Players celebratory revealing t-shirts bearing a personal message has been in the news recently, what with Mario Balotelli’s philosophical pondering on why it’s always him to the more serious matter of Billy Sharp dedicating a goal to his recently passed baby son.
Here are eight more from footballers who felt the need to get something off their chest.
Robbie Fowler supports the dockers
Just 24 hours after receiving a commendation from FIFA for his sporting behaviour against Arsenal (where the Prowler contested a penalty given in his favour) he whipped out this classic at the height of unrest in the Liverpool area due to the sacking of a number of dockers.
Sepp Blatter said of the Arsenal incident ‘It is the kind of reaction which helps maintain the dignity of the game’. For this he was fined 2000 Swiss francs by UEFA. The Cutter attests that showing solidarity for the local paying public is also a dignified act.
Andres Iniesta remembers his friend on the biggest stage of all
In August 2009 the Spanish football world was shocked to the core by the news that 26 year old Espanyol defender Daniel Gonzalez has suffered a fatal heart attack whilst on the phone to his girlfriend. A year later his close friend Iniesta showed off this fitting and dignified tribute (‘Dani Gonzalez, always with us’) after scoring the winning goal in a World Cup final. He was of course booked.
Paul Tait shits on the Villa
After smashing home the winner in the 1995 Auto Windscreens Shield final long-serving Brummie Tait taunted his side’s hated rivals. He probably still gets no end of grief every time he so much as pops out for milk so in reflection it wasn’t the wisest of moves.
Ian Wright did it. Then did it again.
Chasing Cliff Bastin’s goalscoring record of 178 for the Arse Ian Wright wrongly believed he had broken it in a home fixture against Bolton. He duly displayed a specially made t-shirt that tied in with his sponsor Nike’s slogan. In actual fact at this stage he had only drawn level with the great Bastin. Not to fret, five minutes and a simple tap-in later and out it came again.
Freddie Kanoute shows support for Palestine
When Seville striker and converted Muslim Kanoute peeled off his shirt in 2009 to show his support for the Palestinian people it caused something of an uproar. But no matter where your politics lies surely it’s more intellectually stimulating than a thousand tweets about X-Factor and Chipmonk (yes I’m looking at you Rio Ferdinand).
Kaka’s partner is great on crosses
Perhaps the most iconic t-shirt reveal of recent times. Apparently when Mourinho witnessed it he muttered ‘Not yet you don’t. I’m still at Chelsea’.
Lee Trundle takes the piss
After Swansea had secured the Football League Trophy in 2001 deep in enemy territory of Cardiff’s Millenium Stadium Trundle produced this classy little number.
In his last ever game for the Selecao Brazillian legend and infamous firebrand Romario surprised all after scoring an emotional farewell strike by unveiling a t-shirt that read ‘I have a little daughter with Down’s Syndrome who is a princess’. The ref promptly booked him.