The shirts are all part of my personal collection and every one carries a story, that you can read below. Click the images to enlarge.
CSKA Sofia shirt worn by captain, Nikolay Bodurov. On my way to Bulgaria for a Europa League game against Ludogorets, I had a message from a journalist who used to be the press officer at CSKA Sofia. Anyway, cutting a long story short, once in the country, I ended up with this shirt.
FC Copenhagen shirt signed by Mohammed Daramy, following the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round (2019/2020) game in Denmark. I already had the shirt from the first leg, so after the match, as I was in the dressing room area I got it signed personally: ‘To Rev’.
FC Midtjylland shirt worn by Mads Døhr Thychosen in the Europa League third qualifying round game (2018/2019) with The New Saints in Denmark. The players swapped shirts after the final whistle and Kurtis Byrne gave me this afterwards.
Europa FC shirt signed by the squad. I got on very well with the people from the champions of Gibraltar, when they played The New Saints in the 2017/2018 Champions League first qualifying round, and I was thrilled when I was presented with a shirt signed by the players. It isn’t a match shirt but a commemorative one.
Europa FC shirt signed by Liam Walker. As well as the shirt that was signed by the players, I was also given one to wear. However, it was too special to do that and so the following week in Portugal, where the game was played, I got it signed personally by Liam Walker, who was playing for Europa at the time. It was signed at the training session the day before the actual match.
Europa FC shirt. The black shirt was from the third kit, that wasn’t used during the UEFA Champions League games with The New Saints FC. Another unique item to my personal collection.
My shirt collection from north of the border began with the expansion of the Scottish Challenge Cup to include teams from other nations, including Wales. Click the images above to enlarge with information on each one below.
Livingston shirt. Josh Mullin’s, signed by the team that played The New Saints in the 2016/2017 season.
Partick Thistle shirt. Steve Saunders. It was great to see Steve and Rachael at the 2018/2019 JD Welsh Cup final. What a lovely surprise it was when Steve produced his shirt from the season just ended in Scotland. “You’ll have to sign it for me”, I said. “Already done” he replied.
St. Mirren shirt. Signed by Jack Ross, the manager at the time. The side played The New Saints in the 2016/2017 semi-final.
St. Mirren training top. Signed by Kyle Magennis. I was given the top at a previous game against the club and took it with me to an Irn-Bru Cup draw. I knew that St. Mirren were still in the competition and hoped that they would have a player representative there. As it was, I randomly say next to Kyle. Sorted.
St. Mirren tracksuit top. Signed by the team that played The New Saints FC in the semi-final of the Irn-Bru Cup in 2016/2017. I took the top into the dressing room before kick-off and when I went to collect it later, it wasn’t to be found. However, it did surface before we departed St. Mirren Park, so that was a relief.
Queen’s Park. The New Saints played The Spiders in the 2018/2019 season and a shirt was added to my collection. I got the players to sign it as they exited their dressing room at Park Hall, following the game.
Working for The New Saints FC, this is obviously where most of my shirts come from. Although the players would be more familiar than some of the others that I have in my collection, nevertheless they’re all just as special.
Cortez Belle. Port Talbot Town. Signed on back: “To a great friend, Best Wishes”.
Adrian Cieslewicz. Signed on back.
Greg Draper. Signed on front: “Dear Rev, Best Wishes”. Signed on back.
Steve Evans. Signed on back: “To Rev, All The Best. Evo”.
Paul Harrison. Signed on back: “To Rev, Best Wishes”. Signed on front.
Tom Holland. I won this in a guess the minute of the first goal competition. Signed by team on the front. Signed on the back: “To Rev, All The Best”.
Connell Rawlinson. Signed on back. Signed on front: “To Rev, All The Best”.
Scott Ruscoe. Signed on front: “To Stewart, Best Wishes”. Signed on back.
Mike Wilde. Shirt worn in UEFA Champions League game against B36 Torshavn in the Faroe Islands. Wilde scored. Signed on Front: “To Rev, Best Wishes”. Signed on back.
The New Saints Ladies FC. Signed on the coach journey back home from an historic win against Newcastle United Women. “Stewart, We’ve Made HISTORY!” and signed by squad.