Away to Lens in the Champions League on Tuesday night, Arsenal will wear their new green and blue third kit for the first time.
It is a tribute to the 1982-83 change strip – the only season where the Gunners wore their home shirt with away shorts and vice-versa – but the fact that they are playing the French side provides a link with another piece of the club’s kit history.
In 1998-99, the clubs were their respective countries’ champions and were in the same Champions League group.
The opening game was in France and, as sometimes happened back then, Lens wore their second kit in a 1-1 draw (incidentally, Arsenal wore unusual socks, a theme of that inaugural CL campaign for the club).
It meant that, for the return game at Wembley, Arsenal returned the favour but, as their red home kit and yellow away clashed with Lens’ striped primary strip, the Gunners would need to source a third shirt.
The solution was badge up a set of navy Nike teamwear jerseys, used with the normal home shorts and white alternative home socks.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, the kit was not a lucky charm as a 1-0 defeat ended their hopes of reaching the knockout stages.
Despite the shirt’s association with an unsuccessful night, the rarity means that they change hands for a lot of money.
That was it for the navy shirts – in 1999-2000, Bradford City were in the Premier League but Arsenal were able to wear their home tops at Valley Parade, albeit with the change socks.
The following year, Arsenal even met Lens again, this time in the Uefa Cup semi-final. By this stage, Lens’ shirt had more red than yellow, albeit with yellow socks, and so Arsenal were able to wear their yellow and navy kit for the match at Highbury.
A win in that tie sent them through to the final against Galatasaray – also red and yellow – but both clubs changed for the final, which the Turkish club won on penalties.