Cast your mind back to a time when tartan-clad tomboy girls and a cheeky Scottish teen pop band ruled the earth. When John Craven’s Newsround carried stern-faced reports of legions of red-faced, flare-kicking teenage girls, roaming the land in their Rollergear, chanting and charging at the slightest mention of their Celtic heroes.
Rollermania gave thousands of girls the chance to belong to something bigger than themselves. To shout and scream and let all that teenage rampage OUT. For many it was their first taste of girl power. And unlike the fans of early boy bands, the Beatles and the Monkees, Roller fans had their own look going on, big style. The clothes, fusing blue-jeaned Americana with Scottish pride, were not so much girly as unisex cool, perfect for hours spent hanging out on the street, debating the relative merits of Woody and Eric’s hairstyles in the latest Look In, or Les’ likes and dislikes, as revealed in Fab 208. The shoes, if they weren’t ankle crunching platforms, were American sneakers – all the better for running down your favourite Roller.

In the spirit of those heady Shang-a-Lang days Acupuncture has created the Les McKeown Bay City Runner. No retro rehash here – the Runner also features a transparent version of Acupuncture’s signature anarchy A on the heel and thoroughly modern styling. This space-age sneaker is built onto an all new ultra-white version of the best-selling Kunda sole unit. The Runner plays up its Bay City heritage with a white fabric and tartan upper (the tartan is unique to Acupuncture), an American baseball-styled circle logo and Les’s signature embroidered by the heel.

The wry and still rather dashing McKeown remains one of Britain’s best-loved pop heart-throbs. Acupuncture hope that this shoe will go some way to reminding the world of that exciting time when being young mean’t being loud, proud and standing out from the crowd, well, your parents at any rate.

Look out for the next wave of Rollermania, currently gaining ground in Hollywood. Now Courtney Love’s bought the film rights to Guardian Music Editor Caroline Sullivan’s book on Roller fandom Bye Bye Baby, it looks like McKeown’s time is coming around again…

The Bay City Runner will be available from December 2000.