I’ve been a Philosophy Football customer since they started business 20 years ago, so when an email about their new World Cup T-shirts arrived in my inbox, I got in touch to ask if I could have one. There were two reasons for this shameless act of blagging. Obviously, I wanted one and, not having a job at the moment, thought I could pay in kind with a review. Secondly, I’m a big fan of their work and wanted to make more people aware of it. To my delight, they thought this was a good idea and I’m now the proud owner of their 32 Nations shirt.
For anyone unfamiliar with Philosophy Football, they define themselves as ‘sporting outfitters of intellectual distinction’ and, with shirts featuring quotes by thinkers including Camus, Nietzsche and Cantona – yes, the infamous sardines make an appearance – in their range, you can see why.
Several of them juxtapose these highbrow musings with squad numbers on the back, which has always made me smile. Think of the Monty Python Philosophers’ Football Match sketch – and they’ve got a shirt for that too, as it happens – and you get the idea.
I really like the retro look of the shirts; they’re a welcome throwback to when the game was about glory, doing things in style – speaking of which, that’s part of a quote from their Danny Blanchflower offering – rather than using it as a vehicle for making obscene amounts of money. This makes them a great alternative to expensive replica shirts that loyal fans feel compelled to replace every season.
So on to this specific one and, unsurprisingly, it’s in the colours synonymous with this year’s host nation and lover of the beautiful game – and, yes, that’s a quote from one Edson Arantes do Nascimento which is also in the Philosophy Football range. As you can see from the picture above, the design takes the form of a map of Brazil with the edges defined by the names of the countries competing in this year’s tournament. It’s 100% cotton and very comfortable and I think it looks great.
With both the World Cup and Father’s Day around the corner, I heartily recommend it – there’s a reason why I already own several of their shirts! If football isn’t your thing, they also have offerings in their range from a variety of other sports – Wimbledon and the Tour de France are among them – as well as plenty based on dissenters and philosophers.
A great gift idea for for the discerning football fans in your life.