classic football adverts

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Classic Football Adverts: Ian Wright Feels Like Chicken Tonight, Chicken Tonight, 1999 (Video)

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By Jack Beresford

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The late 1990s were a strange time for Ian Wright. Though he cut an increasingly peripheral figure at his beloved Arsenal, and was eventually shipped out to West Ham in 1998 to join John Hartson at the Gunners' very own elephant's graveyard, he certainly was in demand within the media.

Classic Football Adverts: Ryan Giggs Discovers His Evil Doppelganger In Reebok’s Claymation Extravaganza, 1997 (Video)

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Ryan Giggs did a fair few decent adverts for Reebok (and a fair few naff ones for Quorn) in the mid-1990s, with his sponsors working wonders with the Manchester United winger's often near-lifeless dialogue delivery.

Thankfully, the sportswear brand went and roped in a soundalike for what must surely count as their magnum opus when it comes to their Giggs-related commercial output: The entirely animated lesser-spotted 'Doppelganger' short, which clocks in at almost five minutes.

Classic Football Adverts: Tony Adams Acts His Wooden Backside Off After Being Kidnapped By Jaffa Cake Gonks, 1998 (Video)

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As ever with a lucrative World Cup on the horizon, the great and the good of the advertising realm began shoehorning England players into their commercials to help shill their wares in the build up to France '98.

One such player was Tony Adams, who was roped in by McVities for a Jaffa Cakes campaign to help promote their new line of collectable orange 'gonks' a nefarious gang of Koosh balls with various facial features and limbs attached.

Classic Football Adverts: Reebok Spluff £3m To Employ Cavalcade Of Nineties Pop Culture Royalty For ‘Theatre Of Dreams’ Commercial, 1998 (Video)

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While their presence in the football realm has waned since, Reebok were a big player on the scene throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, with Ryan Giggs, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry just three notable patrons.

Indeed, the brand went big in an effort to launch their new Sidewinder boot in 1998, assembling a cornucopia of Nineties' pop culture icons asRobbie Williams, Anna Friel, Sting, Reeves & Mortimer, Jarvis Cocker, Darling Dicky Attenborough, David Mellor, Tom Jones, Steven Berkoff, Sylvester McCoy, Gary Oldman, Jose Carreras, Chris Eubank, Warren Mitchell and Wallace & Gromit all playing their respective parts.

Retro Football: Fondly Remembering The Halcyon Days Of The Coca Cola Cup And Its Club-Coloured Can Adverts, 1994 (Photos)

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The League Cup has bounced from sponsor to sponsor over the years, with Littlewoods, Rumbelows, Worthington's, Carling, Capital One and even the national Milk Marketing Board all paying through the snout to ally their marque with English football's tertiary tournament since 1981.

Classic Football Adverts: Eric Cantona Shills For Eurostar In His Own Inimitable Style, 1997 (Video)

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At the end of the 1996/97 season, Eric Cantona shocked Manchester United by bringing his professional career to a premature end when he reached the conclusion that, at the age of 30, he was pig soddin' sick of being told what time he had to go to bed.

I loved the game but I no longer had the passion to go to bed early, not to go out with my friends, not to drink, and not to do a lot of other things, the things I like in life.

Classic Football Adverts: Peter Schmeichel Sings For His Supper In Danepak Danish Bacon Commercial, 1998 (Video)

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The year was 1998 and Danepak had a line of classic dry cure bacon they needed to flog on UK television.

Obviously, the advert in question was for Danish produce and also involved singing so Peter Schmeichel, Manchester United and Denmark goalkeeper and the son of a concert pianist, was the obvious choice.

Retro Football: Ruud Gullitt Bloody Loves His New Lancia, 1989 (Video)

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By Chris Wright

You may be labouring under the illusion think that footballers shilling for all-and-sundry is a relatively modern phenomenon. Well, we're here to tell you that it just ain't so, muchacho.

Indeed players suckling from the corporate teat goes back as far as we care to remember Stanley Matthews happily plugged several cigarette brands throughout the 1950's and here is another prime example of the medium.