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BRIAN EVANS

Away (1973) versus Poland World Cup Qualifier

At last, i have managed to obtain one of my holy grail of Wales shirts, and here it is. Brian Evans worn shirt from the World Cup Qualifying away game against Poland in Katowice on 26th September 1973. Not a memorable game for Welsh football fans, a 3-0 defeat, Trevor Hockey sent off and the end of the road for Wales World Cup Qualification campaign.

But for shirt collectors this is a very difficult shirt to find. It was the first time Wales had worn green as an away shirt colour -thereafter historically never been a lucky choice- which was a reverse of the usual away shirt of yellow with green trim. It was only ever worn once, so only the 14 outfield players shirts in that squad exsist anywhere.  This is not only a holy grail of a shirt for me but it happens to be Brian Evans shirt, a winger who was only capped 7 times But his last appearance in this game in Poland saw him become the first player to ever be capped at senior international level whilst playing at Hereford United -my team! There was some confusion when this shirt was originally obtained, because it originated from the personal collection of another Welsh winger Leighton James. The no.11 was a number frequently worn by James, but upon checking the the team sheet it was realised that James actually wore the no.10 in this match. So the puzzle is, did Evans and James exchange shirts with each other -a common practice in the past with team mates- after the game or did they pick up the others shirt in error and not realised the mistake?

A popular player a Swansea City where he made 400 league appearances, as well as over 50 in his 2 years at Hereford United. Sadly after a short battle with cancer Brian Evans died at the age of 60 in February 2003. One of Brian's sons, Richard, is a personal friend and currently the physiotherapist at Wigan Athletic. Maybe he can shed some light on this shirt mystery.