The 90s, without doubt one of league football’s vintage decades. The inception of the Premier League, Cantona’s infamous altercation with the Palace fan, Tony Yeboah briefly setting the world alight with those volleys then everyone realising that other than his rock hard shot he was a bit shit. Ryan Giggs scoring that wonder goal against Arsenal in the 98 FA Cup Semi’s and new, soulless all-seater stadiums being constructed in the most rundown locations imaginable. All of the above proved to be key elements of what went on to make the 90s a vintage era for English football.
All well and good, but the one thing I’ve so far failed to mention is the how the 90s became renowned for an array of fashion abominations otherwise known as, the replica kit.
That’s right, this vintage decade saw the birth of the synthetic footballing jersey, featuring designs more accustomed to a night on the rave, than a game of professional football. The sight of supporters practically clambering over each other to fork out 50 quid of their hard earn cash on that particular seasons dross.
Although having said, there’s something I find quite comforting and reassuring about a shit football kit, a reminder of my youth perhaps. They were lurid, they were loathsome and they were laughable. Here’s to the decade where football fashion went cuckoo.
1. Hull City – Home Kit (92-93)
Kit Manufacturers ‘Matchwinner’ (ironic seeing as the team were struggling at the bottom of the football league at this point) took the clubs ‘Tigers’ nickname very literally to produce a kit resembling the interior decor of Stringfellows gentleman’s club.
2. Huddersfield Town – Away Kit (91-92)
”Right lads, I was speaking to my mate down the pub and he reckons tie-dyed shirts are all the rage this year, oh and he’s secured us a deal with one of the leading UK’s sportswear manufacturers”
3. Sunderland – Home Goalkeeper Kit (94 – 96)
I’m sure Alec Chamberlain & Tony Norman had more than enough to worry about behind Sunderland’s shaky 94/95 backline, without having to don this horrendous excuse of a kit every Saturday.
4. Celtic – Away Kit (91-92)
Celtics ‘Peoples’ Away kit from the 91-92 season seemingly took its inspiration from those sweet shop favourites ‘chocolate limes’.
5. Scunthorpe United – Away Kit (94-95)
What’s worse than a really pap kit, a pap kit twinned with a god awful sponsor. The Irons 1994 Away kit was sponsored by the local theme park ‘Pleasure Island’ in neighbouring Cleethorpes. Safe to say it only lasted the one season.
6. Brighton & Hove Albion – Away Kit (90-91)
Next up it’s this Seagul’s shirt that looks like someones regurgated strawberry Cornetto on it. Oh and just when it couldn’t get much worse their sponsors were ‘NOBO’.
7. Manchester United – Away Kit (92-93)
You would think with United’s budget and a decent kit manufacturer in Umbro, they might have been able to come up with something better than this monstrosity. Does anyone remember how shinny it was?
8. Dundee United – Away Kit (93-94)
The Dundee United board decided to go all Gerald Scarfe on us back in 93 and ended up with this sorry mess.
9. England – Goalkeeper’s shirt (Euro 96)
This one has always made me smile. I reckon big Dave Seaman’s a man of simple pleasures (and clobber for that matter). Can you imagine his reaction when he found out this would be the home goalkeeping shirt for the ensuing tournament.
10. Greenock Morton – Home Kit (93-94)
We conclude with lowly Greenock Morton, proving that you cannot stereotype the Scots … oh hang on. Another kit from the guys over at ‘Matchwinner’, which meant only one thing of course … relegation.