As pre-seasons go, this year’s hasn’t exactly been the best. Four losses, two wins and a draw, along with a lack of squad positions reinforced, hasn’t got everyone filled with optimism ahead of this weekend’s opening clash with Southampton. Well at least we have some smart little numbers to pull on when McClaren sends his side out against the Saints…. Don’t we?
In the week the club released the new away kit, one supporters group were inundated with orders for their Alternative shirt. With many fans feeling adrift from the club, representing the city less every year, there’s no ignoring the movement to alternative tops and retro style shirts.
Many supporters have quite simply had enough of the ironed on crest, the straying from unique looks and the template designs. The Magpie Shirt offers a united stand at the board and the club’s sponsor, Wonga.
An official statement from TheMagpieBrand.co.uk reads:
Thousands of supporters look on with embarrassment and disgust at the current Wonga clad black, blue and white replica kits. For many, they are simply not an attractive or financially viable option that represents them – the proud members, supporters and lifeblood of Newcastle United. The Magpie Shirt strengthens the ties between the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the club so that each and every supporter can feel a sense of belonging and pride in their football team once again.
The shirt encompasses a magpie logo, known all over the world as synonymous with Newcastle United and red shield with three silver castles, the main insignia on the city coat of arms and its oldest known representation, depicting the unbreakable ties between the club and the city so sadly damaged under the current ownership of Newcastle United.
Sports Direct and Mike Ashley do not deserve any more supporters’ money and we strongly feel that advertising a legal loan shark is wholly inappropriate, especially on shirts for children and The Magpie Shirt offers a viable alternative.
They also offer an easy alternative to endless eBay browsing for original replicas!
The concept of these shirts is a fantastic one and shows the power fans still hold in a billion pound industry, controlled by the ludicrously wealthy. Although some will always argue that to truly support the club they have to don the official club merchandise, you cannot knock the supporter groups behind the shirts for making a stand. There are plenty of retro shirt on the market, but here are some of our favourites.
This Special Edition 1924 NUFC shirt from toffs.com certainly stands out from the crowd and is an excellent alternative. The retro lace up collar adds a superb old school touch and makes it our pick of the bunch.
Arguably one of the best Newcastle shirts ever, the 96 away top still remains a fan favourite and shows no sign of going out of fashion. This version from CampoRetro retains the famous Brown Ale logo, a far cry from the current shirt sponsor, and has the option to have any of the Entertainers’ names on the reverse. At a measly £24 it’s an absolute bargain too.
Sticking with the late 90s throwback, CampoRetro also offers up a brilliant nod to The Magpies run to the 1998 FA Cup Final. Along with the classic mid-length sleeves, the unique design on the back of the shirt will take many fans back to the glory days of yesteryear.
As the popularity of The Magpie Shirt has shown, there is a huge demand from fans who aren’t willing to continue to line Mike Ashley’s pockets. Providing instant nostalgia, with smaller price tags and not a loan shark in sight, each retro and alternative top offers a fresh stance when pulling on a black and white shirt.
For more information on The Magpie Brand and their alternative United shirt, click here.