Tottenham Hotspur Home Kit 1991–93: True Colours Hall of Fame

Posted by John Devlin


spurs-h-91-93Just like when Kennedy was shot, or Diana died, anyone with a remote interest in football kits will remember where they were when they saw Spurs walk out on to the Wembley turf in the 1991 FA Cup final wearing shorts of a length not seen since…ooh…before you were born.

Its hard to imagine now the uproar the Umbro shorts caused with fans and players alike more accustomed to the skimpier and snugger pairs that had grown increasingly skimpier and snugger since the 1960s. However the laughter soon stopped and within just a couple of years every team was decked out in more amply sized shorts and in fact have worn them ever since. It was a truly trendsetting move from Umbro.

There was more to the kit than just big shorts though. The previous decade’s penchant for slick modernist V-necks was discarded and instead a proper old-fashioned button up collar was introduced to the baggy shirt. It wasn’t all retro influence though as the fabric of the jersey featured a state of the art trademark “3D” geometric Umbro shadow print. The socks switched from white to navy. Top this off with curved trim on the cuffs (adorned with the ‘Spurs’ motif’) and you have yourself a timeless kit.

Worn by: Paul Allen, Gary Mabbutt, Paul Gascoigne

Worn in: The dramatic 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest in the 1991 FA Cup Final during which the kit was given an early preview. The final, of course, was overshadowed by Gazza’s reckless tackle that damaged his cruciate ligaments and marred his last game for Spurs.

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BBC Radio Merseyside Interview Thurs 14 July

Posted by John Devlin

I’m being interviewed again on BBC Radio Merseyside tomorrow (Thursday) morning at about 9.15am. The feature is all about the Liverpool and Everton kits that are on sale tomorrow and they’ll be running a phone-in asking the question “should grown men wear replica shirts”?

Tune in if you can…

The True Colours Hall of Fame

Posted by John Devlin

People are always asking me about the worst and best kits I’ve ever seen. I get a little bored talking about the worst kits and would much rather focus on the best! With that in mind, and partly inspired by an email from Andrew Rockall that listed his top 10 (thanks Andrew!), I’ve decided to run a series in the Kit Cupboard section of the site that features, in no particular order, my favourite kits of all time. The Hall of Fame will feature what I consider to be the very best designs worn worldwide throughout the past 40 years.

Many of them are also still available from the excellent as well – these are not modern retro versions, but original replicas.

To read the first in the series click here. If there’s any shirts you feel deserve to be in the hall of fame then please contact me or leave a comment. Thanks!

Liverpool Home Kit 1985-87: True Colours Hall of Fame

Posted by John Devlin


So many people ask me what’s the worst kit I’ve ever seen and what’s the best. Focusing on the worst kits gets a little boring after a while in my opinion so I’m opening the True Colours Hall of Fame within The Kit Cupboard that will feature a selection, in no particular order, of some of my favourite kits of all time. Plus where possible I’ll be telling you where you can still buy them! To start the ball rolling here’s the classic Liverpool home kit from the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons.

liverpool-h-85-87Growing up as a Liverpool fan I was accustomed to seeing the reds decked out in Umbro. At the time they were part and parcel of the Liverpool DNA. When the announcement came the club were switching to adidas I was both thrilled (as I loved to see new kits), nervous and just a little sad to see the departure of Umbro from Anfield. My first glimpse of the kit though instantly quelled all my fears. It was utterly superb!

If my memory serves me correctly Match Weekly magazine previewed the new home, away and third kits in a double page spread allowing avid kit fans to pore over every detail: a typically mid-80s multi-trimmed V-neck, adidas three-stripe taping delicately outlined with yellow and stopping at the shoulders (of course this was before tournament sleeve patches), white Liver Bird and adidas logos and a wonderful shadow pattern comprising of stripes, Liver Birds and adidas trefoils. Another point of interest was that the shorts didn’t flip the placement of the club badge and manufacturers logo as was normally the case. It was wonderful stuff – adidas had achieved the impossible and come up with a design that matched, and in fact exceeded, the last Umbro pinstriped jersey.

Sadly the kit’s opening match was the tragic 1985 European Cup Final at Heysel at the end of the 1984-85 season where it was worn without Crown Paints logo and ‘adidas’ type below the trefoil logo. Fortunately though happier times were ahead for the kit as King Kenny’s men clinched the club’s first ever FA Cup and League double whilst wearing it the following year.

The kit went through several minor cosmetic adjustments in its lifespan including the switching the Crown Paints logo to run on a single line and the various pieces of commemorative embroidery to mark the triumphs this memorable side achieved wearing this memorable kit.

Worn by: Ian Rush, Jan Molby, Paul Walsh

Worn in: The 1-0 win over Chelsea that sealed the 1985-86 Division 1 title and the 3-1 victory over Everton in that season’s FA Cup final. Also worn the following season in a 10-0 thrashing of Fulham.

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