Warm up for the big tournament of next year with the Adidas Euro 2024 official ball, boasting a rather swish modernist colour scheme from jdsports.co.uk, with a range of variations. Similarly, oval ball fans need look no further than the official Six Nations ball from gilbertrugby.com, which stocks the men’s and women’s tournament editions plus ones branded for each nation.
Kids who need kitting out will do well with the Adidas.co.uk Predator Edge.3 multi-ground boots. Designed to be used in all conditions and all surfaces, they are competitively priced, offering great performance as a versatile all-rounder and are eye-catching to boot.
Keep the balls racked safely with a touch of style using the storage stand from aplaceforeverything.co.uk. The minimalist metal stand that will keep them from being endlessly underfoot is elegant, simple but effective. Aplaceforeverything also offers bespoke frames, cleverly made in the shape of a football shirt, ideal for a beloved club jersey or for the memories of one the kids have outgrown.
Equally striking on the wall is the distinctive art of Matthew Wood at matthewjiwood.com. Wood is a designer and illustrator who has a stunning and highly stylised selection of prints of football club grounds from across the country . There are more than 100 from league and non-league clubs as well as a host of other sports. A beautiful collection.
Football-mad youngsters will barely know they are learning with the Jigraphy Football Map Jigsaw from happypuzzle.co.uk. Another great idea, it is a jigsaw of the UK and Ireland which when assembled displays 148 numbered footballs each representing the location of a stadium. The task then is to identify the club using clues to help. Geography by stealth.
England rugby union fans looking to relax at the end of Christmas Day might enjoy a celebratory splash of The Fine Drop whisky, a malt aged for six years and finished in an ex-Margaux red wine cask from gulliverswhisky.com. The bottle is named to celebrate Jonny Wilkinson’s drop goal at the 2003 World Cup, a moment to remember with a superb, moreish whisky.
With the Olympics in Paris next summer, Team GB already offer a host of options at shop.teamgb.com to mark the event, including T-shirts and hoodies with the striking lion head logo, that make a real impact. Despite a drawn Ashes series, cricket fans can take pleasure in the solace of Headingley when England salvaged the Test and began their fightback. The performance is celebrated with punkcricket.com’s Ramones-styled T-shirt, with the players’ names in the traditional slot for Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee et al and a niftily included cricket bat in the design.
For Euro 2024 the team at philosophyfootball.com have once more come up trumps. Their Three Lions in Germany – Drei Lowen in Deutschland, with the descriptive “Englander” on the back – is a mighty T-shirt. Scotland too are represented with their Tartan-Armee In Deutschland and “Schottland” on the reverse . They also pay tribute to two of the greats of the game lost in 2023, with Francis Lee celebrated in the Manchester City blue shirt proclaiming the Maine Road trinity of Lee, Bell and Summerbee. While similarly Manchester United’s Sir Bobby Charlton is remembered alongside United’s own legends in the red shirt of Law, Best and Charlton.
With the Tour de France Femmes enjoying enormous popularity, fanatics.co.uk has a women’s T-shirt celebrating the race with four ice lollies representing the jerseys of the tour, a neat and original design. Equally the simple but elegant posts design from looseheadz.co.uk make for a fine collection and all the profits go toward supporting issues around mental health at every level of rugby union.
Keep the kids warm and dry on terraces or after a cold match with the marvellous, waterproof and thermally insulated Patrol jacket from spottyotter.co.uk. Beautifully made, it is sturdy and comfortable, with a fleece lining that does sterling work in the coldest of weather and is clearly built to last.
Put best foot forward with the Garmin.com Venu 3 smartwatch , a high-end fitness tracker that also serves as a comprehensive lifestyle assistant. The watch boasts a host of fitness applications, from step count, through a heart-rate monitor and GPS, to strokes on a rowing machine. Post workout it delivers an exhaustive breakdown of every activity, ensuring that no metric is missed. It also has a mode to recalibrate for wheelchair users that is equally accurate and long overdue in the smartwatch field. Plus it monitors sleep, encourages recovery time and with the “body battery” measurement provides a live assessment of how much activity is required as the day goes on. An enormously versatile device that covers all the bases.
Make returning to fitness on the road a pleasure with the On.com Cloudmonster trainers which boast an extensive cushioning system. Ideal for both slow- and mid-paced runners as well as short and long runs, if taking to running is a daunting task these will make it less of a hardship. Very light for a shoe with such ample cushioning on the sole, they are well-balanced and have a strong spring in forward motion. With a comfortable fit and light, slim upper, they will take the sting out of the new year fitness resolution.
Stay warm with the Transition Windstopper Beanie from rab.equipment. A windproof beanie that combines goretex with a fleece inner for warmth, it is light but effective with a snug fit that means it is barely noticeable when running.
On.com also boasts a fine range of shorts for women, with both the Essential and the Running varieties presenting a great fit in lightweight material, ideal for any activity. Similarly well made and practical are the range of sport bras from the marvellously named Boobydoo.co.uk. Its website boasts a comprehensive fitting guide and both the Sportjock Action Sports Bra and the Royce Sport Impact are standouts, offering form and function.
Ensure top-end listening during any workout with the 1More Aero Wireless Earbuds from Amazon.co.uk. They offer a spatial sound system that creates an immersive experience by adjusting according to movement of the head. Comfortable to wear, the buds include an active noise-cancelling feature, are adaptable via an app and with a crisp and balanced sound quality are perfect for use in the gym.
Heading to away games or events abroad? Take precautions with the Choipolo Spot luggage trackers (8)from chipolo.net. Its travel range works on iOS and Android, does not require any subscription and once activated is trackable on a smartphone, easing the potential stress of lost baggage. There is even a slim card version to go with the passport, too.
Make carrying the gear when heading away or for the kids who are outward bound straightforward with the Inca Extreme 65L Rucksack from mountainwarehouse.com. Sturdy, well made and versatile, it is fully adjustable according to requirements of packing, comfortable and includes a concealed rain cover. A bargain at almost half price.
For shorter journeys, the Proviz fully reflective cycling and commuting backpack from provizsports.com is perfect. It is unmissable, using a coating of reflective beads that make it light up like a beacon, a boon for safety in the dark. A similarly reflective and reversible hi-vis waterproof cover does the same job when fitted over a standard rucksack.
Finally, for listening to the match around the house, the ourpureplanet.com Signature Bluetooth Speaker is a standout. With an excellent, expansive sound, from a relatively small device, it delivers impressive battery life. The brand, endorsed by the England captain, Harry Kane, ensures its production process is carbon neutral and uses 80% recycled plastic and metal.2023-12-10T08:07:22Z dg43tfdfdgfd