Classic and Retro Arsenal Football Shirts

Arsenal were founded as Dial Square FC in 1886 and have Nottingham Forest to thank for their first ever kit. When several ex-Forest players joined the side they brought with them their old red football jerseys and it was decided that the most economical way to kit out the team was in the same colour. The jersey was dark red (or redcurrant as it was renamed when Nike memorably resurrected the design in 2005 to commemorate the club’s last season at Highbury) and was paired with white shorts and dark red or navy socks.  The iconic Arsenal kit of red football shirts and white sleeves first appeared in 1933 when then manager Herbert Chapman devised the design in an attempt to create a more distinctive strip for his team. Legend has it that inspiration came from an individual Chapman spotted at Highbury who was wearing a red tank-top over a plain white shirt. The highly individual look is much loved by Arsenal fans who were delighted when Nike launched a classic interpretation of the jersey in 2010 after a few years of ‘tampering’. Gooners are equally as passionate about their preferred away kit colours and almost unanimously opt for yellow and blue - a colour scheme that gained popularity in the 1970s. Prior to then, white and occasionally navy football shirts were the away colours of choice. Navy has actually played an important part in Arsenal’s colour identity over the years and has featured in many home and away kits. Arsenal embraced shirt sponsorship in 1981 when they struck a deal with Japanese electronics company JVC. The relationship was to last until 1999 and since then the company have only had three sponsorship deals: Sega/Dreamcast, O2 and Emirates Airlines, creating one of the smallest sponsor role calls in English football