I wasn't the only proud and nostalgic Dad in JJB Sports today looking for a pair of suitable football boots for one of my lads. But what I hoped would be a happy Dad n' Lad experience turned into a dreadful traipse around the moral maze.
Having found no size 2 boots at all in the Adidas factory shop at Pear Mill in Stockport, JJB was our obvious next port of call.
All the choices at JJB are branded - no problem with that, and he's just grown out of a pair of classic black Adidas. In fact, here are the choices.
As he's 10 I have to confer some decision making to him. But, as a responsible parent I had a list of minimum demands - moulded studs, not screw in, and a budget limit. And of course they must fit and be comfortable.
I would *prefer* him to wear plain black boots. The aberration of showbiz footballers wearing white and silver and yellow is a curse of our age. But, that is my prejudice.
We've never had issues before over label chasing, and it is only with boots and trainers that there appears to be any kind of peer pressure. And frankly, given my own predilication for classic old school Adidas wheels I have no right to any real estate on the moral high ground.
So, there was an Umbro boot - good enough for John Terry and Michael Owen, I said - at about £15. But it was synthetic. The average price of a normal and perfectly adequate pair of leather football ones is - ahem - about £25.
He wanted some blue Adidas F50 I TUNiT, as worn by Lionel Messi. They are bright blue and the adult ones cost £124, according the the JJB website. The young lad in the shop told us they don't have them in kids sizes, which was a relief, because it cut off that line of enquiry. Subsequent research has confirmed this. But no, apparently two lads in the team have them. "Just like Messi, Dad." We then had a ridiculous stand off. Eventually we came away with a pair of black Adidas. There's a greivance lingering, but I won't budge. If someone has paid £70, or £124 for kids boots then they are mad. But I suspect boasting.