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Sparta Prague 1992-93, Home Shirt

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I decided to eschew a shirt from the store at Sparta’s Letna stadium since the only ones on offer at the time were fairly boring Nike designs; I saved my money for a Bohemians Praha shirt. But that didn’t stop me from finding a Sparta Prague shirt via the internet upon returning home. I had wanted a Sparta shirt sporting this classic Adidas design (please see my Liverpool and Levski Sofia entries) since watching Sparta face Galatasaray in the 1995/96 Uefa Cup as a kid.

Amazingly, I remember the night like it was yesterday. We were in my grandmother’s house as my late grandfather sat on the couch listening to his classical music. On TV was the team I would learn to love, Galatasaray. My eyes caught Sparta Prague’s maroon Nike kits—with the Opel sponsor in the center of the chest. To a kid growing up in America it was all foreign—especially the Opel. Weren’t they just Chevrolets, after all? Still, the shirt reminded me of a fake Bayern Munich shirt my parents had bought me, which carried the Opel sponsor as well. Later I learned that the Bayern shirt was a copy of the era’s design (the same Adidas template and same Opel sponsor as this shirt only on a red background with blue stripes) which Sparta had also worn. Ever since that night I had wanted a Sparta Prague shirt with an Opel sponsorship and here it is.

The fabric is standard Adidas from the era and in Sparta’s trademark maroon with “Opel” printed on the front but with no club badge. I honestly have no idea if this is a latter-day imitation of the shirt (photos and videos from the period include shirts with no badge and the tags are definitely from the era, but one can never know). Still, this Sparta Praha shirt represents a childhood dream fulfilled and that is all I can really ask for at this point.

The shirt being worn against Werder Bremen:

 

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Sigma Olomouc 1998-1999, Home Shirt

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I got this shirt way back in high school way before ever setting foot in the Czech Republic—I think it was the Mazda sponsorship that had attracted me since the number one thing on my mind back then had been getting a car. The shirt is a very standard Adidas fabric and I have half a mind to think that the Sigma Olomouc details are heat pressed onto this Adidas template from the era by someone in a back room with a heat press machine. After all, I feel like if I wash this one too many times the writing will all peal off and I’ll be left with a blue Adidas shirt! Turkish football fans will remember Sigma Olomouc for their 7-1 thrashing of Fenerbahce in the 1991-92 UEFA Cup. The team have since fallen far; currently they play in the Czech second division.

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Czech Republic 1996-1997, Home Shirt Matchworn Novotny 20

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This classic Puma design (as worn by Neftochimik Burgas, among others) is one of my favorites. The fact that this one is (purportedly) match worn by Jiri Novotny only adds to its value for me personally. The bright red fabric of this extra-large sized shirt is not shiny like Neftochimik’s, it is more of a matted finish—similar, in fact, to the fabric used by Tomy Sport for Cherno More Varna’s shirt. The numbers and name are both felt printed in a professional manner. In short, a very classy shirt.

 

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Bohemians Prague 2010-2011, Goalkeeper’s Shirt

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On my visit to Praha I saw all three stadiums that the beautiful city had to offer. And I decided on a shirt from the smallest of the city’s three teams—Bohemians Prague. Unfortunately, this shirt is not in the team’s traditional green and white colors (the only vestige of the team’s colors are in the badge—complete with the team’s kangaroo logo!). According to the man who sold it to me at the team’s shop outside the Dolicek stadium it is a goalkeeper’s shirt. I asked for a shirt with a name but was informed that no such shirts existed. Still, this is a good quality Umbro shirt sized extra large, with all the requisite sponsors–which are all professionally screen printed.

 

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1. FC Brno 2009-2010, Home Shirt

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Sure, I might have swerved off the highway without warning at the Brno exit en route to Bratislava much to my friends’ consternation but isn’t this shirt a great souvenir from the Mestsky Fotbalovy Stadion Srbska? There is no sponsor, nor is there a name and number, but its still a pretty shirt—the white pin stripes add a lot to Umbro’s design. For me the badge is a little small but it is professionally applied—and that’s something.

 

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