The experts here at The Instep are constantly fielding questions about clothing and accessories related to the beautiful game. Usually, people ask how to take care of their jerseys, not how to destroy them! But hey, if your favorite player gets traded or leaves town for piles of money and a shot at a championship, you might end up a little bitter. In this scenario, which happens to all sports fans at some point in their lives, you want to keep your awesome jersey and keep supporting your squad after that stuck-up traitor sellout has left. Here are a few tips on how to remove the name and number from a soccer jersey without causing damage to the garment.

Vinyl or Iron-On Numbers & Lettering

When you’re dealing with vinyl or iron-on lettering, you want to apply heat to loosen the glue that keeps them attached. The best way to do this is with a hairdryer or an iron. If using an iron, try to keep in contact with only the lettering, avoiding the fabric of the jersey, so that you don’t cause any burn marks. Once the lettering gets hot enough (try not to use more heat than you need), it should start to pull off. There will most likely be glue residue left over underneath the stickers. Rub in a little rubbing alcohol, let it sit for a few minutes, then rub the area with a clean cloth. The glue residue should flake off fairly easily.

Stitched-On Lettering

With sewn-on lettering, you want to turn the jersey inside out and use a seam ripper to carefully cut the stitching. Seam rippers are available at most craft stores for a couple of dollars. Stitching can be small and hard to see, so make sure you have plenty of light. If the numbering and lettering still aren’t coming off after you’ve cut all the stitches, glue might have been used as well. In this case, use heat, like directed above, to loosen the glue, then peel the lettering off.

Buy a New Jersey & Support a New Player or Team

With the tips above, you should have no problem removing the letters and numbers from a jersey. Now you can hit the stadium on game day with your modified soccer apparel and support your team like a true fan.

Of course, soccer jerseys do look a little vacant without a name and numbers. Whether you’re a fan of MLS, Serie A, La Liga, Premier League, or international play, you’ll have no problem finding the jerseys of today’s popular soccer players. Forget about that money-hungry primadonna who ditched your club for greener pastures. Find a new star to root for and put the past behind you. Before you know, it will be like they never existed! That is, until you run into them on your way to the championship.