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 By the time it was superseded in 1991, it appeared almost anachronistic compared to others.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.
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.