John Yates

This was me when I was about eight years old. I was a good kid. I know because my mum told me. And she wouldn’t lie. Honest. I lived and breathed football (soccer, they call it here). You couldn’t keep me in the house, even when it rained, which it has been known to do in England. Which is where I am from, originally. I still remember my first pair of proper boots and my first England kit. Wearing them, I was everyone I wanted to be, scoring at will; sometimes I’d even switch sides, acknowledging my inner Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Müller even. But I’d only do that if I was playing on my own, so no one could accuse me of supporting a foreign team. When I was playing in public, I was usually Allan Clarke, because he played for the mighty Leeds, which is where I was born and whom I supported. I can remember crying my eyes out in front of the telly when Bayern Munich beat Leeds in the European Cup Final, in Paris, in 1975. I was an emotional wreck because Beckenbauer, whom I thought was a fantastic player, captained the Germans. I liked him almost as much as Billy Bremner. Almost. God, what fantastic memories. I still love Leeds, even though times have changed for the team, but that’s the way it is—you don’t get to choose where you’re born. So, here I am years later, still playing, and still turning out in a Leeds kit. Oh, right. And now I’m a graphic designer who gets almost as excited about design. Almost. But that’s another story. You’d have to be me to understand. Now, if only there was a kit to go with it. Something in white, maybe?