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Sat 01 December 2018, 10:43|Tottenham Hotspur

Ledley King launched a fascinating new official book ‘The Spurs Shirt’ at an exclusive event for One Hotspur Members and Season Ticket Holders at the new Spurs Shop at the Tottenham Experience on Friday night.

The book on the history of our colours showcases the greatest collection of Tottenham Hotspur match worn shirts ever seen.

‘The Spurs Shirt’ is available now at all Spurs Shops and online, priced at £30.

Our legendary former captain and now Club Ambassador, Ledley was joined by co-author Daren Burney for a Q&A with fans in attendance and a book signing session.

A one-club man, Ledley played 323 times for us between 1999-2012 and his greatest moment was in one of our iconic kits - the 125-year anniversary kit with ‘125 years’ stitched under the famous cockerel badge. The team wore that kit when we beat Chelsea to lift the League Cup at Wembley in 2008.

Ledley said: “As a one-club man who played at Tottenham for my whole career, and who was privileged enough to be named captain, wearing the Spurs shirt was one of the greatest honours of my life. I was, and still am, immensely proud that I got to wear that famous shirt so many times.

“This superb book tells the story of the Spurs shirts worn over the decades by generations of Tottenham legends. It’s not just the story of the shirts but the people who wore them, and the games they were featured in. In fact, leafing through the wonderful shirts on the pages of the book, they tell the story of the club itself and really bring its history to life.”

More than a shirt

There is nothing that identifies a football club more than its colours. No matter how much styles change and designs alter, the shirt represents the history and heritage of the team that wears it and the lilywhite and blue of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is one of the most famous and iconic football jerseys of them all.

As the great Steve Perryman enthuses: “The proud cockerel, the crew-neck, the pure lilywhite. The shirt was clean, it was proper and it stood out. It made you think of the legends who have worn that shirt with pride before you. When you were wearing it, you felt you could achieve anything. We could beat anyone.”

The Spurs Shirt book is the conclusion of three years of painstaking research. In the process a match worn example of almost every style of Tottenham Hotspur shirt (home and away) since the glory days of the 1960s – including a jersey from every post-war cup final Spurs have ever played in – has been tracked down and beautifully photographed to create a stunning coffee table book which offers a unique perspective on the illustrious history of the club.

The book contains over 200 shirts worn or prepared for more than 110 different Spurs players, including legends like Danny Blanchflower, Jimmy Greaves, Steve Perryman, Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles, Paul Gascoigne, David Ginola, Gareth Bale and Harry Kane. Each jersey conjures up memories and moments from Tottenham Hotspur’s glorious past – from Blanchflower lifting the FA Cup to seal the ‘Double’ in 1961 to Jurgen Klinsmann’s debut goal and dive celebration or Gareth Bale’s one-man demolition of Inter Milan in the Champions League. Gaze at Ricky Villa’s No.5 shirt from the 1981 FA Cup final replay and the memories of that mazy run through the Manchester City defence come flooding back.

The Spurs shirt is not just another white football shirt. Some jerseys are defined by their colour scheme or a distinctive crest, but in the case of Spurs it is a combination of both. It comes attached with a myriad of myths and legends, all of which have been exhaustively researched for this book so that the truth can be categorically revealed. Were Spurs really influenced by the colours of the once mighty Preston North End when they chose white shirts and navy shorts in the 1890s? Is it true that manager Bill Nicholson was copying the great Real Madrid side of the late 1950s and early 1960s when he sent the team out to play their first European campaign in 1961 wearing white shorts, starting a tradition that is still upheld today? What happened with the 1987 FA Cup final mix-up, when half of the shirts did not have the logo of sponsor Holsten on the front?

The folklore is all part of the allure. The lilywhite shirt with the navy cockerel is an instantly recognisable expression of Tottenham Hotspur’s heart and soul.

As the original King of White Hart Lane, Alan Gilzean, once said: “In the end I would have played for nothing just to have been able to pull on that white shirt with the cockerel on it.”

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