An area to bear in mind is "MATCH WORN shirts for sale". Be careful as some shirts being sold over the internet are far east copies made up to relevant match specifications so as to pass off as match worn. Match worn is when a shirt has been worn by player in a professional football game. To identify a matchworn shirt the shirt may have bobbles, small tears, dirty or colour run due to washing.
Shirt may have been worn in several football matches and not just one - a good indication is often football shirts are machine washed together so sometimes particulary clubs such as Aston Villa, West Ham United, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Coventry City, Chelsea, Manchester United because the players name and players squad number are in white felt (Depending on season and whether home/away)the darker colour from shirt will dye the white felt on number/name so gives the felt a discolour. This would be same if your missus washed your white socks with a red t-shirt. Shirts are usually mass laundry by majority of football clubs. Certain clubs have shirts dry laundry these are the big money clubs where players like to have soft perfumed smelling shirts!!
Check the badges for sizing and visit Chris Kay on net Chris Kay is a company who do the design/specifications for football clubs such as the badges you see on arms i.e Premiership Logo also do Rugby specifications and also English FA for England international football shirts. Check details of game to see if you can get a picture of player wearing shirt you may be sold a supposley matchworn shirt in a certain game to find out that the player wore a short sleeve shirt in both halves whereas yours is long sleeve. Also if it was a cup game did they have embroidary on shirt with match details like internationals. If you look closey at say England's next game you will see match details underneath stiched into shirt.You can find images of players in various games by visiting reuters or getty images. Another point to bear in mind is that after season 1992-1993 this was when the introduction of players names were added to shirts for TV.
So if you see a shirt with players name on back i.e Cantona as an example and the shirt is from an earlier year then its more likely to be a fake. Players names were added for better identification after big sponsorship from TV/BSBSky. Some shirts also may differ depending on games used i.e Aston Villa had special Inter Toto shirts used during games were no names were issued to back. Depending on club and manufacturer some clubs are only issued so many shirts a season obviously shirts get ripped/damaged or just become tatty or players may swap or give away. Every football club is different to allocation of shirts received from manufacturer there is no set standard or guide in spotting a matchworn/player shirt because every manufacturer is different i.e Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Puma etc There is a notable difference from a replica shirt so if you buy a shirt and its exactly the same as a replica as sold in a high street sports shop its almost definately fraudlently sold as being a professional football shirt. Also another point if the shirt is sold as match worn from a game just check the actual player DID play in game if its sold as matchworn from that game and they didn't then the seller is telling porkies!! Look on Getty for images from game so you can see what shirt player was wearing might have been sold a shortsleeve only to find out player wore longsleeve in each half so seller is telling porkie pies!!
Do not confuse professional player shirts with replica shirts - replica shirts are sold in JD etc Professional shirts are the actual shirt worn by the player on the pitch during a match. Sometimes it can be very difficult to tell whether a shirt is a professional players shirt as replica's are almost identical. There may be differences in where the player's shirt is made i.e made in vietnam etc and by labels also shirt may have added features such as extra lining or such. This is becoming more common with modern day player shirts and this is where the fake traders are cashing in. Player issue shirts are the shirts that footballers actually wear during games and would be known as player issue if its not known if the shirt was actually wore in an actual game. If its known it was actually wore in a game then the shirt becomes match worn or game worn. Certain players are noted for redesigning their own shirts i.e David Beckham like to remove inner lining, David Dunn whilst at Birmingham in Flybe sponsor kit used to get kit man to cut the collars off, Robbie Savage when he didn't have a spare short sleeve shirt (Others usually ripped off him by other players) had a spare long sleeve cut down as he had used all remaining short sleeves provided by manufacturer. Some players like to change either there shirt or socks or shorts and wear a clean set for second half. One professional football club had there kits issued and the manufacturer spelt name of club wrong!!! This was a Premiership club!! This is true !!! Aston Villa had to wear replica kits whilst on a friendly as Hummel cocked up the shirts sponsors logo. David Beckham wears two different sized boots - totally true. Some players cut tongues off football boots and will not wear a new set of boots till season finishes supersition and also they say a boot doesn't break in till 10 games into a season. So if your favourite player is missing the target just blame it on the boot!! If he's still missing the target after 10 games then its not the boots its definately a rubbish signing!!
Football stars themselves collect player shirts for either themselves,friends or family David Beckham collects football shirts and several times we have asked for a shirt after a game or at a training ground at end of season we have been told that shirt is for another player. Football players are also aware of how valuable shirts can become due to publicity regarding auction prices of Pele's shirt and also Geoff Hurst's. So shirts are becoming quite difficult to obtain particularly high profile players these shirts are often used for official Club charity auctions where they will fetch high prices for charity. Jamie Oliver paid 5 figures for David Beckham's football boots during Beckham's charity auction.
Check labels on shirt as Professional player shirts are normally different to replica shirts you see in JJB, JD, Sports World, Kitbag etc Ask how they know it was worn in that game - or any details surrounding how it was obtained. Obviously alot of shirts come through back door of clubs via staff, kit managers or swaps with players after games so don't feel that you should get a certificate signed by Thierry Henry saying he gave shirt that would be impossible. Shirts and boots are also sponsored throughout the season by sponsors at club so sponsor gets shirts or boots at end of season. Some clubs sell off items Villa sell through club shop, Chelsea, Bolton, West Bromwich Albion (QXL) sell through official website through official club auctions not through ebay. We would suggest that you also request a Certificate of Authenticy the same if its an autograph some evidence supporting claim its match worn and also the sellers full name and contact address. Matchworn shirts can fetch serious money if from a significant moment ie a winning goal that won the league, cup final winning goalscorer shirt, hatrick shirt etc If anybody know's the whereabouts of Bobby Moore's 1966 World Cup final shirt that particular shirt would be the most valuable football shirt ever estimate value at over £350,000 - £500,000 beating Pele's 1970 World Cup Brazil shirt sold for £150,000 and also Geoff Hurst 1966 World Cup final hatrick shirt sold for £90,000. So if you see this shirt on eBay it would be a joke as a shirt of this uniqueness and value would have to be sold in an auction house such as Christies or Sotheby's.
Another issue is believe it or not whether a matchworn shirt is signed doesn't increase the value infact most professional collectors of shirts prefer shirts un-signed. Depends on where autograph is and how well its been signed and if a message has been added.
Our best advice to help if you are interested in collecting player football shirts is to visit the IFSCA website www.ifsca.com this is a website dedicated to collection of shirts by professional dealers and collectors all over the world.
Please visit the IFSCA International Football Shirt Collectors Association which is a matchworn - player issue - football shirt collectors club run by several friends this is a great club with expert advice and knowledge on shirts from collectors all over the world. We are not allowed to advertise links outside ebay but if you google IFSCA if will bring the IFSCA website up. We strongly recommend collectors of matchworn items to join this club as you can seek advice and pointers on what to look out for and what to avoid. This is a specialist area totally different to autographs.
Another site is called Football Shirt Culture please see guide by clicking following link Fake Matchworn Shirts on Football Shirt Culture
Remember the same as any auction do not bid on PRIVATE BIDDERS auctions and also PRIVATE FEEDBACK on eBay - if you join the club you can check with other collectors on relevant points to spot on a particular shirt. Always request a Certificate of Authenticy with name/address it acts as your receipt should anything go wrong.
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