The sacred symbolism of a football shirt is remarkably unique. A direct connection between fans and clubs, many of us like to add a few custom touches to our kit. Documenting this with beautiful style is that of Chris Read. A photographer and Arsenal fan who has caught many a custom creation, this series of shots is a work of sheer beauty, regardless of which team you follow.

In weaving a little closer to the heat pressed type that washes these shirts, we caught up with Chris to find out a little more about the project.

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You have captured so many incredible shirts - what kick started the project?

"A few years ago I treated myself to a season ticket and would go every week with a couple mates. I always had a point and shoot with me and just fancied doing some kind of personal project focusing on Arsenal in some way. I had of course seen customised shirts in the past and appreciated them, so once I was going regularly, I just started shooting them when I saw them. Now it's turned into a minor obsession, going to games hours before, trawling pubs, reaching out to sites and magazines looking for some help, feeding the addiction essentially."

Has it given you a fresh appreciation for football shirts? You must find yourself looking at visiting team fans' shirts as much as Arsenal shirts?

"I've always been a massive fan of football shirts - anything around the late 70's early 90's was such a great period for shirts. Italian clubs in particular have always had it going on shirt wise, Fiorentina's purple, Juve's pink shirts from a few years ago, the 80's AC shirts, style for days."

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Do you personalise your shirts?

"I don't actually, in fact I rarely wear them, ha."

Football shirts are almost spiritual objects, would you say adding an extra slice of customisation in this way helps people connect with their club that little bit more?

"Oh absolutely, fan engagement with each other, rivals and obviously their team and players is what makes football what it is. From songs and chants, to flags and banners, football has always had a very 'punk, DIY' feeling which really appeals to me. I think creating some personality and individuality by customising quite a uniformed item of clothing shoes an extra level of love for your team and almost respect to your fellow fan."

What's been your favourite that you've spotted?

"'I told my wife the Arsenal was and still is my first love.' Amazing."

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If there's one thing you would write on a shirt to summarise this season for Arsenal fans, what would it be?

"We're by far the most mentally fragile team, the world has ever seen."

What's next for the project? Is there somewhere you'd like to take it? It would make a beautiful book.

"I'd love to make it a book, that's been the focus for a little while, if any publishers or anyone at the club want to get in contact and help make it happen please do. One other thing is Arsenal have an exercise they call 'the Arsenalisation of the stadium' which sound horrendous but actually is something badly needed. I'd love to see the images printed big and pasted around the stadium, maybe asking other fans to submit their shirts and also to encourage more people to customise their shirts."

Is there anything else you do around Football outside of the project, do you play at all?

"I don't play but as a director I work with a lot of footballers. Working with various brands I've shot Ronaldinho, Tevez, Pique, Hazard, James Rodriguez and Hummels to name a few. It's always a pleasure and travelling and meeting great players is definitely the best aspect of my job."

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Utterly tremendous. You can see more of Chris' work here.