Kit Review: Top Ten Liverpool Kits

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After having professed my love for footy shirts and playing a Caesar-like thumbs up/thumbs down routine in my last post, I thought I might expound on that idea in more Liverpool-centric terms. Reference was made to two of our recent jerseys ranking among my favorites, which then raised the question (okay, ‘barely suggested’), where do the rest of them rank?

What, in my opinion, are the best-looking Liverpool kits of all-time?

While this is usually the sort of topic one might roll out in conjunction with the release of a new kit, that’s not the case here. Yes, the new third jersey will officially be released on August 16th, but we all already know what that abortion of a shirt looks like. So, ignoring that travesty, I’ll instead dedicate my Top Ten Liverpool Kits to the upcoming season.

Honorable Mention

2002-03 Away

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owenin2003away.jpg

This jersey, along with most of the ones from the 70’s, came close to cracking the Top Ten, but just couldn’t do it. I may actually like this kit more now than I did when Liverpool were actually wearing it. I flirted with the idea of buying it, but my friend Johnny had one and it wasn’t as impressive in person. In fact, just seeing it at pick-up games a twice a month was good enough for me.

However, Liverpool do look sharp in black (or even charcoal as this seemed to be) and I think it’s a color that could be utilized better in the years to come. Sadly, this season’s new black third kit was designed by a kindergartener on the wrong side of a sugar high.

#10

1989-90 Home

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hysenin89home.jpg

While this top flirted with ugly (something adidas rectified with the 1991 Arsenal away shirt), its unique pattern managed to walk on the correct side of that fine line between ‘attractive’ and’ horror show’. Yet, it holds a special place in my heart (and, hence, the Top Ten) because this jersey came out about the same time I got my introduction to Liverpool Football Club through HomeTeamSports’ weekly airings of the old English First Division.

Interestingly enough, this jersey has found new life. Adidas has reissued it upon their return as Liverpool’s kit maker. Not shockingly, you can buy it here.

#9

2004-05 Home

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The 2005 Champions League winning shirt. Winning Number 5 in this jersey made it an instant classic status. Yet, my attraction to this shirt is in its simplicity; a nod to simpler kits of the past, with a splash of white (which I’ve made my peace with) which affords it a modern uniqueness.

#8

1989-90 Away

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 beardsley89away.jpg

While the grey-ness of the kit almost disqualified it, the shiny triangular patterns capture my attention (much like a curious monkey). The red and grey contrast nicely, but I’m also a sucker for the pre-Centenary badge and the old-school adidas trefoil. It stood out nicely from the red, white and yellow kits of the 80’s.

#7

1985-86 Away

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While this is a familiar white away kit, it found its way into the Top Ten by virtue of its distinct stripes. Unlike later versions, the three red stripes don’t continue run from the neck and down the sleeve, instead stopping short, only covering the shoulder area. It also features the older ‘LFC’ badge and inlaid Liverbirds in the shirt’s vertical striping.

All things being equal, I find the ‘Candy’ shirt sponsorship to be more aethestically pleasing and would probably replace this version with the 1987 away shirt, but figured the ‘Crown Paints’ era deserved some love.

(and look, a skinny Molby!)

#6

2006-07 Home

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This kit signaled the return of adidas as Liverpool’s kit manufactor and after some spotty Reebok shirts (with one exception), it was a welcome one at that. There isn’t too much to this shirt besides a sea of red with a simple white outline of the front. Hell, I even like the collar and historically I haven’t been a fan of collars on soccer shirts. 

The familar three stripes are a welcome re-addition and hopefully suggest that history does, and will, indeed repeat itself. Depending on the outcome of this season, this kit could rocket up up the charts by next summer.

#5

1987-88 Home

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In my mind’s eye, this is THE Liverpool jersey. It’s harkens back the golden days with a legendary squad filled with names like Grobbleaar, Hansen, Barnes, Dalglish, Houghton, McMahon, Molby, Aldridge and Beardsley (Albeit, with one conspicious absence). It’s a classic shirt; simple and predominatly red with the proper amount of white.

But, since I have to include a picture of Rushie wearing the ‘Candy’ shirt, the 87-88 home shirt will have to share the honors with the 88-89 home shirt, which was the same except for the change in shirt sponsor.

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rushin88home1.jpg

#4

1982-83 Away

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The only yellow kit on the list and one of the classiest. The red pinstripes give it a phenomenal look as does the extra thick v-neck collar. I actually wish I owned this shirt and that is an oversight I will have to rectify in the near future.

I’d love to see a updated version of this kit. Granted, this was an Umbro design but surely they don’t have a trademark on pinstripes? Lose the thick red bands at the end of the sleeves, make it a crew-collar and you’re in business. Are you listening, adidas?

#3

1991-92 Away

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piechnikin93away.jpg

While I’d gladly pull on any of the shirts in the Top Ten, the degree of seperation between the last three was razor thin. Deciding the order of the Top Three was exceedingly operose.

That said, I love this shirt. Like the 82-83 shirt, it’s the only of its color to make the list. Unlike the yellow shirt, which had plenty of fetching cousins, this green kit has no chromatic equal. While I agree with the majority of Liverpool fans who rally against the green, I will defend this particular green shirt to The End.

When adidas introduced their Equipment line, I thought it was the coolest single thing since my Dad had turned me on to Led Zeppelin. I loved the asymmetry of three stripes on the shoulder, I loved the ‘new’ (at the time) adidas emblem, I even loved the ugly shade of green. And for the record, I (obviously) still love it all.

The shorts weren’t too shabby either. As a kid, I can’t tell you how much time I spent wishing I could afford to buy a pair while perusing the wares at my local soccer store.

I should point out, though, that in the picture above, Torben Piechnik is actually wearing the centenary (92-93) shirt, which differed from the previous year’s because of the revamped badge, the adidas emblem moving under the collar and Carlsberg replacing Candy as the shirt sponsor.

(Frustratingly enough, that’s the only color picture I could find of a Liverpool player wearing that green adidas equipment kit. It’s almost as if all photographic evidence of that kit has up and vanished. Maybe everybody else doesn’t care for it as much as me?)

#2

1991-92 Home

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maccain91home.jpg

I love this kit for all the same reasons as its green counterpart. But it’s red, so that gives it the edge. What an exquisite shirt.

I have a daydream that one day I’m going to come across one of these Equipment jerseys at Goodwill, which somebody would have cast aside because it’s old and ‘useless’. Sadly, that dream hasn’t become reality. I just hope it’s one with the old badge.

#1

1983-84 Home

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Despite the attachments to the fancies of my youth, this shirt (which pre-dated my fandom) etched out the red Equipment shirt for 1st place.

If its yellow companion was classy, then this shirt was fucking royalty. White pinstripes, brilliantly capped by those lines eminating from the collar? A thick v-neck collar with a thin red highlight? Gold LFC badge and Umbro emblem? This kit is an utter stroke of genius. It’s really just as simple as that.

If I had to pick one kit for Liverpool to play in for the rest of eternity, this would be it. It’s a classic, but twenty-some years later, it’s just as sharp and beautiful.

SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP KITS?

WHERE DO THESE RANK WITH YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITES?

___

Finding images and information of old shirts, especially the away kits, turned out to be an arduous task. Luckily, I came across some excellent sites that were life-savers when it came to my research. In the interest of giving credit where credit is due, I found many of the pictures and data on these kits from the following sites:

The Liverpool Shirts Museum

Liverweb

sporting-heroes.net

i asked my girl

Toffs – The Old Fashioned Football Shirt Company

LFC4EVER (German site)

And, I wish I had this book in my possession when I started to write this post. But, I’ll just have to treat myself to it at a later date.

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35 Responses to “Kit Review: Top Ten Liverpool Kits”


  1. 1 Base21 August 3, 2007 at 7:57 am

    I agree with most of your list, though me being a bit new on the supporting thing (since 1998), I guess the order of your tops top ten is original, yet for some reason I feel that there is one kit that have been missing somehow ?!!!…

  2. 2 nate August 3, 2007 at 9:38 am

    Call me old-fashioned, but nothing beats the 70s kits for me. Similar to the kit you’ve got as #1, but no stripes, and straight white for the trim instead of white with a red stripe.

    Plus, all these older shirts have the little badge with just the Liverbird instead of the huge badge Liverpool has now.

    I’ve got this shirt, without the Dalglish 7, and I wear it far too often.

    Also, I can’t believe you put that shimmering grey creation in at #8 (shudder). That one was almost as bad as the four-paneled white/green monstrosity from 94/95.

  3. 3 lingeringbursitis August 3, 2007 at 10:11 am

    Is that a Glenn Hysen sighting? Damn.

  4. 4 lingeringbursitis August 3, 2007 at 10:14 am

    This article is awesome for all the blast-from-the-past player pics: Hysen, Torben Piechnik, Barnes-y, Ronnie Whelan, Molby, Grobs, a pre-pubescent Macca, Rush, Kenny D…. nice work Sven

  5. 5 Bruce Lewin August 4, 2007 at 3:57 am

    Very well considered views… can only applaud!

  6. 6 Fluffy_Bunny August 5, 2007 at 9:41 am

    I like your list, although one of my personal favourites have to be the 2000-2001 away (the gold and navy kit).

  7. 7 Stu August 5, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    Like the list mate, well made arguments, though not sure about the 92 green away at 3, GREEN for gods sakes,,, plus the first appearance of the centenary badge was a low point for me,

    Also the 92 kit pulled to bits.. even just left in a hanger, you find one in a shop chances are it’ll be in a shocking state

  8. 8 Adam August 10, 2007 at 2:52 am

    Cannot believe your choices for numbers 2 and 3! That home shirt was by far the worst home shirt Liverpool have ever had, topped only by its bilious green counterpart! And I always hated the charcoal and grey shirt you have as an honourable mention too.. I gotta agree that the 70s kits are the ones really, the Keegan-Toshack-Heighway round neck/white liverbird at 2 and European Cup 1977 v-neck, gold liverbird/umbro Tommy Smith back of the net at number 1 for me. I also liked the 2001-02 Euro shirt that pastiched that shirt:http://cgi.ebay.ie/Squad-Signed-Liverpool-2001-02-European-Shirt-COA_W0QQitemZ220137382499QQihZ012QQcategoryZ27289QQcmdZViewItem

  9. 9 beingsven August 10, 2007 at 10:13 am

    I didn’t say my choices were rational *laugh* But I like the Equipment jerseys b/c of my attachment to them in my teens. I can make no apologies for it. Sometimes beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    I’m quite interested, as always, to hear everybody’s feedback and examples of their favorites kits. Continue to feel free to voice your opinions.

  10. 10 bryan August 11, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Man, Liverpool has had some dodgy kits over the years!

  11. 11 Johninho August 17, 2007 at 11:02 am

    I’d rock #4, that yellow pinnie with Crown Paints, in a heartbeat.

  12. 12 Dammo September 2, 2007 at 1:14 am

    Id rank your no.10 as the No.1 shirt…the 1989-91 Home shirt was the first i ever bought and is to this day my all time favourite. YOU’VE MADE A GLARING MISTAKE…THE 1995-96 AWAY GREEN AND WHITE QUARTERED JERSEY HAS TO RANK VERY HIGHLY.

  13. 13 david cassidy November 6, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    where can i get the 85/86 white liverpool{crown paints} away jersey to buy ?

  14. 14 Holvenator January 16, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Great list but one kit is missing…

    The away shirt from 2001/02, the white one with a navy stripe from the shoulder to the underarm with gold piping. Simple and beautiful!!

  15. 15 gerrardinho March 12, 2008 at 1:32 am

    where can i get 85/86 jersey..it looks nice

  16. 16 Adam April 16, 2008 at 9:40 am

    You can get hold of the shirts you can’t find on ebay quite regularly. I have seen the ’91/92 shirt still sealed.

  17. 17 Sparky September 26, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Cool list. I have to agree with No.1 …… I have the remake of this one …… not quite the same as an original from the era but nevertheless still classy. As for 2 and 3 …… you gotta be kidding me. I’d ditch these 2 and replace with your no. 4 and 5 candy and crown paints numbers…… I think your website may benefit from an update now that adidas have released the new 2008/09 kit. This I feel could make the lower margins of this list or at least an honourable mention.

  18. 18 Steve October 13, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Hi,
    I have just listed a 1991-92 Home kit on ebay. its part of a collection of old football shirts i was given recently, unfortunately the only Liverpool one. If you are interested in purchasing this contact me direct or go onto ebay – smartwebb is my user name and bid away.it’s the one with the old badge.

    Steve

  19. 19 Balazs October 22, 2008 at 10:19 am

    I’m just selling your No1 on eBay (with special 1984 Cup final embroidery). If you are quick, you can make a bid 😉

  20. 20 Nilesh November 4, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Great article, loved the commentary on each kit.

    Clearly in the minority here but I’m not a fan of the 70s kits. A bit too plain for me and the materials look horrid.

    While I wouldn’t place it at 2 or 3 I am a big fan of the first adidas Eqipment kit. I love the follow-up too:
    http://www.liverpoolkits.com/liverpool1990p1.html

    Most Reebok kits were horrible. The 2001 treble winning kit was the best closely followed by the 2005 kit but that is largely because of ‘number 5’.

    My fave of all time? 85-87 home (the one at the very top of the page).

  21. 21 shahril April 20, 2009 at 7:24 am

    i think the adidas piece, the last one b4 we changed to reebok was wicked..should include that one among the top ten..thanx

  22. 22 peter July 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    That green away was the best kit Liverpool have ever had. I had it when I was about 7 and loved it. I can’t understand why people don’t like the green kits. Come to think of it, I’ve always bought the green kits when I was a kid. If I was about 10 now I would have bought the 3rd kit last season. I think Liverpool kits just look better in green.

    Back to that green one 2nd in the list. That is the best kit because like the original poster has said, It looked stylish, almost ahead of its time. While Man Utd at that time had older versions of the adiads kits, we had this new green kit, like the home kit, it looked simple in design but I can remeber wearing it thinking how comfortable the kit was. The best things about the kit wear the 3 white diagnol adidas stipes on the shoulder with the adidas equipment logo on them. Also I think you have to mention the shorts on this kit as they were much better than the previous years with the grey kit they had a foily feel and were up thighs with them on. These green ones like the home ones felt comfy like shorts should be like.

    I loved that kit

  23. 23 good guy August 15, 2009 at 5:31 am

    i think the liverpool players make the shirts look good and liverpool fc is the best team ever

  24. 24 Hayley Mills October 5, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Hi, I want to buy a good make of either the candy home kit 1989/90 at no 10 or 1983-84 home kit at no 1 for my boyfriend. Where can I get these from? I would like the best top for him, he is a massive Liverpool fan! I like the candy one as it looks so original! I do like it a lot! But the 83-84 home one is such a classic and so classy! I don’t know what to do?

    • 26 fatin afiqah June 5, 2011 at 3:20 am

      My father having hearts cancer.I wish to find out LFC kit 1991 – 1992.No matter home (red) or green (away) but where areas can i buys this kit?Please somebody tell me where i can buys this jersy….or may be someone wants donate any LFC shirts please contact me.My email is fatin.afiqah@yahoo.com or contact my hp 014 2514013.TQ

  25. 27 Warren August 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    will gladly trade my vomit green Adidas equipment away kit circa 92 /93 ( the one with Torben Piknik’s wearing) for a gray Candy shirt, PLEASE if any one has one for sale let me know warren@triples.co.za

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