We still have a drawer full of Russell’s t-shirts; some of them are very old and scruffy (obviously well worn and loved), others are almost new, still waiting for that special occasion to be worn.
It may seem odd to be writing a whole piece about t-shirts but Russell’s choice of shirt was an essential part of him. He had to be wearing the right shirt for wherever he was going, and many of them reflected his love of music and football.
One of his early favourites was a Nirvana t-shirt; he wore this until it fell apart one day in the washing machine. I never was quite sure where it came from. The official story was that it was a gift from Kaley (is this true?); I’m more inclined to believe the alternative version of him bunking off school and going to Camden Market for the day (probably also involving Kaley), and buying the t-shirt there. But wherever it came from, it was well worn and well loved.
Another favourite was the one with the guitar plectrums on; this one was more for “best” as it did look a bit smarter than some of the others. Many of the music-related shirts are of bands that were around long before he was; there is a brand new Grateful Dead one (and they were old when I was Russell’s age!), and also a Goldie one that has never been worn – such a shame. But the latest favourite, and one that he wore a lot was the red Alice Cooper shirt – the one I wore for him at his funeral. He bought this while on the USA road trip in April 2012. I was told that everyone wanted to buy that t-shirt, but Russell got there first; well, you will be pleased to know that it’s still being worn (but sadly not by Russell).
Russell’s love of football, and one particular team, was remembered by his friends who had special football shirts made for his funeral. Such a lovely idea, he would have been so pleased. Thanks lads for being so thoughtful.
This Christmas, I bought another t-shirt for Russell. Yes, I know he will never be able to wear it, but I am going to wear it for him to remember his love of music and trying to dress for the occasion. The shirt features a favourite singer, who strangely, didn’t feature in the t-shirts we already had. I intend to continue to add to his collection of t-shirts as I find new ones that he would have liked. Why don’t you all do the same, we could have a Russell T-shirt Day in the summer!