1970 World Cup kit-tracker – Group 3

This group included the holders as well as the eventual winners, with their game memorable for a save regarded as one of the best of all-time.

England 1 Romania 0


England had played Ecuador (yellow shirts with a blue sash) in a pre-tournament friendly and, with his yellow and blue tops unavailable, Gordon Banks had worn his red long-sleeved training jersey, with England crest and, according to Simon Shakeshaft, possibly number 3 (his training number) on the back.

However, for this game he was in his usual yellow for the first half and, when the confusion between him and the Romanian team was flagged, he wore a plain red t-shirt in the second half – perhaps the first professional goalkeeper to wear short sleeves?

Brazil 4 Czechoslovakia 1


Brazil had two sets of shirts, one made by Umbro and one by local supplier Athleta, but they were pretty much identical.

The goalkeeper jerseys did have differences in terms of the ‘Brasil’ script – we’d imagine Félix to be in the Athleta version here and it was the only one he wore in the group stages.

Czechoslovakia had an all-white kit but changed to blue socks here due to the clash.

Romania 2 Czechoslovakia 1


Having worn plain blue shorts against England, Romania had a set featuring three white stripes here – presumably adidas but possibly Le Coq Sportif.

Goalkeepers Stere Amadache of Romania and the Czechs’ Alexander Vencel were in outfits which were identical apart from their respective countries’ coats of arms – clearly they weren’t too worried about the Mexican heat.

England 0 Brazil 1


Until a few years ago, I had thought this was a shorts- and socks-clash with a “We’ll change one and you change the other” solution, like Chelsea v Luton in the 1994 FA Cup semi-final.

However, England had taken the decision to go all-white due to the heat (the shirts and shorts were Airtex too), so Brazil’s socks were the only change from the tournament defaults – quite why they chose grey is anyone’s guess.

According to the excellent England Football Online site, Gordon Banks switched from yellow to blue only five times between 1965 and 1970, but this save means the back-up shirt is remembered.

Brazil 3 Romania 2


The final round of games brought two direct colour-clashes, with Romania going with light blue shirts and white shorts. Their goalkeeper Stere Adamache had to retire injured in the first half, with his replacement Răducanu Necula wearing the blue shorts and red socks from the home kit.

Czechoslovakia 0 England 1


England opted for light blue rather than red as a second choice, with the crest unusually not on a white background (nor was it on the GK shirt).

However, viewers on black-and-white television were left confused by this match-up, with the result that England reverted to their more familiar back-up colour for the knockout stages.

6 comments on “1970 World Cup kit-tracker – Group 3

  1. Jon

    Interestingly, in the Brazil v Romania match, the starting Romanian goalkeeper Stere Adamache got injured midway through the first half and was unable to continue. His replacement, Necula Răducanu, wore an identical black jersey, but paired it with (plain) blue shorts and red socks from the outfield players’ home kit.

    Also, as for Gordon Banks wearing a short sleeved jersey to alleviate the kit clash with the Romanian team, you have to go back 20 years for possibly the first (two) goalkeepers to wear short sleeves. It happened in the group that England were drawn in, in the 1950 World Cup.

    Chilean custodian Sergio Livingstone wore what appeared to be an un-numbered white away jersey against Spain in a group match in the 1950 World Cup, possibly to avoid a kit clash with the opponents’ blue shirts. When Chile faced England, Livingstone wore a darker long sleeved typical goalie’s jersey, which on the basis of having to wear an outfield jersey against Spain would suggest his usual jersey was blue in colour. In the same group Frank Borghi of the USA wore a jersey that appeared to have the sleeves cut off.

    I’m sure I read that England opted for the sky blue change strip (made from Aertex) as they felt this would reflect the Mexican heat better than their usual red change colours, but as stated it caused an issue for the majority of people watching the game on black and white TV’s. The heat may well have also been the reason behind Czechoslovakia’s decision to wear white for all of their group matches, though they had worn white throughout the 1962 tournament in Chile, so they may well have alternated between white and red as a first choice colour for a period.

  2. denishurley Post author

    Cheers Jon, research fail by me, will add that Romania variant!

    Good knowledge on the previous short-sleeved GK tops, I wonder was Belgium’s switch to white based on the heat too? And I also why they didn’t cut their sleeves like Bulgaria did?!

    1. Jon

      Belgium switched to white when Raymond Goethals became coach in 1968, as he felt the white kit allowed the players to pick each other out better in evening matches. As a result the team were known as the “White Devils”.

      Initially the white shirts were paired with black shorts and white socks, but was later changed to all-white, which was first choice at the World Cup, and also for Euro 72 that the Belgians hosted.

      However, when Goethals left the post in 1976 to take charge of Anderlecht, the red kit was reinstated and the team became known as the “Red Devils” once more.

  3. Lucas

    About the grey socks, they were a decision done by Zagallo, the coach of Brazil in that World Cup, who was superstitious, In fact, the former club where he played, Botafogo, wore grey socks

  4. denishurley Post author

    Great knowledge as always, guys! Of course, Goethals won the CL in 1992-93 with an all-white team, did he change Anderlect too or were they always white?

    1. Jon

      I think Anderlecht wore white kits before Goethals’ arrival – they won the Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1976 wearing white jerseys. However they did seem to switch frequently between purple and white jerseys so it is difficult to determine which colour was first choice. Certainly in the 90’s/early 2000’s white was first choice, before switching to purple for the 04/05 season, and then bizarrely to black with purple/white trim the following season. Since 2014 the first choice colour seems to have been firmly established as purple.


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