Christmas presents for sports fans, from football books, to boxing t-shirts, Clive Tyldesley’s notes Jurgen Klopp loves and even Rocky’s belt!
Christmas shopping may be slightly different this year.
We don’t when the non-essential shops will open again, but luckily talkSPORT has some brilliant picks if you are looking to buy something for the sport fan in your life, beginning with an offering from talkSPORT’s Big Al.
ALAN BRAZIL: ONLY HERE FOR A VISIT
Packed full of never-before-told stories, sporting controversy, refreshing appraisals of his career and a cast of larger-than-life characters.
Mt Brazil has crammed a lot into his life and ‘Only Here For A Visit’ is a brutally honest and wickedly funny insight into an extraordinary life. You can buy it from WH Smith here.
“It’s been a joy to revisit some of the greatest moments in my life, from growing up as a wee kid in Glasgow to playing football for Ipswich, Tottenham, Man United and Scotland, and on to a broadcasting career that has taken me all over the world,” Big Al told us.
KLOPP: MY LIVERPOOL ROMANCE
Liverpool-born Anthony Quinn loves the Anfield boss. That much is clear. As he points out, 10 years ago he had never heard of him but the famous man in the UK is quite simply his favourite man.
And how can anyone with an affinity to the club not yearn for one of those famous hugs or be smiled at with those pearly whites?
This is a man whose humbleness has endeared himself to a city, who exudes passion standing on the touchline and, importantly for the Anfield faithful, has delivered a league title – he’d previously banned his players from touching the ‘This is Anfield’ sign until silverware was secured. Available here.
FOOTBALL’S BLACK PIONEERS
If you enjoyed talkSPORT’s acclaimed six-part ‘Coming in From the Cold‘ then you will enjoy Football’s Black Pioneers, available here.
Viv Anderson writes the foreword here as stories of the first black players to represent the 92 League clubs is told.
From Arthur Wharton’s debut for Sheffield United in 1885 right up to the present day, the authors have spent four years researching the various stories. They include the only black Busby Babe and the player who was picked for England and then dropped when selectors discovered he was black.
THE A-Z OF WEIRD & WONDERFUL FOOTBALL SHIRTS
As talkSPORT’s dynamic duo, Hawksbee and Jacobs say, this is an “absolute cracker – You just disappear down a rabbit hole [of football shirts] – a great football toilet read.”
Author Richard Johnson is the man behind nostalgia blog ‘The Football Attic’ and it’s safe to say, has a big interest in football kits.
If it’s a trip down football kit memory lane you’re after then this is the one as you will recognise some old favourites and discover some real obscure ones, too, such as the team who dressed as broccoli florets and an XI who appeared to be hotdogs. It’s available here.
DRESS LIKE A CHAMPION
What can be more Christmas than donning Rocky’s legendary trunks? Nothing, exactly.
Sylvester Stallone has a shop selling all things Rocky Balboa, including the Stars and Stripes he wore to fight Ivan Drago on Christmas Day in Rocky IV.
You can also buy his championship belt to hang at home if you want, wear his fedora or even walk around in Thunderlips AKA Hulk Hogan’s cape.
KhanivorClothing’s shop has some iconic t-shirt designs full of nostalgia, all of which are printed in the UK.
They include Michael Jordan toasting his success with the Chicago Bulls, Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward’s ninth round barnstormer, plus Muhammad Ali, Diego Maradona and Sugar Ray Leonard.
ROOTS OF FIGHT
Ever seen The Rock, Joe Rogan and others wearing those t-shirts celebrating legendary athletes from WWE to boxing and UFC? This is them.
Currently, when Roots of Fight sell t-shirts – whether it’s a Bret Hart, Bruce Lee or Mike Tyson number – a portion of all proceeds go to charities fighting racism and social injustice.
In addition, the company is running three collections – Service to Others, Black History Tribute, which honours some of history’s ground breakers, and the popular Negro League Baseball – with a variety of items on sale for each.
GET BEHIND A GREAT CAUSE WITH LOOSEHEADZ
The rugby clothing brand uses all profits to fund mental health initiatives in sport and schools as it aims to ‘Tackle The Stigma’ and a number of high profile ambassadors are behind it, including Wasps and England forward Brad Shields and former wing Ugo Monye.
The LooseHeadz Foundation, funded through the clothing sales, donations and fundraisers, is headed up by decorated rugby league Hall of Famer and legendary Wales coach Shaun Edwards.
CLIVE TYLDESLEY’S CRIB NOTES
When the legendary commentator is in the booth for talkSPORT, it is clear he has done his homework. But how does he know so much?
There’s simply too much info to write on the back of his hand, so he compiles a commentary chart in three colours.
These pristine pieces of football artwork are now available to buy – framed or rolled – as mementos of famous finals, historic seasons and title deciders on commentarycharts.com.
The perfect talking piece for your football cave, office or downstairs loo.
A limited drop of 600 Ultimax balls – once at the feet of legendary Premier League strikers Alan Shearer, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen – was available to purchase today (13 November) to mark the 25th anniversary of it’s introduction.
The ball was used for half a decade in the Premiership, making it the longest serving ball in English top-flight history and is available from mitre.com, though it will cost you £130…
BRING THE STADIUM TO YOU… for a price
Let’s face it, those who can work from home are likely to be doing so for the foreseeable future, but you can relax in style in your home ‘office’ and bring the live sport feel there.
Office manufacturer Lento has some quirky – but pricey – office and lounge chairs if you are lucky enough to find a spare £1000 behind the sofa.
The ‘Wembley Football Lounge Chair’ comes in at £2,900, with matching footstool costing £1,200.
Barstools are also available, along with baseball, golf, tennis and basketball – if the ball is round you can probably sit on it.