Written by Michael Carter, Hull KR Shirts.
Welcome to My Collection With Dan Crowther. I recently spoke to Dan about his collection and love for Hull Kingston Rovers and another sports team… He was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions and share his collection with us. Enjoy!
MC – Dan, what inspired you to collect shirts?
DC – It’s difficult for me to pinpoint a direct inspiration. It kind of just happened by accident! After a while of buying shirts, I realised I had more than a few, maybe even enough to call it a “collection”.
I usually collect just replicas. I do have one Rovers match-worn shirt and it’s from 2001. It was worn by various players throughout that season, before shirts had players names on them. I’m open to gaining more match-worn shirts in the future, but it would have to stand out to me to entice me into purchasing.
MC – When did you start collecting shirts and what do you collect?
DC – When I look back, it was 2015 when I started buying retro replicas, so I’d probably look back to then as my starting point. It grew from there, and here we are now…
MC – What was your first shirt in your collection Dan?
The first Rovers shirt which I bought was the 2008 home shirt. I remember it very well. It was a Friday which was a school day for me at the time. When I finished, I got taken to the old store on Holderness Road. It was really busy inside, so it must have been a fairly recent release! Anyway, I ended up getting “Webster #4” on the back as well as Super League patches on the sleeves. I was buzzing at the time, and it was a good period to support the club in general. Most of my fellow pupils at school supported Hull FC, so it was like going to another world with Hull KR. A truly great alternative. Might I also add that before I got this shirt, I REALLY wanted the 2007 home shirt but I never ended up getting it back then. The reasoning being either it was best to wait for the brand new shirt at the time, or there wasn’t any left. I do have one now, but will probably be looking to change it out for a different size at some point.
MC – How many shirts do you have in your collection, Dan?
DC – At the last count, I have 54 which included both match-worn and replica shirts. I also like to collect Leeds United replicas too as they’re my Football team. The breakdown is 29 Rovers and 25 Leeds, to date but that is changing weekly at the moment. The markets are considerably different though, it’s a lot harder to find Rovers shirts, especially anything from before the 2007 Super League era. Leeds United ones are easier to locate, but it still can be a challenge at times too.
MC – What is your favourite shirt in your collection?
DC – That’s like asking a parent to pick their favourite child! My favourite shirt changes a lot, but for now I’ll say Leeds United 1997/98 third shirt by Puma. There’s just something I love about it. It’s colourful and a throwback to one the clubs original colourways in the 1950s. The 1999/00 Rovers home shirt is up there for me as well though. My only gripe is that the red band doesn’t go all the way around the shirt so that is a slight disappointment. That’s why the 2020 home shirt is so good, although people take issue with the sponsor’s name.
MC – You spoke about the name value of a sponsor in your last answer, what is your opinion on that?
DC – On one side, I see why people say it. The name, though suitable for what the company deal with, isn’t exactly easy on the eye on the shirt of a top-flight sports team. The same could be said in the late nineties for WasteWise! They ended up pulling out after the club went into administration in 1997. On the flip side, the company have done a lot of good. Attracting a sponsor must be an arduous task for Rugby League clubs. Clearly, The Drain Company have put in an amount of money which struck a chord with Neil Hudgell and company, certainly enough to welcome them on board. They’ve also helped out in the community, providing charities and the most vulnerable with various forms of PPI during these very uncertain times. Not everybody has done or even has to do that, but they have, and it says a lot about the people behind them. Perhaps people should think twice about some of the comments they made regarding that situation. At the end of the day, they are wearing a Hull Kingston Rovers replica shirt sponsored by a company that is helping out their local community during very difficult circumstances.
MC – What is your favourite Rovers shirt of all time? (not necessarily in your collection).
DC – It’s probably the 1980 home shirt. Generic answer? maybe, but I have my reasons. I look back and it’s perfect. The best badge variation, the colours, an iconic manufacturer in adidas and their three stripe branding and no sponsor. It’s perfect. Plus, it’s from a highly successful time in the clubs history. It was a modern (at the time) change to the buttoned “red breast” shirt that the club used from around the 1920s up until the 1970s. It’s what I class as THE Hull Kingston Rovers shirt. Although saying that, the blue band is equally as nice. It has a great cause too, considering that it was the clubs first shirt, and the one they won the Premiership/Championship double of 1984 in.
MC – Out of the 1997/98 Leeds United third shirt and the 1980 Hull KR home shirt, which is your favourite?
DC – Come on, man! That is hard to answer. Okay, I’m going to be selfish here. I’ll say Leeds 1997/98 third shirt, by the virtue of me owning it! I’d love a Rovers shirt from the 1980s, but they are like gold dust.
MC – Would you buy a shirt you didn’t like the look of? If yes how do you feel about it?
DC – Yes! I bought the 2018 Rovers away shirt on a good eBay deal last year. I’m not really keen on the idea of using pink for shirts, but that’s just me though. It’s something I might look back on in years to come and think differently about. As far as I felt about it, I was kind of indifferent. It isn’t a shirt I’ll wear much but when you are a collector you are a collector. I’d rather look back at my collection and see more shirts, rather than less.
MC – Dan, your dislike for pink shirts may result in our friendship ending… To make myself feel better I’m going to add a photo of a pink shirt, although it isn’t pink enough for me!
MC – Over the years collecting Rovers shirts, what would you say was your best buy?
DC – It has to be when I got both the 1998/99 home and away shirts for a combined £20. Both shirts were in good condition too. I’ve paid way more than £20 for one, let alone two that are hard to get ahold of! The away shirt also has “Gene #6” on the back, which is a great touch. I feel it adds more value to the shirt, considering that he was a key player for us during the late nineties and still a fan favourite to this day.
MC – What is your opinion on signed shirts Dan?
DC – I think having a shirt signed is a good idea – but for it to be framed, rather than worn. The chances of it getting damaged or the signatures fading is increased by wearing it, so to me it’s a risk I wouldn’t take. Signed shirts look so much better framed too. If I was aiming to get a shirt signed, I’d aim to get the full main squad sign it. It would probably annoy me not to get them all, but that’s a personal preference. I mean, the signed by only one player depends on circumstances, I think. Imagine having a 1980 home shirt replica signed by just the late Roger Millward? Stuff like that is exceptional circumstance, but in general, I’d aim for a full main squad and also framed.
MC – Lastly to finish up Dan, I would like to give you the opportunity to shout out for a shirt (or shirts) which have eluded you over the years?
DC – There are a few shirts that I’d really like, the 2001 away shirt is one which has eluded me, as well as the 2005 home shirt. I’m also in search of a 1989/90 home shirt too, so yes, if anyone has any of these shirts that they wanna sell in XL or XXL, I’m your man! Just get in touch with Mike, or comment on this on Social Media and I will get back to you.
Dan, its been a pleasure to do this. Thank you for taking the time to go through this interview with me. It has been ace talking shirts with you and I hope you enjoyed it too!
Fancy having your own interview with Me about your shirt collection? Get in touch and we will make it happen.