Almost Weekly Blog (23rd March)

Posted by John Devlin

Firstly, I must draw your attention, if you’ve not seen it already, to this feature on

It looks like THIS England shirt is the real deal and I have to say, if it is, its an absolute classic! I am totally knocked out by it – its so different and quite unlike anything else going around at the moment. I think Umbro have really upped the ante in terms of originality and design and have quite possibly breathed a whole new gasp of life into the football shirt design market. I know Nike were involved to some extent with the shirt – it seems that a mixture of their design philosphy and Umbro’s experience has created a real gem.

No more red splashes and crosses, just good classic design coupled with the tailored aesthetic Umbro have hinted at in some of their pre-launch marketing material. There’s real thought gone into this and I can’t wait to see it in action. Looks like JT is wearing white shorts with it though…interesting. Damn, I almost wish I didn’t support Scotland so that I could buy this shirt….I say ‘almost’!

What with this and whats leaked from adidas recently it looks like being a really innovative and interesting set of kits in 09-10. I’d like to hear what some of you think about the shirt.

Anyway, on to matters here…I’m still working on some new articles for the site and I hope several of them will be cropping up over the next week or so. I’ve also got some updates to the kits covered in True Colours – more rare third shirts and the odd anomaly.

Plus, VERY soon, some really exciting news for Liverpool kit fans on a project I have been working on for some time and have just been dying to tell you all about. All will be revealed soon.

34 Responses to “Almost Weekly Blog (23rd March)”

  1. amir Says:

    Well I have commented in the past about how the white shorts were creeping into the england home kit, so it’s no surprise.

    As a side issue, have you noticed that Ireland, N. Ireland, Scotland, and Wales all now have white away shirts/kits? Ireland and Scotland’s in particular are pseudo England kits with a white with blue trim shirt combined with blue shorts.

  2. John Devlin Says:

    Yes, they have played in all-white more and more frequently lately. Interesting point about the home international away shirts all being white – I hope you’re not implying they all secretly want to be England!?

  3. Rich Johnson Says:

    My first response was ‘it just looks like a t-shirt’…my 2nd was ‘there’s ‘classic / minimal’ and then there’s completely bare.

    Then i looked again…and I have to say that I absolutely love the new crest…the scroll underneath for the opposing team name looks very classy! (Makes me wonder how that’ll work on the replica kit though?) And the plain red umbro symbol looks fantastic…they’ve taken minimalism to the extreme in a deliberate attempt to say ‘we are England and don’t need any gimmicks’ and it’s growing on me by the second. Worth the build up and hype for once!

    Oh and at last they’ve finally stopped that nonsense about having ‘England’ written above the badge.

  4. John Devlin Says:

    Good point Rich – I’d missed that about ‘England’ above the badge – always thought that was a bit daft as well. The Welsh kit (up until the mid 70s) always had the opposition written and incorporated into the badge design. Makes it a bit more special doesn’t it?

  5. amir Says:

    Add to that the likelihood that red numbering will be back. Joe Cole handles a sample with a red number and samples with red numbers can be seen in the background of one of the videos released by umbro.

  6. Andrew Rockall Says:

    What a classy looking shirt, how soon before Nike/Umbro’s lawyers get that picture taken down though?

  7. Ian Says:

    Strange because I like the minimal approach but that doesn’t look right to me. I can’t quite put my finger on it but I’m sure it’ll look better in real life, so to speak.

    Good poiont made about the badge, it’ll look classy with the opposition on it but how does that work when selling the shirt?

  8. Andrew Rockall Says:

    I think you can see David James’s shirt doesn’t have the scroll beneath the badge and that is what will be on the replica shirt.

  9. John Devlin Says:

    The photos been removed from footballshirtculture now – you were spot on Andrew!

  10. Rich Johnson Says:

    Never know re the scroll, they might sell it as an option…and there’ll no doubt be special editions floating round with specific opposition in there. If you could customise it, think how many people would have Germany or Scotland etc in there.

  11. amir Says:

    This makes sense now, what with the white shorts shown.

  12. john Says:

    i agree about the ENGLAND above the badge,dont think the 3 lions needs it,everyone knows its England.Red numbers? about time too!! but it has to have navy shorts.Very nice shirt,still not a patch on the mexico86 shirt though.

  13. Rich Johnson Says:

    Yeah the 86 one was another classic…

  14. amir Says:

    Just thought I would said that we should thank FourFourTwo magazine for the leak. Must be embarrassing for such a big name to be the one to spring the leak after all umbro’s efforts.

  15. Rich Johnson Says:

    Ouch…that could cause some serious problems round 442 towers!
    Going back to the Mexico 86 shirt, the red away version of it was also great. Very red! A bit like Terry Butcher’s white one against Sweden…

  16. John Devlin Says:

    Where did you hear that 442 were responsible for the leak Amir?

  17. amir Says:
    same image used

  18. Andrew Rockall Says:

    Elaborate Spoof??

    I am wondering if Umbro are pulling a sneaky one here. The image that has now been removed is very clearly the shirt on all of their videos and on pre-release material. But what if they have done this on purpose?

    After all, the actual date the shirts go on sale is April fools day. The home shirt has previously been released much later in the month on April 23rd (St Georges Day).

    I guess we’ll find out at ten passed five on Saturday!

  19. John Devlin Says:

    Hmmm…interesting suggestion Andew – I must say the April 1st date has always jarred with me a bit. It would be an incredibly elaborate spoof though to go to all that trouble.

    I’ve been reading a few comments about the shirt on other sites and I have to confess to being amazed at some of the negative reaction the shirt has got. Some people seem to think that ‘design’ is all about adding as many flashes and shapes of colour as possible.

    I can’t wait to see the kit in action on Saturday.

  20. Rich Johnson Says:

    Same here. I read one comment that said ‘looks nice but needs some red stripes down the arm or something’…missing the point somewhat methinks.
    I agree it does look like a polo shirt, however it also looks like an uber cool minimalist piece of design. Anything more on that shirt would have completely changed the ethos of the design. There’s no point going for a classic look then adding some gimmick on top…one doesn’t take a Jaguar E Type and put a spoiler and go faster stripes on it…

  21. John Devlin Says:

    You’re spot on Rich – I was thinking about this walking into work this morning and I really do think Umbro have upped the ante when it comes to kit design with this outfit. The whole marketing and ‘hype’ (if you like that word) surrounding the kit has just enhanced it in my view and explained the origin behind the design. I’m working on an article at the moment that examines Umbro’s recent kits, packed with detail and very elaborate – the new England shirt is a real move on from this.

  22. Rich Johnson Says:

    Look forward to that. In addition, by going in such an extreme direction, it guarantees people will talk about it (lovely free publicity) and it’s definitely a love or hate kit. Trying to think when an England kit last so divided people. Ones to note were the round collared, button up Euro 88 one which just looked odd and the grey away kit of 96. And then there was the campaign to get the world cup winners star on the shirt, though the shirt it went on fades from memory.

  23. Ian Says:

    Don’t forget the reversible away shirt and, actually, come to think of it, the utterly pointless reversible home shirt. I think that was the first one with the star and it reversed from white into…… white!!

    Nice shirt though.

  24. Rich Johnson Says:

    Oh yeah…had forgotten about that one! Utterly pointless especially given that the players were never going to wear the reversed design!

  25. John Devlin Says:

    The reversible shirts were only ever produced as replicas as they were too ‘heavy’ to be worn in matches. The jerseys worn by the players were not reversible.

  26. Ian Says:

    Didn’t Man United have a gold/white reversible? They definitely wore both versions. Are you telling me that they didn’t simply turn one shirt inside out??

    Another illusion shattered then.

  27. John Devlin Says:

    Sorry Ian – yes, they definitely wore both but they were two separate sets of shirts.

  28. Denis Hurley Says:

    Interesting piece, it mentions why United sometimes wear white socks

  29. Denis Hurley Says:

    Yes Ian the player issue shirts weren’t reversible, as I remember replicas could only have numbers on one side too

  30. john Says:

    cheers denis for that link,the white socks has been bugging me for some time,thing is if white is so ‘stand out’ why not go the whole hog and wear a white kit? not exactly worked for leeds united has it?

  31. John Devlin Says:

    Its always been my suspicion that it was to do with floodlight/night games – which may have been why they favour them in the Champions League when most games are floodlit. I think a lot of it is to do with match officials – clearly differing sock colours are very important when it comes to decisions/tackles and especially offsides – that extra visibility really makes a difference. Plus there are instances of ‘lucky’ white socks. Southampton have gone through a couple of phases of changing sock colour mid-season for ‘luck’ and wasn’t it Ruud Gullit who changed Newcastle socks to white saying ‘I win things with teams who wear white socks’. I think the visibility aspect for the players is very important. Thanks for posting it Denis.

  32. john Says:

    think the england kit definateley needs navy shorts and the peeling off of the tracksuits just before the anthem was a touch too far!!

  33. Denis Hurley Says:

    I saw someone on a forum do a Photoshop job of the players in Saturday’s game with navy shorts, looked class.

    BTW, anyone seen the alternative socks? Top half red and bottom half white, look odd.

    Re Gullit changing Newcastle’s socks to white, didn’t really work did it?! Ruud also seemed to forget that the Netherlands having orange socks didn’t do them much harm in Euro 88.

  34. John Devlin Says:

    Hello Denis – yes the socks make NO sense to me at all! Going back to NUFC, I’ve got a feeling it will take more than a change of kit to save them from the drop – Shearer or no Shearer.

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