Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Greatest England Home Kit Ever 1965-2013

So now we know. The new England home kit by Nike has been launched and whether we like it or not, we're stuck with it for a whole year. It can now take it's place alongside all the other England home kits from recent history where it can be judged on its merits and flaws...

...and that's why we're here - to determine the Greatest England Home Kit Since 1965. You'll have seen our recent posts reflecting on the high and low points of England home kit design, but now it's time for all of you to rate the very best outfit of the last 48 years.


Here's what we'd like to do. First, spend a while gazing longingly at the graphic above showing all of the last 18 England home kits (clicking on the image brings up a larger version - right-click and 'Save As' while it's on the screen to retain a full-size version).

Dwell on your initial gut reaction upon seeing them for the first time. Try not to get wrapped up in the successes or failures associated with the team wearing them - retain balance and clarity as you weigh up the virtues of each design, for it's the design we'd like you to think about here.

Once you've done all that, arrive at an answer to the following question:

Which is your favourite England home kit since 1965?

When you think you're certain in your judgement, use the form below to register your vote. It's as simple as that.

We'll run our poll from now until midnight on 30 June 2013, after which we'll get to find out which England home kit is the best that's been worn for very nearly half a century.

Thanks in advance for taking part, and please feel free to comment on any of the kits shown in the graphic above.

UPDATE:

This poll has now CLOSED. Many thanks to all of you that took part in the voting.

Want to know which kit was voted the best? Visit our results page and find out!

36 comments:

  1. I had to vote B. Kevin Keegan's looping header at Wembley v Italy, Peter Barnes bamboozling Gentile down the wing... (actually, he was hacked to pieces, but it sounds better)... it was the first England game I ever saw. *That* is my England kit and all subsequent ones are pale imitations. Sadly, never revived in 'retro' form.

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    1. Thanks for telling us about your thought process, Matthew!

      It's certainly a great kit. Not revived in retro form yet, but I suspect it won't be long... :)

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    2. i vote b , i had the away version but for me the home shirt was my favourite

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    3. The red away version was pretty special too though, eh Alun? :)

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  2. Like Matthew, I was so close to voting for B, my first England game was Italy too. I found Shirt C in the sea while on holiday in Wales, that was very nearly my choice. As was F because of Italia 90 and how close we got to the final, but it had to be K, I really liked that kit, the red stripe made the team stand out and us England fans look cooler and for some reason it even made the "thickest" plastic chair thrower to look somewhat human.

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  3. I chose B too. The Admiral shirts are much sharper and colourful than the others IMHO.

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    1. Admiral shirts had a weird pull on me... I'm a Manchester City fan, so I hate Man Utd and Leeds... yet I still had a sneaking jealousy of their Admiral kits... wished City had had one, with the stripes on the collar...

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    2. I think I'll have a go at creating one of our 'Kits That Never Were' to that end, Matthew. If you keep a close watch on our Facebook page over the next few weeks, you might just see what that Man City Admiral kit might have looked like... :)

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  4. I find it quite funny how so many people like the Admiral ones, yet if you asked people to design their perfect England kit, it would never in a million years look like that. Royal blue shorts? There was an outcry when we had those in 2011...
    Despite being slated (and compared to Germany...or any other white shirt with a dark collar...like...oooh England in 1988 then), the latest Nike shirt is probably the most traditional we've had for years!
    Anyway...D gets my vote. It was nearly E, but the trad V neck of D just edges it.

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    1. I LOVED that E kit when it was worn at the time and still like it now... but that D kit... NO, NO, NO! :)

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    2. Go to bed Chris, you're obviously very tired... ;-)

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  5. Kit 0 - without a doubt. The thought process behind the kit and the sheer bravery to bring out such a classic, tailored and strong look ensured Umbro's legendary status in my opinion. It re-wrote the rules of kit design and its impact is still seen around the football world today.

    Although I am a fan of Admiral kits they are really 'of their time' and I don't believe stand up today. They are more colourful true (is that really a requirement of an England kit though), but sharper? Thats up for debate.

    If you don't think Kit 0 is the greatest England kit ever I will fight you ;-)

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    1. Bring it on John! You're a big man, but you're out of shape!
      No wait....that's me ;-)

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    2. I have to say John, I also voted for O, and not just because you're threatening physical violence against us!!

      I also feel the plain white from top to toe was a brilliant idea and was a refreshing change from some of the misjudged 'flash' kits some teams have worn.

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    3. Ha! Rich, I am a big man AND out of shape! Chris, totally agree. Thats what made it so special. It also held the door open for a next design that refreshed the look further by returning to navy. That didn't happen though. I think a new kit should be different from the previous in order to give some essence of 'value for money' (which is why I like the new Nike kit) but also remains true to the spirit and essence of the team/club.

      Yes - apologies to Ron Burgundy for the last line in my original comment!

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  6. C - a victory for style over substance. Well, we weren't very good back then, eh? Not that England are world beaters now, but with the new Nike kit, who knows?

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    1. Not sure I'd completely agree with you that we weren't very good back then, Anonymous, but we weren't at our peak, certainly!

      Definitely a degree of style about C, although back then (as a kid) I remember thinking the styling wasn't quite on a par with Adidas. Luckily my adult eyes are more sympathetic about such an iconic design... :)

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  7. A - its the only one we have ever won a tournament in!

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    1. 'So far' David... so far... :)

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  8. For me it will always be the Italia 90 kit. One of the first football shirts I ever had (the first being Saints pin-striped Hummel number), but it's not the shirt it's the memories of the first world cup I ever watched. Still remember the ecstasy of Platt's goal against Belgium and the agony of Waddle's penalty.

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    1. Hi Row Z! My 19-year-old-self couldn't help but feel that kit was a bit cheap-looking compared to some of the kits other countries were wearing at the time. Sadly, it doesn't seem to have improved with age as far as I'm concerned. Wish I could be more positive! :)

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  9. There are so many John Barnes debut reasons I'd like to say D, and Robson' 1990 absence through injury makes F appealing too but, it really needs to be B as both home and away kits were beautiful. There aren't enough stripes on sleeves any more.

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    1. True enough, putajumperon - well said! :)

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  10. How about doing a vote for the away kits too?

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    1. Hi Rob... Hopefully one day that'll happen, but it might take me a while to create all the illustrations! All those home kits took me a couple of months, on and off!

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    2. Chris, I you did an amazing job, I didn't realise that you had done them yourself. Cracking job on the details such as numbers increasing for the later kits. And the hairstyles too; are the players supposed to be specific players because it sure looks like it?
      Perhaps we could see who can pick out all the players.

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    3. Yep - cards on the table, Rob - I did all the illustrations! I'm grateful for your kind words and the fact that you noticed the small details.

      My aim was to make each player look like he was from a particular era. The easiest way to do that was to trace the hairline from a real player, naturally enough, so you're right to think that those hairstyles are 'real'!

      I can't remember all of the players I traced, but I think I can recall most of them. Feel free to have a guess at a few! :)

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  11. Hate to realise I'm such a conservative but it can only be A. The others are variations, A is correct. Also red has no place on an England kit.

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    1. Oh but think of the flag, Geoff... surely one could argue there's no navy blue on the cross of St. George?! ;-)

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    2. Ha ha, true but then there's no white on the German flag but would you like to see them in orange, black and red? White and red means Poland and Boniek!

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  12. TivertonHornet26 May 2013 at 15:43

    It has to be C for me what a retro kit. Spain 82 my favourite world cup. Keegan, Robson, Brooking, Mariner, Butcher. Wilkins, Hoddle. Happy days apart from not progressing even though we didnt lose a match.

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    1. Happy memories for me too, Tiverton Hornet... :)

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  13. Another vote from a Scotland fan for A. This is not (just) because my first England v Scotland match was 1975 when, as a wide-eyed 8 year old, I watched the Admiral clad English gub us at Wembley.

    For a Scot, the obvious 'red, white and blue' references to the Union Jack of the Admiral kits were too much to take, and certainly at that point the Union flag was far more evident amongst England fans than the Cross of St George's.

    On a personal level, I was also turned off by the poor quality of aspects of the replica kits my English friends wore. My Scotland shirt sported an embroidered badge, although not exactly that which appeared on the players' versions. England strips however had a sticker planked on the front and worse was to come with the 81 kit which appeared to have the badge drawn on in marker pen.

    As with the pre-logo Scotland strips I had just missed, the classic strip represents a point of nostalgic purity.

    Of the later kits, I have a liking for the 1990 shirt and a respect for the design of Umbro's shirts from 2000 onwards, especially the 2006 and 2008 shirts.

    The Nike kit, whilst it would seem to be a tribute to the simplicity of classic kit, spoils that reference by its crude navy blue collar, whilst offering little design to make it worthy of consideration as a modern classic.

    And the numbers are the wrong colour!

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    1. Hi Keir... It's a fascinating debate re: the use of colours from the national flag. I think many of us have fallen into the trap of thinking the England kit ought to have white and red most predominantly, and yet Spain's kit doesn't feature red and yellow only... and let's not even think about the Italy or Netherlands kit!

      Personally I'm all for simplicity of design for football kits, but a new one should offer something distinctive or original. Though smart, this new Nike home kit doesn't excite me because there's nothing eye-catching about it. A shame, but there it is...

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  14. A is sort of beyond rating for me - kits prior to the early-mid 70s almost don't count as 'kit' in any modern sense - they actually were 'equipment'. Certainly no-one would have called it 'minimal design' then! Beautiful in the pictures still, but I can't vote for it...

    C will always have a soft spot in my heart as the most colourful and unique, if slightly barmy (in a good way, as opposed to say, the 3 lions 1994 pale blue 3rd kit monstrosity). I have/had always thought England looked smarter in navy shorts though, and for many years D was my favourite (the mexico 'airtex' version). I remember being appalled when E replaced it, with the fancy-dan popper-stud collar, but in recent years I've warmed to that one, maybe even preferred it. The Italia 90 kit has not worn well, and I can't say I really liked any of them after that until O, for many of the reasons John Devlin stated. If it had had the royal blue shorts of P, which I found myself liking against all preconception, I might have gone for it too. Q broke Umbro's decent run though - I really disliked it, and the new Nike one is OK in a J way - doing everything right but unspectacularly.

    After all of which, I still haven't decided which to vote for.

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    1. Thanks for your well-thought through comments, Jevon. Just what we like to see!

      Fair point about A. Those pre-70's kits are almost too basic to be considered fashionable!

      Agreed - navy shorts are certainly very smart, although the white shorts of O make for a very clean look too.

      Ah, that E kit... I remember seeing the kit launch on John Craven's Newsround... I thought it was the bees' knees back then and still do! :)

      I've said it before and I'll say it again - that World Cup 90 kit just looked plain boring to me. The fact that England reached the last four in 1990 doesn't make it a classic in my book!!

      Also agreed on the last point about the new kit. Smart but unspectacular...

      You mean you *still* haven't picked one, Jevon?!!! ;-)

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