Christmas Gifts For Footie Lovers

Football, the beautiful game and the national obsession. Today’s gift guide is dedicated to football, with some fabulous gift ideas that you could choose if you can’t actually get tickets to the big game (which is WBA v Aston Villa on the 7th December in case you were wondering.)

This guide has gifts for football fans of all ages and some personalised options that will put a smile on the face of any football fan.

A Football Team History Book From In The Book

In The Book sells a wide range of personalised books for both adults and children. For football lovers it has a beautiful hardback personalised football book which traces the history of your favourite club through newspaper stories and headlines over the years, and is right up to date to the 2017/18 season.

The book is high in quality and has both black and white and colour stories. It makes a fascinating read for any football fan, and with over 60 teams available, including Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal, you should be able to find the club of your choice. The book is made even more special by the chance to have a personalised frontispiece with the name, and a message for the recipient.

The books start at £39.99 and are a gift that will last forever.

West Bromwich Albion Newspaper Headlines Book from £39.99 Click to visit In The Book

A Football Water Bottle From It’s Your Story

Another personalised football gift, this one is super cute and practical too. It’s Your Story has created a water bottle that is ideal for school, days out and when playing sport, but the beauty of this bottle is that your child will never get it mixed up with others as it has their face and name all over the front, in the guise of a goalkeeper. It is brilliant!

The bottle is made of aluminum and can come in silver or white. There is also the choice of two lids, both a plastic flip-top lid and a screw-top lid with a fob attachment. The bottle is tough and durable so will be hard wearing and long lasting.

The bottle costs £15 and would make a great stocking filler for a football fan.

Personalised Footballer Water Bottle £15 Click to visit It’s Your Story

World At Your Feet By Rob Parker

A beautifully illustrated story book with fabulous illustrations by Lawreta, ‘World at your Feet’ is a story about football that puts your child right into the heart of the action.  Written in rhyme, the story takes 16 of the world’s most iconic goals and makes them yours.

Famous goals scored by the likes of  Pele, Diego Maradona and Dennis Bergkamp are among those that are now rendered in rhyme as part of this enchanting story.

This is a lovely book that will make the perfect bedtime story to be enjoyed by both parents and children.

World At Your Feet Illustrated Football Book
Price £8.99 Click to buy

ONE WORLD FUTBOL™

Footballs that are forever going flat must be one of the banes of a parents life, but the One World Football may well be the answer to this age old problem. It was conceived by inventor Tim Jahnigen and developed with his friend and world-renowned entertainer and ardent football fan, Sting, the One World FutbolTM is durable, unpoppable and will never need to be pumped up as it never goes flat, making it ideal to play just about anywhere.

Every purchase is with purpose as a donation of 5% of the price is donated to support play projects and organizations working with children in disadvantaged communities worldwide, where play is scarce or non-existent.

The cost is £35, which is pretty impressive for a ball that will last forever.

 

One World Play Project Ultra-Durable Football for Kids and Adults £35 Click to visit Amazon

Beautiful Gifts From Art of Football

Four Four Two magazine described Art of Football as “…where the beautiful game comes to life”. Famous moments in football, the games iconic players and legends from both the past and the present are brought to life in the form of incredible artwork that is then produced on sweatshirts, t-shirts and art prints,

In this wonderful World Cup year, when England restored some long lost pride to the game for their long suffering supporters, there are designs dedicated to the Three Lions, including a Gareth Southgate Man of the year t-shirt and print. More poignant is the print dedicated to the legendary Cyrille Regis, who we lost in 2018.

Man Of The Year – England Tee or Sweat
£25.00 Click to visit Art of Football

The Trailblazer – Print or Canvas
£9.99 Click to visit Art of Football

Paul Smith at Selfridges

Selfridges has a good range of Christmas items that fall into the football category this year, but my key picks are from iconic British designer Paul Smith. Cufflinks and ties with a football print will appeal to the most stylish of football fans when they find them in their stocking.


PAUL SMITH Football cufflinks £90.00 Click to visit Selfridges


PAUL SMITH Footballer twill silk tie £100.00 Click to visit Selfridges


PAUL SMITH Footballer cufflinks £85.00 Click to visit Selfridges

 

 

Valentine’s Gift Ideas For The Man In Your Life

Looking for a Valentine’s day gift for the man in your life? Then step this way. Today I bring you a variety of gifts that should suit all tastes and price points, so whether you are looking for something smart to wear, a pampering gift of luxury, or something sexy for a Valentine’s Day thrill, there is something to suit every man here.

A classic Shirt from Avail London

A stylish, classic white shirt is a great gift idea, whether it is a new piece for the office, or an option for wearing on a night out. Avail London have a range of high quality shirts that come in a muscle fit, perfect for a man who takes a pride in his body and appearance. These slim fit shirts have a muscle fit stretch and a cool modern feel. I love classic white, which looks great with dark denim, but if you are looking for a more romantic look for Valentine’s day, you could opt for a pink option.

 

White Short Sleeve Muscle Fit Shirt £34.99 Click to visit Avail London

Light Pink Muscle Fit Shirt £34.99 Click to visit Avail London


Dobell Crimson Red Dupion Tie
£6.99 Click to visit Avail London

A gift for a designer lover from Mainline Menswear

If your loved one likes his labels, then a gift of designer menswear, or a product from a High quality label could be a good choice. Mainline Menswear stock everything for the discerning gent who loves his designer wear, from shirts, jumpers and jeans, to accessories, nightwear and shoes.

One of my key picks from Mainline is the Diesel Justin Julio pyjama set. It comes in a range of sizes from small to extra large, and, very important for a gift idea, the pyjamas come beautifully gift wrapped, making them perfect to present without the need of wrapping or a gift bag. The pyjamas themselves are stylish, soft and comfortable, basically a gift you can’t go wrong with. These are a brilliant choice for the man who loves to lounge, someone who works in a suit all day, comes home and just wants to Netflix and chill.

Diesel Justin Julio Pyjama Set Grey £65 Click to visit Mainline Menswear

A Scooter from Skates

Sometimes finding the right present for someone involves thinking outside the box. If your loved one is a bit of a fitness freak who is looking at ways to leave the car at home, then a foldable scooter could well be a great gift option. The JD Bug Classic Street 120 Scooter from Skates is a fab idea as it is lightweight, folds away so it can be stored easily and will fit into your boot, and can help you keep fit and active. Skates have a expansive range of scooters, skates and skateboards which could help you find a gift option to suit your loved one, and as they currently have a sale on, you might be able to find something at a bargain price.

Pampering Goods

Luxury pampering goods are so often focused on women, but Valentine’s day is the perfect time to pamper the man in your life too. If your other half does a heavy lifting job, or has pressures that make him struggle to unwind, Nelson’s Arnicare bath and massage balm could be a lovely gift, especially if you add an IOU for a massage too. The oil smells divine due to the scent of Lavender and Grapefruit essential oils , arnica is well known as a natural remedy for aches and pains, and, added to a bath, this can be a good way to relax as you wash away the stresses of the day.

Nelsons arnicare bath & massage balm costs £8.55 and is available from Boots and Amazon. www.arnicare.co.uk

Another luxurious gift idea is linked to shaving. Many men are now ditching the shaving lotion and returning to the traditional way of shaving through the use of shaving soap. Hayes Garden World are a leading supplier of garden furniture and accessories, but they also stock a range of items which make lovely gift ideas for both men and women. In their current offering they have a host of products from Arran Aromatics including the Lochranza shave stone and soap. This is a shaving soap that combines cedar and vetiver, with patchouli, bay and anise. It comes in a stunning stone bowl, and you can buy replacement soaps, making this a wonderfully stylish addition to his man shelf in the bathroom.

Arran Aromatics Lochranza Shave Stone & Soap £25 Click to visit Hayes Garden World

Something for the bedroom

Valentine’s Day is all about lovers, so a saucy, sexy gift could raise a smile (and a whole lot more) when you present it to your lover and loved one on February 14th. G-Strings to No Strings: A Modern Kama Sutra by award-winning French designer Ionna Vautrin is a hoot and could be the perfect cheeky gift idea. A fun, quirky little illustrated book, this is an update of the classic Kama Sutra, filled with quirky illustrations and very funny and modern titles (Better Together is the nod to Brexit I’m guessing). The ideas are playful and suggestive drawings and with Catwoman, Darth Vader and Princess Leia featured, it will answer every erotic fantasy.

If Ionna Vautrin’s book has wetted the appetite (ahem!) then why not give this as a gift along with One mixed pleasure condoms? ONE Mixed Pleasures condoms offer a variety of flavours and textures, making sure that any intimate encounter is memorable while keeping you protected. Available from Superdrug for £9.99 for six, each condom has a different style, from glow in the dark, to super studs, to vanish – which is an hyperthin design.

I’m guessing that these are another gift where an IOU would be greatly appeciated, and anticipated, and could certainly make your Valentine’s night a whole lot of fun.

Gifts for a football lover

If you have a football lover for a partner, and are looking for something unique, then a gift from the Art of Football could be the answer. The Art of Football creates beautiful images of iconic players, and famous moments from football, and in turn uses them on t-shirts, sweatshirts and art prints. They cover a range of teams, from the Premier League and Championship, to National teams and International teams. The artwork features modern heroes, from Olivier Giroud and his scorpion kick, to Messi and Ronaldo, to players from days past like Pele and WBA hero Jeff Astle.

These are truly unique and stunning, and would be treasured by any football fan.

Sting In The Tail – Tee
£25.00 Click to visit Art of Football

They Think It’s All Over – Print or Canvas
£9.99 Click to visit Art of Football

 

 

 

Get Involved in Grassroots Football In 2018

From a very early age my boy Joe has kicked a football. It was probably in his blood. As a family we are all a bit football mad, season ticket holders at West Bromwich Albion, with my brother playing to a semi professional level at Walsall FC until illness forced him to give up the sport he loves still. So Joe was probably primed to love football, both watching and playing, from an early age. I hear many negatives about grassroots football, but I wanted to share why I think being involved with a team can be a good thing, whether you are a boy or a girl, and whatever your age.

1. You get to travel

Sport really can broaden the horizons, even from an early age. Joe has already traveled to London to play at Arsenal as part of The Albion Foundation, and this year is hoping to take part in a tournament in Somerset. As he gets older, there may be opportunities further afield, my brother played in a tournament in Cyprus as a teenager, whilst companies like Absolute Sports Travel organise football tours that take in tournaments all over the world, allowing the opportunity to combine travel and football, with tournaments against teams from all around the world in places like Spain, Holland, Belgium and Italy.

Fitness Levels

As parents, we all worry that our children spend too much time stuck in front of a computer, tablet, Nintendo Switch, Play Station and numerous other online activities that see them become the modern equivalent of the couch potato. Joining a football team certainly stops this, as well as games Joe has training with his team twice a week, and this then encourages him to practice in his garden too, with new goals and a rebound net at the top of his Christmas list this year. This is fitness that is also great fun!

It’s a great family activity

Watching Joe play is something that we do as a family, it is a great bonding experience. Sometimes nan and grandad come along too, and Joe likes to watch his cousin Renee play – she is only four but already football mad and takes part in indoor coaching as part of the Future Baggies programme.

Joe helping Renee by going in goal

It’s a great way to make friends

Joe is an only child, and we live in a semi rural area some distance from school friends, so football is a great way to make new friends and to socialise with other children after school and at the weekend, Through football, there have been invites to parties, opportunities for ground tours and trips, and a whole host of friendships with children he would not have met otherwise.

Do you have any thoughts on Grassroots football? Is your child involved? Would love to hear your thoughts.