Review: Saturday Night Fever Pitch
Anyone who's seen Nigeria's stunning World Cup home kit will know that football and fashion are more closely related than you might think. The beautiful game is becoming increasingly gentrified, and as it stands astride the class divide, terrace couture grows ever more popular. Brands like COPA now sell retro football shirts for fashion-conscious fans, while players themselves sport beards and tats capable of putting the most hirsute Brooklyn hipster to shame.
In his new book 'Saturday Night Fever Pitch', writer Simon Doonan explores the relationship between football and fashion, and examines how some of the game's most influential figures have become style icons in their own right. From the original Old Trafford dandy George Best, through Johann Cruyff, Andrea Pirlo and the walking brand that is David Beckham, Doonan casts his wry eye over football's greatest fops and fashionistas, and introduces us to the clans, eras and individuals that have helped define soccer style.
Doonan writes with wit and humour about one of the less-discussed sides of the world's favourite sport. Hairdos, tattoos, bling, cars, WAGs and watches – every aspect of the modern player's image falls under Doonan's scrutiny in Saturday Night Fever Pitch. He's also unearthed some incredible images. There's Diego Maradona reading about himself while getting his perm topped up (below), Mike Summerbee loading a seven-inch single into the dashboard of his Volvo P1800, and David Wagstafe's wife sporting the kind of outrageous '70s barnet you could comfortably stuff a mattress with.
With tensions between Russia and the UK running high, concerns about fan safety, behind-the-scenes corruption allegations and concerns about big questions over the prospects of the national team, football fans on these shores could do with a laugh. Doonan serves them up in spades.
Saturday Night Fever Pitch: The Magic and Madness of Football Style is available from Laurence King Publishing from Monday the 11th of June.