Great one-offs – Germany, 1991

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Germany came to Wembley on September 11, 1991 for its first game against England as a unified country since 1938, and they did so in a unique kit.

When England had played West Germany in the 1990 World Cup semi-final, the eventual champions had worn the green change kit which had been present in varying forms since 1988, the design the same as the Netherlands’ Euro 88 kit.

For this friendly clash, the shirts remained green but now incorporated the black, red and gold ‘ribbon’ which had been on the home shirt since 1988.


Karlheinz Riedle’s goal gave Germany a 1-0 win but that would be the only outing for the kit. The next time they needed to change, against Turkey in May 1992, they would have a green version of their new strip.

When The Football Attic, Design Football and True Colours combined to choose their top 50 shirts of all-time in 2015, this shirt came 48th (the home was, rightly, first) and Jay laid out why it was so praiseworthy.

As to why it was created rather than one last outing for the previous style, Andrew Hoare on Twitter has an interesting view:

Just been reading an article questioning why this was only introduced in 1991. My theory is that the previous away kit was the same template as the E.German home kit thus bad memories with the communist era kit, so fresh start

Given that the shirt wasn’t available commercially, the DFB couldn’t be accused of cashing in, so does Andrew’s theory hold water?

1 comment on “Great one-offs – Germany, 1991

  1. fateck

    I once dreamed that I swapped this jersey with Rudi Voeller after Germany played my works team at Largs. I was thinking of how great it would look in a frame when I woke up. And immediately began crying.

    The thing is, while I had this dream long after 1991 – I also had it years before I read this article. And if Germany only played in this top once, what an effect it must have had on my subconscious.

    The only thing stranger would be if Rudi Voeller actually has a gaudy, cheap as shit, white with strawberry red sleeves, collar and cuffs, AT Mays The Travel Agents jersey, framed on the wall of his Leverkusen billiards room.

    One of the greatest kits ever (Germany away 1991 – not AT Mays home 1989). Worthy of so much higher than 48th place.


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