It’s that time of year again! Where we all drive ourselves crazy buying the perfect Christmas gifts for the special football fans in our lives. So, let’s see what our options are.
The Perfect Christmas Gifts for Football Fans
There’s no such thing as ‘perfect’ Christmas gifts, but we’re gonna try and find ’em!
The thing to remember about this is that it is a pretty generic gift-giving activity to provide some festive cheer for friends and family around this time.
So it might not be about what they’ve always wanted throughout the year, but what they would like to get that they haven’t really thought much of. Which is usually difficult without much guidance.
But here, we know that the person you’re aiming at is a football fan, and there are far more choices available in the market (first and second-hand) than you might think. So, let’s get into some of my personal favourites that I’ve used over the years.
Vintage Football Shirts
Starting with the tried and tested method for football fans anywhere.
Christmas gifts don’t get much easier than with a good football shirt.
It’s a fashion trend that really came to the fore a few years back, and now it seems that everyone in their dark is wearing some form of classic shirt – even for clubs they don’t support.
And provided the person you have in mind is pretty open, you can opt to go for some cool, retro pieces from the ’90s or early 00’s for clubs from all over the world. My personal preference is for anything and everything manufactured by either Kappa, Umbro or Reebok. Even as a United fan, I’ve had a look at the old-school Liverpool shirts and lingered for far longer than I care to admit.
Modern shirts will cost anywhere between £40-90 depending on the level of club, and there are pitfalls when buying classic versions. But it might be worth scouring eBay or local vintage clothes markets.
As you can tell from this, I love my football cards.
For me, it’s one of the best (though risky) Christmas gifts you can get someone else.
Partly because you’re going to have to a) know the type of card or player the person loves, and b) make sure that they haven’t got them already before you shell out for it!
Since building my own personal collection around a year ago – which caused me to want to start Hobby FC in the first place – I have grown to a football card collection of around 700 strong. Ranging from PSA-graded slabs, to individual selects, inserts and even full-on binders.
So, for someone to buy me a card, they’d have to comb through it all and pick out a rare Ruud van Nistelrooy or Diego Forlan choice (as an example) which I don’t have, to get me really excited.
So, in terms of using football cards as Christmas gifts, it might be good for someone who is yet to start or has a small collection already. Finding a good PSA 9 or even a 10 on the second-hand market via eBay is pretty straightforward – you just have to pick the right card!
Football Books & Magazines
Who doesn’t love a good book?
And if they like books, a good footie mag might be the next step.
I’ve recently written a review of the These Football Times magazine, and I couldn’t recommend them highly enough when it comes to reading them or buying them as Christmas gifts.
The only issue (if you’ll pardon the pun) with this, is that they’re usually limited edition and/or on a subscription service which might miss the festive period altogether!
There are alternative options for sure, but a good football book will never fail to be good Christmas gifts for fans. As an example, I’m a Manchester United fan and there are so many legends with books for us: Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Roy Keane – even Gary Neville!
Plus, there are indie publishers like Pitch Publishing who curate books specifically related to fun and interesting stories from the football world. Over the years, they’ve developed a strong list of budding authors and championed their work in telling these tales for all of us to hear.
I personally recommend ‘The Conquerors‘ – an ode to the awe-inspiring AC Milan side under Carlo Ancelotti in the early 2000’s. And how they overcame some of the game’s toughest challenges to emerge right at the top of the footballing world.
I hear the author’s not a bad fella, either!
Signed Football Memorabilia
These are expensive, and pretty darn risky.
But if you get it right, then Christmas gifts can’t get much better.
If you’re unsure about whether a signature is legitimate or not when looking at the second-hand market, then you can always go to an auction place like Sotheby’s who take on a lot of the liability for you. However, you do pay quite a premium for this peace of mind.
Alternatively, you can trust your gut and eBay descriptions, but that’s at your own risk.
Or you can do what I do – and look on eBay or directly to the Topps and Panini websites to snag yourself some autograph football cards of your favourite players.
Quite the ‘wow factor’ for collectors like us, don’t you agree?
I got a Gaizka Mendieta Panini autograph card for only £10 recently. Bargain!
Sometimes, Christmas gifts are there for when you run out of ideas.
But trust me told, you can’t go wrong with a simple, football match ticket.
Naturally, this becomes more simple the further down the leagues you go, as most Premier League clubs require some sort of membership to buy tickets for topflight matches. And ain’t nobody got time to deal with the likes of StubHub which won’t really help much if things go wrong.
Hospitality packages are offered at quite a premium price, but you could think outside the box and offer up a match ticket somewhere relatively close abroad.
I wrote a piece here about how I travelled to watch AC Milan for less than £100 (including the ticket), so if you really want to surprise someone with an experience they won’t ever forget, it could be this!
Christmas gifts can be quite a laborious exercise.
But being a football fan really makes it a lot easier.
I hope that I’ve given you some much-needed inspiration for all of this, and that the person receiving whatever you choose really enjoys the thought and effort that goes into it.
And if they don’t, then just take it back!
Which one of these football Christmas gifts would you most like to receive?