While we have a soft spot for the Newcastle United 1993-95 home kit made by Asics, the consensus view is that the one that succeeded it, the Toon’s first with adidas, is the club’s best shirt of modern times.
A strong case can certainly be made – it was ranked number 8 in the Football Attic’s poll to find the best ever in 2015 – and the popular perception is aided by the memory of Kevin Keegan’s swashbuckling team which came so close to winning the league in 1995-96.
The classically simple grandard collar fitted perfectly while the adidas stripes down the arms complemented the real stripes rather than stymieing them – it’s not always easy for adidas to do a striped shirt.
However, good things tend to be judged at a higher standard and so, in the vein of Fantasy Football League‘s ‘Pelé Was Shite’ series, we have a few quibbles. There are only a few – the inclusion of blue trim on the shirt’s adidas stripes but nowhere else; the needless shield surrounding the crest on the shorts when it’s not on the shirt; and the black background for the adidas wordmark on the shirt when an outline would have been neater.
The Newcastle away launched in 1995 was unlike anything seen before and yet it too attained immediate classic status.
The cream shorts were perhaps a questionable call but they took worked rather than the safer white, while the circular Newcastle Brown Ales logo – as opposed to the home oval – was tidier against the hoops.
This kit only lasted a season before being replaced by a greyish-blue change strip, but its legacy lives on in the fact that adidas used the colours, albeit not hooped, in 2006-07 while Puma did their own hooped version in 2018-19.