When Umbro launched the new Scotland kit in 1991, there more quite a few noticeable differences.
The cut was baggier, with longer shorts than previously, while the asymmetrical flashes were emblematic of the design philosophy of the era. In addition, Scotland were returning to red-topped navy socks for the first time in nearly two decades.
Having worn the previous kit for the last time in a friendly defeat to the USSR in February 1991, the new outfit received its premiere in the Euro 92 qualifier against Bulgaria in March. After they pipped Switzerland to top spot, the same kit remained in use for the European Championship in Sweden.
For the first time, numbers appeared on the front of the shirt while, as at Italia 90, the shorts numbers were a different font. The players’ names featured on the backs of the shirts, but this wasn’t a first for Scotland. In addition, the newer Umbro logo, with a capped wordmark, appeared on the shirts.
One kit oddity in Sweden was that, as well as the normal shorts with the geometric design on the left leg, Scotland’s players also used a plain white set, with both styles featuring together in games – all with the older Umbro logo.
The goalkeeper shirt was a similar style to the white away and, while the back, sleeves, shorts and socks were black, it was worn by Andy Goram alongside the navy home shirts in all three of Scotland’s group B games, defeats to the Netherlands and Germany before a 3-0 victory over the CIS. Of course, goalkeeper kit oddities are nothing new, as Jay Mansfield covered in a recent article.
As they had done at the 1990 World Cup, Scotland numbered their outfield players in order of caps won, albeit with a couple of discrepancies.
Captain Richard Gough had worn 2 at the 1986 World Cup, where he played right-back, and he was in that shirt again despite having one cap fewer than Paul McStay, who was 3. Number 18 Dave Bowman and 19 Alan McLaren should have been the other way round too. It’s likely that the list had been decided before Scotland played the USA, Canada and Norway in friendlies prior to going to Sweden. Before these games, Gough and McStay had the same number of caps, but Gough missed the USA game while McStay played in all three.
Additionally, prior to those friendlies, Bowman had one cap to his name while McLaren had yet to feature but he played in all three with Bowman only being seen once, leaving McLaren on three and Bowman on two. Duncan Ferguson had also been cap-less before these games but played against the USA and Canada.
Scotland started both the Netherlands and Germany games with their 11 most-capped players, and lined out as in the image on the right:
- Andy Goram (20)
- Richard Gough (56)
- Paul McStay (57)
- Maurice Malpas (50)
- Ally McCoist (38)
- Brian McClair (23)
- Gordon Durie (19)
- Dave McPherson (20)
- Stewart McKimmie (17)
- Stuart McCall (17)
- Gary McAllister (15)
- Henry Smith (3)
- Pat Nevin (12)
- Kevin Gallacher (9)
- Tom Boyd (9)
- Jim McInally (7)
- Derek Whyte (4)
- Dave Bowman (2)
- Alan McLaren (3)
- Duncan Ferguson (2)
One other kit-related thing to note was that, for each Scotland game, the match referee had a different kit. This wouldn’t be out of the ordinary in the modern era, of course, but back then black was the colour of choice unless it was unavoidable.
For Scotland’s match against the Dutch, Bo Karlsson wore a long-sleeved white top that featured an adidas logo that would surely have contravened advertising rules on a team kit; Guy Goethals was in a red version of the contemporary adidas template against Germany; while Kurt Roethlisberger seemingly used a white polo shirt for the CIS game.