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Wales Match Shirts

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Away (1994-96 style) Umbro v Moldova 1995/96

Ian Rush's away officially 'petrol blue' long sleeve match shirt from European Chapionship qualifying, 1-0 victory against Moldova in Cardiff's National Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park) on 6th September 1995. Yes the away shirt was worn in Wales home game and i've heard two differing resons why? Moldovans only came with their red and blue striped shirt which clashed with Wales home shirt so Wales changed and the more believable, for commercial reasons, to help market the poorly selling away shirt?!! The victory, the winning goal scored by Gary Speed, went some way to avenging the embarrasing 3-2 defeat at the hands of the former Soviet State, earlier in the qualifying campaign. 

I'd just like to say that this style of Umbro away shirt (officially petrol blue, red & white) the last away shirt produced during Umbro's second spell as Wales kit suppliers is genuinely a rare match shirt to find. Worn by the first team on only 4 occasions, but photographic evidence can only usually be seen in 2 full internationals! Due to the few occasions it was worn a number of the player spec shirts were sold to retail by Umbro -repackaged as Umbro Authentics or Vintage- so there are a number turning up on various auction sites that have had the retro style numbers applied and have suddenly become "match worn". The player spec shirts without numbers can be found on of reputable retro/replica shirt sites and occasionaly they appear on online auction sites. But there is one major DIFFERENCE to these Umbro Authentic player spec shirts and the actual players shirts from this era, which confirms if the shirt is genuine or produced in a later batch that were never used by the Welsh senior or other representative teams.

This practice of adding retro numbers is more than a little frustrating. I have been collecting Wales match worn players shirts vigorously for 7 years now and have only managed to obtain 4 shirts of this style, 2 with excellent provenance, and 2 from player friends, one substitute's shirt and the other an Under 21 shirt given to me as a gift. Maybe i'm looking in the wrong places for my match worn shirts!!? So this rant here is me alerting others to be aware of this practice in an attempt to stop others possibly getting ripped off.