Hopefully you’ll forgive the rather inaccurate headline for the want of a pun, given that Rangers came so close to reaching the final in that first season of the newly renamed European Cup.
One notable change that season was that sponsors’ logos were not allowed on shirts – this had always been the case for the final – and Rangers were forced into some DIY work before their opener, at home to Marseille.
A set of shirts sans the McEwan’s Lager wordmark was ordered from adidas, and was provided, but only in short-sleeved format. All fine, except that Rangers’ English duo Trevor Steven and Mark Hateley, and Russian winger Alexei Mikhailichenko, were clearly soft and preferred long sleeves.
As a result, rectangles were cut from short-sleeved shirts and sewn on to existing long-sleeved versions to cover the McEwan’s signage, taking care to match up adidas’s three-stripe fabric.
I wasn’t aware of this until I read a fascinating piece by Jay Mansfield a fortnight ago, covering the Rangers kit history from 1987-97.
Other nuggets abound, such as using the fabric from the 1994-96 shirt when a special Center Parcs-sponsored edition was needed away to Auxerre in 1996-97 (due to a ban on alcohol advertising in France), but I won’t spoil it for you, as it is a great read.
I was delighted to provide some kit graphics for Jay and the whole thing can be read here, with a new piece, focusing on Rangers’ time with Nike, to follow soon. I certainly can’t wait.