TOP 10 | Greatest Ever Premier League Shirts
(Posted on 16/08/17)
The Premier League this week celebrated its 25th season and to mark the occasion, VFS has been taking a look at both the best and worst of the most popular league in the world.
Today, we take a look at the top ten greatest shirts worn over the last quarter of a decade from United’s treble to underdogs Blackburn.
In 2005/06 Arsenal finally waved goodbye to their home after nearly a century, Highbury. What was to come was a multi-million pound super stadium but the Gunners would have one final year at their soon to be former ground. They commemorated the flats stadium with their simple alteration to the badge with ‘Highbury 1913-2006’ on a new-look redcurrant base. The Nike design along with the iconic O2 sponsor on the front will be remembered for some time, partially due to the final game of the season at Highbury where Thierry Henry, whilst wearing this shirt, scored a hatrick during the final game. The end of an era and a fitting tribute to a historic ground.
One of the United Kingdom’s most traditional and historic clubs, Nottingham Forest were one of the original Premier League clubs. Now playing in the second tier and having previously dropped to the third, they’ve got top flight pedigree running through the veins of the club. This home shirt from 1992/94 was a work of art, with a large crest and smart Umbro design, the thin white stripes are so simple but makes it stand out from the crowd. The collar blends in nicely with the rest of the shirt whilst the sponsor is white and doesn’t overrule the shirt. Having the likes of Stan Collymore, Roy Keane, Stuart Pearce and Steve Stone wearing it also helps.
A superbly simple adidas design, this shirt will always go down as one of the Premier League’s greatest. The iconic Holston sponsor on the front gives away the teams identity straight away whilst the old badge looks great. Although a bold collar, the dark navy compliments the rest of the shirt whilst the classic adidas stripes look superb on a white base. Spurs finished mid-table in both seasons wearing this shirt whilst they were knocked out of the FA Cup in the Semi-Final by rivals Arsenal, certainly not doing their shirt justice.
Another of the Premier League’s original clubs who have fallen in recent years as far as England’s third tier, Sheffield Wednesday have certainly done well to stay fresh in the mind of kit collectors everywhere. This 1992/93 home shirt is a truly wonderful piece of shirt design, Simple, smart, Sheffield. The Sanderson sponsor fits in well with the striped shirt, often with stripes it’s tough to apply a sponsor without ruining the design, but it adapts very well. This Umbro design great with a pattern within the blue stripes of the shirt and the Owls badge coming out black is unique to the time. We love the collar with blue trim and give this one the thumbs up.
Worn as the Red Devils won the first ever Premier League, this classic manufactured by Umbro saw United pick up their first title in 26 years. Much like buses, you wait ages for one and two come at once, which is exactly what happened for United. A real collectable for shirt obsessives, it’s a wonderfully designed kit. The lace style collar is testament to the class showed over those two seasons and was the definition of the early 90’s. Mixed in with the famous ‘Sharp’ sponsor this shirt has gone down in history as one of the best Manchester United shirts in recent history.]
Worn during a time that saw Man City as less of the multi-billion pound world super force of football and more yo-yoing from the top and second tier in a more modest Maine Road home, this shirt will forever stand the test of time. Umbro unsurprisingly appear once again in this list (and not for the last time) having come up with this masterpiece. The superb purple base with white stripes and vintage ‘Brother’ sponsor, it’s the epitome of ‘Citeh’. A club for the busy Manchester bees, the citizen’s never achieved anything domestically and were almost two decades away from their first European foray, but with the classic badge, re-vamped ahead of 2016/17, this will remain in the Premier League hall of fame for years to come.
Top four time, qualifying for the Champions League and into the qualifiers is Blackburn Rovers. It’s well deserved with this EPL classic. In 1994/95 with the SAS of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton, the side from Ewood Park did the unthinkable and took the division by storm, taking the Premier League title before the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal ever could. It’s fair to say they certainly did it in style, this Asics classic with the traditional colours of Rovers’ blue and white half and half with similar style on the sleeves sticks out with the unmissable ‘McEwan’s Lager’ sponsor. The large 90’s collar with button up shirt style makes this a vintage masterpiece.
When Liverpool were in their prime, this one stands out from the rest in the Premier League era. Worn as the Reds finished 3rd in the league under Roy Evans, it was most famously worn as they faced off against Newcastle United in perhaps the greatest ever Premier League match. The 4-3 thriller at Anfield had the world taking note of just what the new look division was now capable of. Adidas and Liverpool go hand in hand and it was no different for this campaign, this shirt with the traditional stripes down the side of the arms and new-look for the time adidas logo is smart and the large V-neck collar gives some real emphasis to the shirt. Now in a fourth season with sponsors Carlsberg, it had become synonymous with Anfield. The badge had developed into an old-school thing of wonder and adding all these factors into one shirt, it’s certainly in the top three.
Newcastle United’s 1995/97 shirt be described in a word, alluring. That’s exactly what the shirt and the football was - attractive and enticing play as they chased Manchester United for the league title in 1996. From David Ginola’s silky skills to Kevin Keegan’s famous ‘I would love it’ rant at Alex Ferguson, that season had absolutely everything as the Toon threw away a 12-point lead following the outburst. With the ‘Newcastle Brown Ale’ sponsor and adidas design that was kept basic, just a buttoned collar and the black and white stripes which speak for themselves, this is by far one of the most superb and historic shirts around.
Perhaps the most famous Premier League shirt in history, United’s treble winning side of 1999 will never be forgotten, and neither will what they wore. The stylish Umbro design with the manufacturers’ logo down the sleeves and ‘Sharp’ sponsor, this shirt saw more success than most clubs have in their history. With the unique zip up to the collar this shirt is everything great about Manchester United. With the red, white and black colour scheme its traditional but also ahead of it’s time. It’s without question worthy of top spot.
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