Scott provides some great insights into kit from a custodian’s point of view – the shirt in the image is one he wore while at Wycombe Wanderers – and, without wishing to give away too much of what features, he made one point that we feel is very salient in terms of the modern game.
Nowadays, there is a real cookie-cutter sense to them: what your number 1 wears is the same as any other team with whom the club shares a manufacturer. It’s always been true to an extent, but in the 1990s and into the 2000s there was more of a sense of individuality. One exception last season was the Barcelona goalkeeper kit which featured the blaugrana colours but it was never worn competitively.
Thankfully, Port Vale this season are a breath of fresh air as their three goalkeeper kits this year match the outfield home, away and third in terms of design (though it’s not always the case that each corresponding kit is worn together) and Scott says that there’s no reason why other teams can’t have such an approach.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but just something, anything, that links the goalkeeper to his team-mates. Prior to 1993 in England, of course, this was achieved by all 11 players wearing the same shorts and socks; now, we have a parade of salmons and cyans.
One clever way of doing things came from Umbro in 2001-02. Most of its big teams had a black goalkeeper kit – Manchester United had a silver version – but the trim was colour-coded: blue for Chelsea, green for Celtic and the Republic of Ireland and red for England.
Simple, but effective (even if we would have preferred navy rather than black for England). Perhaps Umbro, or anyone else, could take inspiration 20 years on?