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

 

 

Adventures In Football – Life In The Championship

If you have been following this blog for a while, it is a fair assumption that you will know I happen to be a huge football fan. And although I have a rather unhealthy obsession with Olivier Giroud which led to me following Arsenal, and now Chelsea, my heart ultimately lies with The Baggies, aka West Bromwich Albion. It is safe to say that the last couple of seasons have been a bit of a rocky ride to say the least.

West Brom had spent eight years in the heady heights of the Premier League, until last season when a succession of disastrous managerial decisions saw us relegated to the Championship. It was safe to say that the Premier League had been an exhilarating, but ultimately heartbreaking ride, and I cried as if my heart would break when Southampton beat Swansea and we went down, despite the heroics of our manager, and club legend, Big Dave, Darren Moore.

So now we are in the Championship, and, despite no longer seeing the glamour clubs of English football, I am actually enjoying the ride, We are scoring goals, lots of them, we have an exciting front partnership of Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle, and the precocious talent of Harvey Barnes. We seem to have to score four goals to win, but more often than not we can do this, and the crowds are returning to the ground, falling in love once again with the excitement of the beautiful game. My boy Joe has started taking part in football tours, and this week he is off to Hull City to enjoy the atmosphere of an away game.

Football in a sport like no other, it ignites the passion and is in the blood. Your favourite team can infuriate you, excite you, disgust you at times, and make you feel so happy with a single goal (I’m thinking of WBA v Spurs, when it genuinely seemed the dream of survival might just be on. Football also unites, the heartfelt tributes to Leicester City’s owner and chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha this weekend has shown that football has its rivalries, but it is also a family.

Are you a football fan? Who do you follow?

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.