If you’re anything like us, this unwelcome break from football has got you pining for anything vaguely related to the beautiful game in order to get you through. Nostalgia, the glorious past, is the order of the day and that means remembering classic Premier League kits of the 1990s.
Not an undershirt, skin-tight fit or sleeve sponsor in sight. Just good old baggy shirts, iconic designs and classic logos. Or, in some cases, migraine-inducing colour combinations which ought never to have seen the light of day.
We’ve already compiled our favourite Serie A kits of the decade and while the Premier League largely lagged behind the peninsula when it came to fashion – arguably, we still do – there were some real hits.
Here are our favourite Premier League kits of the 90s…
Manchester United, third, 93/94
Premier League kits in the 90s tended to be a riot of colour as manufacturers went a little over the top. However, the opposite was true of this Manchester United effort and it was all the better for it.
Admittedly this was the Red Devils’ third kit between 1993-1994, meaning it got less use than it might have. But the all-black look was a triumph and Eric Cantona somehow looks appears more dashing in this than any other United strip. The gold trim is a particularly nice touch, too.
Newcastle United, away, 1995/96
We were sorely tempted to include the Magpies’ home strip from around this time, with Alan Shearer doubtless the subject of the accompanying image, arm held aloft. That image in itself screams 1990s. However, when your design options are limited to number of stripes and stripe thickness, we decided to pay homage to this beauty instead.
Adidas went to town on Newcastle’s change kits and this maroon-and-blue shirt from 95/96 is simply iconic. Somehow, the Newcastle Brown Ale logo only serves to enhance it – something which can rarely be said about sponsors. It was even an unlockable extra in recent versions of EA Sports’ FIFA!
Arsenal, away, 1992/93
Whatever your vintage you’ll know this to be one of the finest Premier League kits of all-time. So good, in fact, the Gunners’ released a modern tribute this season with Adidas commissioning a retro effort to mimic this strip.
Nothing, though, beats the original ‘bruised banana’ look. Quite what the reaction was at the time is anyone’s guess – our memory doesn’t go back that far. Given the riotous offerings most teams trotted out in, we doubt anyone batted an eyelid. Yet, somehow, this shirt has remained in folklore and come all the way back into fashion 27 years later. Iconic.
Liverpool, home, 1993-1995
Finally a home shirt. Given we dismissed Newcastle’s claim for including a home jersey, you’re probably wondering how a Liverpool kit slipped through the net given their lack of distinctive markings. But that’s where you’re wrong.
In the early 1990s, Adidas experimented with several efforts which had white semi-sash motifs and this, with Carlsberg the shirt sponsor for the first time, was our favourite. Had we been talking Division One kits of the 80s, any number of Candy-sponsored shirts would have been in contention.
Crystal Palace, home, 1997/98
There’s something about this shirt which just screams ‘retro 2000s kit’. But it isn’t. Palace wore this when they were a Premier League staple in the late-90s with the likes of Attilio Lombardo, Saša Ćurčiç, Tomas Brolin and Neil Shipperley to the fore.
The red and blue stripes are particularly nice shades but sadly this kit is unlikely to be remembered with any fondness by Palace fans. The Eagles were relegated by finishing rock-bottom of the Premier League and it would be another six years before they returned. Oh, and they wore white shorts – a much-missed combo.
Chelsea, away, 1994-1996
Remember when we talked about riots of colour and migraine-inducing shirts? This is one of those that straddles both sides of the line; the separation between madness and genius. We fall down on the side of the latter, though.
The 90s were a fun time to support Chelsea. One of the first clubs to actively pursue exotic foreign stars, Blues supporters enjoyed Gianluca Vialli, Roberto Di Matteo, Gianfranco Zola and Ruud Gullit at Stamford Bridge. Throw this iconic strip into the mix and you’re onto a winner.
Love 90s football? We’ve got the podcast for you! Every week, You, me and… takes a deep dive into the career of the legendary player from the decade. You can subscribe via Spotify, Soundcloud and other podcast platforms.