It’s easy to remember the ones that top the charts, but today we remember a few iconic Premier League cult heroes worth searching for to add to your football shirt collection. Of, if you’re looking to be a re-seller in your own right, then they could be a good choice for potential punters, too!
What are Premier League ‘Cult Heroes’?
Basically, they’re the ones that local fans remember, but other ones don’t!
The players that brought out that special piece of magic which captivated your wistful young, impressionable eyes and have left an indelible mark ever since.
Some Premier League cult heroes may apply to you, and others may not, so I’ve tried to be as non-triggering as possible with the choices here.
But like with much of Hobby FC, this is about business – not loyalty.
So, without further ado, here are three valuable shirts belonging to Premier League cult heroes in what die-hards remember as the ‘Barclays’ era of the competition. Beginning with …
David Ginola at Newcastle United (1995-97)
One of the most underrated players of his generation.
In arguably, the most ‘entertaining’ team of that same era.
Employed by then-Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan to work on that left-hand side and do whatever needed doing in a positive manner, David Ginola was in his own world.
Quite literally, in some cases – hence why he wasn’t always best fancied there.
But his eclectic nature, odd shirt number and limited time on Tyneside brings David Ginola’s Newcastle shirt into the zenith of Premier League cult heroes when it comes to their shirt value.
As things stand, our friends at Classic Football Shirts are yet to source, and The Soccer Archive is a similar story, so the eBay prices have soared beyond the £100 mark.
But with that retro nameset, scarcity rank and nostalgia value, that number seems to only want to increase with a new, entirely different era at Newcastle on the horizon.
Jay-Jay Okocha at Bolton Wanderers (2002-06)
A shirt so good, they named it twice?
Well, his actual name is Augustin, so technically not.
As a design, I would say that the Bolton shirts in general don’t really compete with ones of the same era like a Newcastle or any of the Manchester clubs.
However, recent troubles and turmoil at the club have put times like these on a pedestal that every Wanderers fan wouldn’t dare to reach in their wildest dreams, and being honest, I doubt that these struggles are on their way out anytime soon.
Therefore, it’s highly likely that a Bolton player would struggle to capture the imagination of the fans quite like how Jay-Jay Okocha did, and his sentimental value as one of the best (and most picked) Premier League cult heroes will ever really fade.
So, this plain white shirt and jet black nameset might be a little bit drab to the unconcerned, but memories of this Reebok era at Bolton will fail to subside.
Hence why the nostalgic value of this jersey will always appeal to Wanderers fans.
The recent creation of Sky’s own ‘Cult Heroes’ series – which is now available as a podcast and a select few shoulder programmes on Sky Sports – will only help this.
Classic Football Shirts rate this at above £120 for a good condition version.
With secondary markets low in supply, this could be a good flip opportunity.
Carlos Tevez at West Ham United (2006-07)
Now, this is the type of shirt I was referring to in the intro.
Yes, Carlos Tevez probably ranks as the most iconic of all the Premier League cult heroes, especially to fans of West Ham United. But to Manchester United and even Sheffield United, I doubt you’d want to add him to your collection – and for fair reason.
But this is business we’re talking about, and the scarcity value alone is worth its weight in cotton-threaded, Barclays-moment gold.
Carlos Tevez was nothing short of a success-inducing revelation for West Ham.
And the majestic sh*thousery of his arrival just adds to his mystique.
As has been well-documented by this point, Carlos Tevez (nor Javier Mascherano) should never have been allowed to have been employed by West Ham United in 2006.
But they did, and though Mascherano struggled in London, Tevez excelled when it mattered – popping up with a number of key moments (including a final day winner against Manchester United) to preserve his side’s Premier League status for another season and earning the coveted ‘Hammer of the Year’ award for his troubles.
He therefore combines everything from the Ginola and Okocha shirts in one easy batch: scarcity (having been there only a year), iconicism, an interested audience, an incredible story, weird numbering and the numbers to go along with it.
You can get one in decent condition for under the £90 mark at the time of writing – but for the reasons listed above, there seems to be a ceiling that could shatter through if harnessed with the right description to emphasise its rarity and story.
And that’s that.
Nostalgia can be a vital factor in the second-hand shirts market.
So, you want to think the type of customer you’d like to target when buying yours.
If you want to buy one yourself, then make sure you park your heart to the side and buy a shirt that’s sentimental to you, but not over the odds (using sources like eBay, CFS, Soccer Archive etc. as a market tool). But if it’s not for you, then go for the most iconic shirts you can possibly find.
Premier League Cult Heroes shirts tend to blend the realms between ‘oh, that’s a pretty cool shirt’ and ‘oh my goodness, I remember him – I must have it!’ Which is never a bad thing to sell on your own.
There will be more shirts coming in this series of articles here at Hobby FC, and we’ll be looking to do other eras and leagues, but we hope you found this helpful so far.
Which of these Premier League Cult Heroes do you remember the most, and which league should we focus on in our next article on this subject?