There’s the classic football shirts, we’re talking the original bruised banana kit from Arsenal’s 1991/92 Away offering, the endlessly iconic 1966 England World Cup strip. Football shirts that are delightfully retro, instantly recognisable and can be worn today without so much as a sideways glance in the pub.
Time changes everything and players are bought and sold - but the trends that made their way onto these shirts will stick in our minds forever.
Manchester United 1993/94 Third Shirt
Ok, it’s understandable that the club wanted to hint to the team’s Newton Heath history with a retro man utd shirt - inspired for the 1993-94 third kit, but why exactly did Sir Alex approve a photoshoot of the entire squad wearing fake moustaches again? Even though the humour was on point, it doesn’t make the shirts less unappealing.
Tottenham 2009/10 Home Shirt
At first, we weren’t sure whether Tottenham had come to play football or take the bins out. The neon glow of this bright yellow-detailed shirts might be better for nighttime cycling or conducting air traffic - and that’s not even mentioning the randomly incorporated false V-neck. Trying to follow the players around this pitch became an actual chore in these eyesores.
Reggina 2012/13 Kit
Probably the most bizarre shirt choice in football history. In the 2012/13 season, Serie B side Reggina had a triad of shirts emblazoned with… a male torso? Supposedly, the shirts were meant to represent the region’s Greek heritage for their ‘Reggio di Calabria’ derby game against Crotone. At least it’s one way of getting around a yellow card.
Liverpool 2017/18 Away Shirt
Let’s be honest, there have been a fair few retro Liverpool shirts that could have made this list. The first flaw with the 2017/18 away offering is picking bright orange with a club that traditionally favours red, needless to say football fans didn’t forget that one quickly. But the second is that the Goal keeper kit was bright green, it’s hard to tell whether the club were trying to embarrass the players, or to make them stand out against their opponents in the hope of some more accurate passing statistics. Either way, the club went on to achieve greatness after this kit passed.
Juventus 2011/12 Away Shirt
The problem isn’t that it’s bright pink. Pink can work, look at Barcelona’s 2020/21 third shirt, but the obnoxious shade paired with the strange different in typeface from the names on the back to the numbers underneath is just odd. In a similar vein, the huge star replacing the shirts third star (which is controversial anyway) was definitely a design choice that could have been left at home - keep to the stripes please, Juventus.
Ajax 1989/90 Away Shirt
Known in the Netherlands as ‘De Godenzonen’ (that’s ‘Son of Gods’), Ajax’s 1989/90 season away shirts were more of an unholy concoction of colour and pattern. No one needs their shirts to be that busy and why were there straight horizontal pinstripes on the blue section? This shirt brings up more questions than it needs to.
There are the worst football shirts of all time, even if you’re a fan of one of the unfortunately dressed teams, you have to admit that some shirt choices should remain forgotten about. To find a vintage football shirt that isn’t a visual blight, have a look at our selection of our retro football shirts.