The evolution of adidas goalkeeper shirts – Part 10

  • 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 Germán 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 Adrián Chávez of Club América 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 América examples to our attention).

Club-America-1996-adidas-camiseta-portero-Adrian-Chavez-01.png

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.

Bayern-Munich-1995-1996-torwart-trikot-Kahn-UEFA-Cup-Bordeaux-01.png

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 Köpke 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, Köpke 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?

Germany-1996-adidas-torwart-trikot-grau-Kopke-England-01

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, Rüştü Reçber 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.

7 comments on “The evolution of adidas goalkeeper shirts – Part 10

  1. Lucas

    I remember that the Predator design was worn by the Major League Soccer clubs in 1996 (DC United and Kansas City Wiz)
    The Design with the diamond stripes i am not sure of which team wore it, but there was also a version with the sky blue stripes

    Reply
  2. Jon

    Additionally, I always felt the purple/green jersey for Newcastle in 95/96 was a bad fit alongside the away kit, as it was maroon/navy. From a distance or in poor light it would make it harder to distinguish from the back, particularly when Shaka Hislop played in goal as he preferred to wear the outfield shorts and socks.

    Having said that, on the opening day of the 95/96 season Hislop wore the sky blue/grey jersey………… against Coventry. Definitely a glaring error by the kitman (and indeed the referee not following the rule book) that day!

    Reply
  3. Isss

    Love this Adidas GK series as I’m a fan myself.

    1996 was kinda special to my memory as I really like what Adidas offered. I was fortunate to have the Newcastle Skyline shirt. I was seriously hunting the Köpke’s sky blue shirt but ended up with 1.FC Nurnberg’s one. Ironically it’s Köpke’s club too (but not during Euro 96)

    The white Rangers/Crystal Palace remains elusive to me 😉

    Cheers everyone

    Reply
  4. Isss

    I was a big fan of the Köpke’s sky blue shirt. When news emerged that England were to wear their away blue for the semi I was looking forward to see Köpke’s alternative shirt.

    Yes it was changed after the anthem, but I reckoned it was more to the clash with the referee’s shirt? Just my thoughts

    Cheers

    Reply

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