Friday, December 09, 2011

The Worst Football Kits Of All Time

I'd always thought that tartan in football strips was a mid 90s phenomenon restricted to Scotland's Euro 96 team and Morton.

Yet it seems it's a trend that is almost as old as the game itself.

The 10th Lanarkshire Volunteers combined navy jerseys and red socks with Black Watch tartan "knickerbockers" way back in 1884-85 while in 1888-89 Vale of Atholl adopted breeches fashioned from the local tartan.

More recently Dundee became known as the "tartan troops from Tayside" when they wore shirts featuring manager George Anderson's family tartan in an early 1950s tour of South Africa.

Such historical gems rub garish shoulders with modern monstrosities in Dave Moor's The Worst Football Kits Of All Time.

Recoil in horror at David Seaman's Euro 96 shirt, laugh at Arsenal's "bruised banana" of the 1990s, wince at Deportivo Wanka's decision to play the 2002-03 season with "D. Wanka" emblazoned across their chest.

The book is a nice alternative history of football, a whistle stop trundle through Gok Wan's worst nightmares.

Pleasingly, Scottish clubs are well represented. I like to think this is because Moor wanted to create a footballing record that did justice to both England and Scotland's heritage.

I'm prepared to concede that it might simply mean that we're a nation without taste.

Hibs' 1977-78 purple Bukta away kit is so horrible (white sleeves with a yellow and green trim) that one is left wondering why the club have been so keen to resurrect it in recent years.

It also, we're told, "practically invented nipple rash and exposed the wearer to serious risk of self-electrocution."

And who doesn't fondly recall the 1995 Aberdeen away strip that became known as "the vomit top."

My own favourites involve headgear. Surely that's an unexplored accessory in the modern era.

So take a bow Aldenham School whose 1870 all white strip was topped off with a black turban.

I'm loathe to call something a "stocking filler" but if Santa was to deliver this book on Christmas Day you'd at least be guaranteed a laugh between the family quarrels over the Monopoly board and the gnawing of dried out turkey.

The Worst Football Kits Of All Time by Dave Moor

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