Creative Soccer Culture

adidas Originals Host Spezial F.C. Event In Manchester

One thing for sure: adidas Originals know how to throw a party. Want proof? Just check out the images from their recent Special F.C. event from Manchester, hosted in conjunction with End, and unlocking some absolute gems from the Three Stripes archive…

Last week, adidas announced that it would be hosting a special… um, Spezial event in conjunction with End, with the brand rolling out a host of its archival shoes that celebrate the culture of football. That exhibition is running from 18 - 27 November and is supported by live music and a full programme of events, and a host of faces from music and sport in Manchester attended the private view alongside hardcore adidas collectors and fans. And now everyone who didn’t attend  gets to see what they missed out on. Quite the party…

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The content of the exhibition comprised of adidas trainers (both vintage and reissues) that are strongly associated with football culture alongside a mixture of football boots (some match worn) and a complete adidas Spezial archive including unreleased samples, working prototypes and a preview of the forthcoming pre-spring 23 collection. Stand out pieces include a pair of champagne Predator Mania football boots signed by David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane, limited edition adidas Predator Instinct boots designed for Steven Gerrard’s last game and the full archive of adidas world cup footballs dating back to 1970. 

On Saturday 19 November Manchester icons Happy Mondays kicked off the programme with a full to capacity show at neighbouring venue CANVAS MCR . The set that included classics such as ‘24 Hour Party People’ and ‘Loose Fit’ was closed with ‘Step On’.  The gig finished with an impromptu stage invasion of Happy Mondays and adidas Spezial fans of all ages. Support come from up-and-coming Blackurn band The Illicits and DJ Art Chetcuti. 

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Portable Party Confidence Man headlined the second of six music events with a set of energetic electro pop that got the crowd moving with many losing their cool. The set of fan favourites was closed with ‘Holiday’ from their album ‘TILT’ which was released earlier this year. 

The later announced ‘The films of Spezial’ event showcased a selection of Spezial films dating back to 2015 with an exclusive, early edit of the new film for Pre-Spring 23. A Q&A, hosted by Fenners with adidas Spezial curator Gary Aspden, Nick Griffiths and Kevin Cummins followed the film screening. The event was a must-see for fans of the adidas Spezial range and the local film students in attendance. 

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On the 23 November Graham Massey (808 State) performed an audio-visual show with visual artist Michael England. 

On the 24th, Liam Fray (Courteeners) performed an intimate acoustic set of Courteeners classics to another full to capacity crowd at Canvas. The young crowd, with many head-to-toe adidas Spezial sang along to every word in what was a special evening for all.

DRS is performing at Canvas on the 25 November, with Pastel and Afflecks Palace headlining the final SPEZIAL F.C. show on 26 November

World Cup screenings are taking place at the Canvas ‘Clubhouse’.

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For more information on the SPEZIAL F.C. exhibition and the series of events including talks and screenings taking place at Canvas please head to

Photography by Jody Hartley.

Daniel Jones

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