Goalsoul

Bypass club superstores and check out a company that illuminates why football really is the Beautiful Game via subtle tees and prints that are heavy on both design and quality.

Bypass club superstores and check out a company that illuminates why football really is the Beautiful Game.

With the exception of the anomaly that is David Beckham, football and fashion have always been uneasy bedfellows. An androgynous George Best cut quite the figure back in the days when Britain was still swinging but as the flares of the seventies morphed into the mullets of the eighties, fat ties of the nineties and the manbags of the noughties the beautiful game has made Jeremy Clarkson look like a model of sartorial elegance. Cut to the terraces and there's a similar problem as with the exception of the tuned-in casuals, the average fan has been left with a conundrum of sporting the nylon atrocities that are official club strips or tees picked up from hawkers outside grounds that come only with the guarantee they'll simultaneously run and shrink on the first wash. Sheffield-based goalsoul think they have created a viable alternative and we're loath to disagree. Disenchanted with the soulless offerings provided in club shops the design savvy quartet Cristian Bustamante, Ricky Elderkin, Rudi Boutinaud and Martin Durkan set about exploring what made the game they love so great before interpreting their findings in a wearable, aesthetically pleasing manner. In their own words: 'The mission at goalsoul is to create beautiful and intelligent designs that celebrate both the noble and ignoble sides of the game'. The results are impressive. Taking iconic moments or characters from the game and graphically representing them in a thought provoking fashion, that on further inspection tell stories of a bygone era, the goalsoul team have brought to life football's heartbeat to a tee - quite literally. There is a literary intelligence to the tees that has been well thought out, with the 'Butcher of Bilbao' Andoni Goikoetxea depicted via a blood-stained meat cleaver as his borderline sociopathic tackling is played out against a chilling rouge backdrop. Johan Cruyff, known as 'Pythagoras in boots' in his playing days and whose verbal dexterity spawned the term 'Cruijffiaans' to describe his soundbites which are a cross between Oscar Wilde and Groucho Marx, is represented perfectly with a geometric construction that somehow also echoes the Total Football philosophy of Rinus Michels, to which Cruyff was such a convert and key practitioner. Refreshingly screen printed by hand, all goalsoul products are ethically sourced and produced with 100% combed cotton. In short, they are the thinking (football) man's tee. In a sea of bastardized corporate crap, as a growing brand, goalsoul are a shining light in terms of design, execution and integrity. They have also recently expanded their operation into producing polo shirts, which sport the goalsoul emblem, while their custom made prints would add a splash of colour and design savvy to any living room wall at a more than reasonable 24 quid. If you're looking for a t-shirt that says 'yeah, I'm a football fan but can read too' bypass the official club superstore and check out goalsoul. Visit goalsoul here to stop looking like a tramp on the terraces...

Around Sky