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Interview with Iain McNee, Founder Of The Onion Bag


WARNING: We have received several complaints from readers in the past few weeks where they have not received the merchandise they have ordered. Plus they have not received replies from the owner of the site. Based on recent interactions with several of our readers, we would encourage you not to order merchandise from The Onion Bag.

The key ingredients of football culture are beer, football shirts and laughter, so it’s appropriate that we introduce you to The Onion Bag. Created by football mad Iain McNee, the site features a wide selection of football shirts for sale as well as  The Onion Bag Blog that highlights soccer pubs, funny videos and more.

Iain McNee is pictured in the center of the above picture next to the aging Ronnie Biggs, the famed bank robber best known for The Great Train Robbery of 1963. Here’s the interview with McNee:

The Gaffer (TG): What came first — the Onion Bag website, shop or blog? And how did you come up with the initial idea?

Iain McNee (IM): The shop. Initially, it was Onion Bag Travel – we were gonna do bus trips and the odd flight here and there. A shop made more sense after a couple of bus trips, the next progression after the shop was the website when Gabriel signed his professional terms for The Onion Bag. The blog is just a recent thing, something myself and Gabriel just do for a laugh really.

TG: If you had to pick one football shirt that stands out in your mind as your favorite, which one is it and why?

IM: Carlisle United’s from the 1974/75 season, it was my first full season of never missing a home game at Brunton Park.  Luckily for me we were in the old First Division. We finished last and got relegated, but we played entertaining stuff and were rarely betaen by more than one goal.

TG: What’s your favorite Premier League shirt for the 2008/2009 season?

IM: That would be Everton. Each year and every year.

TG: What’s your favorite pub to watch football matches at?

IM: As an Everton fan I like to watch the games with other New York based Evertonians, we watch the games at Mr. Dennehy’s pub in Manhattan,  you can check out our website here.

TG: What type of stories does your blog feature?

IM: Usually things that revolve around beer, football and eating. There’s no real theme apart from stuff myself or Gabriel find amusing.

TG: Why should people shop online at your website for football shirts instead of Kitbag, Subside or World Soccer Shop?

IM: I think our website speaks for myself and Gabriel’s interest in the game. Hopefully our audience connects with what we are trying to do and supports us.

TG: What’s the most fascinating story you’ve heard from a football fan who has traveled abroad to watch a football match?

IM: I can’t incriminate friends with stories, but I can tell you that I met Ronnie Biggs, the famous Great Train Robber, at his house during the Club World Cup 2000 in Rio De Janiero. The same afternoon I met David Beckham at the Christ The Redeemer statue at the Corcavado Mountain. It was fascinating for me anyway, meeting Ronnie Biggs that is.

TG: What’s the most interesting fact about you that your customers would be surprised to read?

IM: Most people don’t know I was involved in the mid-90’s NewYork Hip Hop scene and released about 80 or 90 12″ singles on my own independent label.

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  1. Matt

    November 24, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    This guy is a complete wanker. Don’t buy anything from this scumbag.

  2. Daniel

    October 14, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    the onionbag is the absolute worst place you can go to. The store looks dingy and messy and trying to get help was damn near impossible. I recognize Iain from the picture because he was the one sitting in the back doing nothing as I needed help. I finally got some help from a red headed version of george costanza only tubbier who looked like he wanted to be anywhere but there. About a month later the numbers came off the jersey. DON'T BUY HERE. Support your team and buy from the teams website

  3. Eddie

    August 20, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    I love the Onion Bag. Why buy from the official club site? People need to support LOCAL shops! The Onion Bag is just that. Their jerseys are always top notch and Iain, Gabe and Brad always take their time and letter jerseys just right. Where else in North America (or the World) are you going to get player sized FELT lettering? No where, that’s where.

  4. Kurt R

    August 20, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Ronnie Biggs! Brilliant!
    I’ve also ordered from onionbag and second Todd and Binks comments. Second to none in the states for authentic kits. Anyone else think the dude above works for manutdshopusa? Besides, everyone knows that when you order from you are actually ordering from Kitbag or World Soccer Shop and not the club! So don’t try to play the club sympathy card. The only way to truly support the club is by buying at the megastore at Old Trafford. I don’t make enough money to fly to Manchester when I need a jersey! Instead I’ll check out onionbag, they usually are cheaper than most sites.

  5. Binks

    August 20, 2008 at 4:46 am

    There’s always one douchebag.

    As a United SUPPORTER. I would never buy a damn thing from the Floridiot. Who put the club in the Red for the sake of his own interests.

    Don’t shit on someone for following a club that is truely part of the local community and not a bitch child of globalization.

    Iain and Gabe and the rest of the crew at the Onionbag are top notch. They are responsive and you can see from what you get that they take their time in personalizing products with custom numbering. Unlike their competitors. I check their site first when purchasing anything and will sometimes call and wait if they have something on back order to buy from there.

    Unlike the tool who posted before me, I believe in supporting the little guy that’s committed to his community, not the fat fuck who has a Santa Claus sized bag to steal from the community his business happens to be located in.

  6. George Hiagos

    August 11, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    This guy is obviously a true football fan, who would watch, could watch an entire season of Carlise? i checked out his shop and its good. However, as a United fan I prefer to shop directly with my Club. In that way I feel that we are helping out, doing our bit.

    If you are United mad use the US club shop,


  7. Todd

    August 9, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    onionbag is of the highest quality. if you are in the US, you must buy from them. i used to buy from united direct every year till i realized onionbag had higher quality and were much much cheaper. i cant endorse them enough. also, you can call in if you have any problems and talk to these two guys directly..very good customer service

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