Johnny Cantor: From a sheepskin coat to a gilet '“ how styles have changed!

I think it is fair to say that when you get to a certain age, especially as a man, there is a slightly more restricted range of Christmas presents that you are likely to receive.

Plenty of new clothing will be seen in the stands over the Christmas period. Picture: Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Plenty of new clothing will be seen in the stands over the Christmas period. Picture: Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

As the children salivate over the prospect of opening their gifts on the big day, some smellies, socks or a scarf are likely to have your name on it.

Of course, the festive period is not about presents, it’s about all those other feelings and emotions. We should appreciate what we have and consider others who have less.

However, just as with a birthday, there is always a small ripple of excitement as you rip into the wrapping paper. A fresh scarf, some nice gloves or even a jumper may beckon and I’m sure we will see plenty of new additions at the matches over the Christmas period!

But what of the men in the technical area? Styles have certainly changed over the years when it comes to managers.

I remember Malcolm Allison donning a thick sheepskin coat and what looked like a ten gallon hat at one point in my youth! More recently, Tim Sherwood broke from the norm, introducing the gilet – with mixed reviews.

Nowadays we either have the tight-fitting suit that looks spray-painted on to the managers over a crisp white shirt and maybe a charcoal jumper and tie.

Sometimes, on a wet, cold, rainy night the new-style puffer jackets are out in force for many bosses across the top divisions. Practicality over style?

Some have made fun of Pep Guardiola as he embraced the rollneck and trainers and he certainly adds a continental twist but football and style, or lack of it, have always been intertwined over the years.

Whether it’s George Best and Bobby Moore or Ronaldo and Neymar, there’s always something to observe off the pitch, the bling earring or new hair style. Styles come and go but the influence on the world outside the game remains huge, from boots to headphones, undercuts to designer stubble and beards, which have had a resurgence of late.

The onesie may be some way off but I seem to remember Arsene Wenger wearing something that resembled a sleeping bag.

As we pass the shortest day and look ahead to this weekend and the New Year, whatever you or your loved ones get from under the tree, I hope it’s what you want this Christmas.

Thanks for reading the column this year, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Have a wonderful 2017. I hope it brings you happiness, the best present of all.

Johnny Cantor covers Brighton & Hove Albion as a commentator and reporter for BBC Sussex Sport.

Follow all the action, home or away, on BBC Sussex Sport or Twitter: @BBCSussexSport or @johnnycburger

To read more by Johnny Cantor, visit

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