Retro Diadora football shirts
Diadora was founded in Italy in 1948 by Marcello Danieli and began life, as so many sports brands did, as primarily a shoe manufacturer. The company’s first product was mountain climbing boots and during the next decade their excellent reputation grew from strength to strength throughout Italy. In the 1960s the company branched out into skiing footwear, followed by running and tennis shoes.
Embracing new technologies, the company flourished and supplied 1970s tennis giant Bjorn Borg with the footwear that helped him and Diadora dominate the sport. Diadora began working in other sports and also started producing football boots in the mid-1970s although their impact in the football kit market didn’t arrive until some 20 years later.
In the 90s/00s Diadora kits were, not surprisingly, widely seen in their native country’s leagues with Roma, Bologna, Fiorentina and Napoli all sporting the brand. One of the company’s proudest moments must have come when it supplied the Italian national team from 1987 through to 1994.
In the UK, Diadora’s golden era also ran through the 2000s where they brought a real sense of Italian flair to the British football world with some excellently daring, asymmetrical designs. Major apparel contracts included Aston Villa in 2000 (arguably the first showing of Diadora kits in English football), Sheffield Wednesday, Watford, Birmingham, Sunderland, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Leeds United and Crystal Palace. One of the largest deals on these isles was north of the border with Glasgow giants Rangers, whose kit they provided from 2002 to 2005, during which time they introduced a controversial orange away outfit. They also secured the kit supply contract for the Scotland national side in 2003 in a deal that eventually lasted seven years.
Sadly though the company went into liquidation in 2009 and were eventually taken over by shoe retailer Geox SpA. Since then however, the re-born brand has slowly begun to re-appear in football apparel and in 2012 deals with Birmingham City, Ross County and St Mirren were signed.