Classic Kits

How ‘The Old Lady’ Got Their Black & White Stripes



Team: Juventus

Home or Away: Home

Years Active: 1984-1987

As Worn By: Michel Platini, Aldo Serena, Antonio Cabrini, Michael Laudrop, Zbigniew Boniek, Marco Tardelli, Paulo Rossi & Liam Brady


In Italy there’s a certain style and history to the vertical black stripes used by the big European powerhouses of Inter, AC Milan and Juventus.

English influence in the early years of Italian football is widely evident, perhaps most notably with the cross of St George on the club crest of AC Milan and the use of the English ‘Milan’ rather than Milano.


Platini. Back when we all liked him…

But elsewhere in North Italy the giants of Turin also bear evidence of English influence. When you think of Juventus you instantly think of the famous black and white stripes of their shirts, but the original colours of the club were in fact pink and black.

So where did the black and white stripes come from? Well, fed up with how the pink shirts would quickly fade after a couple of washes, Juventus asked one of their members, Englishman John Savage, if he had any contacts in England who could supply new shirts in a colour that would better withstand the elements. John had a friend who lived in Nottingham who duly shipped out black and white striped shirts to Turin as he was a Notts County supporter!

A good thing too – it’s hard to imagine those magnificent players from the mid-eighties holding aloft all those trophies wearing pink!


Brady seems delighted to have avoided the pink shirt option…

The Tigers Roar!
A Crime of Fashion but Fans Approve of Hull’s Matchwinner Kit


“…That’s neat, that’s neat, that’s neat, I really love your Tiger kit!”


Team: Hull City

Home or Away: Home

Years Active: Aug 1992 – Dec 1993

As Worn By:  Alan Fettis, Wayne Jacobs, Ken de Mange, Paul Hunter & Dean Windass

Yes, it was the early nineties, and acid house fashions had impacted football kit design a tad, but Hull City produced a kit that certainly had plenty of bite when they brought this affair out – no doubt influenced by Del-Boy’s wallpaper.

The great thing about this kit was that if you didn’t fancy wearing it you could always put it over your car seat and – hey presto – you were in Huggy Bear’s ride!

This eye-catching effort from Matchwinner (who?) failed to inspire the Tigers to win many matches however, and they just staved off relegation from the newly created Division Two.

Despite widespread derision, the kit became a very popular one with the clubs fans. When Matchwinner’s contract was cancelled in late 1993, the company refused to hand over the design templates to the company who had taken over as Hull’s kit supplier, Pelada (who??).

Pelada were forced to produce their own version of the kit and went with a finer print design in a sort of dirty brown colour. Fans consider this version infinitely inferior to the original we have pictured here.

In conclusion, you only have to look at the amount of success, or rather lack of it, garnished by the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL to realise that mock Tiger skin designs and sports kits should be kept firmly apart.




Admiral’s Finest Hour
The Birth of the Modern Kit PLUS: England’s 2014 World Cup Strip


Woodcock never looked cooler than when wearing this England shirt

Team:  England

Home or Away:  Home

Years Active:  1980-1983

As Worn By: Kevin Keegan, Trevor Francis, Glenn Hoddle, Trevor Brooking, Graham Rix, Bryan Robson, Tony Woodcock, Steve Coppell, Paul Mariner & Mick Mills.


Admiral took over the making of the England Kit in 1974 and it was the first time that a manufactures symbol was added to the kit worn by the players. It was also the first time a licensing deal was paid to the FA allowing Admiral to market replica kits and the era of the modern kit began. They believed that a market was there for teams to create strong identities for themselves with the advent of colour television, and they were proved right despite a lot of opposition in the game at the time.

This kit was Admirals second design for England and was first worn in the 3–1 win over Argentina at Wembley Stadium on 13 May 1980. This shirt added a new dimension to the national team’s look with its coloured panels and became very popular with fans when it was worn in the 1980 European Championships in Italy, England’s first major tournament for a decade.

Despite this success the 1980s marked a period of decline for the Admiral brand as it began to lose its contracts with the major clubs to domestic rival, Umbro, and new international entrant, Adidas.

Even though Admiral still held the England kit contract, one of the most valuable in the world, the company was declared bankrupt in 1982. The brand reappeared on the market for the 1983–84 season producing the same double pinstripe design for both Leicester City and Notts County.

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World Cup 2014

EnglandTop-634x431Nike are set in the next few days to reveal England’s kit for the World Cup finals this summer.

A photo was leaked to the internet recently which shows it to be v-neck, minimalist and retro in it’s style.

It will be an white ensemble given FIFA’s bizarre preference that all countries shall be dressed top-to-toe in the same colour to make the most of HD TV coverage from Brazil.

So that should make the change strip all red.

Unless there is a diversion, like the decision at the the 1970 World Cup to go for all sky blue, as worn when England beat Czechoslovakia that summer in Mexico thanks to an Alan Clarke penalty.

Insiders suggest it is likely that there will be a retro feel about the kits.

For further info in the next few days, it might be worth checking back here at

Peter Osgood wears England's all sky-blue kit in 1970

Peter Osgood wears England’s all sky-blue kit in 1970


FC Kaiserslautern 91-92
Designed by Uhlsport, Worn by Kuntz


Entschuldigen Sie; can you direct me to the nearest Discotek..???


Team:  FC Kaiserslautern

Home or Away:  Home

Years Active: 1991-92

As Worn By: Markus Kranz, Wolfgang Funkel, Reinhard Stumpf, Miroslav Kadlek, Bjarne Goldbaek and Stefan Kuntz.



Can success go to your head…? Clearly it can in South West Germany as the defending Bundesliga champions Kasierslautern took to the fields of Deutschland in this Euro-Techno number back in 1991.

Uhlsport created this torn-strips inspired effort for Die roten Teufel (The Red Devils) in celebration of the club’s first ever German title.

Like a lot of modern art, just when you think you’ve taken in each detail something new will jump out and catch your eye.

To be fair this was just one in a series of outlandish garb donned by Kaiserslautern in the early 90’s, but this is the one that takes the keks (biscuit).

An altogether distracting affair, the club sank to fifth in the league in defence of their title and this jersey was arguably the biggest culprit.


Do you agree..? Rate this kit:  Tragic or a Classic…???

Deutsche Snazz!
The Kit That United a Nation


Handy Andy: Brehme scored the winner from the spot in the final


Team:  West Germany

Home or Away:  Home

Years Active:  1990-1992

As Worn By:  Jürgen Klinsmann, Lothar Matthaus, Rudi Völler, Andreas Brehme, Pierre Littbarski, Olaf Thon, & Thomas Hässler



Organised. Efficient. Predictable; That’s the stereotypical view of the Germans.

So when they graced Italia ’90 with this rather fetching number the world gasped in collective surprise.

But this wasn’t the Germany of old. The Berlin wall came down just a few months before the 1990 World Cup, so there was an electric atmosphere all over Germany at the time, and Adidas delivered a kit for the the national side to wear in the tournament that matched the sense of history the soon to be officially unified nation was experiencing.

And so it came to pass, rather fittingly perhaps, that Germany (officially still West Germany due to the qualification process beginning two years before) lifted the 1990 World Cup – Albeit in a somewhat organised, efficient and predictable manner…

Rate this kit: Is it Wunderbar or just plain Scheiße…???



When The Lions Roared Cameroon Brought a Lot More Than Just Colour to Italia ’90


Milla in his dancing gear

Team: Cameroon

Home or Away: Home

Years Active: 1990 – 1992

As Worn By: Andre Kana-Biyik, Benjamin Massing, François Omam-Biyik, Eugène Ekéké,  Emmanuel Kundé, Cyril Makanaky and Roger Milla.


Cameroon qualified for the 1990 World Cup edging past Nigeria and defeating Tunisia in the final round playoff. At the tournament The Indomitable Lions were drawn into group B with Argentina, Romania, and the Soviet Union – and given zero chance of progressing.

That all went out of the window however after the opening game of the finals saw World Champions Argentina defeated 1-0 in possibly the greatest ever upset at a World Cup finals. Cameroon proved that was no fluke by beating Romania 2-1 in their next match and securing a place in the knockout stages, they then became the first African side to reach the Quarter Finals. They also became the first side to top a World Cup Finals group with a negative goal difference after losing to the Soviet Union 4-0 in their last group game.


Omam-Biyik heads into history in ‘The Miracle of Milan’

The Indomitable Lions were superb at the tournament and put African football firmly on the footballing map, and they did it in the most colourful fashion, adorned in this bright number from Adidas.

They eventually were pipped by England in the Quarter Finals after extra time and two Gary Lineker penalities, and those not blinded by patriotic fervor will admit England were lucky to advance at the Africans expense.

Cameroon were an explosion of colour at Italia ’90, literally with their bold kit and also with their football. Everyone remembers Roger Milla picking Rene Higuita’s pocket, scoring goals off the bench, and dancing at corner-flags.

We owe them a lot; without Cameroon Italia ’90 would have been a bust, it was that dull. And this unapologetic display of national colours was a breath of fresh air in an era of mostly dull attire.

And it takes a lot to pull off that colour combination – I mean, could you imagine Everton in that strip..?!??!

So Cameroon; we thank you.

How do your rate this kit..? Legend or total shocker..??

The Toon Swoon


Note: Gold chain was optional


Team: Newcastle United

Home or Away: Home

Years Active: 1980 – 1983

As Worn By: Kevin Keegan, Chris Waddle, Bobby Shinton, Imre Varadi, Kenny Wharton and Jeff Clarke.

Things weren’t going particularly well on the pitch for the Magpies in 1980 as they languished in the middle of the Division Two table, but the club’s new shirt manufacturer Umbro had designed a kit for the club that fans were sure to love.

It was nothing out of the ordinary to most people, the usual black and white stripes with an embroidered badge featuring the City’s castle and the famous magpie, but this became a uniquely memorable Newcastle shirt for a couple of reasons;


Young Waddle, before he’d ever heard the word ‘Mullet’

1. On the plus side; It was the first Newcastle kit to feature a shirt sponsor. And what a sponsor! Not only was Newcastle Brown Ale extremely popular with fans, the ‘blue star’ logo also looked good. So much so in fact that this is a rare case of a sponsor’s loge actually enhancing a shirt rather than diminishing it.

2. Less positively, and quite importantly; the stripes weren’t actually black. I mean they were meant to be, indeed the stripes on the players shirts were indeed black, but the shirts available for fans to buy in the club shop were adorned with dark brown stripes. Not immediately noticeable at first, but all too evident after you had washed your beloved shirt a couple of times.

The club eventually admitted it was a manufacturing error and sent out letters of apology to supporters in which they claimed that ‘black was a very difficult colour for shirt manufacturers to reproduce’.  Yeah…

Perhaps Umbro had got a little too caught up with the groundbreaking vented hem feature the kit sported. The plain black shorts were a skimpy affair (as was the rage in the 80’s, well in the UK at least) and the club returned to plain black socks after toying with hooped ones in the late 70’s .

How do you rate this kit…?


Danish Dynamite


The new ‘cool’ – circa 1986


Team: Denmark

Home or Away: Home

Years Active: 1986 – 1988

As Worn By: Michael Laudrup, Jesper Olsen, Jan Molby, Morten Olsen and Preben Elkjaer.

Denmark at Mexico ’86 were a stylish breath of fresh air, both on the pitch with their football and aesthetically, with this swanky Hummel styling.

The Danes became a dark horse to win the tournament after demolishing Uruguay 6-1 in the group stages, and the excitement of a potential new world order was spectacularly encompassed with this design. The silky skills of  Michael Laudrup et al seduced one and all. Now everyone had a second favourite team at the World Cup, and without exception it was Denmark.


Danish Two-Tone

The bifurcated design with a red panel on one side, and red pinstripes on a white half was groundbreaking and revolutionary. And the second strip with the design in reverse was just as cool.

Alas, it all went wrong for Denmark when they met Spain and Emilio Butragueno in the knockout stages. But following the success of the Danes at the World Cup, Hummel made significant inroads in England supplying versions of the popular design to Coventry City, Southampton and Aston Villa, but (perhaps because of who was wearing it) they never looked quite as good as the original.

This is one that kit-geeks everywhere hold dearly in their top 5 kits of all time. A total classic, and Hummel’s distinctive chevron sleeve trim remained prominent long after this kit fell out of favour.

Do you agree..? Rate this kit: A bit tragic or a total classic…?

Club Classics

Club: Birmingham City

Home or Away: Home

Years active: 1971 – 1975

As worn by: Trevor Francis,  Bob Latchford, Gordon Taylor, Tony Want, Roger Hynd and Stan Harland.

It’s not often we should take fashion tips from Birmingham, but the early to mid 70’s was an exception as City looked positively resplendent in this famous ‘blue penguin’ kit.  The kit was the one worn by Brum when they won promotion back to the top flight in 1972 and sported the popular intertwined lettering club logo.

In fact the kit was so popular the club have revisited it in modern times, with updated versions for the 1997-98 and  2007-08 seasons and indeed for this coming season.

How do you rate this kit..? Tragic or classic..?? Vote now!