The Football Shirt Collective

Taking football shirts out of the cupboard and into the spotlight


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My favourite football shirt - Dan Levy

We caught up with Dan Levy, sports editor of France 24, to talk blue arrow Arsenal shirts, AC Milan kits and “chest and volley” world cup goals.

What was your first football shirt?

My first kit was an Arsenal late-80s home shirt: red torso, white sleeves, made by Adidas with JVC as the sponsor.


Arsenal, Adidas, 1982 (source: onlinearsenal)

I had quite a few of the Arsenal away kits as well, including that preposterous early-90s yellow one with the blue arrows plastered all over it. The only player name I’ve ever had on a shirt was Ian Wright, number 8, on the back of a blue, mid-90s, Arsenal away kit.

What is your favourite football shirt?

I can’t really think of one that stands out, apart from the aforementioned Arsenal blue-arrow monstrosity, which I do quite like … For no particular reason I think I’ll say the AC Milan home kit - the ones from the 50s and 60s look cool, I also love the 2000-2002 version.


AC Milan, Adidas 2000-2002

I feel like I’m supposed to romanticise old football shirts, and the Arsenal ones from the 70s are great, but I really like the modern look of many kits as well.

What is your favourite goal?

It’s Maxi Rodriguez for Argentina against Mexico at the 2006 World Cup, a game-winning, extra-time volley. It came in the 98th minute. Captain Juan Pablo Sorin receives the ball from Lionel Messi and chips a cross-field pass from left to right towards the corner of the penalty area.

Maxi doesn’t bring it down; instead, he thumps the ball up in the air with his chest, in the direction from whence it came, and hammers it into the top far corner with his left foot. It’s at the World Cup; it’s a match winner, and, arguably best of all, Maxi is actually right footed. He later credited his grandfather for encouraging him to use both feet. 

But I think what does it for me is the power and the beautiful arc of the shot, that thrilling fraction of a second it takes to fly in.

Also, there is a special place in my heart reserved for chest-and-volley goals. For me, they’re the ultimate. When people fantasise about scoring a winning goal at a World Cup as a kid, it’s chest and volley they’re dreaming of, right? For any youngster who saw that Maxi Rodriguez effort, it must be.  You can watch that goal here.

If you have a favourite football shirt let us know on

Here are some other articles we thought you would like:

My favourite football shirt - Nick Szczepanik

We caught up with Nick Szczepanik, football writer for the Independent to talk; footballers that smoke, finding amazing football kits in charity shops and Marcel Desailly curling one in for AC Milan.

What was your first football shirt?

I’m pretty sure my first football shirt was one we had to buy for games at Hove Grammar School. It was cotton, navy blue with white collar and cuffs, like a Scotland shirt. But my mum came from Leeds, so the first club shirt I was given was a Revie-era white one. It was the days before official replicas, so I assume my aunt sewed the badge (the one with the owl in a blue circle) onto a plain white football shirt.

What is your favourite football shirt?  

It’s a terrible thing for a Brighton fan to say, but my favourite shirt ever is the one Crystal Palace wore when they first went into the old first division in 1969 (and anyway Brighton and Palace weren’t rivals at that stage).


Crystal Palace, 1969

Three colours on one shirt was unusual when so many teams seemed to wear boring all white or all red kits, but the combination worked. The player seems to be smoking a cigarette while having his pic taken, if you look at his right hand - and he needs to hold off the hair dye!

But my favourite shirt of the few I own is one I found in a charity shop for three quid (below). It is a long-sleeved player-worn Brighton shirt from the 1990-91 season - you couldn’t buy the long-sleeved versions in the club shop - and still had some mud on one of the sleeves.


Brighton, 1990/91

Steve Gatting played left back in quite a few games that season and never wore short sleeves, so I assume it’s the one he was wearing in the 2-2 FA Cup draw at Anfield and/or the 4-1 play-off semi-final victory over Millwall!  The charity was one that the club’s chief executive at the time had once worked for, so I wonder if he was having a clear-out and sent a load of surplus gear to his old mates.

What is your favourite goal?

Marcel Desailly for AC Milan in the 1994 European Cup final against Barcelona. As a rubbish centre back myself, it was thrilling to see the big man, one of my all-time favourites, playing in midfield, pulling off a smart interception, running for a return pass and then curling the ball round Andoni Zubizaretta and in. In my dreams ..

Have you ever found a classic football shirt in a charity shop?  Let us know on

Shirt of the day: Newcastle United, Umbro courtesy of Neil Stokoe

Is it the end for Pardew? He looks like a broken man. As St James Park prepares for a massive protest here are a couple of classic Newcastle United kits courtesy of Neil Stokoe.

Which is the better kit? Let us know on

My favourite football shirt - Paul Wilson

We caught up with Paul Wilson, football writer for the Guardian and the Observer, to talk royal blue Everton shirts, broken noses and diving headers.

1. What was your first football shirt?

My first ever football shirt would have been an Everton one, bought from Jack Stanley’s in Liverpool. I lived in St Helens, but football shirts were not as freely available in the mid-sixties as they are now. You had to go to the town or city where the club played. That said, the Everton shirt in question was just a royal blue number with a white collar and cuffs. No club crest, no sponsor’s logo, no embellishment of any kind because a plain blue shirt is exactly what Everton wore at the time.

2. What is your favourite football shirt?

I am tempted to say the above, both on me and on Everton, but for the sake of variation I will say the Wolves old gold shirt from the sixties. I won a writing competition in the Daily Express in 1969 - or at least I was among the winners - and the prize was a pair of Matchmaker football boots, complete with spanner for the removable studs, and a football strip of your choice.


Wolverhampton Wanderers, 1968 (source:

I already had Everton and Celtic, so I asked for Wolves. I was wearing that shirt when I broke my nose in a Scouts (ie Boy Scouts) football game about six months later. I thought the blood looked very good on it, but I’m sorry I don’t have a picture.

3. What is your favourite goal?

Until recently my favourite ever goal was the one Terry McDermott scored against Spurs, the final nail in the coffin of a seven-goal thrashing at Anfield in 1978. I still enjoy that footage, even though as an Evertonian I probably shouldn’t admit it.

I was not actually present at that game though, whereas I was at Salvador at this year’s World Cup to witness Robin van Persie’s amazing effort to put Holland back on terms against Spain. That was really quite something. Another header, and perhaps an even better one than McDermott’s. But it is close.

Have you got a shirt to share on the Football Shirt Collective?  Well it is easy; send us a link to them on twitter or use the #myfavouritefootballshirt # tag, upload them to our facebook page, or pin them on our Pinterest board - and we will publish the best in the collective.

Here are some other kits we thought you would like:

My favourite football shirt - Jonathan Wilson

My favourite football shirt - Max Rushden

My favourite football shirt - Iain MacIntosh

Shirt of the day:  Stag Yellow courtesy of Nerea Palacios - iwanttoworkfornike

For those who don’t know about these guys. Nerea Palacios has crowd funded a campaign to design and create football shirts, designed by fans for fans.  

The Stag Yellow is one of a number of Game of Thrones tributes.  I for one think it is class.  

Find out more about the campaign here:

Really nice print of football shirts courtesy of @67inc

You know what to do people. Guess dem kits.

Let us know on twitter @thefootballsc on by guessing below.

The Football Shirt Collective - Best of 2012

2012 has been the year of the football shirt.  We take a look back at some of the best and worst shirts shared with the Football Shirt Collective, from Estonia to AC Milan.  Let us know what you think @thefootballsc

Best goalkeeper shirt

Estonia, Lotto, 1996/7.  Without doubt this is the best goalkeeper shirt I have ever seen courtesy of @209fifashirts.  It is a bizarre tribute to the Aztecs that would not be out of place at a rave.   

Estonia, Lotto, 1996/7

Best use of polka dots

Nara Club, Japan.  Giant pink polka dots on a football shirt.  What’s not to like?  

Best international kit

Holland, Adidas, 1988 – the faded arrow. The 80’s were a great time in football shirt history and Euro 88 did not disappoint.  Maybe this shirt is rated because this shirt is associated with Marco Van Basten’s goals. Either way it is special.    

Holland, Adidas, 1988 

Classic club kit

AC Milan, Adidas, 1990/1 as shared by @okwonga.  The AC Milan kit of the early 90’s is everything a classic football shirt should be.  Collar.  Check.  Bold colours.  Check.  Brings back memories.  Check. 

AC Milan, Adidas, 1990 

Most popular kit

The kit that is most regularly shared with us has to be England.  We have 6 in the collective.  From Seaman’s Euro 96 goalkeeper shirt to the Umbro, Italia 90 shirt made famous by Gazza. 

Best video

Quite frankly the best football video ever made.  That is all.  Courtesy of @labwam and @shindles5.

Best kit maker

The most popular kit maker has got to be hummel. From Duncan Jenkins to Max Rushden, hummel shirts constantly are the most popular shirts in the collective.  

Finally a big thank you to everyone for their first football shirts contributions and to those who have posted images of their favourite kits.   From Barnet to Botswana we love them all.  

If you have a kit to share, keep them coming @thefootballsc.  

Here is to a special and successful 2013 full of football shirts.  Happy New Year.  

Beyond the terraces

Thanks for all the feedback about the football shirt collection we posted earlier.  And good effort to those that guessed all the kits.  If you like what you saw check out the video above created by film maker and photographer Danny Sangra.

It is for the launch of Beyond Retro’s  collection of over 250 rare and exclusive football shirts dating back to the ‘70s. Just some of the shirts include a match issued Van Basten shirt from his AC Milan glory days, as well as shirts from footballing greats across Europe including, Zinedine Zidane, Deco and Taribo West.

Having seen the collection first hand they are something to behold.  The Nigeria 1994 shirt is bright and bold, the Dortmund, Nike shirt is garish and the Holland shirt is a collectable.   

You can find out more about Beyond Retro’s collection and the launch party on Tuesday 4th December at their Dalson store here - where the shirts will be on show in all their glory.

Shirt of the day:  Shanghai Shenhua, Nike, 2012/13 (DROGBA) courtesy of @Benjilanyado

Our first Chinese entry into the Football Shirt Collective is a whopper.  

Red sleeves with a blue base and lots of diagonal lines.  Magnificent stuff.  

Drogba has not made a bad start to his career in China, carrying on from where he left off at Chelsea, bullying defenders into submission with 8 goals in 11 games.

Yet despite the big Ivorian’s best efforts this was not enough to rescue Shanghai Shenhua from mid-table obscurity, finishing 9th in the league of 16.  

Disappointing on the pitch.  Sensational off it.  

You can order the shirt here

Got a shirt to share on the Football Shirt Collective?  Well it is easy; send us a link to them on twitter or use the #myfavouritefootballshirt # tag, upload them to our facebook page, or pin them on our Pinterest board - and we will publish the best in the collective.Order the shirt here

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

Liverpool, Adidas, 1994/5 - The Spice Boys

This rather dashing shirt comes from a time when Liverpool were at the height of all things fashionable: the Spice Boys, Mark Kennedy, 5-3-2.

Liverpool football shirt, Adidas, 1994/5

Liverpool football shirt, Adidas, 1994/5

The man leading this voguish revolution was Roy Evans, brought in to replace Graeme Souness who subsequently went off to be mad in Turkey.

There wasn’t much for Evans to replace. Souness had led the club through a three year Villas-Boas style nightmare overhauling the squad. His transfer strategy of buying inept players had only been ended in the December of 1993. 94/95 was Roy Evans’ first full season in charge.

Things started promisingly with a 6-1 hammering of Crystal Palace, and then what is still the quickest ever hat-trick by Robbie Fowler, in a 3-0 win over Arsenal. Look at him there, swaying about with those lovely lines running up his sides.

Everything sort of flattened out after that for the rest of the year, with a series of Souness style ‘mixed results’.  But there were two huge highs at the end.  First of all in the League Cup there was the ‘McManaman final’, where the man that Real Madrid fans apparently thought looked like Nicole Kidman scored a brace to beat Bolton Wanderers. And following on was the last game of the season against title hopefuls Blackburn.

A Liverpool win could well mean the title going to those nice down to earth lads at Old Trafford. The recently reconfigured Kop was stunned when the Reds ran out 2-1 winners, but the scene turned to one of jubilation as that nice down to earth man Andy Cole had a meltdown at Upton Park.

You can hear the newly seated Liverpool fans having a bit of a sing-a-long at the end of this clip.

Evans built an attractive team in a pleasant shirt that didn’t win anything after the League Cup. A shame really, seeing as the man who followed him, Gerard Houllier, had much more success but with ugly shirts and uglier football. Evans was the true King of the Catwalk.

Is the 1994 Spice Boys number, Liverpool’s best ever football shirt?  Let us know on twitter @thefootballsc.

Shirt of the day:  Chesterfield, 1992/3 courtesy of @20yearsinblueandwhite


This is the home shirt worn during the 1992/93 season.

Not the prettiest by modern standards but classic early 90’s. I’ll always love this shirt.

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

Norwich City, Ribero, 1993/94 – Jeremy Goss and gaudy kits

Rob Hogg takes a look back at another Premiership classic football shirt.  Norwich City, 1993/4.  Our first Ribero entry into the Football Shirt Collective.

You can not really criticise Norwich for having gaudy football kits. If your main colours are yellow and green, then you are going to be putting yourself in a difficult situation, no matter what you do with the collar or the sleeves.

Norwich City, Ribero, 1993/4

Norwich City, Ribero, 1993/4

Still, this is a pretty good effort even by their standards. It’s quite difficult to get a hang of looking at it, even from a few different angles. I’d advise having your monitor on black and white for a while, and then gradually bringing in colours as your mind starts to get used to it.

This shirt was worn in the previous year, when Norwich arguably had their most successful domestic season, finishing third in the top flight. But we are going to look at the season afterwards, when they only finished twelfth, but had a memorable UEFA Cup run which included becoming the first ever British club to defeat Bayern Munich on German soil.

The goals, the kit, the glory, are all here

Both goals are fascinating in their way – the first for the classic Mark Robins / Lothar Matthaeus battle which sets up Jeremy Goss. And the
second for Mark Bowen scoring a goal that was eerily similar to the one Shearer got seven years later in the Euros, again against a group of Germans.

Sadly, the Canaries went out in the next round to eventual winners Inter Milan. A few notable names left as well, manager Mike Walker going off to have a disastrous reign as Everton coach, and Chris Sutton heading north to form the SAS partnership at Blackburn with goal-copier Shearer.

Everything went wrong for Norwich after that. But to prove that those highs were no fluke, then watch this 4-0 win over Leeds. The highlights include Ruel Fox going to town on the right wing and yet another Goss belter. 

Rob Hogg

Did you have a Ribero football shirt?  Let us know on twitter @thefootballsc

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