You’ve all seen it. You are tuned in for the big game and the TV cameras pan to the players getting off the team bus. 90% of them will have some kind of fancy shower bag clutched into their midrift. This is no different in the lower leagues. Well there isn’t usually a bus and there aren’t usually cameras but there will be a player clutching his Louis Vutton or Gucci shower bag tightly to his Pendle tracksuit. The glitz and the glamour of the designer wash bag is neutralised by the practical but less fashionable brand of said tracksuit.
The mysterious mystical shower bag is the staple for every “baller” worldwide; it’s a tradition that has outlasted many other gimmicks. Gone are the giant Beats headphones, gone are the cotton Nike gloves and gone are the Livestrong wrist bands. The shower bag has won. It is the one accessory that looks “cool” yet also fits a practical purpose. Every football fan reading this will be dying to know what lies within these mystical bags, well hold onto your horse because I’m about to peel back the curtain and let you in.
You’d think this would be a given wouldn’t you? I can tell you those with the fanciest of bags tend to come begging to others for a squirt of their shower gel. I’m always having to hand out free squirts of my bargain bucket shower gel to this lot. When they do bring shower gel its always pricey stuff that they hide in their wash bag, lathering up their hair and body with the stuff before they enter the shower area. I’ve played with many shower gel hoarders over the year and wouldn’t like to give any names away but the shrewdest most experienced hoarder’s name rhymes with Savin Gwankie
This ingredient is found more regularly than the shower gel. I find this baffling. Where are you going after an evening training session that means you require your hair being styled? Listen, I understand if you are using that hair dust stuff that some of the insecure baldies use to cover sparse patches (I’m allowed to say that as I will be one of you in a few years), but to me it seems an unnecessary thing to do. Maybe I’m wrong; maybe I need to take more pride in my appearance.
Several players include little additions that might make the incremental differences in their performance level. Supplements have came a long way since HerbaLife reared its ugly head in the lower league game, although I always enjoyed Iain “Yano” Campbell washing down his fat burning energy drink with 2 litres of Lucozade and a Big Mac. Players have protein shakes, energy gels and caffeine supplements. We had a loan player from Celtic, Daniel Church, who got me into his caffeine chewing gum and caffeine drinks. My form hadn’t been good and I was consistently on the bench – one piece of chewing gum and I was flying during the half time warm ups, however when it was my time to enter the fray the caffeine had started to wear off culminating in me constantly falling over the ball. I will just stick to recovery protein shakes.
In my shower bag, there is always a deodorant and I don’t mind sharing this with my team mates. The thing I detest seeing is a player who pulls out the roll on thing. It could be described as a shrewd move, as nobody is going to want to borrow your roll on with the 5 loose arm pit hairs on it. It’s a selfish move, but one I’ve got to hold my hands up and say, “well played young man”.
This isn’t necessarily a staple of the shower bag, but could be described as a clever piece of kit. With dressing rooms up and down the country introducing fines for unacceptable length of body hair – a quick trip to the bathroom with the trimmer would get you off scot free. In my early days as a player, I walked back into the Forfar changing room and burst into the cramped toilet, I am still scarred from what awaited me. Stall door open, player bollock naked, straddling the toilet facing the cistern, trimming his foliage happy as you like. I asked this experienced former team mate,
“Don’t judge me, it’s the best way to tidy up without any mess”
I cannot confirm or deny if this is true. I lie; it’s true, he was right.
I would say 50% of players now have this item in their shower bag. An item that would have you eaten alive in a dressing room with filled with Roy Keanes, is now the norm. The new man likes soft smooth skin, I’ve tried it and I’m all in.
This all may read as a snarky put down of my fellow professionals, but I also have a shower bag. I have a luxurious Dove shower bag, it may have come free with a Christmas set of anti-perspirant and shower gel but I love it. In the week before football was postponed, the zip burst leaving me heartbroken – I am now in the market for a fresh bag. Any suggestions?