Once the new Everton kit was leaked, Umbro has been on the receiving end of some hate on social media. The shirt is rather plain, to be fair, but the shorts have a striking design featuring the infamous Umbro double diamond in a thick blue stripe. The socks are clean, but the focus is on the top; football fans were not pleased. While minimalist style is in these days, Umbro did produce some gloriously busy kits back in the 90’s.
Below is a collection of classic Umbro strips that epitomized the style of the nineties, whether they were good or bad; it was a time when Blackburn were relevant and goalkeepers had striking kits and hair. It was a simpler time featuring outlandish designs.
Chelsea 91/93 Home
Just look at it; everything from the sponsorship logo to the odd pattern that’s set in the background make this shirt a Chelsea classic. The half-diamond logo on the right sleeve is a nice touch, and the collar completes the 90’s look. Class.
United 94/96 Home
It’s clean; a simple red number with an Old Trafford watermark, this kit used between the 1994-1996 seasons saw United win the recently-established Premier League twice, guaranteeing this shirt’s enshrinement in Umbro’s Hall of Flame.
Everton 91/93 Home
1991 was a good year for Umbro; this effort is a complement to Chelsea’s kit during the same period, as it features a similar design using two shades of blue, as was the modus operandi during the 90’s. A white collar and large NEC logo complete the look. If only Everton played as good as they looked!
Manchester City 91/93 Home
With what could be Umbro’s best kit ever, the shirt used by Manchester City for the 1991-1993 seasons was an instant classic. Dark blue details blending perfectly with City’s sky blue, this is a great kit, no matter what decade it was worn in. While Manchester was thoroughly red before the days of City’s foreign investment, there was no doubt that City looked like champions.
Celtic 91/92 Away
As further proof that 1991 was the beginning of Umbro’s prime, I present to the jury Exhibit C: Celtic’s 91/92 away kit. So bad it’s good, this piece stands out in the best way; featuring many shades of green and a jagged stripe across the chest, this was a polarizing kit. You either love it or hate it, and Celtic faithful sorrowfully remember finishing third in the league when this was part of the club’s wardrobe.
Inter Milan 91/92 Away
This shirt was and is dope as hell; a pattern that was truly 90’s crawls up the right sleeve and across the shoulder, and the gold Umbro logo and Inter crest guarantee that this top will be sought after by classic kit fiends worldwide. If Internazionale played as great as they looked on away days, they wouldn’t have finished 8th in Serie A.
Leeds United 90/91 Home
When Leeds United wore this kit at Elland Road, they were finishing fourth in the FA First Division. It was during the days of old that Umbro came up with wonders such as this home kit, a superb Leeds shirt with blue and yellow accents on the sleeves and collar. The V pattern fades as it rises up the shirt, which is the opposite of what Leeds has done since this shirt was revealed; they’ve fallen into Championship obscurity in the following decades.
Aston Villa 92/93 Home & Away
Courtesy of Footy Headlines, this link shows the kits Aston Villa donned during the inaugural Premier League season, in which they finished second to Manchester United by a whopping ten points. While they didn’t come away with the league, Villa’s home and away kits were two of Umbro’s best of the 90’s.
Scotland 91/93 Away
“[Umbro], you did it again…” This away kit Scotland wore for three years is yet another example of why 1991 was Umbro’s bitch. A plain white shirt with blue and red paint vigorously splattered across the chest, you can’t help but feel energized looking at it. If only Scotland’s 1992 Euro squad felt that way when they put it on, as they earned just two points as they failed to make it to the knockout stage.
Manchester United 92/93 Away
Umbro wasn’t concerned about boundaries; Umbro dared to stretch the imagination of what a football shirt could be. In the nineties, the Manchester-based company designed some incredible shirts, including this away kit Manchester United wore during the first Premier League season. A design you would only see during that era; a giant watermark of the club’s crest, blue and black blended together as to make them inseparable. This is an incredible shirt, and one of Umbro’s best during the nineties.
While this collection was not given any specific order, these are some of Umbro’s best shirts ever to be worn on the pitch, in the stands, or wherever the spirit of football may lay. Umbro has had a remarkable influence on football style and culture, and the ten years that made up the 1990’s were no exception; you’ll just have to forgive them for Everton’s latest kit.