Great one-offs – Aston Villa, 1994



Having denied Manchester United a domestic treble in winning the 1993-94 Coca-Cola Cup, Aston Villa qualified for the following season’s UEFA Cup and were drawn with Inter Milan.

This was still a time when home sides generally changed when a colour-clash occurred and Inter wore white in the first leg in the San Siro.

With Villa’s away kit at the time being green and black stripes, they had to put a contingency plan in place for the game at Villa Park, as this page from the programme shows (thanks to Dave Hitchman, owner of a huge collection of Villa shirts).

However, as the article mentioned, there was a chance that the new shirt wouldn’t be needed and so it proved, with the white shorts and socks on Villa’s home kit deemed to be providing enough differentiation.

A 1-0 home win for Villa meant the tie finished 1-1 on aggregate and they progressed on penalties – with their opponents in the next round being Trabzonspor.

The Turkish club had chosen claret and blue as their colours as a tribute to Villa and in the first leg they changed to white with Villa in their home strip as the hosts won 1-0.

Back in Birmingham, Trabzonspor were in claret and blue stripes and either the UEFA delegate or the referee effectively decided Villa’s away strip clashed with their home colours – or else the black officials’ kit – and so the white shirt was called into action.


Villa won 2-1 on the night, but it wasn’t enough as they exited on away goals and the white shirts saw no more action.


World Cup Classics – France, 1986



Trying to follow the great kit worn in winning Euro 84 was a tall order for adidas and France ahead of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Rather than aping or refreshing that design – something they would do a lot, perhaps overdo, in the following two decades, they gave white a little more prominence and used a template which, to our knowledge, wasn’t used by anyone else (bar Hereford United ūüėČ ).


The change kit was simply a re-colouring of the same template, something sadly seen less and less nowadays.


France finished joint-top of their group, losing out to the USSR on goal difference, meaning a last-16 clash with Italy, the white kit worn in a 2-0 win.

Brazil were then seen off following a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals but, as in 1982, France’s tournament ended at the semi-final stage against West Germany, losing 2-0.

The kit would remain until the end of the unsuccessful qualifying campaign for World Cup 90. The socks were updated during the strip’s lifetime, while¬†the long-sleeved version differed in that it didn’t¬†have the white strip below the red on the arms.


The evolution of adidas goalkeeper shirts – Part 10


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  • See previous modules, and other goalkeeping articles, here.

We did say in the last entry in this series, Part 9 back in December, we did say that this edition would go up as far as the 1998 World Cup, but once again we reckoned without the wide variety of adidas goalkeeper shirts. At this rate of progress, we may catch up with reality by the end of 2021.

This piece will look at the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons, though not exhaustively – some shirts seen in 96-97 didn’t come to wider prominence until 1997-98 and so will feature in Part 11.

The summer of 1995 saw adidas’s three main UK contracts – Liverpool, Newcastle United and Rangers – given a new style, which appeared in three colourways in Britain.

Newcastle had the green/purple and grey/light blue, with different iterations of the Newcastle Brown Ale logo. The Magpies’ outfield home shirt had the oval and the away had the circular, and while each goalkeeper top had one version, they weren’t always worn with the corresponding outfield jersey.

Newcastle goalkeeper Shaka Hislop preferred to wear the same shorts and socks as his team-mates while Pavel Srnicek had his own, slightly longer, set with a number 1 on the right leg. Both the number and the left leg featured an adidas trefoil logo.

Rangers also had the grey/blue goalkeeper shirt, as well as a yellow/orange version.

Liverpool – in their final season with adidas for a decade – had the yellow/orange too, with Carlsberg rendered in two ways, and the green/purple.

This style wasn’t seen too much in continental Europe – another article very soon will look at a notable appearance in a UEFA Cup tie – but there were some American variations.

During River Plate’s successful 1996 Copa Libertadores campaign, goalkeeper Germ√°n Burgos not only wore a version which had purple as the main colour, the green was a different shade – and he also had a version with the stripes coming from the right.

The pattern was larger on those shirts than on the ones seen in Britain, as it was on the shirt of Adri√°n Ch√°vez of Club Am√©rica in Mexico – but, just in case you couldn’t see it, he had it on his shorts too (thanks to Charles Pulling for bringing the River and Am√©rica examples to our attention).


Back in Europe, one style seen on the continent which didn’t make its way to England took its cues from an outfield template released a year previously and used by France, Norway and Spain.

Featuring three ‘stripes’ of diamonds on the right-hand side, Monaco and Stuttgart both had black goalkeeper versions albeit with different accent colours, and we don’t know of any other base colour used.

Bayern Munich made it to the UEFA Cup final in 1996. Having worn the previous Predator style in the first leg against Bordeaux, Oliver Kahn had a new shirt (the outfielders wore a new white away strip) which seemed to be an upgrade, though on closer inspection it seems to have had anatomical inspiration.

It was also worn by Argentina’s Pablo Cavallero at that summer’s Olympics, but it never came to widespread prominence.


At Euro 96, adidas outfited five countries and took two distinct approaches with goalkeeper shirts.

For Spain and eventual champions Germany, they kept it plain and classy, with just contrasting black necks and cuffs and three stripes running down the arms.

Spain had a light green, while Germany goalkeeper Andreas¬†K√∂pke wore a sky-blue top which was, we’d imagine, intended to reference Sepp Maier in his pomp.

For Germany’s semi-final against England, the hosts lost the toss for colours, meaning they lined out in their grey/blue ensemble. Presumably with this in mind,¬†K√∂pke walked out and stood for the anthems in a darker green shirt – close to gun-metal grey – but by kick-off he was in the blue again. We’re guessing the referee felt it was less of a clash than the blue?


France, Romania and Turkey had goalkeeper shirts which utilised the same design featured on many new club and country shirts. Five different colours were used.

Bernard Lama of France had a bespoke style, with the three white stripes trimmed in blue and red, while Bogdan Stelea of Romania had a similar, but different, shade of dark green.

Meanwhile,¬†R√ľŇüt√ľ Re√ßber of Turkey wore a different shirt in each of their unsuccessful group games.

That style was another which the British clubs wouldn’t use. Instead, the 1996-97 season saw adidas give Newcastle United, Rangers and new signees Crystal Palace shirts in the simpler Euro 96 style, but also one jersey each in a more ‘out there’ style.

The easier ones first – Newcastle had the same as Spain while the other two had white shirts with blue and red trim. Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram often preferred to wear the home shorts to give himself an all-white look.

Both Newcastle and Rangers also had alternatives which were almost identical, but with a key element changed. The sleeves were black and the body featured a tequila sunrise variant, with Newcastle having a city skyline silhouette (taken from the Newcastle Brown Ales logo) while Rangers had the facade of Ibrox’s main stand.

Andy Goram wasn’t a fan of the latter, going to great lengths to avoid wearing it (see here), so it was left to his deputies Theo Snelders and Andy Dibble to pair it with varying shorts/socks and pants combinations.

Palace’s other style was based on a design which appears to have been created by adidas for Oliver Kahn. He had it in at least two colourways, with his crest featuring on the collar, shorts and socks.

For Palace’s Kevin Miller and Carlo Nash, the colours were changed to a black, red and yellow combination, while the design was also used by Cork City’s Noel Mooney, in black, green and purple.

That’s it for now. Work has already started on Part 11, so hopefully we can start cutting down on the time between instalments.

Fantasy Kit Friday – Republic of Ireland, 2006



Another Ireland suggestion from Mikey Traynor, who had previously asked for 2002 Nike kits for the Boys in Green.

This time he has moved on four years and gone for adidas, with the home their stock style as used by Germany and on the aways of Spain and Argentina.


Then for the away he asked for something like France had had in their run to the final.


League of Ireland Kit of The Week – Derry City, 1988 FAI Cup final



After a troubled existence which saw them resign from the Irish League (Northern Ireland) in 1972, Derry City entered the League of Ireland (the Republic) in 1985.

At the second time of asking, they won the First Division in 1986-87 to earn promotion to the Premier Division and while their league results saw them finish eighth of 12 teams, they made an impact in the FAI Cup.

Clad in a fairly simple adidas style (see here for an excellent Derry kit history on the club’s site), the Candystripes – the colours were inspired by Sheffield United in the 1930s – saw off St Joseph’s Boys, Bohemians, Home Farm and Longford Town to reach the domestic decider.

Their opponents would be Dundalk, who had already claimed the league title and were in search of a double – incidentally, the outfit worn by Dundalk goalkeeper Alan O’Neill is worthy of a blog of its own another day.

While Dundalk were in their usual white shirts and both teams wore black socks, neither was called upon to wear a change strip. For the occasion, Derry turned out in an unusual style with striping on the sleeves unlike anything we have seen since, and while the shirts lacked three stripes, they did have three adidas trefoil logos.


Unfortunately for Derry, they went down 1-0 as a somewhat soft Dundalk penalty proved decisive. They did bounce back to win the domestic treble the following season, but in Umbro rather than adidas kits.

They would return to adidas for one more season in 1990-91. Thereafter, they¬†wore kits by Bukta, Matchwinner, O’Neills, Avec, Errea, Umbro, O’Neills again, Hummel, Umbro again and Hummel again before joining with adidas once more for the 2018 season.

Midweek Mashup – Manchester City, 1990

Recently, our one-off series featured Manchester City’s short-lived 1989-90 third shirt.

With that consigned to the dustbin of history after only one outing, it meant that City were in something of a pickle for their trip to Aston Villa on April 1, 1990.

Generally speaking, referees ended to avoid sleeve-clashes and City changed at Villa Park during the 1980s (though wearing black and red there in 1987 wasn’t very logical, especially as Villa didn’t have solid blue sleeves), but as they had a maroon and white candystriped away shirt in 89-90, which was then superseded by solid maroon, they had no other option but to wear their home shorts.

That in turn presented a shorts-clash, but rather than changing from white to blue as they had done at Nottingham Forest a month earlier, they opted for the away shorts. Presumably it was felt that sky shirts, maroon shorts and navy socks wasn’t a good look, but as Villa had sky blue socks, City donned the away socks too,

The overall look was far from ideal against Villa’s home kit.

If there was any confusion, it didn’t affect City too much as they won 2-1. The following season, a white third shirt was introduced and worn at Villa Park and also away to Crystal Palace.


World Cup Classics – Italy, 1938


Italy went into the 1938 World Cup in France as the holders, and would go on to become the first country to retain the title.

Having beaten Norway after extra time in their first-round game (the competition was straight knockout), they advanced to meet the hosts in the quarter-finals at Stade Olympique de Colombes in Paris.

Obviously, due to both countries having blue as a first-choice colour, a draw had to take place to see who would change, with Italy drawing the short straw.

Conventional wisdom has it that Benito Mussolini ordered that an all-black kit be worn, for the first and only time. While it’s not hard to imagine the influence of il duce in the switch away from white second shirts, black had been used against the French in 1935 and also in Italy’s successful 1936 Olympic campaign in Berlin.


The black would prove to be a lucky charm, with Italy winning 3-1 before beating Brazil in the semi-final and then Hungary in the decider.

The late 30s were of course also notable for the outbreak of the second World War and, unsurprisingly, the black shirts fell out of fashion after the fall of fascism, with white restored as the back-up option.

Great one-offs – Borussia Dortmund, 1989



Having had Nike kits for 15 years in total between 1990 and 2009, and now clad in Puma since 2012, it’s easy to forget that, once upon a time, Borussia Dortmund wore adidas – like most German sides did.

From 1974-90, die Schwarzgelben¬†carried the three stripes on a variety of designs (with the occasional shirt made by adidas’s sub-brand Erima). For much of that period, red – usually the colour of Bayern Munich¬†– was favoured as an away choice, and also like Bayern, there was a high level of promiscuity as regard the style of shirts.

For much of the 1988-89 season, Dortmund wore a yellow version of the template used by the Netherlands in winning Euro 88, having reached the final of the DFB-Pokal (domestic cup), they came up something different.


Essentially the same design of shirt as would be used by Colombia in the World Cup a year later, it featured the adidas logo rendered very small, with the trefoil alongside the wordmark, as sometimes seen on the firm’s goalkeeper shirts in the 1980s.

The change did Dortmund good as they came back from the concession of an early goal to beat Werder Bremen 4-1, ending a 24-year wait for a major trophy, paving the way for more success in the 1990s.


Fantasy Kit Friday, 13-4-18 – Home Nations special


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The tardiness of today’s offering should hopefully be compensated by the fact that it’s a bumper edition.

It’s the melding of two independent requests – Paul Thomas asked for a 1976 Home Internationals mix-up and then David Morrissey¬†sought something similar from 2000, so we decided to bridge the gap and do 1988 as well.

That meant that each country could have one kit from each of the others, and the easiest way to do that was to do two pairings per year. We wanted to avoid putting countries in kits by the same manufacturer as they had at the time, and though there are slight quibbles – like Wales ending up in Umbro in each each of the three years – we’re fairly happy with the outcome.

There has been a little bit of artistic licence taken with trim colours, but if you have a problem with that, then – like Lance Armstrong in his infamous podium speech – I feel sorry for you.





Nathan’s Top 5s – Best Mashups


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  • Nathan Patrick takes a big interest in the administration of kit-clashes – as this excellent piece goes to show. To continue the collaboration, this is the first of a new series where he choose his five favourite instances of a kit topic, in this case the best mashups.

The first instalment of this series will focus on the five best kit mashups in football history, that have come about to avoid a potential shorts- and/or socks clash but at the same time have looked excellent, perhaps even looking better than the original kit did with the standard shorts and socks.

I define a proper kit mashup as different elements of different kits of the same club being worn as an after-thought but, against the odds, the aesthetics are pleasing.  This list will therefore  not include specific change shorts and/or socks made for that kit or elements from other kits where mixing  and matching were clearly an intention beforehand.

Wales (1976-79, nine occasions)


This first entry could technically break one of my rules.  Before 1976, Wales had been stuck with a pedestrian red and white kit which was often worn with white shorts.

Admiral, famous for their innovative and daring templates, changed all this upon their arrival when they kitted Wales out in their eccentric ‘tramline’ template, also worn by Coventry, ¬†trimmed in bright yellow and green. The away kit was in the same template, with the main colour being yellow.

Before the days of changing at the drop of a hat, Wales needed to change socks when they were away to Scotland who were in their classic navy-white-red, while they also did so against Yugoslavia.  In previous years they may have used white change socks, but they decided to use the away kit’s yellow socks, which worked perfectly with the trim on the shirt and shorts.  Some may say that these kits are made to mix and match, but due to the unorthodox nature of any yellow on the Wales kit at that time, I have decided to include it.

Barcelona (2001-02, v Liverpool and Bayer Leverkusen)


This mash up works so well that you could be excused for thinking this was the standard kit.

Metallic kits were all the rage in the early 2000s and Barcelona released their own gold number with trim in navy and blaugrana.

What was strange was that the kit was released with cherry red shorts and socks, perhaps due to Barca going through their phase of wearing navy shorts and socks with the home shirt and they wore these odd shorts and socks at Roma in an awful overall clash.

Luckily they also faced Liverpool that season, which gave them the perfect chance to mix and match.  The trim on the navy shorts was gold and the navy bar down the shirt flowed nicely into the shorts, which proved that this combination was infinitely better than the default combo.

The season after, the home shorts were worn with this kit once again, but by then the home shorts had changed to royal blue and the magic had been lost.

Arsenal (v Roma, 2002-03)


European football often gives us mash ups that we may not have seen otherwise.

In 2002-03, for example,  Arsenal were involved in shorts-clashes and sock-clashes in the Premiership due to the lax rules.

The Champions League’s rules were not as lenient however, and Arsenal needed to change the shorts and socks of their new navy away kit when they went to Roma, who had black shorts and socks for their Champions League strip.

Luckily, and unusually for Arsenal, the home and away kits were in similar colour schemes and templates, with both kits containing large amounts of white and red, which meant that they could just wear the shorts and socks of the home kit and Henry looked particularly elegant in the combo, netting a hat-trick in a dominant performance.

Manchester United (v Sunderland, Cardiff City and Southampton, 2013-14)


United are notorious for creating copious amounts of different shorts and socks combos, often resulting in two or even three different versions of the same-colour component.

You would think this would have been the case in 2013-14 when they had their usual red home shirt accompanied by an all-navy away kit with a black gingham pattern.  United’s home shorts however,  were plain white with a black Nike tick and their home change socks were white with two black lines.

This meant that they could wear them with the away kit, lifting an otherwise dark kit and keeping the tradition of light shorts and socks that Fergie so often adhered to.  Away to Southampton  this arguably created a socks-clash.

Juventus (v Sassuolo, 2015-16)


Since Adidas recruited Juventus to their ranks in 2015/16, their designs have been fairly underwhelming for the most part.

However, there is no doubt that, whether you love it or hate it, their pink 2015/16 away kit has become one of the most iconic kits of this decade, receiving mainstream fame after being worn by hip-hop artist Drake.

On the pitch, it was usually worn with black shorts, which didn’t really go with the light nature of the kit, so the perfect opportunity to try something different was grasped at Sassuolo due to a shorts-clash.

Juve turned out in the pink shirts with the white shorts and socks of the home kit, which looked especially good as the Adidas stripes on all three components were black.  The mix-and-match novelty certainly didn’t work with the third kit.