Long-term grassroots football champions Jameson and iconic fashion and football brand Lovers FC have teamed up with three of the grassroots games’ fastest-rising teams to create three bold, brash and unapologetic designs that give a nod to the eclectic heritage of iconic international kits.
LGBTQIA+ champions Peaches FC have chosen to pay respects to the Ireland Away ‘97 kit. Next up inclusivity pioneers Ex-Girlfriend FC’s shirt sees them tip their hat to one of the most beloved kits of all time, the England Goalkeeper jersey of 1995. Finally, the boundary blurring Victoria Park Vixens have taken inspiration from their founder's roots down under and have gone with the 1991 Australian home shirt.
The communities around women’s grassroots are full of unsung heroes who keep the game alive, and the Lionesses have paved the way for local female footballers to take centre stage. This collection celebrates the heroes on and off the pitch who are reinventing the beautiful game – the teams in the cafes, the captains in the group chat, the coaches making spreadsheets, the defenders handing out bibs, the midfielders getting a round in and everyone else that makes the grassroots game tick.
Leanne Banks, Marketing Director at Pernod Ricard UK, said: “Jameson is proud to be continuing its support of grassroots football, and this time to be giving back to the women's game, the un-sung champions and the players themselves that keep the game alive.”
An unsung hero of the grassroots game herself, portrait photographer Serena Brown has captured a key member of each team and their individual heroes in that most sacred of post-match rituals, the pub. Representing Ex-Girlfriend FC were Polly and Stacey. Outfield player Stacey said of their team lynch-pin Polly: “Ever since day one Stacey has been the driving force behind Ex-Girlfriend. She has made us the team we are today. She uses her own free time to organise our matches and training, select teams, plan drills, support our beginners and even playing a brick wall of a goalie, an unstoppable pool shark, and an all-round legend. The passion they have for the grassroots footie community deserves to be celebrated.”
Peaches FC’s Eva crowned their coach Betty as her un-sung hero saying: “Betty has been championing Peaches FC since our first ever training sessions, over two years ago. Her coaching has taken our game to new levels and her positive energy and passion for grassroots football and all things Peachy has been so integral to the growth of the team!”
While Victoria Park Vixens Aurora chose their men’s team player and team tattoo artist Diogo, saying: “We launched our men’s team late last year, flipping the traditional set up of football clubs on its head as we are now a women’s club, first and foremost, with a men’s team. The structure of the team is set up to push the women’s side forward and create a men’s team of allies for the women’s game – without the toxic masculinity side to men’s football that you often see. Diogo represents the men’s team as a champion for us, whether that’s on the sidelines at Petchey, playing mixed games with us, watching the Women’s World Cup or just at the pub.”
The collection is available now on Jameson’s exclusive merch website here, with proceeds going back into helping women’s grassroots football thrive.