This is one for the SEO boffins out there, but if you ever search ‘classic football shirts’ online in general, there’s a reason why you see the brand before you see a random archive of shirts. The creators of CFS have done an incredible job in cornering that market to begin with and have now produced the ideal place for football fans to indulge in it.
So, here is a guide for how fans like you and I can visit their London store. From locating it, to moulding your entire day around it, this is the only post you’ll ever need to read on the subject.
Who are Classic Football Shirts?
In short, they’re a group of absolute legends.
Who have brought the classic football shirts world to a whole new level.
As things stand, you can see this group practically everywhere – with their corners far extending beyond the classic retro shirt buyers’ community.
Those subscribed to the BT Sport YouTube channel might have been partial to the odd video within their ‘What I Wore’ series will have seen the depth of their collection, with ex-players like Ian Wright and Peter Crouch endorsing their efforts.
Now, they possess hundreds of thousands of shirts (which you can see online by clicking this link – don’t worry, I’m not being paid for this), and two physical locations in the UK – beginning in Manchester and now they’re in London.
Not just that, they’ve even gone as far as to sponsor an EFL Championship club. Vincent Kompany’s Burnley FC are the lucky recipients of their support and it’s a beauty!
What an incredible journey it’s been so far.
How did Classic Football Shirts Start?
Co-Founders Doug & Matt’s story begins with the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
The founders were searching for a classic 1990’s German kit in the lead up to the tournament and, given their penchant for new kits, thought it’d be easy to find.
In reality, that couldn’t be any further from the truth.
With social media very much in its infancy (Facebook was barely two years old at the time), they relied on their connections and extroverted natures to locate it.
Eventually they did, and realised that this very rabbit hole through which they journeyed can’t have just been experienced by them. Therefore, they theorised that there must be a market for like-minded collectors like them for whom they could fill this void.
For those wondering – they were right! They began using whatever money they had to build up a small collection before their biggest break came through a grapevine message stating that big clubs were hoarding their own collections at cut-price auctions.
AC Milan – a particular favourite here at Hobby FC – had such a collection and the Classic Football Shirts team decided that it was the ideal place to start. Purchasing in excess of 30,000 pieces of AC Milan merchandise, they never really looked back.
Stock continued to bulge, profits began to soar and the Manchester-based store soon cropped up.
As seems to be the nature of the beast with business in the UK, it wasn’t long before a London store was demanded by the market – and that came in 2020.
So, with the pandemic (hopefully) over, let’s see how we can get you there.
Where is the Classic Football Shirts Store in London?
Let’s start with their address, and it’s: 17 Commercial Street, E1 6NE.
Google Maps will state that the nearest station is Aldgate East which, in typical Zone 1 London style, means that it’s relatively easy to get to … but only on one or two lines.
In this case, Aldgate East station is locatable on the Hammersmith & City and District Lines. Which, should you wish to travel on the weekends, means that you’re better off flipping a random coin to determine your chances of an easy journey than if you were to simply show up at your local station and give it a go.
In my personal experience, I think it’s better to go to Liverpool Street station.
Not only is it one of the most diverse stations (in terms of how many lines come into and out of it), but it also means that there’s far more things to do during your day.
Fun & Cheap Things to do near London Liverpool Street
I’ve lived and worked around this area for nearly 3 years now.
And even then, I still end up finding different things to do each day.
For the bougie ones reading, I’d suggest beginning with the restaurants and bars within Broadgate Circle. It’s located roughly a two-minute walk from the station and if you somehow get lost, just look (or ask for directions) towards a new Waterstone’s store.
A few more steps beyond that end of the station and you’ll soon arrive at a variety of options for lunch or dinner. Comptoir Libonais is a particular favourite of mine.
Or, you can do what everyone else does and go to Spitalfields Market.
My favourite thing about the market is that it almost feels like a different experience entirely depending on which area you choose to enter from. Not too dissimilar to the four different entrances into the Duomo di Milano as explored here. Only with less gold.
If you can snag yourself away from work for the day, I’d venture into the heart of the market (the bit with a roof) and try some of their multiple food stalls.
Pizzas? Fresh Pasta? Gyros? Apple Crumble? It has the lot.
From there, it’s roughly a ten minute walk angled toward the aforementioned Aldgate East station to get to the fabled Classic Football Shirts London store.
Just make sure you don’t spend all your money on fancy paninis in the market, because you’re going to want to carve out a decent budget to add to your shirts collection.
Inside the Classic Football Shirts Store
Everything about this store is perfect.
It’s exactly what a classic football shirts collector wants and deserves.
When you walk in, I find that it’s best to walk from right to left – as it rounds off the journey in a more holistic way. You’ll understand what I mean when I explain it a bit more.
There’s a line of racks on either side of the doorway with some of the ‘newer’ collections, and then the classics and retro fits are to the right. Fans and customers are confronted by mannequins donning some of the more aesthetic shirts within their collection, and as the eye falls lower, there are alphebatised lines of options for you to sift through.
This is where you’re going to (and are meant to) spend the lion’s share of your time while shopping in the Classic Football Shirts store, so make sure you saviour the moment.
Then, once you’ve drained your bank account of those hard-earned savings or you’ve decided against it for after your upcoming pay day, you can go to the other end of the store. Where there’s a cafe, some sofas and a retro gaming section to keep you busy.
If you do end up going, please tweet me using this link here. I could do with a challenge on Pro Evolution Soccer 6, if you fancy a game.
Bagsy Inter Milan, by the way. Adriano and I go way back.
In summary, this is a wonderful place to visit.
Based within an equally wonderful location.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a dirty casual, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy tour visit to the Classic Football Shirts store. And why others wouldn’t enjoy it with you.
There really is something there for everybody, and when I went, they didn’t even try to kick me out after I hadn’t bought anything but a latte in over three hours.
I imagine they saw how much I was enjoying my book and the occasional glance at the old football games on the television and left me to my business.
And for that, I’ll always be grateful.
We hope you enjoy your visit and make sure you tweet us when you go!