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Discovering ‘Line Up’ a hidden, vintage football shirt shop that could be Paris’ best kept secret

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Discovering ‘Line Up’ a hidden, vintage football shirt shop that could be Paris’ best kept secret

(Image credit: @Ketchell)

Look up ‘museum’ in the dictionary and the definition reads ‘buildings where a large number of interesting and valuable objects, such as works of art or historical items, are kept, studied, and displayed to the public.’

Earlier this year, after a four-hour walk around The Louvre Museum on the banks of the River Seine, I hobbled back to my hotel in Paris with my wife. On the way I seized an opportunity to visit a smaller version of the 652,000 sq ft venue we had just spent the afternoon in. To a football shirt collector, the objects inside were just as interesting.

The situation was delicate. It was my wife’s birthday, it was also the day after Valentines, and the previous evening I had taken her to the Parc Des Princes to watch PSG lose 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. I didn’t have many points to cash in.

Pushing my luck, I suggested we swing by ‘Line Up’ a small vintage football shirt shop on a quiet street between our hotel and the Louvre. By chance, a football shirt collector I follow on Instagram had posted some pictures of their visit a week before. Some things are just meant to be.

Prior to that Instagram post I had no idea Line Up existed. If you weren’t specifically bee-lining for it, most people would miss it completely. It’s frontage is small, black and nondescript. Inside it’s the size of a small football dressing room. 

FourFourTwo holding a rare Umbro Man City away shirt from 1993-94 (Image credit: @Ketchell)

There’s a cool vintage scooter in the window, a snazzy mosaic tiled floor, the walls stripped back to their original stone, there’s a desk where you pay and half a dozen shelves displaying rare sports collectables, games, trainers and trinkets from the 80s and 90s.

Oh, and two rails of vintage football shirts upon which around 150 shirts hang. As a fan of football shirts my spidey senses (and credit cards) were tingling.

The range is mainly European, with a generous choice of Premier League shirts, plus shirts of the bigger international countries. Most items inside this hidden gem span the sweet spot for collectable football shirts: the 80s, 90s and early 00s. There’s a fair amount of Arsenal and Manchester United shirts here and (to my delight) a lot of the shirts for sale feature name and number sets, with many in my preferred long-sleeve style.

Some items that immediately jumped off the rail were a purple Umbro Man City away shirt from 1993-94 (€230), an extremely coveted USA Adidas away shirt from the 1994 World Cup (€380) and a 1992/94 Adidas Equipment France shirt with ‘Cantona 18’ on the back (€250). This shop is serious, with emphasis on quality not quantity. Yes, prices are pretty serious too, but these shirts are in great condition, the selection is considered, rare and don’t forget we’re in the heart of Paris.

Naturally, the smaller of the two rails is dedicated to France and PSG shirts. There’s a PSG shirt I’ve always wanted, their home shirt from 2013-14. You’ll remember it – big blocks of white and red down the front. David Beckham was wearing it the last time he walked off a football pitch in 2013.

There’s around 150 shirts on display, with more stock in the basement and on Line Up’s website (Image credit: @Ketchell)

To my disappointment, they don’t have it on display. I ask if there is any other stock. The owner’s English is as good as my French, but via the language of football (and smartphones) he deciphers my request and trots down a tiny staircase at the back of the shop. 

Five minutes later he returns with four versions of the shirt. I purchase the long-sleeves in medium (€120). 

The small touches around this small place are superb, like the tags on each shirt which are repurposed American sports trading cards from the 1990s. There’s a strong basketball theme running among the football shirts, with lots of Nike Air Jordans on display, as well as snapback hats, 80s action figures, VHS cassettes and N64 game cartridges.

The shop is maybe 100 sq ft and during our 30 minute shopping spree the owner casually evacuates and mills around on the street outside so as to not make his patrons (just me and my bored wife) self-conscious. Tremendous etiquette.

To be clear, this isn’t an advert, just enthusiasm. And a recommendation if you want to see rare artefacts in Paris but don’t have four hours to spend in the Louvre.

Lineupvintageshop.com 5 Rue de Mulhouse, 75002 Paris, France

FourFourTwo’s Matt Ketchell flicks through some jaw-dropping shirts inside Line Up (Image credit: @ketchell)

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Ketch joined FourFourTwo as Deputy Editor in 2022 having wracked up appearances at Reach PLC as a Northern Football Editor and BBC Match of the Day magazine as their Digital Editor and Senior Writer. During that time he has interviewed the likes of Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Gareth Southgate and attended World Cup and Champions League finals. He co-hosts a ’90s football podcast called ‘Searching For Shineys’, is a Newcastle United season ticket holder and has an expensive passion for collecting classic football shirts.

Source : FourFourTwo

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