The latest U’s fan to showcase his shirt collection is Josh Hunt, who spent lockdown looking for an example of every United home & away shirt from 1990 to present. How did he get on? We’ll let Josh take up the story…
It goes without saying that lockdown has affected many aspects of our lives since March 2020. There are less cars on the road, less planes in the sky, and there is less money in my bank account thanks to an expensive expansion of my collection of U’s shirts.
At the start of lockdown 1.0, I decided it was a great idea to try and collect every Cambridge United Home and Away shirt since 1990. I had originally said 1992 (my birth year) but then I realised the 90-91 shirts were just too beautiful to miss out on.
1990-2020: 30 years of shirts
So here it is, all of my home and away shirts from 1990 up to 2020. 30 years of shirts. This isn’t my entire collection but it does make up the majority of it. As a general rule, the 90’s shirts are largely my favourites and I can’t wait to wear some of them on those first big away days, once we are allowed to do so.
My Favourites to Wear
Here are my nine favourite shirts. Can you tell I like a collar? The most expensive piece of my collection, and my “holy grail” shirt, is the 90-91 away sponsored by Fujitsu. I purchased it from a retro football shirts Instagram account that I luckily stumbled across and sent payment with very little faith that I’d ever actually receive it. I’m glad I did! It’s worth every penny as far as I’m concerned and is definitely my favourite shirt to wear of the entire lot.
I’ve also got four very special shirts which have been match-worn by four of my favourite players of all time…
Match-Worn: Chadwick 14-15 Third Shirt
Ah Chadders, the fan of the club who turned into a club legend. His presence steadied the ship, both in the second half of the 13/14 season, and in the second half of the playoff final. Sharing a drink with him in the infamous Dublin suite promotion party was a pleasure, even if he was on the Smirnoff Ices!
Match-Worn: Coulson 10-12 Home Shirt (signed) (ripped!)
What can you say about Josh? A Cherry Hinton boy and Cambridge legend. This shirt is a great part of my collection, match-worn, signed and ripped! I feel that represents his true character. This was worn in a season where not much happened but nonetheless it’s an honour to have a shirt of his.
Match-Worn: Kitson 03-05 Home Shirt with Away Sponsor (signed)
Dave Kitson was the first player I truly worshipped at the Abbey. I started attending regularly in 2003, and Kitson seemed to have a knack for scoring goals seemingly out of nowhere. He seemed to be a glimmer of hope in some very dark seasons for us. This signed, match-worn, long sleeve shirt is actually a home shirt with the away sponsor, which is a nice unique touch.
Match-Worn: Peters 07/08 Third Shirt
This is a special one. Worn once by the legend that is Mark Peters in a 3-1 loss away at Forest Green in the Conference, and then worn several times by me as a player for Abbey United IFC before a ruptured ACL forced an early retirement. Mark Peters is one of my favourite footballers of all time (I know that’s weird) and therefore owning this shirt is very special to me.
Having worn the shirt for Abbey United whilst rising to the top of their goals-per-game rankings (12 goals in 7 – sign me up Mark!), as well as wearing it the first time I played in an 11-a-side match with my dad and brother, this makes the shirt absolutely priceless to me.
I understand that objectively speaking, it’s not the prettiest Cambridge United shirt of all time, it’s in awful condition, and was worn only once by a player that nobody likes as much as I do – but that doesn’t stop it being one of my favourites.
If you’ve got a shirt collection you’d like to show off, or anything else U’s related you’d like to get off your chest, we’d love to hear it, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on Twitter.