I assume you’ve heard it’s the World Cup… and England actually seem to be doing well. The entire nation is filled with untameable hope that football is finally “coming home”. We’ve got our fingers crossed. With all the buzz and excitement around football, we thought we’d take you on a journey back in time. A look back at the most memorable, iconic and influential England kits, worn in the World Cup.
I guess the most logical place to start is the beginning: 1950, the year of England’s first ever World Cup. For some reason we decided not to enter the first three tournaments, so here is where our football journey begins. Brazil were the hosts, so I assume (as most would) that the weather was scorching. However, I don’t think the England team got the message. From black and white photos we see the lads wearing long sleeved formal white shirts with a collar, tucked into baggy high-waisted blue shorts. I think it’s safe to say that kits have changed and for the better.
Fast forward 16 years to our proudest World Cup moment. The year we not only hosted but the year we won. Our lads beat West Germany 4-2 in the final, successfully bringing football home. It’s not a surprise really that the 1966 kit is arguably our most iconic. Every generation seems to have a stored mental image of Bobby Moore on the shoulders of his team mates, lifting the trophy high. The bright red, long sleeved, tight fit shirt and white shorts have become iconic.
As a superstitious nation, theories have been flying around that the bold red is England’s lucky colour. Not only did we win the 1966 World Cup wearing this colour but more recently, we broke our penalty shoot our curse in, you guessed it… red. Is the iconic red our lucky charm? What do you think?
Skipping through the 70’s and 80’s now, although there was some interesting attire through the two decades. Our next stop is 1998 French World Cup. After our failure to qualify in 1994, we were back and so were collars. This year our kits were baggy, oversized and perfectly capture the style of the late 90’s. Many will remember this kit as they associate it with a controversial moment in England’s football history. Beckham and his temper received a red card against Argentina. It’s odd how we can attach memories to something as simple as a football shirt.
Back to Brazil again and this kit deserves a mention as it’s the first time we took to the pitch in Nike. Prior to this we had worn Umbro proudly on our shirt since 1986, but not many know our loyalty to them dates all the way back to the 1950’s (the logo just wasn’t displayed). But in 2013 the football association signed a £20 million per year contract with Nike. It’s out with the old and in with the swoosh.
And here we are back in the present. Nike has designed a very popular sleek, minimalistic kit for our lads this year. The home kit is a simple and classic white shirt with tiny red detailing on the neck. The away kit is a nod to our heroes of 1966 with the bold red design. Maybe it’s a sign… With St Georges cross subtly displayed on our shirts and a tiny star on the chest to reminisce our success, there’s hope that it actually IS coming home.
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