After some recent banter at training and what has been named a ‘clobber off’ between certain players on our team, looking to wear the most outrageous, iconic or retro outfits to impress (wind up) the gaffer I’ve come up with my list of what I perceive to be an iconic kit, to qualify for my list the shirt or kit must either represent a special team or period of time, look to bend the rules or challenge the styles at the time, or it can just be utterly outrageous!
10: Jorge Campos. The Mexican keeper sported a number of outrageous kits, which surprisingly enough, he designed himself! Campos may have been small for a keeper but he believed with these bold kit designs he could distract opposition forwards when one-on-one, making himself a bit of a cult hero in the process.
9. Evian Thonon Gaillard FC. The French club, recently promoted to Ligue 1, hail from just outside the town of Evian near the Swiss border. Evian is most recognisable for its source of water, hence the kit that looks somewhat similar to an Evian bottle.
8. Man Utd 1992-94. All the more relevant in the last few years due to some fans dismay at the owners of the club, protests have included fans wearing a yellow and green scarf to games. In the early 90s Manchester United used the yellow and green as a change strip, replicating the colours of Newton Heath FC to which the club were formerly known, the kit celebrated the clubs 100 year anniversary being released in the 1992 season.
7. England Away Euro ’96. This kit is included in my list because, as an 8 year old boy, my dad challenged me to eat a whole jar of pickled onions in return for him buying me this shirt. I failed, and probably just as well, as only a few weeks later, wearing the ‘Grey’ of England, Gareth Southgate conspired to roll a penalty into the hands of Andreas Kopke and I was left broken hearted, sobbing on my living room floor.
6. Tottenham Hotspur Away 96/97. Luckily after my near miss with the England Grey away kit, I picked myself up off my living room floor and I managed to save up some pennies and purchase this delightful purple Spurs shirt, I couldn’t quite save enough to have my idol, Chris Armstrong, printed on the back, but I felt pride of place in my purple two-tone, Pony manufactured Tottenham away kit.
5. Cameroon 2004. It was a toss up between this and the vest number as to which Cameroon kit made it into this top 10, but I’ve gone for the all-in-one. Not too dissimilar to the type of outfit worn by track runners, the kit was cleared by African Cup of Nations officials, but FIFA soon intervened and a bizarre sequence of events, which included Puma refusing to manufacture a new kit and also blaming Adidas for FIFAs intervention, led to a 6 point deduction for Cameroon in the next World Cup qualification campaign.
4. Athletic Bilbao 2004/5. This ‘Blood Splatter’ kit was designed by Basque artist Dario Urzay to celebrate the clubs centenary year. Rumours he found inspiration for the kit after leaving the lid off of a bottle of Tomato Ketchup are unconfirmed.
3. Germany 1990. Pure vintage, this kit from the 1990 world cup is an essential in the wardrobe of every ‘Toffs’ or retro football kit lover. One from a great range of kits in this era, which is less than can be said for the mullets and facial hair springing up at this time.
2.Hull City 1992. No this orange and black number was not inspired by Knebworth FC chairman Stuart Biddles wallpaper, but by the nickname of Hull City. ‘The Tigers’ were known for playing in orange with a black trim, but in the 92-93 season were made to grace the pitch as representations of their nickname in the this orange and black striped number. Grrr.
1. Johann Cruyff, Holland ‘2-stripe’. Another product of the long running dispute between sporting brands Adidas and Puma run by the Dassler brothers. Adidas were manufacturers of the Dutch kit during the 1970s, but Cruyff had his own personal deal with Puma. The bad nature between the brands meant Puma did not want to wear the 3 stripes of Adidas, but lead to Adidas threatening to pull the plug on a deal with national side if he did not. Cruyffs rebellious side saw him remove one stripe from the kit he played in, and the Holland captain became the only player to wear the orange strip with only 2 stripes.