Assorted kit advertisements from Shoot!, 1990-91

The 1990-91 season was my first as a proper football supporter, with my interest having been ignited by the Republic of Ireland’s memorable World Cup campaign.

Aiding the thirst for knowledge was my weekly fix of Shoot!, purchased for me by my father every Thursday (it was available on Wednesdays in England at the time – when that changed to Tuesday in 1993, we got it on Wednesdays in Ireland). The magazine would dumb down considerably during the 1990s, but at the beginning of the decade it was still full of strong information as well as interviews where players would speak freely.

On top of all that, the high volume of advertisements for kit-related items ticked another box for the developing kit aficionado that I was. Here are just some of the things that were featured in Shoot!‘s pages.

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It’s hard to quantify just how big Gazza-mania was in the wake of Italia 90, when Paul Gascoigne had made himself a star. Shoot! signed him up as a columnist and he was used to endorse a variety of products, including a board game. Brooks were lucky enough to have his boot deal at the time and trumpeted the fact – but, by the end of the season, he would have Puma boots on his feet.

At the time, adidas produced the kits of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United. Their ‘I want/I can’ campaign featured a player from each team – Michael Thomas, Ronnie Whelan and Mark Hughes respectively – wearing the three-stripe kit and boots.

Even now, it’s hard to describe the feelings within me when I see an adidas Etrusco Unico football.

While Bourne Sports sold replica kits, their ads included teamwear, including an unusual adidas design which had contrasting lower sleeves.

While Nike had yet to enter the kits market in England, their boots were popular and Sportsshoes Unlimited offered them for sale.

The ads we remember most fondly are those promoting Sport Rendez-Vous. Their early-season offering showed off the strips for teams in Umbro and adidas, Tottenham Hotspur (who, like Liverpool didn’t have new kits) and Rangers, who were with Admiral at the time.

Sport Rendez-Vous also had specially focused ads for Sondico and Reusch products.

Later in the season, Sport Rendez-Vous had an ad which featured more foreign teams. Presumably Cork City were paired with Barcelona as the two biggest clubs yet to to win the European Cup – Barça would pip City in terms of ending the wait. Meanwhile, the Bayern Munich shirt for sale was only worn nine times.

It’s an ad worth looking at in greater detail. We’re not sure if the unavailability of the England Scotland baseball caps was due to them selling out or the respective associations asserting their copyrights.

And finally, in a similar vein to that Sport Rendez-Vous one was this Sportscene one, seen in April 1991. The brand-new Scotland kits were included, while the descriptions of the four Napoli shirts confused us for years – we eventually got to the bottom of it.

4 comments on “Assorted kit advertisements from Shoot!, 1990-91

  1. James Welham

    I was a Shoot! subscriber at the time and spent many hours looking longingly at these adverts. Good that they got an Olf Thon/Jurgen Kohler lookalike to model the Germany tracksuit!

    Reply
  2. Kieran Casey

    I VIVIDLY remember some of these! Especially the Gascoigne and Bourne Sports ones!

    As you say, they dumbed down a lot and was grateful for 90 Minutes around 1994-96 and then FourFourTwo.

    Golden age of print.

    Reply
  3. Martin O'Rourke

    Love seeing these ads again. Replica World was another Shoot/Match favourite, and Sukan Sports for the goalkeeping aficionado. The days of sending off sterling drafts or international money orders in the hope of getting a catalogue back (and eventually, the shirts themselves). Until we discovered The Soccer Shop on George’s Street… kit nirvana!

    Reply
  4. sixstud13

    MY WORD! I used to LUST over these ads for hours on end. Living in Canada after emigrating from Liverpool meant i craved every single chance for nostalgia and links from home, I was working in a football shop in Edmonton, Alberta when most of this stuff was on sale in 1990, but there was only so much we had in stock. I happily owned the adidas Italia 90 sweatshirt and wish i had it to this day, the Etrusco line of boots is one i wished i had bought even though they were outrageously priced back then ($180 CDN) and i cannot tell you how much i wanted one of those adidas Promo jackets for the harsh Alberta winters. Please PLEASE keep this line of articles up, and may Shoot! magazine in its former iteration rest in peace. Thanks Denis!

    Reply

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