We delve into England’s kit history to pick out the very best home and away shirts to piece together our very own top 10 countdown!
Posing as one of the most iconic teams within international football, the ‘Three Lions’ of England have notoriously possessed numerous shirts both of graceful elegance and striking boldness. After careful consideration, here’s our top 10 countdown:
10) World Cup 2002 Away – The moment England and David Beckham gained revenge on their Argentinian rivals. Four years prior saw England’s number seven sent off for a stray kick at Diego Simeone, however the set-piece specialist kept his calm to smash a penalty past Pablo Cavallero which helped to knock-out the South Americans. Beckham and his team-mates wore a striking yet trademark Umbro away shirt of rich red covering its entirety, whilst white and blue trim at the v-neck collar provided the flag-inspired theme.
9) Euro 1980 Home – Although failing to qualify for the knock-out stages of the tournament, which only offered two points for a win, England’s Admiral manufactured home shirt featured a slick block design of red and blue at the shoulders whilst a deep v-neck collar exposed the chests of Three Lions talents such as Kevin Keegan, Glenn Hoddle, and Ray Wilkins.
8) World Cup 2014 Home – England’s 2014 World Cup home shirt proved a significant one, seeing Nike not only handed the reigns as official kit manufacturers however also designing the 150th anniversary shirt. The outcome was a truly elegant shirt of pure white simplicity with navy blue trim, albeit possessing a slight West Germany 1966 look to it.
7) World Cup 1998 Away – The arrival of David Beckham. An absolute trademark freekick against Colombia, whipping the ball into the left-hand side of the goal and rippling the net, before ecstatically running towards the corner flag in a truly breathtaking Umbro away shirt of two-tone red stripes. A stylish polo-neck collar also featured, with central Umbro branding and a bold Three Lions crest proudly posing below.
6) Euro 2000 Home – An Umbro home shirt never to be forgotten through its simplistic class is matched by a Phil Neville moment of which again will prove hard to forget for fanatic Three Lions fans. The crystal white shirt, flaunting embossed hoops at the mid-panel, with matching crew-neck and sleeve cuff detailing of navy blue was prematurely eliminated from Euro 2000 after Manchester United’s Phil Neville eagerly went to ground on Romania’s Viorel Moldovan and subsequently conceded a penalty, of which was converted, and saw England crashing out of the competition.
5) World Cup 1990 Home & Away – Arguably England’s best chance at once again holding aloft the World Cup trophy after their 1966 triumph came in Italia ’90, which saw the team adorn the crisp Italian pitches wearing truly dazzling home and away shirts composed by Umbro. Although differing in terms of colour through a white home and sky blue away visual, both editions featured a striking geometric pattern across their entirety of which remains a much loved and worn shirt today. Unfortunately for Stuart Pierce and Chris Waddle, both players missed crucial penalties in England’s Semi-Final shoot-out against arch rivals West Germany. Cue heartache.
4) World Cup 2002 Home – Up stepped that man once again, David Beckham, with his wand of a right foot that could open a tin of beans. With 93′ minutes on the clock in England’s World Cup qualifier against Greece and the score at 1-2, Beckham was handed his bread and butter moment of a central free-kick with England needing an equaliser to qualify above rivals Germany. Several steps were taken back before ‘Becks’ wrapped the ball from right to left and into the top left corner which saw Old Trafford ignite into rapture as England players in white Umbro home shirts with a single off-centre red stripe ran towards to crowd to celebrate.
3) Euro 1996 Home & Away – Without doubt one of the Three Lions most iconic moments came within Euro 1996 on home soil which saw star-man Paul Gascoigne embarrass Scotland’s Colin Hendry by audaciously flicking the ball over the defender’s head, leaving him on all-fours, and emphatically volleying the ball into the net before demonstrating his infamous ‘Dentist Chair’ celebration. Both the England home and away shirts featured a powerful Umbro kit design of white and grey respectively however whilst the former provided a magical ‘Gazza’ moment, the latter was the shirt worn in the team’s Semi-Final penalty shoot-out against Germany seeing Gareth Southgate’s shot saved by Andreas Köpke and England eliminated.
2) World Cup 1998 Home – At the age of just 18 years old, the small in stature yet big in talent striker Michael Owen hit the headlines through his Round of 16 performance against Argentina which saw the premature player tear up the South American defence to win a penalty, which Alan Shearer scored, before venturing on another dazzling run ghosting past two defenders and firing the ball past Carlos Roa. The home shirt worn was a beautiful Umbro design of traditional white which featured large panels of navy blue and red at the flanks, complemented by a matching polo-neck collar with St. George’s cross detailing.
1) World Cup 1966 Away – No other England shirt could take our top spot away from the glorious 1966 World Cup winning edition which saw the Three Lions triumph over arch-rivals West Germany 4-2 in a dramatic extra-time exhibition. A stunning full red display was simply granted an England crest upon the heart region for simplistic elegance of which has seen Sir Geoff Hurst’ iconic hat-trick shirt possess a staggering valuation of over £2million. The picture of the great Sir Bobby Moore holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy will forever be etched into the football history books.
Posted on May 17, 2016