England Football Online
Page Last Updated 23 April 2009
The Great Website Rip-Off
Glen Isherwood
26 March 2009
The Daily Mail:
I'd like to offer my congratulations to Des Kelly and his team of researchers at the Daily Mail for finally disproving the myth that all newspaper journalists are lazy and don't get out of bed until lunchtime.
The research that went into producing this article must have taken years. We know this because it's taken us five years to painstakingly document every England kit of the past sixty years, over 600 games. This has involved poring over countless old photographs and videos, and exchanging emails with people around the world to unveil the colours, styles, manufacturers and minor details from each game. We don't make any money out of this, but we know it's used by collectors and auction sites to authenticate the shirts that are being bought and sold in increasing regularity these days. It helps to identify the fraudulent ones and saves people money. We've done all this without the help of Umbro, who made most of the shirts, and the Football Association, who acquired them for the England team. Neither organisation considered it worthy enough to keep records of what was worn when.
Imagine our surprise when we discovered this article. It appears that the Daily Mail have been doing exactly the same research and have come up with exactly the same details, including the exact years when each shirt was worn, the total number of games in which each shirt was worn, the percentage success rate of each shirt and even the original retail price of the famous 1982 World Cup shirt, all of which appear on this website. There was me thinking that I was the only one who had studied the numbers on the back of England's shirts to determine that they switched from Bukta to Umbro in 1965. If only we'd known that they were also doing this research. They can't have taken it from englandfootballonline.com, because they'd surely have mentioned us, but we could have saved them all that effort by letting them have our details instead.
Such selfless devotion to the cause should be rewarded and the biggest tribute I can think of is to reproduce as much of the Daily Mail's material as we can to the widest audience. Sadly, we can't do this because of copyright laws, but Mr. Kelly can rest assured that his efforts haven't gone unnoticed and I hope this article, has gone some small way to recognising his achievement.