The List

The Spoiler’s top five England kits of all time

Our favourite strips from the annals of time

The jury still seems to be out on England’s latest official kit: we like it, many have called it a glorified PE kit, and most of you don’t want to buy it.

With this in mind, The Spoiler has compiled our top five national strips of all time, and no, that rubbish grey Euro 96 strip didn’t make the cut….

England shirt 1997/1999

The 1997-1999 home shirt
Shifting the crest and manufacturer’s logo to the centre was a gamble that paid off for this strip, even if it looked a bit like Shearer and co were turning out for the People’s Republic of Umbro. It’s not remembered as fondly as the Euro ’96 home shirt, but England had one of their highest success rates of the nineties sporting this design, winning thirteen out of twenty-two games.

England 1973 Kit

The 1973 third shirt
Dismissing the idea of sporting any of the country’s usual trio of colours, this treason-tastic yellow kit with blue shorts was modelled during a spate of friendlies in the summer of 1973. An homage to South America’s recently crowned world-champions, the team was nothing like watching Brazil: our boys managed one draw and two defeats in the shirt, before angrily consigning it to the bottom of the FA wardrobe.

England 1965-74

The 1965-1974 away shirt
An England crest on a red jersey. Simple. It’s also the only instance of the away kit ever being better than its home counterpart.

England 1980-83

The 1980-1983 home & away shirts
Admiral’s oft-maligned period as England’s official kit supplier during the late 1970s and early 1980s actually produced some great shirts. The figure-hugging 1980-1983 shirt captured the fashion zeitgeist, and is currently viewed as ‘retro cool’, rather than ‘highly flammable tat’.

England 2005-2007 kit

The 2005-2007 home shirt
The 2005-07 England home shirt is one of our favourites, mainly because it was good enough to transform Peter Crouch into a latter-day Maradona. Fair enough, it’s not even a tenth as iconic as the ‘66 jersey thanks to the foul stench of underachievement, but it kept the same clean, minimalist look of the nation’s classic unbranded shirts of yesteryear, while avoiding the ‘PE kit’ aesthetic of the current kit.

Research: Richard Gilzene

2 responses so far
  • Evan // March 31, 2009 at 2:44 am

    I still think the last home shirt wasn’t all too bad; save for a few small details. I think the only thing I’d change about it is having blue diamonds on the top of one shoulder and white on the other. Had those blue diamonds been omitted it would have been a top kit. Still don’t see why so many hated it. At any rate, I’ll likely be purchasing one of the new “love ‘em/hate ‘em” kits…as soon as stores start slashing price tag a bit!

  • D KING // April 5, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    I’ve bought the new England shirt and think it’s brilliant. It looks good, it wears good, and I paid £40, not £50. It also gave jobs to British people, rather than being made in Asia. The extra money was worth it, as it kept somebody in England employed.

    The downside was that after washing it looked better after an iron.

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