The Best Choices for Football Shirt Friday

Eden Hazard for Belgium |
 © Hollandse Hoogte/REX/Shutterstock (7429185az)
Eden Hazard for Belgium | © Hollandse Hoogte/REX/Shutterstock (7429185az)
Photo of Luke Bradshaw
Sports Editor3 May 2017

Friday 28th April sees the return of Football Shirt Friday, so Culture Trip picked some of the possible options.

The campaign, now in it’s fifth year, is held annually in association with the Bobby Moore Fund, with people wearing football shirts to work for one day to help raise awareness. The Bobby Moore Fund raises money for Cancer Research UK and was set up by Stephanie Moore MBE, Bobby’s widow, in memory of her husband, the former England captain and World Cup winner.

Set up in 1993, the fund helps raise money for bowel cancer research. Since the fund’s inception it has raised over £23 million while the mortality rates for bowel cancer have dropped by 30 percent. It’s a fantastic cause, and it’s not often you get to wear footy kit into the office so it’s important choose wisely.

Connoisseurs will head back 40 years, opting for classic cotton numbers, block colours and tight fitting crew necks. Think Carlos Alberto in that incredible Brazil shirt from 1970, or the red away shirt that Bobby Moore himself wore when lifting the 1966 World Cup. What about the 1990s? Gazza from Italia ’90, or the tangerine/graphite number that Chelsea forced Rudd Gullit to wear in 1995? Maybe not…

Below is something for everyone, some old and some (sort of) new.

1970s

If you are actually going to wear a football shirt in the office, heading back to the ’70s and earlier ensures some cotton comfort. The vast majority are simple, elegant and understated; it’s the era that fans can associate Pele, Johan Cruyff and Gerd Muller with. That said, there were sides at the time that offered a little more in the way of colour, and you can always count on the defunct North American Soccer League if your tastes are somewhat more eclectic.

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Arsenal
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Fluminense
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Chicago Sting
Johan Cruyff prematch for the Netherlands. | © wikipedia.org

1980s

When the ’80s arrived, certainly to begin with, block colours and simple designs remained, only with a lot more pinstripe and polyester. Manufacturers started dipping their toes into the creative pool, but only just (see the pattern on the shoulders of Barcelona’s 1986 offering below), but also started adding their own logo to sit alongside club crests.

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Barcelona
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Liverpool
Paolo Maldini for Italy | © wikimedia.commons
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Sampdoria

1990s

Too many raves and pills? The decade that saw football explode in terms of business and revenue also saw some outlandish, frankly disgusting, designs. Goalkeeper tops were particularly bad, and yet, with 20 years of nostalgia bedding in, they’ve come right around. Expect to find a small section dedicated to said kits in most vintage shops today.

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West Germany
Gabriel Batistuta for Fiorentina. | © Classic Football Shirts
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Norwich
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Croatia

2000s

It took some time, but after the 1990s everybody calmed down a bit and started thinking about designing kits people may actually want to wear. Either that, or the sheer number that manufacturers needed to churn out meant they simply couldn’t be bothered to put in the same effort. Everything has been stripped back, which must surely mean that we’re heading for kaleidoscopic psychedelia all over again … that’s how this works, right?

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St Pauli
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France
Lille | © Classic Football Shirts
Eden Hazard for Belgium | © Hollandse Hoogte/REX/Shutterstock (7429185az)

Get the shirts.

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