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Five Times Footballers Got Style Spot On

June 2018Words by Mr Simon Doonan, author of Saturday Night Fever Pitch

Mr George Best outside his Manchester Boutique, c.1970. Photograph by PA Images

Today’s football icons are the most style-obsessed dandies in sporting history. These ripped young gladiators – Messrs Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, Gareth Bale, et al – are the perfect canvas for today’s Saint Laurent blousons and eye-watering Balmain jeans. Whether from Nigeria, Bahia or Essex, today’s footie stars are unapologetically fashion-addicted. Once upon a time, player salaries were capped at a dismal £12 a week. In the early 1960s, the restrictions were lifted and, within a short period of time, players had disposable income and could squander their money on booze, cars, and… drumroll… clothes. Instead of getting hitched and hanging up the net curtains, they collectively jumped into the Ford Cortina of life and headed for the nearest boutique.

Messrs David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the contemporary icons of footballer fashion. But who came before them? With the World Cup kicking off this week, we offer you five vintage footballers whose style has stood the test of time.

Mr Mike Summerbee