The Football Shirt Collective

Taking football shirts out of the cupboard and into the spotlight


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Saturday quiz. Can you name all the shirts? First to get them right. Is. The. Winner. #quiz #footballshirt #football

#Repost shirt of the day: Germany, Adidas, 1992 (goalkeeper) from @el_dejo #germany #adidas #euro92 #goalkeepershirt #adidas —- Top 3 #football jerseys of all time. This #beast from #adidas for the #Euro92 in #Sweden as worn by German goalkeeper #BodoIllgner. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful #goalkeeper shirt. #torwart #EM92 #footballshirt #fußball #beastmode #swag #trikot

I went to see an amazing football shirt collection yesterday (more on that later).

Can you guess all the shirts?

Shirt of the day: FC Zvezdets Gorna Malina, Bulgaria, 2004/5 courtesy of @oldshirts

Villarreal, Kelme, 2003/4 - Riquelme: a political decision

Rob Hogg takes a look back on happier times for Villarreal with this tribute to the 2003/4 shirt that Riquelme wore to pull the strings for the el sumbarino amarillo.  If you like the shirt have a cheeky bid for it on eBay.

Villarreal used to wear the same white and black combo as their close rivals, Valencia. It was only in 1947 that they changed to the colours they have nowadays, the result of the President’s son failing to get to the shop before they had sold out of everything except yellow. The Villarreal players agreed to keep the colour of their football shirts, and taken on by a revolutionary spirit, dumped their black shorts for blue.

The blue shorts stayed in place right up until 2002-03, at which point it was decided to make the kit all yellow. This shirt comes from that final blue thighed season - from a time that is no doubt intrinsically linked in the minds of all fans of el sumbarino amarillo with an emotional victory over SC Heerenveen in the Intertoto Cup.

Villarreal went all the way to the semi finals in the Uefa Cup, making for one of the chronologically longest cup runs in history. The club’s quest for glory was only halted by Valencia - giving a rather provincial ending to a tour of triumph that had taken them all over Europe.

Villareal, Kelme, 2003/4

Villarreal, Kelme, 2003/4

The boys in yellow had some big names in that time. Playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme was enjoying his best football in Europe, having been rescued from rotting on the wing at the Camp Nou. The Barca coach at the time, van Gaal, had called the catalans’ signing of Riquelme a 'political decision' - unlike van Gaal's subsequent decision to play a number 10 with no pace right out on the flank.

Alongside the reinvigorated Riquelme, there was also space on the team sheet for old championship manager legend Sonny Anderson, back for a brief cameo in La Liga after years in le French wilderness, as well as our old friends Pepe Reina and Fabrizio Coloccini.

Sadly, Villarreal are going to spend this season in the second division after a calamitous campaign last year. But to finish on a metaphor and some emotion, let’s hope that it won’t be too long before the Submarines surface again.

Do you have the Villarreal shirt? Let us know @thefootballsc or if you like the shirt have a cheeky bid for it on eBay

Shirt of the day: Ajax, Umbro, 1989 courtesy of @wretchedascrisp

Source: classicfootballshirts

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

Manchester City, Umbro, 1990-91 - Chevrons

This shirt comes from an era of nostalgia, when people liked City, they were sponsored by Brother, and they had a lovely light background pattern of chevrons. Things went a bit mad with the chevrons in 1991-93, so this kit comes from the first incarnation, with a more  modest City. Which is everyone’s favourite type of City. And following on from that, everyone’s favourite type of manager is the player-manager.

Manchester City, Umbro, 1991

Manchester City, Umbro, 1991

But what exactly goes into making a player-manager? Respect of the dressing room of course. Backing from the board. A few grey hairs don’t go amiss. But what is most important is an ability to play as a very slow defensive midfielder (Ray Wilkins was a wonderful example of this).

Howard Kendall wasn’t a player-manager. But he was in charge of Manchester City for a while, before heading back along the M62 for a second spell at Everton - on leaving, he explained that City was an affair, whilst Everton was his marriage.

Which of course was wonderful news because it meant that Peter Reid could take over as player-manager. Nowadays this would never have happened. Player-managers are a thing of the past. They have been replaced in the public psyche by horrible corporate ghouls, like
Directors of Football. Surely it was better when clubs made large losses whilst having the team being run by a man who was so involved in playing that they were completely unable to make any tactical decisions at all, rather than someone who wears slick business suits and gives those fancy arm wrestling style clasped high fives instead of handshakes.

Having said all that, Reid got two fifth place finishes, before the image of the M62 took control of his mind and City went decidedly  route one, and he got himself sacked.

If you really don’t believe the era of player-managers was a time when magical things could happen, then watch this third City goal against United, as Colin Hendry picks the ball up on the halfway line, rinses Neil Webb, one-twos with Niall Quinn and dinks it over Les Sealey (although it ended as a draw and Kendall was actually still in charge at this point – probably would have won if Reid was managing).

To finish on the players’ front, at the start of the season Paul Lake picked up a seemingly innocuous knee injury. It ended up putting him  out of the game for two years, and effectively ended his career. Lake would go on to be seen as almost mythical figure at Maine Rd, the symbol of an era of what might have been. He didn’t even get a chance to be a player-manager.

If you have some time later today, why not pop into the barber’s and ask for a Swales. 

Is this City’s greatest ever football shirt?  Let us know @thefootballsc 

Ahead of the new season.  Quite frankly this is the greatest football video ever made.

My favourite football shirt - Benji Lanyado

We spoke to journalist, digital producer and scorer of diving headers Benji Lanyado about wee, Gazza shirts and Di Canio scissor kicks.  

What was your first ever football shirt?

A 1989 Hibernian home shirt. I lived in Edinburgh until I was 8, and was forced into supporting Hibs by my neighbour, who then forced me to wear his hand-me-downs. I went to Easter Road every now and then, but my strongest memory of partisanship was when, one lunchtime at school, the playground split into opposing camps, Hearts vs Hibs, and we chanted at each other across the concrete until one kid wet himself with exhilaration. It was wonderful.

What is your favourite ever football shirt?

A tough one. Probably the Gazza-era Lazio home shirt. I was addicted to Football Italia and the strange, fat, brilliant English bloke who went over there, scored a last-minute equaliser in a Rome derby (from a Beppe Signori cross), and then cried, obviously. Early 90s Italian shirts are superb, but that one stands out.

Lazio, Umbro, 1994Lazio, Umbro, 1994 

What is your favourite ever goal?

An obvious one I’m afraid. The Di Canio scissor kick for West Ham. Two things I remember:

1) The delayed reaction of the crowd - for at least half a second nobody celebrated, we were in shock

2) When re-watching it ad infinitum, Martin Tyler’s commentary. He has a mini footballgasm.  And one for luck …

3) It was Freddie Kanoute’s debut for West Ham, but you didn’t need to know that.

Is your favourite football shirt better than Benji’s? Let us know on twitter @thefootballsc

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 - and we will publish the best on our blog.

Aston Villa, Umbro, 1992/93

Ahead of the start of the 2012/3 Premiership season, Robert Hogg takes a look at some of the classic English top flight kits from days gone by - starting with Aston Villa’s magnificent Mita lace up number.    

1992/93 was a season for mixed emotions in Birmingham.  On the one hand, Aston Villa led the inaugural Premiership for much of the campaign, Paul McGrath won the PFA Player of Year Award and Dalian Atkinson scored the goal of the season.

But disappointment came with a late collapse culminating in a 1-0 reverse at Boundary Park against Oldham, and the end of Mita Copiers’ long and happy reign as shirt sponsors.

 Aston Villa, Umbro, 1992/3

Aston Villa, Umbro, 1992/3

The season itself started out promisingly, the squad strengthened by Ron Atkinson’s adding depth to the frontline with a candid transfer strategy;

“We have about 40 names broken down to the A list, the B list, the C list and the Panic list.”

Whether Dean Saunders was on the Panic list is not known, but a man who certainly wasn’t was Ray Houghton. Houghton had been determined to move to London and join Chelsea, but Big Ron was able to persuade him otherwise, as Houghton says; 

“There was this big thing about my wife wanting to go back to London.  She did a bit but there is no problem. The manager and chairman took us around, showed us some nice places.”

Difficult to please Houghton was no doubt also swayed by some kind words from Atkinson, giving him the highest possible praise that he;

“stands comparison with Trevor Steven”.

By December, Norwich were top of the table with negative goal difference. Villa overhauled them, but didn’t quite have the legs to hold out till the end of the season. Speaking of missing body parts, Paul ‘no knees’ McGrath had perhaps his finest season, able to concentrate on playing by having his training participation reduced to collecting the balls.

McGrath is now working in Ireland, and why not have a listen to his recently released album?

The season came to an end with Villa finishing in a very respectable second place.  And Mita went out on a high, having successfully ridden the short-lived wave of ‘lace up collar mania’ that had gripped kitrooms from Old Trafford to Villa Park. 

On a final note, fans of watching the build up to matches might enjoy this Aston Villa versus Arsenal clip where analyst Andy Gray pinpoints the ‘interesting confrontation’ of Steve Froggatt vs Pal Lydersen as a key clash in the game.

Is this the greatest Aston Villa shirt ever?  Lets us know through twitter @thefootballsc


My favourite football shirt - Mark Holmes

We spoke to TEAMtalk’s Homzy about Mark Stein, purple Stoke shirts and Peter Crouch’s volley. 

What was your first ever football shirt? 

I am certain my first ever shirt was a home shirt sponsored by Fradley Homes in 1990/91 but the earliest I have still got in my possession is the Ansells one from the following season, which you can see at the front of this picture with some of my other shirts from my early years!

What is your favourite ever shirt?

There is only so much you can do with red and white stripes so, as a Stoke fan, my favourite shirts have always been our away ones. We had a cracking green and black striped one with Carling on it during the mid 90s but I think my all-time favourite has to be this purple and white one from 1992.

 Stoke, Asics, 1992

Stoke, Asics, 1992

I associate it with Mark Stein and winning the Autoglass Trophy at Wembley but even now I think it’s a great design. It is just a shame I can’t fit in it anymore!

What is your favourite ever goal? 

The Peter Crouch goal against Man City last season was probably the best I’ve ever seen and there was a Kevin Keen volley in the 95/96 season that I’ll never forget, but I have to say Mark Stein’s first in our 2-1 win over Man Utd in the League Cup in the 93/94 season. That man was unbelievable!  

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 - and we will publish the best on our blog.

Nottingham Forest - three stripes and trophies

Was the 1978 - 1986 the greatest era for the Nottingham Forest football kit? @Red__Sprite takes a look back at the day of Adidas and trophies.

Between 1978 and 1986, Nottingham Forest won the League Championship, European Cup (twice), League Cup (twice), European Super Cup and Charity Shield.  And they did it in style - this period saw them sporting the simple, classic Adidas three stripes kit. 

At the time I was merely a baby, but I’m told I watched / slept through many of the European games on my Dad’s chest.  Looking back, Adidas provided some fantastic stuff.Nottingham Forest, Adidas, 1978-1986

Nottingham Forest, Adidas, 1978-1986

- The home red shirt - normally worn with white shorts and red socks, but red shorts were worn for both the European Cup final victories

- The yellow away kit - worn with either yellow or blue shorts, this was worn for the 1978 League Cup Final replay victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford 

- Some fine tracksuits - such as this red worn by Brian Clough 

As the early 1980s worn on, pinstripes were added to the classic design.  The silverware also dried up.  No connection has ever been proved, but that is not to say there wasn’t one.

For the 1986-1987 season, Forest switched to Umbro.  Enough said.

The end of an Errea - Democratic Republic of Congo

I love my flag based shirts. I love my colourful shirts. I love my original shirts.

This one from the Democratic Republic of Congo ticks all those boxes. Another great design from Errea.

This in the 2011 version, interestingly the 2012 is exactly the same design but with the blue changed to match the blue of the national flag.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo, Errea, 2011

Previously DRC had worn Airness shirts, a french manufacturer whose shirts are nigh on impossible to get hold of.

This away shirt is on display in the foyer of Peterborough United’s London Road ground, donated by Congolese international Gabriele Zakuani.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo, Airness 

Nick Warrick

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