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Football shirt love

It’s been an exciting week or so in the studio as we’ve been geeking out and debating the success of the Nike ad Nothing Beats a Londoner and at the same time enthusing over the beauty of the new Nigeria kit and training kit (shown above). This not only got us reminiscing over our favourite Nike ads but also got us discussing which were our favourite football shirts of all time. As this is a topic of much debate and draws in a lot of bias and tribalism, we’ve tried to keep it light and kept the shirts to a top three between Gareth and Carly.

In no particular order lets start with Carly’s choices:

West Germany (Italia ’90 home shirt)

Without even looking at the badges you instantly know its Germany and it’s an Adidas Originals design that just exudes German-ness that also looks really cool with its geometric shapes that wrap around the back. Also the away shirt takes on an inverted style of the geometric shapes making the home and away shirt duo a real sight.

Holland (1988 home shirt)

I have a real affinity for Dutch football and their shirts are no exception. Being orange, the shirts are always going to get you noticed but this pattern took it to another level. Also its synonymous with Ruud Gullit and his incredible goal in the Euro’s final (plus his iconic dreads and moustache combo).


Aston Villa (1982 away shirt)

I’m going to be biased as it is my club but the simplicity of the claret pinstripe on white with the retro circle badge just looks so cool. Everything about this kit looks nice, even the tracksuit tops were nice! By popular demand they had to re-release the jackets, especially now the retro football shirt era is on the return.

Followed by Gareth’s choices:

England (Italia ’90 home shirt)

It’s often said that the most popular football shirts are the ones worn when the respective team has had the most success. This is sort of the case with this shirt, combined with a healthy dose of 90s nostalgia, but for me Italia ’90 was the first World Cup I properly watched and everything about it was exciting, most of all the kit – despite how it has been remembered for the way England went out. Honourable mention to the away kit here too.


Manchester United (1990-92 away shirt)

As I’ve said above favourite old football shirts are mostly about an emotion attached to them (normally success) but for me with this shirt it was disappointment. It was 1990 (I think) and for my best friends 8th birthday we’d travelled all the way up from Devon to Manchester only to find that the game had been called off for a waterlogged pitch. That day my friends parents bought him this shirt to cheer him up but since then I think I’ve fallen for it because of the shade of blue and the mad gradients, coupled with the iconic sponsor and the pure 90s collar and trim.


Fiorentina (1998-99 home shirt)

The exception to the rule. This shirt has no emotional attachment at all other than it looks cool. Fiorentina shirts have always had a bit of intrigue to me since the days of Channel 4 and Football Italia. The combination of, at a young age, not understanding why they were from Florence but had a completely different name, a rare example of a football team wearing purple and in this case the classic pairing of said purple, the kit manufacturer being FILA and the Nintendo sponsorship. I know nothing about the success the team had in this kit but the shirt was tough choice between this and the maybe even better sponsorship of 7UP but because of unfortunate, supposed, National Socialist symbolism involved Nintendo won.