Monday, 26 July 2010

Watch out - casuals about


Ever looked at your Adidas and wondered who to thank for making your feet look so good?

Well, one of the pioneers of the soccer casual movement is coming to town this weekend for one of the most eagerly anticipated pre-season friendlies of recent years.

Former Brighton boss Mark McGhee (who took the team up to the Championship - but left the Seagulls scrapping it out in League One again) brings his Aberdeen team to Withdean on Saturday.

And if the club shop are to be believed (and, despite what the long-running FA Cup ticket conspiracy theorists might say, they usually are) the Scots have already flogged more than 500 tickets.

The news - and the rumour mill - has already spread tales of invading Jocks intent on taking over the town. "The night clubs are doubling the door staff," said one Chinese whisperer on a Brighton forum. "They won't leave until they have smashed the pier to pieces," another may well say before Saturday if the buffoonery continues.

Aberdeen you see, are as close to casual royalty as you can get.

Back in the late 1970s, early 1980s you were more likely to come across a sea of Millets donkey jackets on the terraces than any designer tags.

And even after the casual movement got underway the labels were limited to the likes of Burberry, Barbour and Pringle.

Then Liverpool - and in Scotland Aberdeen - began their march on Europe. And the foreign threads followed them back.

As exciting as the teams' on-the-pitch exploits was for many fans, for casuals it was matched by the explosion of previously un-heard of clothing lines and designers which flooded out of the European boutiques and into the wardrobes of football lads.

Among this new breed of rarely paid for foreign ware was Lacoste - which is credited by many as being one of the first brands to have the label on the outside of the garment than inside next to the washing instructions.

Adidas trainers soon followed, with the supporters traipsing round Europe with their clubs - and on the rob - bringing back rarer styles in rarer colours.

The era of one-upmanship was well and truly underway.

And at the forefront of it all were the Aberdeen Soccer Casuals.

Nowadays, Aberdeen are as well known for their blossoming Ultra movement, which has seen match day displays to rival the San Siro. Possibly.

But, back in the 1980s, it was the ASC which was synonymous with the club's support.

This weekend's match should be a tight affair and, with a sizable London based supporters' club, Aberdeen should bring a veritable army of fans.

Just remember though, when you are admiring your natty trainers thinking you look like Jack the Biscuit - there is probably a Scot sitting three blocks to your right who wore them first.

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