Monday, 30 August 2010

Ebay "Match Worn" Keane Shirts

Browsing ebay lately, I have noticed a lot of listings claiming to be offering genuine match worn United shirts. Some of these seem to be the real deal. While it is impossible to tell just from descriptions and photos whether they are indeed what they say they are, there are many ways to tell if the shirt is the same type that would have been issued to the players.

There are often a few differences between the match shirts worn by the players and replicas sold in shops. Often they are very subtle details which would be missed by most people, sometimes they are immediately obvious. A good example would be the 1994-96 home shirt. The replicas had printed sponsors and manufacturers logos and a machined crest whereas the players' shirts had an embossed Sharp logo and silk embroidered club crest and Umbro logo.

Recently I noticed an auction for a "match worn" Champions League issue Roy Keane shirt, which was described as follows:

MANCHESTER UNITED NO 16 ROY KEANE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCH WORN SHIRT SIZE LARGE !!!!

THE SHIRT COMES WITH ALL THE DISTINGUISHING OVERSIZED NUMBERING AND LETTERING THAT DIFFERS FROM NORMAL REPLICA SHIRTS..

THE SHARP VIEWCAM SPONSORS LOGO LETTERING IS LARGER FOR TV PURPOSES AND THE CHRIS KAY FELT NUMBERING AND LETTERING ON THE REVERSE OF THE SHIRT IS LARGER THAN ON ALL REPLICA SHIRTS... THIS IS NOT TO BE MISSED OUT ON AS I THINK ALL OF YOU WILL AGREE THAT THIS WOULD BE A SUPERB ADDITION TO ANY COLLECTION !!!

ALL OUR SHIRTS ARE BRAND NEW WITH TAGS

THE SHIRT IS NOT A CHEAP ASIAN FAKE AND IS A 100% GENUINE REPLICA SHIRT

WE MUST STRESS THAT WE ONLY SELL 100% GENUINE ITEMS, WE DO NOT SELL FAKE ITEMS
ALL OUR MATCH WORN ITEMS ARE SOURCED VIA A KIT MAN IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE.
Aside from the odd contradiction at the bottom ("100% genuine replica", indeed!), this item is clearly being advertised as having been worn by Keane in a Champions League game. I noticed several details that disproved this claim and sent a message to the seller, who I had given the benefit of the doubt to. I have done similarly on other occasions and often the sellers thank me for the information and update their listings with the corrections. In this case, however, this seller did not respond to my message. It sold on the 20th of August for £112.

Just ten days later, I spotted the same item being offered by another seller and this time the description was even more forceful with the claim that it had been worn by Keane in the Champions League:

You are looking at a CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCH WORN shirt, worn by the one of United's GREATEST EVER LEGENDS....................

ROY KEANE

It was worn for one of the group games, on the way to winning the world famous TREBLE in 1999.

Roy had a TREMENDOUS season that year, and will always be remembered for his performance in the semi against Juventus, when he selflessly galvanised the side after being booked and ruled out of the final.

It's in the EXACT condition it was in when he left the field that night.

Shirt has all the differences between match issued shirts and replicas from that time (note the pictures).

THE DISTINGUISHING OVERSIZED NUMBERING AND LETTERING THAT DIFFERS FROM NORMAL REPLICA SHIRTS..
THE SHARP VIEWCAM SPONSORS LOGO LETTERING IS LARGER FOR TV PURPOSES AND THE CHRIS KAY FELT NUMBERING AND LETTERING ON THE REVERSE OF THE SHIRT IS LARGER THAN ON ALL REPLICA SHIRTS..........

Complete one off. Any questions, please feel free to ask. And see my other items for more Match Shirts and sports items.

Again, there is a contradiction in the description. Firstly it states the shirt was "worn for one of the group games", then goes on to say that the shirt is in "the EXACT condition it was in when (Keane) left the field that night" - refering to the aforementioned semi final away to Juventus... where United wore their red European home shirts!

The photos used in both listings are the same, although one has been cropped - I believe to obscure a detail that was not present on the actual shirts the players wore in the Champions League that year - the black rectangular Vapatech label. That was not present on shirts worn in that competition due to strict UEFA rules. Neither was the red white and black 'flag' on the right arm. Keane always wore an XL size shirt, I am not aware of any verified match worn Keane shirts in a smaller size and the one in the auction is an L. The sponsors logos are the same size on players shirts as they are on the replicas, contrary to what is stated in the description and UEFA are stricter in regard to the size of sponsors logos than the Premier League, although there was no difference with these particular shirts.

The Champions League name and number sets are currently available to buy in the same size as was used on the players' shirts from the excellent Wiggy Sports online store, so this does not prove anything about the shirt other than that it is merely a replica with the correct retro printing applied to it.

Here is a clip of Ryan Giggs scoring in the 3-3 draw with Barcelona in the 1998-99 season while wearing the away shirt (in a home match, oddly enough):



Spot the difference:

This is not a "Match Worn" shirt

The lesson - beware of what you see for sale on ebay. Things are not always what they claim to be.

1 comment:

  1. Great read , i contacted the seller also telling him it was just a replica shirt , i also got no response from them

    retro red devil

    ReplyDelete