Words by Panenka Magazine
Football and alcohol have always seemed to go hand-in-hand. Whether it’s necking warm cans on a train to Burnley at seven in the morning on an away day, drowning your sorrows down the local after your 5-a-side team’s been whacked 10-0 (again) or that feeling of regret after launching your £4.50 pint everywhere ‘cos Kieran Trippier’s just put it top bins in a World Cup semi final, football and alcohol never seem to be far apart.
It’s hardly surprising then that back in the day, alcohol sponsors on football kits were a pretty common phenomenon (before people seemed to realise it was a bad idea). So since beer and retro football shirts is pretty much all we consume at Panenka Headquarters™, we decided to take a look at some of the best alcohol-sponsored efforts out there and put together our favourites. Crack open a cold one and enjoy!
Probably one of the first kits that comes to mind when thinking of alcohol sponsors is Liverpool’s deal with Carlsberg, which ran from 1992-2010. During this time the Danish lager manufacturers’ logo become almost as synonymous with the red of Liverpool as Steven Gerrard himself. Him lifting the Champions League in ’05 is probably still the best lager advert of all time.
Don’t get us wrong though, Carlsberg does still taste of piss – but for those Liverpool fans it will always taste like European glory. Poetry.
Celtic. Tennent’s Lager. Scotland’s two heavyweights when it comes to fitbaw and beer. When they collaborated in 2010 it was always going to be good. As someone who’s drunk Tennent’s Lager at 6AM in a field somewhere in Perthshire, it brings back great (if blurry) memories. Plus this lovely black-and-grey away effort, modelled by Gio Samaras, from the 12/13 season is a pure winner.
Going to confidently call this the most Scottish football shirt ever produced — until Buckfast decide to sponsor the next Partick Thistle kit.
The first ever example of alcohol sponsorship in football (also the the first example of shirt sponsorship in the Bundesliga) was Jägermeister’s deal with Eintracht Braunschweig back in the 1970s. The German drinks giant paid 100,000 DM (€50,000) to display their striking logo on Eintracht’s kits – as seen in this lovely picture of two players holding some antlers.
The company also wanted the team to rename themselves Eintracht Jägermeister but sadly Braunschweig refused, which is a shame because it would have sounded cool as fuck.
Ahh, we just couldn’t do a list of alcohol shirt sponsors and not mention those gorgeous kits Newcastle wore in the 1990s. Thanks to Adidas, the Magpies had some beautiful shirts throughout the decade – not least, this spectacular purple and pink away effort from the 1996 season.
The Newcastle Brown Ale sponsor pulls the whole shirt together perfectly, plus it looks like it could be the badge of a hipster team from the French 7th division, which is an added bonus. Ho’way man.
Last but certainly not least are Club Deportivo Lugo, a second tier Spanish side who took things one step further by designing a whole kit to look like a pint of lager. That’s right. The side’s home shirt for the 13/14 season not only featured the logo of local brewery Estrella Galicia, but was complete with bubbles and a smooth head to complete the bizarre but brilliant effect.
I would have loved to see the opposition fans reaction to a 6ft pint of lager scoring past their team – and as if there was any doubt this team weren’t sober when they designed their kits, the away effort from the same year featured a giant octopus tentacle. Way to go Lugo, you mad bastards!
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