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Should I Buy a Mystery Football Shirt?

For football enthusiasts and kit collectors, the allure of a ‘mystery football shirt’ adds an element of excitement to the already passionate world of shirt collecting… and hoarding.

What is a ‘Mystery Football Shirt’?

It is pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it?

You just have to break the word up, to be honest.

It’s the football shirt world’s answer to a surprise Hello Fresh or Simmer subscription where you give a basic amount of info about what you might want and let the company decide the rest for you.

In this case, you would tell a provider which shirt size you are, if there are any clubs that are absolute no-go areas (for some, not all) and you might opt for a subscription-based service to receive one every month (as an example) and just hope for the best when that time comes.

In this exploration, we delve into the three primary advantages and disadvantages of buying a mystery football shirt, dissecting the highs and lows of this trend. Bearing in mind that we won’t be singling out a single provider for this exercise – purely just the idea as a whole.

Advantages of Mystery Shirts

Getting a Cut-Price Rare Find

‘You never know what you’re gonna get’.

And ‘what you could get’ is an insane limited edition kit worth more than what you pay for!

Manufacturers and retailers often use mystery selections as a platform to showcase unique designs, exclusive collaborations, or jerseys from memorable moments in football history.

For collectors, this presents an exciting opportunity to add a piece of footballing rarity to their stash, elevating their collection beyond the mainstream.

The Thrill of the Unknown

It’s like Christmas morning every other month or so, isn’t it!

You never know what’s going to be inside and it could either be brilliant or horrible, but I guess that’s all part of the mystery – not too dissimilar to opening a football cards or stickers pack.

You know what you could get, but don’t know for sure – but the price is the same either way!

his element of surprise can reignite the passion for collecting and infuse a sense of adventure into the pursuit of football shirts, which is quite nice when you consider how expensive they are now.

The Price is (Usually) Right

As mentioned, a Mystery football shirt subscription or one-off often comes with a price tag lower than that of specific, known jerseys.

For budget-conscious kit enthusiasts or those looking to expand their collection without breaking the bank, the mystery option provides an accessible and cost-effective avenue.

But again, there are risks.

Disadvantages of Mystery Shirts

You Might Get a Terrible Shirt

The very nature of mystery football shirts introduces an inherent risk – the possibility of receiving a design or representing a team that may not align with the preferences or allegiances of the buyer.

For fans deeply connected to a particular club or those with specific aesthetic tastes, the disappointment of unwrapping an undesired shirt can outweigh the thrill of the surprise. Some providers might mitigate against that risk, but even then with only one option. As a United fan, I’d check off Liverpool – but then what if I get a Leeds or City shirt? Again, it depends where you go!

This lack of control over the selection can be a significant drawback for some collectors. Also, in this world of multiple subscriptions stacking up in our direct debit sheets, do you really want to add another one when you aren’t even sure what you’re going to get?

Food for thought on that one…

Quality Concerns (Unlikely)

Mystery football shirts, especially those offered at lower price points, may come with quality concerns.

The variability in manufacturing standards, materials, and production processes can lead to inconsistencies in the received product. Though this is quite rare.

To mitigate against this, look at reviews. They’re always a go-to place for collectors.

They Can’t be Personalised

For fans who revel in the ability to customize their football shirts with specific player names, numbers, or personal touches, mystery options may fall short.

These shirts typically lack the customization options available with official releases, restricting the buyer’s ability to tailor the jersey to their preferences.

The absence of personalization can be a significant drawback for some and a benefit for others – you just need to decide upon which side of that fence you sit.


For collectors who thrive on surprises, the allure of rare finds, and the thrill of unwrapping a package, a mystery football shirt experience can be a delightful addition to their football memorabilia journey.

However, it’s crucial to approach the purchase with a level of caution, acknowledging the inherent risks and understanding personal preferences to ensure a positive and satisfying experience.

Would you get (or have you already purchased) a Mystery Football Shirt?