Who has the best away kits?

Posted by John Devlin

Whilst updating the 08-09 kits on the sites I couldn’t help but be impressed by Norwich City’s black kit for the season. I’m not generally a fan of black away kits as I feel they are sometimes a lazy design choice, but I was really impressed by this one. Its a basic design, nothing too elaborate, but I think its the combination of white and dark green trim that makes it such a wonderful strip.

Thinking back though, Norwich kits, in my view, have always been consistently interesting and exciting over the years. Why? Well, I think firstly its that (until recently) they were so seldom worn due to the relative lack of yellow/amber clad teams that could cause a clash. But there just seems to be something stylish about incorporating the club’s traditional green and yellow into a change outfit. Green is so seldom used in English football that it always catches the eye. Plus, the vast majority of them have been worn for at least two seasons.

Here are a selection of some of the best Norwich away kits since 1980:norwich-away-kit-selection

For much of the 80s, the Canaries away kits were simple white versions of the home design, embellished with green and yellow. The red logo of the club’s first sponsor, Poll Withey Windows, providing a nice counterpoint on the early designs.

The early 90s was a fraught time for away kits generally and to be fair not many of the club’s change outfits from the period stand the test of time. A plethora of blues, purples and the odd splash of red, provided the palette for the time. Come 1997 though and renowned fashion designer Bruce Oldfield was called in to create the Canaries 1997–99 strips putting the club’s impeccable fashion sense back on track. And for the first time a simple green, reversed version of the home kit (trimmed subtly with navy blue) was launched to great approval.

For the first time in 10 years a simple white version of the home kit appeared in 1999. The strip, which also added the club’s traditional yellow to the trim, featured the red logo of local legends Colmans Mustard. Xara arrived at Carrow Road and introudced a deep red away kit trimmed with yellow. It was a regular Xara template but still looked good.

A darker green was also introduced about this time and made an impressive appearance on Xara’s 2004-2006 away kit – one of my personal favourite ever kits. It was a really innovative design, quite unlike anything else around at the time, topped neatly with the prestigious Lotus Cars brand. Red returned in a simple but effective creation in 2007 which was superceded a year later by the earlier mentioned black strip.

09-10 sees the Canaries again opting for a white change outfit.

Well, I’ve made my choice – any one else like to suggest a team with a better archive of away kits than Norwich? Let me know…


25 Responses to “Who has the best away kits?”

  1. True Colours Football Kits » New article added Says:

    […] more here in the articles […]

  2. Chris O Says:

    I’d have to go for the classic Hummel kit of 1986-87… but then again I love all those Hummel kits of the mid-80’s replete with their chevron device running down the sleeves. Denmark’s in World Cup 86 was a particularly good one if I recall.

    Anyway, I like the idea of a white away kit for Norwich as long as it uses a bit of green here and there to finish things off. The new black one’s pretty good too though, I agree. Smart, stylish and simple – very nicely executed.

  3. Rich Johnson Says:

    Agreed Chris. Those Hummel kits were fantastic. I still have my Cov one from 87/88. Bit small now tho…

  4. Denis Hurley Says:

    Chris, the black one was for 08-9, they’re gone back to white for next season

  5. Chris O Says:

    Sorry – that’s what I meant! Thanks for the correction!

  6. Chris O Says:

    Ah Rich – I’d forgotten all about that Coventry kit! I was going to mention in my original comment the Aston Villa kit from the same period, but I’d quite forgotten Coventry’s. How that takes me back!

  7. Rich Johnson Says:

    Cov, Aston Villa and Southampton all had similar ones…The Saints one looking exactly like the Denmark one…happy days! Speaking of the Cov one, earlier that summer, before the kit had been officially released, the son of George Curtis, who went to our school, was playing footy with us and had the new kit one…except it was in a dark blue, not the sky colour that was eventually released. Guess it was a prototype.

  8. john Says:

    as a kid watching MOTD i remember norwich only wearing an away kit once,at wolves but they obviously wore it at watford too.Still a big fan of adidas so the early 80’s ones are the best here.

  9. Andrew Rockall Says:

    For me it has to me Man City who have the richest history of away strips. Red/Black, White, Claret, Purple, Royal Blue, Yellow, Silver, Black amongst the different colours they have used since 1980.

    My personal favourite was the 79-82 Red & Black stripes with a white collar. But other highlights include the 95-95 away shirt iconically worn by Liam Gallagher.

    My least favourite was the silver and flouro green shirt from 2000-02

  10. Andrew Rockall Says:

    I also ment to mention Aston Villa who have changed the predominant colour of their away shirt an astonishing 17 times since 1980

  11. John Devlin Says:

    Man City and Villa are good calls Andrew. Especially City. Their 09-10 away kits are cracking (as is the Villa one come to that).

  12. Jon Says:

    I remember that Man City away kit from 2000, it was a real shocker – silver shirts, navy shorts, fluorescent yellow socks. It was revolting!

    The navy away kit from 2005 was another oddity, not so much for the strange assymetrical design but the colour – Man City ended up wearing it for every away game apart from the derby game and matches against blue shirted teams (for which they wore the yellow third kit).

  13. John Devlin Says:

    Yes that Man City away also had mismatched cuffs. Looked pretty grim in the flesh.

    I didn’t realise that about the 05-06 away though Jon. That was the last City kit in True Colours 1. There was a little blip of that happening about that time though. Remember when Pompey had a navy away kit and wore that in EVERY away game except against teams in blue where they then donned their third kit. I think it was a way of symbolising the fact that they were not playing at home. Now there’s an idea – two different kits in the same ‘home’ colours – one for proper home matches, and one for away games!

  14. Denis Hurley Says:

    I’m not certain, but I think I remember Napoli doing this in the early 90s, I recall an ad in Shoot which featured foreign kits, and the plain blue was the Napoli home while the away one had a white stripe across it.

    Australian Rules teams often do this

  15. Jon Says:

    Actually on further research Man City did wear their home kit for a couple more games in 05/06 – at Arsenal and Tottenham, but otherwise the navy strip was used against other teams who didn’t play in blue (apart from Man U in the derby).

    I can’t remember Napoli having two different blue kits in the 90’s, but most certainly can remember Lazio doing so – the home was the usual sky blue, but the away shirt was navy with sky blue sleeves and some huge sky blue zig zag pattern on the front. They did, thankfully, have a white third shirt available.

    Oh and kit clashes in Aussie Rules are pretty ridiculous if truth be told!

  16. Denis Hurley Says:

    Kit clashes in the AFL can be terrible, though in the past few years every team has had to have a dedicated ‘clash’ jumper.

    Re the ‘away’ kits though, some have had jerseys in the same colours as the home only with a different design, worn only away from home.

    http://www.footyjumpers.com is a good resource for this.

  17. Keith Says:

    Any Spurs fans out there have proof of the away kit used 1956 to 58 ?
    Cannot find a thing !

  18. Johnny Says:

    I was going to say that I think Man City always brings something to the table in Away shirts (Bar those Neon socks – The socks I have ever seen worse were those Mustard ones the Toons wore with Canary yellow shirts when they attempted a Brasil look).
    I think over the years if I could chose my sides kit maker it would be Le Coq Sportiff as they always have some good ideas and are also progressive as well as bing respectful of club’s historys in designing kits, they have done good work at a number of clubs in the past.
    I should also mention I am an AFL fan and when it comes to away kits the Leagues a joke, with saying that my club only wears a clash kit every second season once. Every other time we wear the Navy and White Hoops which we have worn since 1857. (I support Geelong).

  19. Dave Reid Says:

    I always liked the West Brom Away kit in late 70’s which was used in later years of Yellow and Green Stripes. Newcastle United used it between 1988/90. I always hoped Sheffield Wednesday, who I support would follow suit. They are my 2 favourite colours.

  20. antony "tony" spike Says:

    i like the 04-06 design the best ……im not a norwich fan but that design stands out asa future classic i think its the contrasting greens that break up what could have been a plain shirt that turn it into an interesting one

  21. John Devlin Says:

    Excellent shout Tony! The 04-06 away kit is one of my favourite kits EVER!

  22. Scott Grimwood Says:

    on a slightly different note . i remember Bradford having an alternate home kit for away games in the late 90’s. It was claret and amber halved shirt’s instead of their normal stripes. It also had halved short’s.

  23. Jon Says:

    I remember that Bradford kit too Scott, didn’t they also wear that for cup matches too? I remember they wore the kit at Everton in the FA Cup when a certain Chris Waddle scored with a long-range lob.

  24. Scott Grimwood Says:

    i remember seeing at my team Ipswich. We were losing 1-0 until 89th minute and scored twice in stoppage time to win. I think Chris Waddle played in it as well.

  25. Denis Hurley Says:

    Was that Bradford kit not just the 1996-97 kit but then replaced midway through?

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