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50 Worst Football Kits Ever

Posted by
Dave Fawbert
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It must be difficult trying to come up with a new football kit design. You're fairly constrained by the team's colours and most of the good ones have been done before. But clearly the pressure of having to produce a new one every season, and the recent requirement for third and fourth kits, have just led to designers occasionally going a little bit insane. It's the only possible explanation for this eye-watering gallery of style abominations.

We present 50 of the worst football kits of all time. Prepare to enter a fashion-free zone.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever

    1860 Munich

    Year: 2010

    Don't let that man's suave appearance fool you. This is a hideous football kit. Created to 'celebrate' the club's 150th anniversary, the shirt is apparently filled with glorious scenes from the club's past. But it's a total mess, complete with 70s-style yellow lining. Nein.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 1

    Ajax

    Year: Unknown

    This looks like they really wanted to go for the triangles, but didn't quite have the guts to do them across the whole shirt, so it just looks strange. If it's any consolation, the triangles across the whole shirt would have been virtually as bad.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 2

    Australia

    Year: 1990

    This looks like one of Nelson Mandela's shirts. And, while Nelson can pull off this look, no-one else can. You are not, and never will be, as cool as Nelson Mandela and don't you forget it.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 3

    Barcelona

    Year: 1995

    Barcelona may now be a byword for class and style, but it wasn't always the case. This design has no logic to it whatsoever. And the colours just look strange. It's like an unwell fish or something. And what are the flaps all about?

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 4

    Barcelona

    Year: 2013

    We say that Barcelona is now a byword for style and class, yet they're still capable of this monstrosity. Buy now if you want to look a little bit like you're on fire.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 5

    Athletic Bilbao

    Year: 2004

    Just because Salvador Dalí was Spanish, doesn't mean he should influence their football shirts. Top marks for attempting to incorporate some surrealism into your kit, but it basically looks like you've spilt tomato ketchup over yourselves there lads.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 6

    Birmingham City

    Year: 1972

    We're still not sure what Birmingham were thinking. For their 3rd kit in the 72/73 and 73/74 seasons, they wore a jersey which can only be described as a German flag. Were there lots of German players in their team at the time and they wanted to make them feel at home? No, there weren't. Just bizarre.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 7

    Bochum

    Year: 1997

    A kit clearly designed by two people, both given one half, and instructed never to meet. This does not make sense on any level.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 8

    Brighton & Hove Albion

    Year: 1986

    "The clowns upstairs have signed a deal for us to be sponsored by a company called NOBO. We may as well go for wavy pink lines, we're gonna endure constant abuse anyway aren't we?"

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 9

    Celtic

    Year: 1991

    Just where do you start? is the zig-zag line a performance indicator for the coming season? Why is that such a horrible shade of lime green? Why does the top right-hand quadrant look like someone's accidentally split brown paint over it? Dreadful.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 10

    Chelsea

    'Year: 1994

    For a start, orange and grey don't really work together and, secondly, the top half just seems to be a strange assortment of different sized oblongs. Utterly nonsensical.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 11

    Colorado Caribous

    Year: 1978

    You have to give them credit for trying, but this must surely be filed under "cowboy tassles and football shirts should never mix".

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 12

    Coventry City

    Year: 1978

    Regularly voted the worst strip of all time and for good reason: whoever thought that a brown strip was a good idea? The one bonus was that you wouldn't look any different after a mudbath January match.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 13

    Derby County

    Year: 2013

    It's got a terrible sponsor, the fonts must have been chosen by a 4-year-old and it looks like it took 2 minutes to design. Most baffling, though, are the arms, which have been adorned by permanent black armbands: poor County will look like they're commemorating someone's death every time they step on the pitch.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 14

    Dundee

    Year: 1953

    Tartan should only be seen in the crowd - and only then in the form of kilts and 'comedy' tartan caps with ginger hair in the Tartan Army. It should never, repeat, never be used on a football shirt. Glad we've made that clear.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 15

    Dundee United

    Year: 1993

    For some inexplicable reason, Dundee United decided to go 'Jackson Pollock' on us in 1993. If we found out this was created by a toddler flicking black paint at a canvas we would genuinely not be surprised. Woeful.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 16

    England

    Year: 1996

    A king amongst terrible football shirts, this was universally derided upon its launch for England's home Euro '96 campaign. Just thank your lucky stars that this was before David Seaman's ponytail era, otherwise the combined image would have simply been too much to take.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 17

    Estonia

    Year: 1996

    What is going on here. Top half: some kind of 8-bit rhombus pattern; bottom half: a painting of a sundial. We have absolutely no idea.

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  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 18

    Everton

    Year: 2013

    There's nothing wrong with pink in the right context. But not pink quite as shocking as this. They certainly won't miss each other on the pitch, that's for sure. But what's the big blue oblong about? And why is there a little tidal wave happening at one end?

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 19

    Fiorentina

    Year: 1992

    At first glance, you may think, "what's wrong this this then?" And then you'd look a little closer, and perhaps gaze awhile at the purple section, and then maybe there'd be a dawning realisation that a rather 'controversial' political symbol has made its way into the design. At least, this is what would happen to normal people, but clearly not the designer of Fiorentina's kit in 1992. It had to be hastily withdrawn from sale after the error was spotted.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 20

    Nottingham Forest

    Year: 1997

    A perfectly nice yellow shirt that someone has decided to scrawl over with marker pen. What a shame. Oh, that's the real kit? Is it...is it really.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 21

    Hartlepool United

    Year: 1991

    This is like a chess board gone wrong. Nice butterfly though.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 22

    Hearts

    Year: 2016

    Fruit salads: an undeniably excellent sweet, although they do have a tendency to get stuck in your teeth. A kit that looks like a fruit salad: an undeniably terrible idea, which unfortunately has a tendency to get stuck in your brain.

    Please, remove our eyes, for we have no use for them any more.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 23

    SC Heerenveen

    Year: Various

    Fair play to Heerenveen: the little red hearts are in their club crest, and have been on their shirts for a long time. It doesn't stop them looking absolutely ridiculous though. What's truly awful though is that they didn't include them on the arms, thus making it impossible to make a "they wear their heart on their sleeve" joke. And that's unforgivable.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 24

    Huddersfield Town

    Year: 1991

    It's a bit tie-dye-tastic isn't it?

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 25

    Huddersfield Town

    Year: 1993

    Pity those poor Huddersfield fans. After 1991's monstrosity, less than two years later they were faced with this in the club shop. It looks like a mop shortly after cleaning up an explosion at a paint factory.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 26

    Hull City

    Year: 1992

    We thought long and hard about this one. They are the Tigers after all. Is it actually quite cool? No. It is not. It looks like it's been made from the offcuts from Del Boy's duvet.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 27

    Juventus

    Year: 2011

    As discussed before, nothing wrong with pink. But also as discussed before, there is something wrong with pink this bright. And why have they put a star-shaped biscuit cutter on there? Also loses marks for appearing to be figure-hugging: alright for highly-toned footballers, not so flattering on the beer-bellied supporters in the terraces.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 28

    Liverpool

    Year: 1995

    We think we've worked this out. Someone did a rough design using their new felt -tip pens and it got sent to the factory instead of the proper one where they'd designed it properly. That must be it. It must be.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 29

    Liverpool

    Year: 2013

    The most recent addition to our hall of fame, this really is a novel way of designing a kit. Three segments, all completely unrelated, purple, black and white bits...some sort of random rhombus shadows...we're really struggling here. This has to have been designed in the dark, it's the only logical explanantion.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 30

    Lokomotiv Moscow

    Year: 2007

    Our eyes! Our eyes! Season ticket holders at Lokomotiv must have gone blind by 2008 with this luminous creation. Just horrible.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 31

    Malaysia

    Year: 2011

    This shirt makes it look like you've just been run over.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 32

    Manchester United

    Year: 1992

    This shirt (particular when worn by Lee Sharpe) couldn't be more 90s if it tried. A faux-trendy, tie-dye mess. Like Dani Behr, we'd rather just forget all about this.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 33

    Newcastle United

    Year: 2009

    Poor Newcastle United fans. As if being run in a way that could charitably be called 'interesting' and perennially underachieving wasn't enough, they were lumbered with this 2-tone banana yellow jersey for their season in the Championship in 09/10. It's so bad it's actually quite funny.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 34

    Norway

    Year: 1996

    Someone in Norway just learnt how to use WordArt didn't they?

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 35

    Norwich City

    Year: 1992

    Much like the Hull City tiger strip, this has been the subject of intense debate. Is it actually brilliant? It's almost artistic - and it brings back memories of Jeremy Goss and Chris Sutton at their imperious best. Unfortunately, once someone informs you that it really does look quite a lot like vomit, you can never really get that thought out of your head.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 36

    Crystal Palace

    Year: Unknown

    This looks like a colourblindness test. It just makes our eyes hurt.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 37

    Peterborough United

    Year: 1993

    What on earth is this. It's that classic combination of toddler and poster paints again isn't it?

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 38

    Rangers

    Year: Unknown

    Wear this if you want to look a little bit like you're in jail. Which was oddly prescient given Rangers' financial problems a few years later.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 39

    Recreativo

    Year: Unknown

    If we have learnt nothing else from Timmy Mallet, it's that polka dots should only ever be seen on itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikinis. Never, under any circumstances, on the field of play.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 40

    Reggina

    Year: 2012

    Much like the 2000 Italy shirt, this works perfectly well if you're a tall, dark, bronzed mediterranean adonis. Rather less well if you're sporting more of a barrel than a six-pack. What a terrible, terrible idea.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 41

    Rosario

    Year: Unknown

    We just don't know what's going on here. There's probably an explanation for why a bowler-hatted, moustached man is on the front of this kit, but even if there is, it really doesn't justify it. Maybe he's scoring it out of 10? Take about 4 points away and you'd be on the money.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 42

    Scotland

    Year: 1991

    Another classic example of the 'paintbrush across the chest' football shirt design technique. It looks awful.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 43

    Scunthorpe United

    Year: 1994

    Scunthorpe United clearly saw Peterborough's effort the year before and thought "we love that, let's do something similar".

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 44

    Sheffield Wednesday

    Year: 1984

    Looking like something out of a New York club at the height of disco fever, it's the combination of grey shirt with 45-degree angle purple pinstripe, and the shiny purple shorts that really seals this horrendous kit's place in our list. We'd love to see anyone try and wear this on a Saturday night out in Sheffield and escape intact.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 45

    Shrewsbury Town

    Year: 1992

    A bizarre collection of differing sized rhombi and non-straight lines on a bed of dark yellow. Dreadful.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 46

    Sierra Leone

    Year: 2011

    The tiger is a nice idea lads, but it just doesn't work. Green fading to blue does not work either. And why add in early 90s chevrons on the sleeves? It looks a bit like a bad acid trip.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 47

    Southend United

    Year: Unknown

    Possibly the crowning glory of all terrible football kits; this must surely have been designed by the manager's grandma, who decided that it the 'patchwork of differing pieces of quilt' look had been cruelly overlooked by football kit designers for too long. It manages the impressive feat of looking like both a bad teatowel and an Aztec ceremonial outfit.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 48

    Stoke City

    Year: 1993

    A purple brother to the Hudderfield monstrosity, this is just horrible.

  • 50 Worst Football Kits Ever 49

    Stoke City

    Year: 1997

    Someone just learnt how to do Drop Shadow in Photoshop didn't they?

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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