Quite a lot of our discoveries come when we look for one thing and find another.
Recently, we were researching an upcoming piece to tie in with the Women’s World Cup and noticed the strip Norway wore when they won the competition in 1995.
While the shirts and socks were the same as what their male counterparts had worn at the previous year’s World Cup in the USA, the shorts were in fact those used as the alternative set with the away shirt.
The initial reaction was perhaps that this was a women’s-only variant, but in fact the change had been made in the immediate aftermath of the World Cup.
Having worn shirts similar to Arsenal’s for the two years prior to USA 94, a new style was launched ahead of the trip to America.
While the home was the same basic design as Romania and Sweden – officially titled Equipment-Trikot World Cup – Norway differed in that they retained the traditional three stripes down the arms.
Matching white shorts were the default choice, but these were only seen against the Republic of Ireland at the World Cup.
A navy and white set appeared in a friendly against Denmark in June.
In addition, though, the change shirt also had its own sets of navy and white shorts.
Against Mexico at the World Cup – a 1-0 win – the normal white-navy-white look was used while they were in all-white for the 1-0 defeat to Italy. The red stripes on the shorts matched those on the socks rather than the shirt.
Unfortunately for Norway, they were the unlucky team eliminated on goals scored after all four teams in Group E finished level on four points, having each won one, drawn one and lost one.
One other shorts story (sorry) was the fact that a member of the coaching staff had number 32 in an old adidas font – used on the 1992 kit – on his home set.
In the autumn of 1994, Norway faced into their qualifying campaign for the 1996 European Championship and there was at least a rationalisation on the shorts front.
First up was a home game against Belarus, who wore all-white, with Norway now pairing the home shirt with the away shorts.
The pre-World Cup numbers, featuring the adidas trefoil, also returned.
After a 1-0 win, they were at home again in September against the Netherlands and this was the first outing for what would become the first-choice kit after that, the white away change shorts now promoted.
A 1-1 draw wasn’t a bad result but it would prove costly as Norway finished level on 20 points with the Dutch, one behind the group winners, the Czech Republic.
The Netherlands took on Ireland in a play-off for the 16th place at the finals while Norway missed out – the only tournament between 1994 and 2000 that they failed to reach.
At least there was some consolation with the women’s team