Historical Football Kits


Influential and Classic Football Kits

Here is my personal selection of the most elegant, influential and innovative football kits of all time. To view the complete gallery for each club just click on the club name. If you want to nominate a kit yourself to be included here just email me your suggestion with no more than 35 words explaining why your nomination should be included.

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<<Arsenal 1934

Legend has it that Herbert Chapman designed the classic Arsenal kit after seeing a groundsman working in a sleeveless pullover. The contrasting sleeves and stocking hoops would make players easier to pick out on the pitch.

<<Arsenal 1967

After a brief flirtation with plain red shirts, Arsenal returned to tradition with this simple combination, incorporating a badge representing a field gun. Shirt sponsorship was firmly resisted until 1981-82.

aston villa 1890

<<Aston Villa 1890

This combination of claret and light blue shirts with hooped trim at the neck was worn by the all-conquering Villa side of the late nineteenth century and was adopted by many English clubs seeking to emulate their success.

Aston Villa 1969>>

When Tommy Docherty designed this kit, 70 odd years of tradition went out of the window. This style of shirt collars had appeared in the late 1950s but not caught on but within two seasons they became almost universal.

Birmingham City 1971>>

Well loved by Birmingham fans, this kit was dubbed the "penguin strip" and has been revived in various forms several times.



Blackburn Rovers 1884>>

Rovers won the FA Cup five times in six appearances wearing Cambridge blue and white. Perhaps it is because the club ran out of steam as the game became established that their halved shirts were not widely copied.

<<Blackpool 1953

In 1953 Blackpool won the FA Cup in their third post-war final appearance, beating Bolton 4-3 in a dramatic match, which has become known as the Stanley Matthews Final.


<<Bristol Rovers 1931

In 1931 Rovers manager decided to adopt quartered shirts in the belief that these would make the players appear bigger. Apart from a period in the 1960s, Rovers have worn quartered shirts ever since.

<<Carlisle United 1974

This remote Cumbrian club spent a single season in the First Division wearing this elegant design. Relegation marked a return to lower division obscurity.



Charlton Athletic 1964>>

Charlton have generally worn plain red shirts and white shorts but in the mid-Sixties, they adopted this elegant white kit with red shoulders.


Chelsea 1964>>

The Sixties saw Chelsea transformed from a music hall joke to the most fashionable club in England. This is the first of the classic Chelsea blue kits set off by white stockings.


chelsea 1964

Coventry City 1962>>

Coventry were a mediocre club lacking ambition until Jimmy Hill contrived the "Sky Blue Revolution" and transformed the club. This kit, introduced by Hill, was one of the first matching shirt and shorts combinations.

<<Crystal Palace 1969

In the late 1960s Palace made their first appearance in the First Division, wearing this unusual variation on their then traditional claret and blue colours with gold trimmings.


<<Crystal Palace 1976

Remember the Malcom Allison era and the incredible FA Cup run of 1976 with this elegant white kit, enriched with the distinctive red&blue sash? For most Palace fans this is THE strip.

Riccardo Bertani

<<Everton 1968

Everton have worn plain royal blue shirts since 1901. This classic, simple kit, featuring a white crew neck and blue cuffs was worn when the club won the League Championship for the seventh time.


Huddersfield Town 1925>>

Under the management of Herbert Chapman, Huddersfield won the FA Cup and a hat-trick of league championships in the early 1920s wearing this classic blue and white striped kit.

Ipswich Town 1957>>

In 1961 Ipswich, relative newcomers to the League, were promoted to the First Division and the following season they won the championship. This blue and white kit is associated with Ipswich's first success.


Leeds United 1961>>

In 1961 Don Revie ditched Leeds' traditional colours in favour of Real Madrid's all-white kit. Regarded as an act of hubris at the time, Revie's side challenged the finest in Europe.


<<Liverpool 1964

In 1964 the legendary Bill Shankly introduced the first all-red Liverpool kit. This marked the beginning of Liverpool's golden age and a revolution in kit design as clubs rushed to copy Liverpool's matching shirt and shorts.

<<Manchester United 1965

After the the tragedy of Munich, Matt Busby built a side that would capture the spirit of the Sixties featuring Charlton, Law and Best. This simple classic kit is forever associated with this team.

<<Middlesbrough 1974

Middlesbrough have always been the poor relations of Sunderland and Newcastle in the fervent north-east. Jack Charlton's mid-seventies side challenged the staus quo in this iconic strip, which has been revived several times.

Newcastle United 1969>>

Toon have consistently failed to live up to the expectations of their passionate Geordie fans since the 1950s. This elegant kit was worn when the club won the Inter-City Fairs Cup in 1969, their last major honour.

Northampton Town 1965>>

In the 1960s, the humble Cobblers shot from the Fourth Division to the First - and made the return journey just as fast. This attractive kit was worn when the club were at their zenith and has been revived several times.

Nottingham Forest 1977>>

Despite a pedigree going back to 1865, Forest had only two senior honours until Brian Clough and Peter Taylor arrived. This classic adidas kit was worn when the club enjoyed its golden age.


<<Oldham Athletic 1962

Oldham have never threatened to set the world on fire but for more than thirty years they wore this distinctive strip. Imitated by several clubs, this remains the definitive Oldham kit.

plymouth argyle 1965

<<Plymouth Argyle 1965

Argyle's green, white and black colours are truly distinctive and have never been shown off as elegantly as this superb kit worn in the 1960s.


<<Portsmouth 1954

In 1954 Portsmouth adopted bright red stockings to offset their traditional blue shirts and white shorts. This colour scheme has continued to this day and represents the town's association with the armed forces.


Preston North End 1888>>

"Proud Preston" won the first League championship undefeated and the FA Cup without conceding a goal. Their simple white shirts and navy shorts are one of the most popular combinations in the game.

Queens Park Rangers 1963>>

QPR and Reading are the only League clubs that have worn hooped shirts for a substantial part of their career. Rangers' 1960s broad hoops remain the definitive design from a period when the club enjoyed most success.

Sunderland 1978>>

Sunderland have worn red and white striped shirts since 1893. The white turnover on the stockings has been a signature of their kits for much of this time.



sunderland 1978

<<Swansea City 1981

The all-white kit may be associated with Real Madrid and Leeds United but it is humble Swansea who have worn this simple combination throughout their career. This version was worn when the club played in the First Division.

<<Tottenham Hotspur 1980

Spurs have worn plain white shirts and dark blue shorts for most of their career and have been among the most innovative of clubs in adopting new fashions. This 1981 kit is perhaps their most elegant.

<<West Bromwich Albion 1969

West Brom's navy and white stripes are unique in the Football League. The introduction of white sleeves in the 1960s produced this innovative and attractive kit.


West Ham United 1969>>

The Hammers enjoy a reputation for attractive football and supplied three players to the 1966 England World Cup winning side. The shorts were put on just before the players ran onto the pitch so they would always be immaculate.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1946>>

After wearing stripes for much of their early career, Wolves adopted their classic plain old gold shirts and black shorts in the 1930s. This dark shade was worn until 1954.

AFC Bournemouth>>

Introduced in 1970, Bournemouth wore the AC Milan stripes on John Bond's insistance. This classic style is still favoured by Bournemouth fans today. The Cherries are the only club who currently wear this design.
Gavin Meaden

<<Leyton Orient 1977

The braces kit is associated by O’s fans with the club’s most successful period in the late 70’s, when the team reached the 1978 FA Cup semi final.

Steve Dixon

<<Hibernian 1972

Hibs added contrasting white sleeves to their traditional green shirts in 1938. This classic version from the 1970s "Turnbull's Tornados" side was actually a revival of the kit won in the mid 1960s.

Fraser Pettigrew

<<Celtic 1967

The magnificent "Lisbon Lions" side, all of whom were born within 30 miles of Glasgow, became the first British club to win the European Cup. This superb kit sets the standard against which all Celtic strips are measured.


Wolves 1996>>

This is the best football shirt ever, well it's certainly the cleverest. The old gold part of the shirt is the Wolves' badge. Some fans hated the fact it moved away from tradition but I love it!

David King

Tottenham Hotspur 1982 >>

The centenary shirt, with shadow stripe was the first modern kit. Whether you love it or hate it it is the most influential kit ever. Designed to look good under the lights, and on TV.

John Lovett


Wigan Athletic 1995>>

This kit saw the start of Wigan's rapid rise up the Football League. It was the first time green had been used as the third colour in the home kit and it worked well.

Tom Darbyshire


<<Civil Service 1893

A highly influential club in the early development and export of the game, the Civil Service club wore this design in 1893, later adopted by Stockport, Coventry, Oldham and Hartlepool and Birmingham

<<Ipswich Town 1982

After winning the UEFA Cup, Bobby Robson's entertaining side wore this classy, pinstriped kit the following season, finishing runners-up in the league. A fondly remembered design of the 1980s.

Kuen-Wah Cheung

Falkirk 1991 kit

<<Falkirk 1991

This Hummel outfit was a favourite with Bairns' fans mainly due to the design, which echoed the Steeple, a local landmark featured in the club crest.

William Mohiedeen

luton town 1974

Luton Town 1974

The most exciting kit I ever got was the Luton orange design of the early 70's. Now I'm from Carlisle and Carlisle's (kit from their) First Division days was in my closet too but the Luton top was the best of the Admiral crop!

Trevor Taylor

cardiff city 1975-77

Cardiff City 1975

This very distinctive Umbro kit is by far the most popular kit we have worn. Repeated requests to the Board to use the design once again have sadly fallen on deaf ears for 2010-2011. We live in hope that it will re-appear.

Steve Perry

plymouth argyle classic kit 1965

Plymouth Argyle 1965

I have watched football for over 50 years and this kit is by far the best worn by an opposing team against Cardiff City.

Steve Perry

Hearts 1958

Hearts were not the first to sport the flappy collar with v inset but they did continue to wear this style through much of the 60s, long before it became back into fashion.

Lachlan Gow

hearts 1958-59

Bristol Rovers 1974

Rovers' visits to Plymouth always left their mark on me as an 11 year old boywhen they ran out wearing this striking but simple blue & white kit.

John Creber


bristol rovers1974 kit