anything that any other club in the world had done. The material was a warmer, heavier braided acrylic, that was not the most comfortable to wear as we were all used to the lighter weight kits of the era. I had not heard of Pony before and really loved the Umbro kits, (still the best for my mind), so they did not start off on the best of terms with me. However the shirt is full of detail.
The crest is a sewn on embroided badge, that I thought was a bit clumsy and chunky, at the time, but classic for the 90’s era. The sponsors logo was the correct blue keeping with the blue used in the shirt and was the puffy material that was cool to touch.
On the bottom corner, the 90’s logo was embroided onto the shirt, something which has been rarely done since. The neck V was a little choking, but now seems to have been revisited by some other clubs at present, however not as thick. I grew to like the neck area, but was always a fan of the collars. There was real detail to the inner collar, with the logo printed onto an orange tag, once again, a trend setter for its time, since all shirts now have the same detail, across most clubs in the world.
The sleeves had a cuff, similar in design to the neck but not as thick and was tapered. The sleeves also had a border of blue which gave the shirt body, but reminded me of the shoulder pads that ladies wore in their jackets, remember we were closer to the 80‘s back then….The shirt also had the club motto “Audre Est Facere” on the back lower…. you never saw it as players tucked their shirts in, but as a supporter, that’s a no-no!
I like to get the players names on the back, but due to letter shortages, I was unable to complete the name that I wanted, which was from memory Sol Campbell. That turned out to be an act of God miracle, however i did get the premier league badges ironed on and I’m glad I did as you can now see how the FA logo has progressed from the 90’s to now. I’m almost 100% sure this was the same logo since the EPL’s inception.
I returned to England in 1998 for a brief visit, and was able to complete the shirt with the Klinnsman 33. I love the shirt as it reminds me of the game that Klinnsman scored 5 against the Dons at Selhurst Park and ensured we didnt get relegated.
Some notable players who wore this shirt in the era 1997-1999 were
* Jurgen Klinnsman
* Allan Nielsen
* Steffan Iversen
* Moussa Saib
* David Ginola
* Gary Mabbutt
* Ruel Fox
* Darren Anderton
* SIR Les of Ferdinand
* Chris Armstrong
* Ramon Vega
* Nicola Berti
* John Scales
* Andy Sinton
* Jose Dominguez
* Rays’s son Stephen
the list goes on….
We had the a terrible manager in Christian Gross, in my humble opinion the WORST to have ever graced the hallowed turf.
All in all, possibly the most detailed shirt that I own.
Great to see it still worn by fans at the games.