Football really earns its reputation as “the beautiful game” when it’s played at its best.
Some individuals are artists with a ball at their feet. Delivering sublime skills, close control, and silky passing. Think Barcelona under Pep Guardiola as an example.
When a team is in full flow nothing should take the supporters attention away from the mastery on the pitch.
Fans want to dissect the action on the field but sometimes their eyes are drawn to something else.
This could be to the absolute eyesore of a jersey that their favourite player may be wearing.
You see, football clubs have this awful habit of releasing these bombastic football kits that looked like they were designed by Ray Charles in a factory that forgot to pay their electricity bill.
While the 1990’s were the biggest offenders to these fashion faux pas, modern jerseys still have a lot to answer for.
I’m just going to leave this unrelated picture of Mick Wallace wearing the latest Wexford FC jersey below.
The retro jersey has become a must have in the wardrobe of many football fans. Some horrendous jerseys are even looked at as trendy. With plenty of stores popping up dedicated to jerseys of yesteryear, many going for a healthy price tag too.
So, you won’t find the likes of Florentina’s 1992/93 7UP jersey, Manchester United’s infamous grey shirt or Chelsea’s nifty grey and orange number from the mid 90’s on here.
No, the jerseys on this list would even make our most hipster of friends think they’re a bit much.
With that seamless introduction out of the way lets get down to business.
It’s a fun one today as we will be looking at just some of the worst football jerseys of all time.
It goes without saying the back catalogue was massive for this one. I surely left out so many and there have been some stinkers throughout football’s long history. So, please do let us know any of your shouts, the more the merrier with this one.
5. Goalkeeper Jerseys in the 90’s
Bit of a broad opening this.
As I said the 90’s wasn’t the best time to be a football jersey. But most of the goalkeeper jerseys during that time were just mental. I know fashion trends are constantly changing but they were just a collective mess of colours and shapes.
Honestly, to even scratch the surface would require the naming and shaming of most teams in world football. The likes of Liverpool, Sunderland, Lazio, Aston Villa, and the England national team are some of the more well-known culprits. Even amateur teams would rock up with these complete acid trips for their keepers to wear.
Then we have Mexican goalkeeper Jorge Campos.
This flamboyant keeper even had a hand in designing his own jerseys.
Just look at the state of that bad boy in the picture below. The eccentric design certainly goes with the apparent similar personality of Campos.
Takes a brave man to wear this on a grand stage like the 1994 World Cup.
4. Athletic Bilbao 2004-05 (Home)
Ah, don’t you just hate when you spill a mountain of ketchup all over your brand-new white top?
To be fair, this jersey did have good intentions behind it on paper.
The city of Bilbao is home to the famous Guggenheim Museum. Inside you can find plenty of art pieces to feel inspired by.
This is what happened to well respected artist and Bilbao native Dario Urzay.
Creatively driving by the work inside of the Guggenheim, Urzay designed this kit to celebrate his hometown clubs return to European football.
As well intended as it was, it just looked bizarre in real life.
The Spanish side only wore it during pre-season. Thankfully, they reverted to their classic red and white stripes when competitive football resumed.
3. CD Palencia 2016-17 (Home)
See also, Italian side Reggina who had a similar effort back in 2012.
This side play their football in the third tier of the Spanish football league system.
For their 2016/17 they went with a questionable choice of kit.
It was designed by Juan Francisco Martin, a man who is no stranger to mental football attire.
Again, the intentions on paper were good. This was meant to represent that the players would play out of their skin for the club.
In the end it just looked like something from a low rent science project. When you add the shorts, the players just end up having the crotch of an action man figure.
They did earn promotion that season, the sentiment worked I suppose. Please don’t do this again.
I tried to avoid weird kits like Cultural Leonesa’s tuxedo kit. But this is just wrong.
2. Coventry City 1978-81 (Away)
It’s brown. That should literally be all the explanation needed.
There is a reason this often comes up when talking about the worst football kits.
The fact it is made by Admiral really makes this more of a sore point.
Admiral were the company that really introduced the idea of mass-producing replica jerseys for fans. The Leicestershire company would even go on to manufacture the England national team attire for the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
Like many popular kit makers, Admiral didn’t always get it right.
It’s believed that Coventry’s kitman at the time Jimmy Herbert came up with the colour scheme. Surely making his job of cleaning the thing harder for himself. Especially when you consider the mud baths, they called pitches the matches took place on at the time.
I’m sure Jimmy was an excellent servant to the club, that should have been the last of his decision making.
1. Colorado Caribous 1978 (Away)
“It’s fun to stay at the YMCA.”
This wasn’t designed by The Village People but instead Jim Guercio. The owner of the famous Caribou Ranch recording studio in Denver, Colorado.
Guercio was known for his marketing ability and felt that making the team look ridiculous would improve their notoriety. Fair enough, Jim.
No football shirt should ever have leather tassels on it, that should just be an unspoken rule. They were 10 inches long too. Imagine going up for a header and getting a smack in the face off one of those in the rain.
During the 1978 season the team would walk out to the pitch wearing Stenson hats and cowboy boots. While the coaching staff would wear them on the side-line, DURING THE GAME. This sounds like an April fools joke gone off the rails.
Both the home and away kits had a similar colour scheme and design. If the most normal part of your jersey is the fact it includes the colour brown, that’s saying something.
They lost most of their games that season and have since been replaced by the Colorado Rapids as the states leading football/soccer club.
While Colorado Caribous is no more, their jersey will live on to haunt our dreams forever.