Umbro ‘Hampden’ – a goalkeeping classic
Regular readers of the blog will have noticed an affinity for goalkeeper shirts, most notably how the adidas designs developed from the early 80s onwards.
The German company didn’t have a monopoly on classy netminder looks, and time constraints are what prevent us from charting more. Part 7 of the adidas series is coming soon, but we will deviate slightly today with a look at an Umbro offering for which we have a lot of affection.
Dubbed ‘Hampden’ in its teamwear catalogues, it appeared in 1988 at a time when goalkeeper shirts were beginning to get busy, but it was very nicely restrained, with two-tone shoulder panels the only excesses. By the time it was superseded in 1991, it appeared almost anachronistic compared to others.
Templates get a bad rap, but we like a design that can be tailored to good effect. The clarity of colour allocation meant that the design could be easily adapted to different schemes, and we have been able to chart five different main colours used by professional teams in Britain.
Of the clubs supplied by Umbro at the time, most seem to have used it apart from Celtic and Everton*, who generally had bespoke designs. The classic green was of course the most popular, as worn by Steve Sutton and Mark Crossley of Nottingham Forest and the likes of Tommy Wright and John Burridge at Newcastle United.
When he was with Wimbledon, Dave Beasant often wore a yellow Spall shirt, most notably in captaining them to the 1988 FA Cup. After an unhappy spell at Newcastle United, he joined Chelsea and wore the yellow version a lot at Stamford Bridge, though he also had another, plainer, shirt.
Theo Snelders of Aberdeen also wore yellow, but with black as a secondary colour rather than navy, swapping positions with the grey. This one also had a contrast neck.
Abtrust took over as sponsors in 1990, with Snelders – a Tom Cruise lookalike – having had JVC on his shirt when they beat Celtic in the 89-90 Scottish Cup final on penalties – fittingly at Hampden Park. The old stadium was fairly rundown by this stage, but, to our mind, there is something very romantic about the look of packed, open terraces.
The blue edition appeared in the Leeds United team pictures for 1988-89 and 1989-90, but the only matchworn instance we can find of it being worn by United was when Mervyn Day donned it in a friendly against Shelbourne of Ireland in the summer of 1991. Had the grey panel been white, it would have worked even better with the Whites’ yellow away shorts.
Beasant also wore it at Newcastle on occasion, while Forest also used it.
The grey shirt wasn’t all that common, either. We had thought that Chris Turner of Sheffield Wednesday wearing an unbadged, unsponsored top was the only sighting…
…but then Frazinho on The Glove Bag forums reminded us that there was also an England example.
In their final game of 1989, the last in the home shirt launched in 1987, England hosted Yugoslavia and Chris Woods and Dave Beasant wore this shirt along with the almost-matching shorts of the kit Peter Shilton wore at the 1986 World Cup.
John Hallworth of Oldham wore it too. The retail grey version had blue and black panels rather than yellow and navy.
Despite being the country which played its home games at Hampden, Scotland didn’t use the shirt much. Instead, their first-choice goalkeeper strip from 1988-91 was one which might be described as a cousin of the Hampden, with a different layout of the panels.
Incidentally, England’s Peter Shilton also wore this against Scotland in 1989 when they travelled north with only a blue goalkeeper shirt available, which of course clashed with the home team. As Shilton said, there was no point in him swapping with opposite number Jim Leighton after the game.
The version above was worn by Leighton in all three of Scotland’s games at the 1990 World Cup – despite the fact that they were in the same group as Brazil and Sweden, the red Hampden shirt remained in the kitbag. It had been worn on a few occasions in the qualifiers for Italy,
Oddly, though, it was worn by Andy Goram against Romania in October 1991, despite the fact that a new purple and green shirt had accompanied the new kit launched earlier that year. The old red shirt with the new shorts and socks wasn’t a great match-up.
* Neville Southall of Everton did wear the red and yellow on one occasion each as his bespoke green shirt clashed with Sheffield Wednesday’s away kit in 1988-89 and 1989-90. Thanks to Paul Owens for this info.
14 thoughts on “Umbro ‘Hampden’ – a goalkeeping classic”
Beasant at Wimbledon was him wearing Spall when he won the FA Cup. When he moved to Newcastle and Chelsea, he did wear the yellow Umbro template.
Thanks, I knew that, just meant that he seemed to have a preference for yellow over green. Will add Spall just for clarity.
Yeah, I read it a second time and read it a different way both times.
I also remember that Lukic wore the green version when he played for Leeds in 1992
no, it was in 1991
You’re right Lucas, I didn’t include every example of the green and felt it best to just have one image of each club/country
ok, i just was remembering an instance when it was worn
Here’s a link to West Brom’s Stuart Naylor wearing the rarely seen grey number away at Walsall in 1988-89.
On the 1990-91 Pro-Set collector cards, Rhys Wilmot is wearing the yellow version with mainly grey shoulders for Plymouth Argyle.
Neville Southall wore what appeared to be an identical jersey to the Scotland keeper shirt (silver/yellow/navy – the “cousin of Hampden”) in an FA Cup tie at Plymouth Argyle in 1989, as his usual bespoke green jersey clashed with the home team’s green kit.
From the video it looks like his shirt has got the “NEC” logo printed on the front and I’d guess the Everton badge is on it too. Seemed odd that he wore a shirt that appeared to be bespoke for Scotland… initially I thought it was a swap that had logos applied but we didn’t play Scotland in any internationals between 1985 and 1997 I debunked that theory, so it may have been a jersey from Umbro stock.
For the replay Southall wore a silver version of his usual bespoke jersey (which makes the Scotland-like jersey a proper mystery!) before he started wearing a new bespoke shirt in green/silver for the rest of the season and in 89/90.
Sorry Jon, only spotted this now – seems the jersey turned him into a Scottish goalkeeper too, if I can go all Jimmy Greaves!
In 1988-89 Roger Freestone wore yellow, red and green Hampden jerseys, Dave Beasant wore yellow and green. In 1989-90 Beasant wore all 3 colours and donned the yellow once more v Manchester United the following season for no particular reason. Strangely it seems that Kevin Hitchcock never wore a Hampden jersey in a competitive game.
I was just peering at a video still from Leeds v Plymouth from 1/11/89 and the “red” Hampden worn by Mervyn Day seems to match the Wales one in your article, but with the shoulder colours switched (i.e. the black is above (towards the shoulder) and the grey is below (towards the elbow).
I guess this would be a logical Umbro offering as there were similarly switched versions of the yellow Hampden (Chelsea and Aberdeen). They might have also done it for the grey and green shirts too?
Incidentally, I have the royal blue Leeds Hampden here (Yay!). It matches up with images from the preseason game against Shelbourne (Mervyn Day) on 24/7/91.
That said, given that there were no FL arm patches in the 89/90 season, I’m wondering if it could be the exact same shirt from Newcastle (A) 19/8/89 and WBA (H) 24/2/90 (both Mervyn Day).
One final bit of related shirt nerdery: The video is inconclusive, but I don’t see FL arm patches on the blue Hampden worn by John Lukic in Leeds v Norwich (A) 2012/1/91. Strange?
All five games might be the same shirt?
I obviously wouldn’t be upset with that.
Now, I wonder who has the red one… 🙂
Had Two of these plain Hampden yellow shirts yellow with grey and navy trim, sold both on EBay whilst having a clear out along with the England and Rangers same style outfield jerseys, The best style of shirt ever made easily I wish I had kept one now!