Top 10 Classic Jerseys in Football
Before we begin, a brief warning. Unless you are a level-headed football (soccer) neutral, the following article is likely to provoke spasms of pure anger. Not that we’re suggesting that football fans can’t be level headed or sensible, but…
Actually, that’s exactly what we’re suggesting.
Know this before you proceed: your team's famed footbal jersey may not feature here, and shouting at the computer screen and banging your fists on the desk will get you precisely nowhere.
So, without further ado, a brief look at the top 10 classic football jerseys in the history of the game. Our hasty office poll has spoken. Argument is futile. And yes, all of these are football jersys are from the English Premier League. Is there any other league?
10. Newcastle Utd home jersey, 1970
The magpie stripes of the North East, topped off with the plain crew neck so fashionable in those heady days of leather balls and helmet haircuts – this is the very shirt in which Bryan “Pop” Robson came close to completing a century of goals for Newcastle. If one thing lets it down, it’s the fact that the Juventus shirt of the same differed only its collar and cuffs (an ongoing problem you’d think they might have corrected by now). Points deducted for unoriginality.
9. West Ham away jersey, 1986
Spoilt ever so slightly by the whopping great AVCO across the front (no one would notice, right?), there’s something Fred Perryish about this West Ham shirt that makes it more timeless than most of the shiny rubbish that footballers wore in the 80s. While it wasn’t a great year on the pitch for the Hammers, Paul Ince will undoubtedly have this framed as the first away shirt of his professional career.
8. Manchester City away jersey, 1970
Prior to the Abu Dhabi era, Man City’s last major honour was won in this jersey, when the legendary Franny Lee thundered a penalty off Hubert Kostka’s flailing legs to secure victory over Górnik Zabrze in the 1970 European Cup Winners’ Cup final. No Frannying about – just like this iconic shirt.
7. Everton track jacket, 1984
When John Barnes skewed his shot on the Everton goal in the 1984 FA Cup Final, it’s possible he had his mind on other things – this snazzy training jacket, perhaps? As he warmed up with his Watford team mates, how could his head not have been turned as the opposition stripped from this sports casual classic in Evertonian blue? Quite frankly, we’re surprised he ever regained focus again.
6. Manchester City home jersey, 1970
The minds behind the Man City strips back in 1970 were onto something. In many ways, this is the archetypal retro football top, complete with mod-meets-pulpit 70s dog collar and shirt trimmings, let down only by the oddly centred badge. Others would do it better, but others would have to do it without Mike Summerbee parading it down the flanks at Maine Road. Happy memories (for Mancs of a certain age and regional disposition).
5. Arsenal home jersey, 1971
When Alan Ball moved from Everton to Arsenal for the record breaking transfer fee of £220,000, this is the shirt he’d have pulled on first. It’s the classic simplicity that does it for us – the two-tone stylings alined perfectly beneath that shining white crew collar. That it was the shirt in which the Gunners won a league and cup double gives it a certain two-trophy significance.
4. Chelsea home jersey, 1972
The Osgood Shirt, as Chelsea fans would know it, is a lesson in minimalism. A simple blue creation with the starred lion’s crest hanging over the left pectoral, the only downside may be that, in its lack of eye-catching detail, the lifelong Chelsea fan might be reminded of the season itself – a lesson in minimalism all of its own. Could you picture Fernando Torres scoring a goal in this jersey? Well, maybe not scoring but wearing the jersey?
3. Arsenal track jersey, 1979
It’s the Gunners again, back with a catchy blue and yellow number that kept them warm on the benches as the 70s came to an end. We’re big fans of the popped collar on this one, which looked the business as Arsenal walked out at Wembley to beat Man Utd in the 1979 FA Cup Final. Utd’s track jackets, incidentally, were nothing to write home about – those popped collars clearly gave Pat Rice and troops the psychological upper hand.
2. England away jersey, 1966
As simple as the Osgood shirt (see number 4) but with added pride and emotion, this bright red garment with three lions resplendent over the heart is the only shirt that England have won a major football tournament in, and it doesn’t look like anybody will be taking that accolade away from it anytime soon. One of the best-selling retro shirts on the market, it’s almost impossible to wear it without thinking that it might all be over (and confirming your suspicions a split second later). *Sob*.
1. QPR home jersey, 1974
Few people alive today can remember a time when QPR were cool, but fashion is a fickle mistress and the current high street trend for all things hooped and nautical means that this jersey is about as hip as it gets in the UK this season. Back in 1974, the Super Hoops were preparing for a brief spell in the sun – Dave Sexton led them to second place in the First Division the following year – though the clouds gathered again soon enough. In fact, topping this list may be the height of QPR’s achievements, so we implore you – no sniping please. Let them have their fifteen minutes under the nation’s adoring gaze.
Retro strips are available from a large number of online outfitters, but decent discounts and add-ons can often be found at Sports Direct: http://www.sportsdirect.com/football-shirts. The run on vintage QPR kits starts here!