For something we call the ‘beautiful game’ football has an awful lot of ugly stuff for you to point your face at.
From a nightmare tackle to John Terry’s startled face as you come home unexpectedly early from work, there is plenty in football that is less likely to qualify as ‘beautiful’ than catching Sepp Blatter furiously rubbing chilled pound coins against his crumbling genitals.
Add to that list, football kits. Most, to be fair, are a triumph of sports fashion and design. An evocative yet modest representation of all that is magnificent about your club. And then there are the mistakes. The kits that look like they were designed by an otter gnawing on a box of highlighter pens. Kits a bit like this…
Norwich and the bird poo apocalypse
Making it difficult to look directly at the glorious Ruel Fox is a crime against football and human eyesight. But that’s precisely what Norwich did in 1992 when they produced a home kit that looked like it had been dragged across the world by migrating sea birds, purely for the purpose of wiping their tiny, feathered anuses. Oddly, it only ever seemed to make sense when Gary Megson wore it.
Nottingham Forest and the inky toddler sick
If a hyper-active toddler ate a jar of mustard and vomited into a passing speedboat, it could not have created anything much more luridly unnerving than this mid 1990’s mess.
The fact that Stan Collymore left the club the season before he had to wear this polyester turd is highly revealing. (That man will bang a dinner lady in a Little Chef carpark but he was too embarrassed to put on this kit.)
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Arsenal and the electro bumble bee
Fortunately for Arsenal, the gentlemen who took to the field wearing this techno-atrocity were not the kind of chaps whose clothes you could confidently make fun of. Had it not been wrapped around such meaty characters as Tony Adams and Steve Bould one might have drolly remarked that the shirt looked remarkably like a crow violently bumming a banana to death.
Manchester United and the stringy bit
Such was Manchester United’s brand dominance in the mid 90s that they thought nothing of embellishing the team’s home kit with a drawstring device that was mostly popular with shit boy bands and musketeers. It very quickly became apparent that while it made the floppy-haired Ryan Giggs look like a French Duke, the floppy-faced Steve Bruce looked more like a porpoise trapped in an old shopping trolley.
Celtic and the what-the-actual-hell-is that
This early 90s throbbing hemorrhoid of a kit is, rather sinisterly, never talked about. The strange zig zag motif is either a wildly inaccurate depiction of the Scottish Highlands or an eerie premonition of Ranger’s plummeting financial stability. Either way it’s a kit so horribly perplexing it’s almost hypnotic. A bit like watching a dolphin trying to wank.