Pete’s kind of right about football shirts in that they are all, pretty much, as horrible as each other. Even if some team somewhere happens on a pleasing combination of colours, the material always looks nasty. Me, I don’t wear them: I spent too many Saturdays travelling alone to away games on the trans-Pennine railway…

The point is that no-one wears football shirts for their own sake (do they?*), they wear them to identify. Not necessarily with the a club – lots of people wear Brazil shirts because they’ve been branded as a particular sort of style; in the UK people seem to wear basketball jerseys out of identification with basketball itself rather than any particular team.

Manchester United’s famously attempted to fashion an away shirt which people might wear for its own sake and ended up with the ‘invisible’ grey. In the context of the match, standing out from the crowd has a very real use and clearly in colours-wearing there’s at least an element of wanting to announce your presence. So maybe our good friends at Athletic Bilbao have hit on a masterstroke. It may remind you of New Order LPs, or Nectar cards, or Sony, or scary gloopy red alien lizards made of space mercury, but it’s going to be hard to miss.

*Every now and again you meet someone who, in response to the inevitable “why?”, says “I liked the colour of their shirts on the telly”, but it’s always accompanied by a sheepish shrug and a recognition that their supporterdom superceded their shirt-taste long, long ago.