The Football Shirt Collective

Taking football shirts out of the cupboard and into the spotlight


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Watford, Puma, 2013/14

Summary: Alas Football Manager’s sponsorship of Watford has sadly come to an end.  Quite frankly the finest football shirt sponsorship ever.  One thing however does remain constant for the Hornets - Puma as kit makers.  

Puma have outdone themselves with this number.  Black and yellow. This kit is class.  The yellow badge on the black stands out like a Tour De France winners jersey.  The colours are striking and the kit is distinct.  

Makers: Puma

Inspired by: Borussia Dortmund

Would suit:  Chris Froome, Wiz Khalifa, Robert Lewandowski 

Where can I get one:  You can order the 2013/14 Watford kit here from

What do you think of the kit? Let us know @thefootballsc

Here are some other kits we thought you would like:

Watford, Le Coq Sportif, 1999 

New kit preview: Arsenal, Nike, 2013/14

My favourite football shirt - Amy Lawrence

Burkina Faso, Puma, 2013 - Stallions and Redemption

Stallions and redemption.  Burkina Faso’s journey to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations has it all.  


Burkina Faso, Puma, 2013

Burkina Faso are ranked 92nd in the world, below Cuba, China and Guatemala but have been in defiant form in their run to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations.  

Ahead of the tournament, manager Paul Put showed his players a video of Greece winning the Euro’s, Chelsea winning the Champions League and Zambia winning the last AFCON.  And it seems to have worked - beating Togo in the quarters and Ghana on penalties in the semi-finals.

The cup run has also offered the Belgian manager a chance of redemption.  Paul Put has served a 3 year ban for match fixing from the Belgian FA, after his side had allegedly received money from a Chinese betting syndicate to throw matches.  Though he claims his family was threatened by the mafia if he did not throw the matches.  

As a result of the ban Put made his way to Africa, first to manage Gambia and then Burkina Faso to manage the team with stallions on the shirt.  

There are not many football shirts that sport stallions but this years Burkina Faso, Puma offering is pretty classy, bearing the the legendary horses of Princess Yennenga.  You can order the Burkina Faso, Puma, 2013 here.  

Got a AFCON kit to share.  Let us know @thefootballsc.  

Here are some more links we thought you would like:

Nigeria, Adidas, 1994 - Collar dollar bills 

The end of Errea - Democratic Republic of Congo

Cape Verde, Tepa, 2012 - Stars of the shoulder

Shirt of the day: Shimzu S Pulse, Puma courtesy of @chriskirkoafc 

Map of the world on a football shirt?  What’s not to like.  Some of our favourite kits come from the J league but where does this one rank?   

Here are some other kits you might like:

The Football Shirt Collective - Japan

The Football Shirt Collective - Best of 2012

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Werder Bremen, Puma, 1995/96 - The Alemão of East Frisia

This Puma shirt was created just as the era under Otto Rehhagel ended.  In a fourteen year spell, Rehhagel had transformed the club of Bremen from the nearly men (he was nicknamed the Vice Admiral) into one of the most successful teams of the era (2 Bundesligas, 2 Pokals, 1 Cup Winners’ Cup). When he went, Rehhagel left behind him a void.  Five men tried to fill it - Aad de Mos, Dixie Dörner, Wolfgang Sidka and Felix Magath - all failed.

It took former defender Germany Thomas Schaaf, in 1999, to bring silverware back to the Weserstadion.  Schaaf had actually joined the youth academy at Bremen in 1972 at the age of 9.  Too young to manage perhaps.  But that didn’t stop him hanging around, and he has been at the club ever since.

Another one club man associated with Bremen is Dieter Eilts.  Eilts’ nickname was the Alemão of East Frisia, for his similarity to Brazilian midfielder Alemão - something that is easy to see in retrospect, from all those Alemão posters everyone had up on their walls when they were younger. 

Werder Bremen, Puma, 1995/6 football shirt

Werder Bremen, 1995/6, Puma football shirt

Bremen finished the 1995/96 season in 9th, and went out of the Uefa Cup in the third round.  That should not, though, distract from the lovely green sleeves on this shirt.  And yes, let’s get into the details of the kit.  As you can see, it is sponsored by DBV. DBV is, according to some research, the IATA airport code for Dubrovnik Airport or a type of pulsating white dwarf.

So with either that awe-inspiring image or useful administrative knowledge running through your heads, why don’t we all join in a chorus of the Bremen club song, the Lebenslang Grün-Weiß.  All together now lads.

Sadly, there aren’t a lot of clips around showing the Bremen boys in the home shirt. But if you’re interested and want to take a look at their Manchester City 1993 away tribute kit, then why not watch this clip of the UEFA Cup match against PSV, where Junior Baiano keeps a young Ronaldo firmly in his pocket.

Rob Hogg

Cameroon, Adidas, 2002 / 2004 – Vests and one pieces

The turn of the 21st Century marked a mini golden age for Cameroonian football. Having won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000, the Indomitable Lions claimed Olympic gold in that year’s summer games, and went on to win another ACN two years later.

Despite becoming the second team in history to defend an ACN title, the 2002 side is more often remembered for massively flustering FIFA by turning up to the World Cup in sleeveless shirts.

Cameroon, Puma, 2002

Cameroon, Puma, 2002

During that year’s ACN, the Confederation of African Football had seen nothing wrong with the shirt design. Patrick “Magic” M’Boma’s bare shoulders were on display as he tore through stadia across Mali, teaching a young Sam Eto’o a thing or two on the way to becoming tournament top scorer.

In South Korea and Japan, however, kit sponsor Puma’s exotic experiment did not go down well. Appalled that its logo was not on display on the arms of the Cameroonians, FIFA demanded new kits on pain of disqualification.

Black sleeves were sewn on to the shirts like tiny shrouds of mourning, and Cameroon crashed out at the group stage.

Incredibly, the best was yet to come. As if to goad FIFA, Puma had the Lions turn up to the 2004 ACN wearing…shirt-short one-pieces. Sleeves were present, yet shirts continued unbroken into shorts. Puma’s design was also unreasonably tight; nipples and six packs protruded more so than in the Burton/Schumacher Batsuit. 

Cameroon, Puma, 2004

Cameroon, Puma, 2004

Needless to say, it didn’t take long for FIFA to take note of the fact that the Cameroonians were trotting around pitches in Tunisia wearing green and red Victorian swimsuits. The governing body warned Cameroon that the team would be fined and deducted six points from its World Cup 2006 qualifying campaign if the kit was worn again.

In an act of defiance that would make Rosa Parks sweat, the team kicked off against Nigeria in the ACN quarterfinals with kits unchanged. Proud and absurdly dressed, the rebels lost the match and suffered the points deduction.

Furious, Puma paid the fine on behalf of Cameroon’s football federation and entered into a drawn out legal battle with FIFA that to some represented the brand’s commitment to cutting-edge fashion, and to others a brazen publicity plug in its efforts to compete with FIFA bedfellow Adidas.

The dispute was eventually settled out of court, Cameroon’s points were reinstated, and the controversial kit was laid to rest next to its sleeveless cousin.

Angus McNeice @astokesaym

Cardiff City - from blue to red

Over the years, long car journeys to remote away grounds have provided plenty of opportunity to explore the existential conundrums which underline being a football fan. What really makes a football club? What is the intangible source of identity which keeps drawing so many of us back to the terraces, week after week, season after season?

It’s a difficult one, and I am certainly not going to pretend to have the answer.

But I am certain that one source of that identity is the shirt. To borrow and then unashamedly extend an overused cliché - managers and players come and go, fans eventually pass on, new grounds are built and memories fade. But the shirt…..the shirt never disappears.

Unless you’re Cardiff City.

I’m sure even non-Cardiff fans felt a twinge of regret when they discovered that the club’s new Malaysian owners have decided to change Cardiff’s traditional blue kit to red. There are so many stories on this site which show how important football shirts can be – the memories they capture, the feelings they arouse. Surely the shirt is sacred, not to be meddled with?

As an Arsenal fan, the importance of the colour red extends far beyond the club. This positive associations with my club colour (pun intended) every day life.

Table football? I’ll always go for the red team. Red or blue trim on those new trainers? No contest. Even hair style - who can forget Freddie Ljungberg’s red hair streak tribute, quickly adopted by many fans? A sign of his commitment to the club, embraced by thousands.

My point is this – the colour of a club’s shirt goes way beyond the practical identification of players on a pitch. It’s at the very core of what it means to support a team; City’s Blue Moon; The Black and White Magpies of Newcastle; Arsene Wenger’s Red and White Army; the Red Devils of Manchester.

And the Blue Birds of Cardiff.

By this decision, regardless of what may be very well founded commercial reasons, the management of Cardiff City have torn the identity of that club apart.

We live in the era of big money and that brings benefits. Clearly we need to accept some downsides, but there still need to be lines that rich sheikhs and Malaysian billionaires won’t cross.

On this occasion, it hasn’t just been crossed. It has been turned from blue to red.

Jamie Slavin

Euro 2012 countdown: Czech Republic 1996 - the Poborsky lob

The Czech Republic’s first competitive football match following its formation was in the Euro 96 qualifiers.  And what a start to international football they had, finishing on top of the group 5 qualifying group ahead of Holland.  

Puma had a tough job on their hands designing the Czech Republic kit for Euro 96.  They needed a shirt to do the newly formed nation proud and to take the attention away from Karel Poborsky’s face.  And with this cracking football shirt they did not disappoint.   

Czech Republic, Puma, 1996

Czech Republic, Puma, 1996

Berger, Smicer, Poborsky and co had a slow start to the tournament losing their opening game to Germany at Old Trafford.  But they soon found their spiritual home at Anfield, where they beat Italy 2-1 and scored a last minute equaliser against Russia to book their place in the knock out rounds.  

Villa Park was next, where Karel Poborsky scored that lob against Portugal - to secure his move to Manchester United.  And back to Manchester United the Czech Republic team went, to knock out France on penalties in the semi-final.  Kadlec held his nerve as Pedros bottled it for France.    

So to Wembley for the final against Germany.  This was the Czech Republic’s first game in London and first on the Wembley pitch, whilst Germany had already played their semi-final there.  Initially the extra experience did Germany little good, as Berger scored the opener for the Czech Republic, but the tide turned.  Germany through Oliver Bierhoff scored the equaliser and then the first golden goal in the history of the competition.  

So for making it to the final of your first ever competitive tournament and for dazzling Europe with this Puma kit, the Czech Republic - we salute you.  

You can share your classic football shirts by; tagging them to our facebook page, sending us a link to them on twitter, or pinning them on our Pinterest board.  We will publish the best on our blog.  

Maccabi Haifa FC, Home, Puma (Taken with instagram)

Cameroon, Home, Puma

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