“NO. It’s rounder.”

Ever since Kettering Town took to the pitch against Bath City on 24 January 1976 with “Kettering Tyres” emblazoned across the front of their shirts, sharp men in sharper suits have been trying to concoct ingenious new schemes through which to capitalise on the popularity of the game. While some have been more successful than others (Blackpool’s 2011/12 sponsorship deal with Wonga.com was worth a measly £500k, ironically about the yearly interest on a loan of a tenner from that particular website) there has been ever-increasing opportunities to do so; with the advent of Sky Sports in 1990, the birth of the FA Premier League two years later and the reinvention of the European Cup as the UEFA Champions League, advertising agencies everywhere lost their shit at the prospect of interrupting our pre-match build-up and half-time analysis with aspirational interpretations of the game, designed to trick grown men into thinking a £150 pair of boots will make them play like Zinedine Zidane, or at least Roy Makaay. It certainly worked on myself as a fourteen year-old and after many, many Saturdays working for Pete/dad I was the proud owner of a pair of the beauties below; I just wish that the advert had warned me that by wearing a pair of white football boots worth over a hundred pounds I had condemned myself to three years of hurdling knee-high challenges and abuse from the parents of opposing centre-backs. At least I learned some new words, I suppose.

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