Football shirts, I believe fall into one or more of 4 categories. A shirt may be either vintage, classic, retro or replica, all four or any other combination. Let's ignore match worn ones as I believe that they fall into a different zone altogether. So, imagine that you have in your hands an England 1966 shirt. It wasn't worn on the day, so it's not match worn. It is however a replica - it's a copy of one that was worn on the day. It's not retro as those shirts date from the eighties to the mid nineties. It is certainly a classic shirt and since it's not a contemporary shirt it's also a vintage shirt.

Now let's consider a Liverpool shirt from the 1981 European Cup Final versus Real Madrid in Paris. Again not match worn. It's classic, retro, vintage and replica. Or a Manchester United from that 1999 night in Barcelona versus Bayern Munich - not match worn. It's classic, vintage and a replica. Not retro as it falls outside of the eighties to mid nineties range, but it ticks all the other boxes.

Of course these are arbitrary distinctions. However it is interesting to note that there was no such thing as a replica football shirt before the mid seventies. The market was created almost over night by the the Admiral company from Leicestershire as first with Leeds United and then with the England team they started to market replica shirts for fans to buy. Then as now there were cries of "rip-off" and "you're fleecing the kids", but I don't think that Admiral much cared and the market was up and running.

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