Every night I drive home through the city to where I live on the outskirts of Leeds.
It’s a pretty mundane journey, I know the sights and what to expect. I’ve been doing it a few years and even my new job has meant I pretty much take the same route.
About two weeks ago, I spotted an odd thing on the side of a fish and chip shop in Wortley. A blank space, painted white. Underneath it said ‘Tailored by Wortley’. A few days later, the number 16 appeared above it, well painted in Gill Sans. In fact, the whole thing looked cool, guerrilla and definitely on brand — for Umbro.
I was none the wiser. So I took a picture, and here it is (this is not a bad chippie by the way).
It was so nicely done (type and execution) it had to be a viral campaign of some sort. So tonight, after a few weeks of passing the damn thing, absent-mindedly thinking what it might be, I googled it.
And I was genuinely gobsmacked.
Number 16 is James Milner’s number in the England squad – and he’s from Leeds. It turns out Umbro have created a one off piece of ‘street art’ representing each of the England squad in the towns and cities where they are from. Each of these is in a location that meant something to them. Excuse my french, but that is fucking brilliant. What an idea.
Check it out here
Of course, there’s two in Leeds because we not only have James Milner, we have Aaron Lennon, whose wall is in Chapeltown (two Leeds lads in the England squad, when did that last happen?). Even Capello gets his own wall in Italy.
This idea passes the ‘wish I’d bloody done that’ with flying colours. Not only did it get me to take a picture of the wall I passed, I googled it and then discovered one of the nicest and most footballest ideas I’ve seen for a long time.
Maybe on the eve of the World Cup, I’m getting all misty eyed, feeling good and bad about the rollercoaster of emotions we’re all about to set off on.
Either that, or I have to take my hat off to a genuinely lovely idea that must have cost nack all to do. An idea that reinforces Umbro’s position as a grass roots football brand that cares about where we’re from, and more importantly, where we’re going.
Here’s to ideas and come on England!!!!!