Umbro’s new GK direction in 1993

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As mentioned in the article looking at Umbro’s goalkeeper offerings in 1991-92 and 1992-93, the 1993 FA Cup final saw a new style premiered.

Having worn the chalkstripe style during the season, Chris Woods of Sheffield Wednesday was seen in a shirt which was theoretically black but there were so many design elements that it was really multi-coloured.

The drawn final and replay against Arsenal were Wednesday’s last two games with Umbro before switching to Puma, so the Owls didn’t wear that style again. However, this design didn’t usher in a new era in the same way Mark Crossley had two years previously.

That’s not to say that it was a complete one-off Celtic did have a yellow version of the Woods shirt while Chelsea had a red edition as a back-up and Galatasaray used the same black style.

Instead, the bulk of Umbros clubs were given a different style of goalkeeper shirt for 1993-94, albeit one that was was nevertheless just as busy.

Everton, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur all had bespoke styles but the rest of the high-end Umbro portfolio – Chelsea, Ipswich Town, Manchester City, Oldham Athletic and Sheffield United in the Premier League, as well as newly-relegated Nottingham Forest in Division 1 (with both Shipstones and Labatt’s sponsorship) as well as Aberdeen in Scotland – all had a grey shirt with a series of diamond-based shapes.

Apart from Chelsea using the red shirt mentioned above, we’re unaware of instances where teams changed from this design. In any case, if they did, it wasn’t to the same style in a different colourway, as in previous seasons.

In Italy, Parma goalkeeper Luca Bucci had the standard look, but because the high neck irritated him, he ripped out the middle section and so the Umbro logo was placed on the right breast with the crest on the left. Meanwhile, Gianluca Pagliuca of Inter Milan did have a different version, with blue the main colour.

In addition, three countries who wore Umbro donned four different colour variations

England’s yellow version was launched along with the new red away kit for 1994 and was first used at home to Denmark in March 1994. According to the ever-excellent England Football Online, it has one of the best win-percentages of any England kit.

In 1995, Edwin van der Sar would wear the same colors in helping Ajax to win the Champions League.

At the same time as that England change kit came out, Scotland revealed their brand-new tartan kit and it was accompanied by a white goalkeeper shirt with red, yellow and blue designs.

For games against teams in white, such as Austria in early 1994, a salmon version was worn, though with the default shorts and socks. This back-up shirt would be used until at least 1996, with the lack of distinct shorts and socks leading to interesting mashups, as we shall see in a future article.

While the Premier League teams with this goalkeeper design didn’t fare well – of its users, Chelsea in 13th had the highest finish and both Oldham and Sheffield United were relegated – the summer of 1994 saw it worn by the world champions.

Though Brazil are intrinsically linked with Nike now, from 1991-97 they were with Umbro, taking in the 1994 World Cup win. Perhaps indicating production in a different location to the rest, the shirt worn by Taffarel – in patriotic green, yellow, blue and white – differed from the traditional format in that he had a collar rather than a crew-neck, while the fabric wasn’t quilted, either. In addition, the double-diamond wasn’t seen, with the Umbro wordmark preferred instead.

4 comments on “Umbro’s new GK direction in 1993

  1. Lucas

    I remember also Colombia’s Oscar Cordoba (in the matches against Switzerland and Romania, https://c7.alamy.com/compit/hnr862/oscar-cordoba-colombia-28-febbraio-1996-hnr862.jpg) and Bolivia’s Carlos Trucco (in the match against Spain, https://www.worldcupsaga.com/public/1994/carlos-trucco-maillot.png) wearing the grey version at the 1994 World Cup and Pagliuca in the 1994-95 season wearing a blue version of this shirt while he played for Inter https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/it/d/d0/Gianluca_Pagliuca%2C_Inter_1994-95.JPG.

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  2. Simon

    On Cordoba’s and Trucco’s kits both the jersey and the shorts have Umbro wording rather than the logo and no logo on the collar. Also Trucco appears to have cut the collar open.

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    1. Nik Yeomans

      Chelsea used the yellow “Woods” style shirt in 1994-95 as the second GK shirt (with Coors sponsorship). The grey design appeared on the pre season photo with the Coors logo but was never used in a competitive first team game. The new home GK shirt was a green and purple number, also used by Man City.

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