first_img 16 Getty Images You can’t be a plain white shirt which means England generally look good at World Cups (performances aside!).Ahead of their opening game against Tunisia, asked three kit aficionados what their favourite designs from previous tournaments are.Have a read what John Devlin, George Bartlett and Simon Shakeshaft say, then feel free to let us know what yours are.We start with John Devlin @TrueColoursKits on Twitter, who is the author and illustrator of International Football Kits: The Illustrated Guide.1. MEXICO 1970 (AWAY)“It was sky blue and the first time England had worn that colour. The top used Aertex fabric (a lightweight fabric with minute holes for added ventilation) to cope with the Mexico heat. It was the first deliberate attempt to move away from red because they were worried about the effect it would have on players, and in terms of innovation it was fantastic. They wore it against Czechoslovakia, though it caused problems for black and white TV because the colour didn’t really work. Something World Cups are notorious for is making sure there was a light and dark strip so you could tell who was playing who.” 16 2. MEXICO 1986 (HOME)“Made by Umbro, which was a variant of their standard home shirts at the time, it is used fabric technology to lead the design, which is quite interesting. It had a very pale shadow striped design rather than the shadow pinstripe of the normal shirt and the cuffs were removed, too. To the untrained eye it would be the same kit, but actually it was tailored just right for the temperatures. I think in that World Cup England wore it in every game; the only time they wore any other combination was against Argentina in the quarter-final where they wore pale blue shorts. I think it’s a good example of what the kits had to do in order to serve a purpose. 16 16 16 16 All illustrations courtesy of John DevlinNext, we spoke to George Bartlett, @Greatest_Kits on Instagram, a retailer in original retro kits who can usually be found with his vast collection in London’s Brick Lane on most weekends. Have a look at his shop here.1. SPAIN ’82 (HOME)“The admiral shirt that was used has the red and blue panel at the top. This would probably be my number one because it’s so different and was the last one Admiral made for England.” 5. SOUTH AFRICA 2010 (HOME)“It was the one that re-wrote the kit rulebook in terms of going back to basics and really looking at what a football shirt could do. Instead of going down an increasingly modern route, it was actually stripped right back and even got criticised with some calling it ‘just a polo shirt’. But actually, to have the courage to remove all the trimmings a kit could have, it was ground-breaking. It’s one of my favourite ever kits. It was the first time since 1970 that we’d seen England select an all-white kit. I was lucky enough to meet one of the designers, who said it was inspired by Bobby Moore leading the team in Mexico, dressed in all-white and how heroic they looked. The 2010 one was just so different to anything else at the time because everything else was going down a prescribed path.” 4. GERMANY 2006 (AWAY)“Umbro again. It came at a time when they, I wouldn’t say lost their way, but were filling their shirts with lots of bells and whistles, yet somehow it really worked on this kit. There was the asymmetrical St George’s cross on the right hand shoulder, little gold embellishments under the sleeves and the high placed Umbro logo on the chest. I love the fact it accommodated the shirt number on the front. There were all those elements, but again, it stuck to tradition.” 3. ITALY 1990 (HOME)“The tournament details are embroidered under the crest, which followed on from the practice at the 1986 World Cup. It read: ‘FIFA WORLD CUP ITALY 1990’ and it’s these sort of things collectors love. This kit will be loved by the 40-somethings with memories of England getting to the semi-finals. The tournament was quite poor, but you don’t remember that because the whole thing evokes so many memories. There’s Gazza’ s tears, Nessun Dorma, Lineker’s goals, David Platt’s volley against Belgium and the first penalty shoot-out heartache against West Germany in the semi-finals. As soon as you look at the kit, you’ll think ‘Italia ’90.’ A special mention should go to one that wasn’t worn; the blue third shirt, which was made famous by The World In Motion music video. It made it so iconic to fans and so sought after by collectors (below).” 2. FRANCE ’98 (HOME)“That would be in there because it’s the first one I watched and it’s a popular one with the badge and Umbro down the middle. After 2002 I think they’ve gone hill a bit and they look the same and I think a lot of the 90s shirt were so different.” Last, but not least spoke to Simon Shakeshaft, @ShakeyMatchWorn on Twitter. If you need to know a fact about a kit, not matter how small, then get in touch with him. Simon is the curator of The Neville Evans National Football Shirt Collection. Follow @ShirtCollection.1. ENGLAND 1966 (AWAY)“They were at home and had to wear their away strip against their rivals in the final. It is so iconic; the plain red, long sleeve shirt in bright sunshine and all the stories that go with it. It’s etched into every Englishman’s brain. Match worn shirts from the final are extremely rare and go for small fortunes at auction if they ever become available. Some of the orginal shirts from the game have been lost forever, such as Bobby Charlton’s. He swapped his with Uwe Seeler, who later told him he didn’t keep any of his football memorabilia and had thrown it out. Bobby still had Seeler’s and asked if he wanted it back. His reply was: ‘No, you keep it!’” 16 4. 1992 (THIRD SHIRT)*“We didn’t use it at the World Cup, but I wanted to throw this one in there. It’s really rare and I think we only wore it twice (against Spain and Czechoslovakia), but the Lions over the shoulder are really great.”*It’s not a World Cup shirt, but George really likes it so we let him cheat 3. ITALY 1990 (HOME)“The Gazza-inspired team at Italia ’90 is what helped make this shirt iconic and it was a great example of Umbro taking tradition – plain white shirt, navy shorts – and bringing it up to date with this complicated jacquard pattern, Umbro diamond trim on the sleeve and just a really solid looking kit, which I think they wore in every game. Everyone talks about ’66 but for me this kind of kit – 1990 – is really English and I’m saying that as a Scotland fan, so you know it’s honest!”center_img 3. ITALY ’90 (HOME)“It’s famous for Gazza crying, but is just a great shirt with a really cool design. The Umbro design on the bottom of the sleeve is really nice as is the button on the collar.” 16 16 16 16 16 2. SPAIN 1982 (HOME)“England home. It’s all about memories. It’s interesting because Admiral came along and put red and blue on the shirt instead of keeping it plain white and changed the game in 1974. Then in 1980 this was brought out with the red and blue shoulder panels and was first worn by Kevin Keegan and co as they beat Maradona’s Argentina 3-1. Despite wearing it against Argentina first (on 13 May 1980), they wore it against Wales in a 4-1 loss a few days later at the Racecourse, and in commentary Barry Davies said: ‘England tonight unveiling their new strip, but quite why an England shirt is in the colours of the Union Jack remains a mystery. It was a memorable tournament for me and this is the best home shirt in my opinion and I’m sure many will agree with me.’” 16 5. ENGLAND 1966 (AWAY)“It’s a classic for what it represents. It’s the most famous red one and has a nice, big England crest on it.” 16 16 4. MEXICO 1986 (HOME)“This is a really interesting shirt. For the heat in Mexico, Umbro had prepared a perforated lightweight material (see John Devlin above). In the 1986 kit, the Aertex material came in the shadow stripes and is one of the first recognised sports performance fabrics – an evolution of the Airtex shirts Umbro produced at the 1970 World Cup, the tournament that made the fabric famous.” Great England World Cup kits, as chosen by the aficionados 16 5. SPAIN 1982 (AWAY)“It was the dawn of a new era and for obvious reasons (Shakey is Welsh) I liked an England shirt in red. I was 17 and remember it vividly – England’s opening game against France and Bryan Robson scoring early wearing this shirt. They didn’t have an Admiral logo because they thought they weren’t allowed. It was worn twice in this tournament, the second time against West Germany with one subtle difference being the addition of an extra white band across the chest.” talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.last_img

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