The latest addition to our series plays something of a sweeper role, rounding up those designs of the late 80s and early 90s which had yet to be classified, as well as looking at a developing theme in British goalkeeper shirts.
We’ll start with one as unusual for the team wearing it as the design. In the 1980s, Brazil’s Olympic committee had an all-encompassing deal with adidas. It meant that they wore this in the 1984 football competition and green shorts in 1988 as well as a beautiful blue away strip.
Goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel had blue and green versions of a wavy, gradient design, coupled with the home socks – though we’d have preferred the ‘Brazil’ across the chest.
The only variant we can find is that worn by René Higuita of Colombia in Italia 90 qualifying – indeed, he was wearing it in his sticker for the Orbis World Cup 90 part-work collection.
As we saw in Part 6, Higuita wore three other styles at the World Cup, as did Argentina’s Sergio Goycochea, albeit only on the bench for one of them. Having taken over as first-choice goalkeeper from Nery Pumpido after the country’s runner-up finish, he continued to enjoy a varied wardrobe.
Away to England in May 1991, he was seen in another variation of the ‘scribbles’ design:
Then, later that summer, he had something plainer as Argentina won the Copa America, the yellow was favoured but the pink was used against Brazil. A nice, solid design, we know of no other examples.
If that was playing it safe, at the next Copa, in 1993, it was the complete opposite, again in a style which seems to have been unique to Argentina. A multi-coloured gradient, black shards emanating from nowhere and the crest repeated throughout the fabric – it would be hard to find something more 90s.
In between, in at least one game in 1992 he wore another colour variant of the Taifun shirt which Bodo Illgner and Silviu Lung had worn at Italia 90.
That same summer, at Euro 92 Illgner was wearing it a different colourway too, one which looked perfect for Germany (left). An oddity though is the one he wore in a friendly against Brazil in 1993 (right), which featured a sprinkling of the same colour pink which had appeared on his 1990 shirt.
Domestically, there was something different afoot, as adidas began to provide goalkeeper shirts for clubs which employed a fabric pattern similar to that seen on the outfield offerings.
This began, subtly, with their first set of Liverpool kits in 1985. While Bruce Grobbelaar did occasionally wear green versions of the dip-dye shirt of part 1 and the diagonal stripes of part 3, he was most often seen in yellow that season.
Featuring a massive collar, it had the same weave as the home, away and third kits, with the Liverbird and adidas trefoil repeating. There was also a white version, possibly only worn in the Screen Sport Super Cup semi-final first leg against Norwich in February 1986.
With the launch of a new set of kits in 1987, the practice was stopped – or at least interrupted – as Grobbelaar went with the geometric style of part 4. Then, in 1989, Liverpool’s new ‘speckled’ home shirt was joined a green goalkeeping top in the same style.
A year later, and Arsenal would follow a similar suit, even including the same neck style with ‘AFC’ monogram.
In the 90-91 season, David Seaman’s change blue shirt – worn against Norwich – lacked any collar trim or adidas stripes, but in 91-92 it more resembled the green shirt.
Manchester United were a slightly different case. On their 1990-92 home shirt, the zig-zag stripes were in a lighter red to the rest, but adidas opted to make them stand out in black on the goalkeeper jersey.
The final example of this was Scottish club Hibernian, whose shirts were similar to green versions of Arsenal’s, but with subtle differences. They too had an esoteric pattern on their 1991-93 home and away kits, repeated on yellow and red goalkeeper shirts, as well as unique three-stripe collar and cuff trim.
However, when the won the 1991 Scottish League Cup, goalkeeper John Burridge was wearing a Taifun shirt.
A big, aggressive change was coming on the adidas goalkeeper shirt front, though. More in part 8.