Words by Panenka Magazine
The 90s was mad. New Labour. Britpop. Sex in the City. The internet. Gazza. ‘Cool Britannia’ was in full swing. And for some reason, barmy goalkeeper tops were everywhere. We sifted through the most out-there efforts from the decade and put together our favourites for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Any self-respecting compilation of mad 90s goalkeeper kits wouldn’t be complete without a mention for Jorge Campos, arguably the man who was responsible for the trend in the first place. The Mexican’s bizarre getup at the 1994 World Cup helped him take the crown of ‘craziest keeper’ from Rene Higuita (the latter was in prison for kidnapping at the time, but that’s another story.)
Unusually short for a goalkeeper at just 5’6″, Campos made up for his lack of stature with his eccentric style of play and barmy self-designed kits. This fruit salad-inspired 1994 effort is probably the craziest of the lot and earns it’s place in our top five.
From shirts decked out with orange liver-birds to ones covered in purple and grey rectangles, it’s fair to say David James wore some pretty interesting attire during his stint as No. 1 at Anfield. We can’t tell if this leopard print, triangle-y number dreamt up by Adidas for the 1995/96 season is a work of art or a pure disaster, but we like it either way.
PS – There’s a really nice purple version of it knocking around but we couldn’t find a decent picture of Dave wearing it, so enjoy this one instead.
MANCHESTER UNITED 1995/97
Not even Peter Schmeichel was immune from wearing bonkers kits in the 90s. United’s Danish shot-stopper wore everything from tessellating yellow and blue diamonds to space invader-themed triangles and even psychedelic green spirals during his trophy-laden decade at Old Trafford.
This pink and purple striped effort, complete with black sleeves and diamond accents, is one of Umbro’s classier efforts from the time, all the while still being zany enough to make it onto our list. Well played lads.
When people associate things with David Seaman, this kit is probably up there with horrible moustaches and that time he got lobbed by Ronaldinho. Worn for the 1996 Euros, the odd-looking rainbow number is one of the defining memories from the tournament when ‘football almost came home’.
Others include Gazza’s wonder-goal against the Scots, ‘Psycho’ Stuart Pearce fist-pumping against Spain and of course the penalty shoot-out heartbreak against the Germans where Seaman’s kit didn’t help him save a single one.
Nowadays, if someone suggested putting the Newcastle skyline (complete with Tyne bridge) on the front of a Premier League football kit, they’d be laughed straight out of their production meeting. But in 1994, that’s exactly what Adidas did, and in the process spawned one the Magpies’ most iconic ever shirts.
Looking at the shirt, it’s got everything. The black silhouetted skyline, the sunset-inspired colours and that perfect Newcastle Brown Ale sponsor rounding it all off in the middle. What more can we say? Top marks.
Last week: Top 5 Kits: Women’s World Cup 2019