Written by Michael Carter, Hull KR Shirts.
Welcome to My Collection With Chris Sharp. I recently spoke to Chris about his collection and love for Hull Kingston Rovers. He was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions and share his collection with us.
MC – Chris, what inspired you to collect shirts?
CS – My collection has always been about replica shirts and ones which I like the designs of. I love retro kits rather than your boring traditional white with red stripe shirts. That’s controversial I know, but I like things that are different and stand out. Granted not all shirts have done this but the early 1990s to mid 2000s is my fave era of shirts. My journey started back as a kid with this home shirt from 1991 (pictured below). I still remember buying this with my birthday money all those years ago and I still have it today.
MC – When did you start collecting shirts and what do you collect?
CS – I started collecting as a whole around 1999 after beginning the world of work life. I’ve collected 1980’s toy memorabilia for over 20 years on and off, as with everything this depends on funds. My Rovers collection was always something I’d pick up as and when I felt like it but the last 5 years I went out all guns blazing. Once a collector always a collector. You start by buying 1 item and then want the full collection it is an addiction and can take over if your not careful. I love the hunt tracking down items and finding some great gems along the way. I have recently downsized my Rovers shirt collection though.
MC – Well Chris, what happened to the shirts you moved on during downsizing?
CS – I downsized my collection through not been able to display any of it and it taking up too much space, which I needed for other things. I kept the shirts which meant the most to me and sold the rest. Funnily enough this is how I met you (Mike). Mike bought quite a bit from me through eBay and he’s even bought a few more since. It was a pleasing to know they were going to a good home and adding to Mike’s ever growing impressive shirt collection.
MC – Thanks Chris. The shirts I got from you have certainly enhanced my collection. Chris was also responsible for giving me some shirts which I gave away across Twitter and Facebook, so thanks again for that Chris.
CS – You’re very welcome!
MC – What was your first shirt in your collection Chris?
CS – My first shirt that I recall getting was the 1991/93 home shirt as mentioned and pictured earlier. At the time the club shop was also selling the previous home and away (1989/91) shirts off so my parents bought me both with the classic red band (home) blue band (away) with Riding Bitter as the only sponsor. I still to this day have the away shirt (pictured below).
MC – How many shirts do you have in your collection, Chris?
CS – Before downsizing and selling most of them, I had around 30 replica shirts. This consisted of your standard home and away shirts as well as the limited edition charity shirts. I also have a few bits of training wear mainly from the last 10 years, from the training tees to vest tops.
MC – What is your favourite Rovers shirt in your collection?
CS – My favourite shirt in my collection has to be the 1996/97 home shirt. It reminds me of the first stint Stanley Gene had with Rovers. I just love the design of the shirt, its not the tradition style which most people love, this is much more up my street. This is one shirt which I haven’t moved on and is still proudly in my possession.
MC – What is your favourite Rovers shirt of all time? (not necessarily in your collection).
CS – My favourite shirt is the 1994/95 away shirt. Unfortunately I don’t have this shirt but would absolutely love to have one. I would also like to give a worthy mention to the 1998/99 home shirt that I bought when Rovers where going through the dark days with no sponsor. I’ve always loved this shirt and still wear it today.
MC – Would you buy a shirt you didn’t like the look of? If yes how do you feel about it?
CS – I’ve bought a lot of shirts just for the fun of it that I didn’t like, just so I had them in my collection. It’s all part of collecting and chasing down completion. I have moved quite a few of those on now though, during my downsizing.
MC – Over the years collecting Rovers shirts, what would you say was your best buy?
CS – This one is easy, it has to be buying a shirt on eBay and going to collect it from the seller. I think I only paid £20 for it, but I ended up walking away with an additional 2 shirts for no extra cost. I told the seller I collected them and they just gave me the other 2 shirts. Its not often that something like this happens, but he was a top bloke for giving me the extra shirts. This is part of the reason I gave some shirts to you (Mike) to give away as I wanted to pay the favour forward.
MC – What is your opinion on signed shirts Chris?
CS – I’m not a fan of them to be honest. I mean, if it was from a Cup Final or something extra special then yeah, but other than that I don’t see the appeal.
MC – Lastly to finish up Chris, I would like to give you the opportunity to shout out for a shirt (or shirts) which have eluded you over the years?
CS – As I mentioned during an earlier question, the 1994/95 away shirt is one which I’d love to have one of. Those seem to be really tough to find though, I don’t think you have one either, do you Mike? (Nope!) Other shirts which I am also on the look out for are, the 1993/94 and 2002 home shirts. So if anyone has any of those available in size XL or XXL, please give me a shout, or go through Mike and he’ll pass my details on. (Pictured below).
Chris, you’ve been great. 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.