In November 2020, Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno created Premier League history in the Gunners’ game against Wolverhampton Wanderers as he wore the club’s change shirt (and alternative off-white shorts) between the posts.
While this is a relatively common trope on the continent – and was practised as far back as the 1990s by Mexico’s Jorge Campos – it was the first time it had happened in the English top flight. This season, Arsenal have officially registered their yellow away kit as the third-choice goalkeeper option.
Another goalkeeper-kit philosophy that we like is when the custodian’s kit uses the same colour-scheme as his team-mates but in a different ratio, as was seen quite a lot at the 1998 World Cup.
Sometimes, though, it feels as if the designers of the outfield strips and the goalkeeper kits are not on the same page and that is what we will look at in this article – instances where a team’s second or third kit had the same (or very similar) design to a goalkeeper strip in the same colour but with different accent colours. We can’t claim that it’s exhaustive, so if you know of any further examples, please comment below or tweet @museumofjerseys.
In the past, we’ve been guilty of referring to the ‘2002 Nike design’, as if the same template was given to all of their contracts that summer, when in fact there were a number of variants. The black Dutch change kit was a rare style featuring an unusual neck but it worked well. While quite a few teams had a swirling line pattern on the torso, the Netherlands (and Brazil) were among those to use a plain version. The black offering was complemented by grey panelling, but the blue version – worn by Edwin van der Sar when the black kit was used against Belgium in 2003 – was trimmed in orange.
Quite a few teams clad in red and white or white and red were with Puma when this design was in use and Stuttgart – whose change kit was a straight reversal of their home – went a step further by having a red goalkeeper version though, with added grey (the colour of their third kit that season) and black. It seems a white, grey and black edition was available too but we haven’t found evidence of it being used by goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand.
Hamburg joined the Puma stable from Nike in the summer of 2005 and third first set of kits were in the popular design that featured contrasting sleeve stripes. While the third – mainly used in the Uefa Cup – isn’t a proper colour-match for the red goalkeeper shirt, it’s included as quite a few retailers erroneously list the GK top as the third.
Another Puma example from the same season as above. Fulham’s black third shirt – almost a reversal of the home, which had a black stripe on one sleeve and a red one on the other – was worn just once, away to Sunderland.
Like Nike four years previously, adidas brought a modular approach to their main Teamgeist design in 2006 and their goalkeeper template was derived from it but had a different neck style. Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas did the double in terms of this phenomenon that season…
Real Madrid, 2006-07
The Real away had very rare panelling but the goalkeeper kit was the basic template. Incidentally, Casillas wore both the outfield home shirt (with away shorts and socks) and purple third strip in goal for the club that season.
Manchester United, 2007-08
The example with the fewest differences between the outfield and goalkeeper kits – check out how the colour of the devil is the only variation on the socks.
A second appearance for Hamburg, whose goalkeeper Frank Rost also had a white shirt to call upon in this season, though in a different design to the club’s home strip.
Manchester City, 2016-17
After a number of examples bunched together over a relatively short time-frame, a gap from the second-last to the most recent example, which features the Nike Vapor template – City’s use of a recoloured crest for their change kit adds to the differences.