Top 5s – Liverpool change strips
- We asked kit expert, friend of the site, all-round nice guy and Liverpool fan Colin Forde for his thoughts on the club’s new third strip and what his all-time top five Reds’ change kits were
The new Nike Liverpool third kit won’t be to everyone’s taste. That said, I really like it.
Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but for me it’s a proper Liverpool change kit. The colour is very yellow, which will be a definite no for some, but for me it invokes memories of the 1980s and a time when football kits were used for multiple seasons and were relatively technology-free.
The colour is what I used to call ‘Angel Delight banana flavour’ – another 80s throwback that I miss! It’s not bright yellow, but more a sensible yellow. It’s a colour well-loved by Liverpool fans, or at least it used to be. This particular shirt is more of an homage to the 1984-85 away kit than the 1981-84 version that most people seem to point to when looking for the inspiration but that just adds to the appeal of the kit in my view.
The 1984-85 was the last kit by Umbro before Liverpool moved to adidas in the summer of 1985. It only lasted one season, which was almost unheard of in the 80s and that is one reason this kit often gets overlooked. The kit didn’t have time to make its mark and Liverpool would not win a trophy in its single season. That said, for reasons described below, it’s a special one for me.
So, to the Nike version. The colour is the correct Liverpool yellow (if such a thing exists), the crest is the proper Liver-bird in red. The sponsors are also in red, keeping true to Liverpool tradition on yellow kits and the subtle pinstripes in, errr, yellowish make it a winner. The collar and cuffs in red and yellow checks are apparently a nod to the flags of the Kop and it’s what makes this shirt its own entity. Although, as Ray Hyland said on Twitter, the collar may have been better in two-tone red, but I think that would have taken from the new shirt’s originality. The shorts and socks are in keeping with tradition but with the checkerboard design added to give it a touch of originality and (shudder) modernity. The Nike Futura logo adds to the retro feel and adds to the overall look.
In summary, I really like this kit but unfortunately it doesn’t look as if I’ll be purchasing any time soon: Nike only brought out the replica version up to size XXL (in very limited quantities. It sold out in that size by 09:00) and haven’t as yet produced the shirt in XXXL. At the time of writing, Nike are “looking at” the possibility of refilling XXL and adding XXXL at a later batch release (probably late October or early November) but I’m not overly convinced it’ll happen. Anyone got any diet tips?
Colin’s Top Five
This would possibly be higher on the list had it lasted more than one season but the inspiration for this season’s third kit is special to me because I saw it for the first time in the Isle of Man on holidays with my parents.
They’d given me £15 to get through the week but, as soon as I saw it in the shop window, I knew it was coming home with me. Yellow with lots of thin white pinstripes and the Umbro and Liver-bird in red – no sponsor logo but that was okay. I enquired from the man behind the counter as to the price, desperately hoping I’d have enough – £13.99! I couldn’t part with my cash quick enough and put it on me there and then.
When my parents noticed (after about two hours), I was berated for wasting my money and assured I wouldn’t get any more (I did of course, I was a cute kid) and proceeded to wear it until it became a rag. The only match I remember them wearing it in was a drawn FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
Yes, I know this is relatively recent and it’s just a plain white and black number but this was the first time I really felt a kit captured the retro feel of the white shirt from the 1980s. It also had not one, not two, but three different-colour pinstripes!
So, while for many it’s just a bog-standard adidas template shirt, to me it represented a modern take on a classic that just worked. I still have it and wear it. In a rare fit of modern fashion sense I got this one with the Europa League patches.
3. 1987-89 (Crown Paints 1987-88, Candy 1988-89)
This was a massive departure for Liverpool. It was the same design as the home but the colour! Silver!
It caused a bit of a stir among fans at the time with the ultra-conservatives proclaiming that the game was gone and tradition be dammed. To me, it was the next signal that football kits were entering mainstream culture (hooray, I was no longer an oddball!)
Oh how I’ve come to regret that “Hooray!” with the way football kit culture has gone, but anyway this kit was one that I couldn’t wait to wear and a postal order was duly dispatched to Lumley’s in Glasgow to ensure I could wear this shirt and draw admiration and gasps of wonder from the other local youths.
This is a kit that holds special memories for me. The first time I saw it was in Shoot! – a black-and-white photo of Graeme Souness wearing it and I only knew it was yellow because it said so in the caption! I was fascinated. It was so different.
Yellow! Red pinstripes! It wasn’t available in any of the local sports shops but, luckily for me, Santa managed to source the full kit for Christmas. It was that itchy polyester of the 1980s and I lived in it.
The kit itself was a massive departure for the time and was referred to as “striking” by John Motson on Match of the Day. Striking it may have been, but this is the kit that cemented my love of football kits.
This kit is exactly what a Liverpool away kit should be! The red collar and cuffs and sponsor logo with the Umbro logo and Liver-bird in yellow meant there was a lot going on in what was in essence a plain white shirt.
The black shorts (the only part of this kit I ever actually owned) with the white Umbro logo and Liver-bird were plain but instantly recognisable as Liverpool shorts, the socks were plain white but, overall, this kit epitomised the 1980s football style.
This is THE Liverpool away kit. Don’t @ me as the hip young kids say!
3 thoughts on “Top 5s – Liverpool change strips”
Your number 1 is my number 1. But I think the version with red on the inside of the Umbro logo is the best.
The yellow away from 82-84 is the best for me. What a masterpierce, that also was a time that my Barça use to have a yellow away shirt, but we were not as competitive as liverpool…
2 all yellow kits 2 white kits with black shorts and adidas all grey all five almost with red trim …… 100% total agreement with me.