Football Shirt Culture

Brighton & Hove Albion Home '83. Again, a classic Adidas template, for me best utilised on Brighton’s 1983 kit – launched ahead of their FA cup final. Brighton were lucky to have a few classic shirts around this period. I could have gone for their beautiful 1980 shirt which the 83 kit replaced, but I couldn’t possibly have done its shiny shell justice in illustration mode. A nice detail here is that the red pinstripe runs through the centre of crest.

Santos Home '10. A charitable kit which Santos played in over a handful of games. It is not unknown for a sponsor to basically thrust a shirt in to classic kit orbit and the public’s consciousness and basically the WWF logo does just that.

Scotland Home '94. May surprise some that this is not from 1996, as, like with Liverpool’s silver away kit, it is best known for a defeat in another year, namely the Euro 96 game at Wembley... McAllister, Gazza et al. Also, much like the Norwich kit, it is kind of ugly in places. In certain light though, this kit shimmers and bedazzles as tastefully as Scotch broth by the Loch. Typecasts and awful metaphors aside, it needs toning down slightly and set to a modern template, but a beautiful mix of tartan colours nonetheless and worthy of a place in the chart.

Chelsea Away '14. Another unlikely entry as this came and went and was remembered by few. However, on the field this kit was perfection from head to toe. A fresh yellow with the right number of classy Adidas strokes. In contrast to the green grass it looked crisp and effervescent. This is how to best utilise the Adidas stencil, and not the overloaded affair that Eastern bloc countries prefer.

Argentina Home '66. An unlikely entry, but this one sported a fabulous collar sewn in to the neck rather than functioning as an opening. A perfectly balanced shirt offset by peculiar lilac/grey socks. Perhaps they transformed in the wash, whatever - this was an early days standout strip.

A classic Adidas embroidery. The company have produced many classic patterns, reflective of their Germany contemporary model. Almost Bauhaus in their architecture, one thinks of Holland ‘88 or Man Utd away ’90, but I have gone for Liverpool’s 1989 away kit. The pattern or to be technical - ‘skeleton’, was used on a few kits around this time, but the silver and red colour scheme sets this one apart, as well as being worn by a classic Liverpool team. Unfortunately for them, this may be best known for their semi-final defeat to Crystal Palace in 1990.

Here is the start of a countdown of the favourite top 35 kits from member Delicious Dinosaur.

At #35 - Norwich Home '89.. Like a lot of kits in the late 80s/early 90s, this had a number of revisions over its lifespan. With the addition of the rectangle cut-out to make the logo clearer, and green collar/cuffs replacing black, I’ve plumped for this version. There’s actually an ugliness about this kit - with its weird placement of crest and absence of manufacturer; thus lacking aesthetic symmetry. A modern remake would be nice, otherwise it’s strange that the diagonal pattern has not been copied much elsewhere – it’s a striking feature, hence why it has charted.

Classic Football Shirts