“Have you got something in chocolate brown with stripes and tassels?” If you’re underwhelmed with your club’s kit this season, it could be much worse, as these shockers prove
If there’s one thing football fans love – other than berating match officials – it’s sneering at a rival’s awful garb. Football has a long history of atrocious matchwear, spanning back long before the excessively-detailed abominations of the early ’90s left us with sore retinas. That was the inspiration behind kit historian Dave Moor’s new tome, The Worst Football Kits of all Time.
“There seems to be a huge amount of interest not only in the history of football kits, but especially the terrible ones,” says Moor, who also compiled an online archive at historicalkits.co.uk.
The book, you won’t be surprised to learn, is a collection of the game’s most awful shirts – but it’s not all York City ‘y-fronts’ and Man United’s ‘invisible’ grey number. Indeed, two of Moor’s favourites are even more outlandish.
“The first dates back to Victorian times, when Chesterfield Town – the predecessor of the modern club – Words were given a set of shirts that were made up of the Union Jack,” he says. “It’s just so wonderfully Victorian and overblown – just fabulous. Then there’s Hull City’s tiger-print shirt of the early ’90s. They looked like Tony the Tiger!”
But if you’re not a fan of your club’s current get-up, fret not: there’s still a chance you could be swayed in the future. Dave believes that a bad kit will eventually be deemed good should it be so terrible it “breaks through the kitschbarrier” (Liverpool’s grey, flecked Candysponsored number, anyone?), or if it’s associated with a memorable triumph.
(If it has tassles,
though, like NASL side Colorado Caribous in the late-’70s, you can forget it.)
“At the time everybody laughed at Coventry’s chocolate brown strip from the 1970s, but now it’s seen as a classic and people love it,” Moor reasons. “Then there’s the Netherlands kit of the late ’80s. It was horrible, with an orange and white geometric pattern all over it, but because they won the Euros it became a favourite.” In fact, Dave suggests even the most maligned kit of all could have been somewhat of a national treasure, had it not been for Gareth Southgate.
“England’s ‘indigo blue’ away kit from Euro 96 wasn’t a bad design,” he explains. “But you lose to Germany on penalties wearing it and nobody wants to see it again. Yet, had England won, it would have been an instant classic.”
Worst Football Kits of all Time is out in September (History Press, £9.99)
THE 110% FOOTBALL QUIZ
1 What first did Vincent Kompany set when he won the FA Cup with Manchester City last season?
2 What did Shrewsbury striker Marvin Morgan [right] do in January this year that was so inflammatory it ensured his release from Aldershot Town?
3 Who are the only Italian club never to have been relegated from the top flight?
4 How many World Cup finals since 1950 have finished as a draw in normal time?
5 Which city has the most European Cups: Madrid or Milan?
6 At the time of going to press, Ryan Giggs had scored or assisted 203 Premier
League goals – but had he scored or assisted more?
7 Only four non-British players have won the PFA Young Player of the Year award. Cristiano Ronaldo and Cesc Fabregas in 2006-07 and 2007-08 are two – name the other two, in 1998-99 and 1999-2000.
8 Which team holds the record for conceding the most goals across the Premier League’s 20-year history?
9 Who was the only English-born player in Liverpool’s 1986 FA Cup-winning team?
10 Which Spanish club has won the most domestic doubles, joint with Barcelona?
11 What was the highest scoring draw in English football’s top flight before the advent of the Premier League in 1992?
12 Which team holds the record for the most consecutive away wins in the Premier League, since its formation in 1992-93?
13 Who were the first French team to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League?
14 Which team survived relegation in the 1996-97 season as a direct result of Middlesbrough being deducted three points for failing to fulfil a fixture?
46 October 2011 FourFourTwo.com