This has to be the most Admiral Admiral track top ever. You've seen it a million times before, you can see Spurs players in it, England players in it, Crystal Palace players in it, er, Leicester...
Except, you haven't. That's where this beautiful example from the Admiral Official Retro is devilish. You think you've seen it before, keeping all kinds of moustached, floppy haired 70s footballers warm before they went to work on a ridiculously muddy pitch, but you haven't. Oh it's probably faithful to a design from that era, but not one you've seen. Have a Google if you don't believe me.
Sure, the logo tape down the sleeves is familiar - a particular well-known Tottenham shirt springs to mind - but this jacket, in effect, is entirely modern. And yet, if it didn't cause us to go misty-eyed about the past, we wouldn't give it a second glance. It's retro, but without the inevitable failings of an item from that era, from the simply adorable mini logo on the zip, to the faux-naïve cutesy colouring on the label and the surely newly durable felt branding on the chest. That tape, that beautiful tape, is so neat and tidy it almost belies the jacket's purpose - part of me wants the blemishes of 70s manufacturing and the intervening half century!
But that would be harsh. What you do get is a 70s take on cut and sizing - as a rather random comparison, I went suit shopping the other day and found I was a 38" chest in M&S, while this "Medium" jacket is snug - so think Topman élan when making your choice, not Next comfort. You also get pockets, which is not always the case with vintage equivalents, and undeniably useful for, well, carrying things. This model even comes in a brighter blue as well, should the navy version be a little too subtle.
We've seen this kind of thing rehashed by Bukta and Umbro, amongst others, but there is still a certain - not entirely unironic - cachet about Admiral. They changed football apparel retail in the 70s, and with striking efforts like this, they prove they're still in the game.