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Best Retro Football Shirts of All Time

best retro football kits

Retro football shirts leave a mark on you that modern football shirts just cannot create.

Whether it remind you of being intoxicated on holiday in an Irish bar during a world cup (Yes we’ve been there), or it reminds you of your teams most successful era playing their best football, there is always an emotional connection where a vintage football shirts bring you right back to.

So the lads here at Inside Forwards have been discussing….What are the best retro football shirts of all time?

The results are in, with classic football shirts across club and country.

Let’s get started…

Holland 1988 (Home)

holland 1988 kit

A team including superstars such as Ruud Gullit, Ronald Koeman and the magic of Marco Van Basten (who can forget THAT goal?), the Netherlands donned a chequered orange kit that matched the high levels of their squad.

In a memorable tournament, one of the best international teams kits of all time got the outcome it deserved as the Netherlands became European Champions with a 2-0 victory over the USSR in the final.

The kit design alongside being worn by renowned players across the world, and being honoured as champions made this kit and instant classic, which remains a popular shirt even to this day.

Newcastle United 1995-97 (Away)

newcastle 1995-97 away kit

The Newcastle United 1995-97 away kit, with its broad stripes and grandad collar, is more than just a fashion statement. It’s represents of one of the most thrilling chapters in the club’s history.

This was the era of the ‘Entertainers’, a team that played with such attacking verve and swagger that they almost clinched the Premier League title, narrowly losing out to Manchester United in the 1995-96 season.

It was the season of the famous quote ‘I’d love it if we beat them’ by boss Kevin Keegan, and was arguably one of the most exciting title challenges the premier league has witnessed.

This shirt evokes memories of a team that boasted the talents of Les Ferdinand, David Ginola, and Peter Beardsley, and an era that brings goosebumps back even if you are not a signed up member of the toon army.

But the story of this shirt is also bittersweet.

It’s a reminder of the ‘what-ifs’, of a title charge that enthralled the nation but ultimately ended in heartbreak.

Parma 1998-2000 (Home)

parma 98-00 home kit uefa]

Few kits stand out for football fans as much as Parma’s iconic football shirt in the colours of yellow and blue.

So what do you get when you put a stand-out kit with a collection of football icons?

A UEFA cup-winning team that brought one of the most unique of kit colours to the global scene.

Graced by the talents of Hernan Crespo, Juan Sebastian Veron, and a young Gianluigi Buffon, Parma’s squad in this era was one for the history books, and the classic kit with hometown sponsor Parmalat gave them the perfect shirt to match.

Yet, the story of this shirt is also tinged with melancholy.

This shirt also represents the last hurrah of a golden era before financial troubles plunged the club into turmoil, selling off it’s prized assets.

The Parma 1998-2000 home kit is a bittersweet symbol of glory days, a reminder of when a small club from Emilia-Romagna dared to dream big and charmed the continent.

Ajax 1995 (Home)

ajax 1995 home kit

When you think of European cup competition, it’s hard not to mention Ajax Amsterdam in the discussion.

The classic red and white kit is an iconic shirt that has been donned by some of the worlds finest players, and this football shirt was no different.

The Ajax 1995 home shirt, in its simplicity, carries the weight of one of the most remarkable stories in European football.

This kit is synonymous with a young, fearless Ajax team that conquered Europe, winning the European Cup in a manner that was both dominant and delightful.

This shirt saw the rise of future legends like Patrick Kluivert, Clarence Seedorf, and Edgar Davids, nurtured by the visionary coach Louis van Gaal.

It’s a testament to the Ajax academy, a system that produced players who played a brand of football that was both easy on the eye yet ruthlessly effective.

The team’s victory over AC Milan in the 1995 Champions League final, with a team whose spine was homegrown, is a narrative that this shirt holds within its fibres.

But this shirt also represents the end of an era.

The success of the Ajax 1995 team was a swansong for a time when youth and innovation could triumph over financial might.

In the years that followed, the team was dismantled as stars were lured away by the riches of bigger leagues.

Manchester City 1999 (Away)

manchester city 1999 away kit

If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen one of the loudest football kits you’re likely to see, it is because this football classic was deep down in the third-tier of English football.

The Manchester City 1999 away shirt, with its electric yellow and and navy stripes, tells a story of redemption and a turning point in the club’s history.

This was the kit worn during the make or break Division Two playoff final, a match that epitomised City’s fall from grace but also sparked their resurgence.

Worn by Manchester City legends such as Shaun Goater and Paul Dickov, this shirt became an emblem of hope for City fans, and remains one of the most popular and iconic shirts in the City collection.

Dickov’s last-gasp equalizer at Wembley, which led to a penalty shootout victory, is a moment forever etched in the club’s folklore.

It was a turning point, marking the beginning of Manchester City’s climb back to the top of English football.

This shirt serves as a reminder of the club’s turbulent times, the perseverance of its players, and the unwavering support of its fans.

Brazil 1998 (Home)

ronaldo r9 brazil 98 kit

You could probably make an argument for any of the yellow Brazil jerseys to be included in this list.

We’ve chosen Brazil 1998 kit due to it’s connection with the legendary ‘el fenomeno’ Ronaldo.

Designed beautifully Nike, this classic was the kit to showcase the worlds greatest prospect and his ascent to the throne by retaining Brazil’s world cup dominance.

At the age of 21, he had the weight of a nation on his shoulders, and he did not disappoint with 4 goals and 3 assists on their way to the World Cup final.

However, the final did not follow suit. In an episode that is still shrouded in mystery, Ronaldo was a shadow of the man blowing everyone away in the tournament.

Ronaldo was but a by stander as Zinedine Zidane’s France coasted to a 3-0 victory on home soil.

The shirt however still deserves its place amongst the best football classic shirts.

Croatia 1998 (Home)

davor suker 1998 croatia home kit

It seems World Cup 98 was littered with future classic football kits.

The checkered red and white design of the Croatia 1998 home shirt is emblematic of a nation announcing itself on the world stage.

In their first World Cup as an independent nation, Croatia, wearing this kit, achieved an outstanding third-place finish.

This shirt is synonymous with the golden generation of Croatian football, including Davor Šuker, who won the Golden Boot at the tournament.

Building upon a successful Euro 96 campaign, the tournament delivered a source of national pride, unity, and the sheer joy of exceeding expectations on the biggest stage.

Liverpool 1995-97 (Away)

liverpool 95-97 away kit

Ah the green and white quarters of the Liverpool 1995-97 away kit, designed and delivered by Adidas.

This was the era of the ‘Spice Boys’, a talented but ultimately underachieving Liverpool side.

Worn by the likes of Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, Jamie Redknapp and captain John Barnes, this shirt witnessed moments of individual brilliance but also a team failing to live up to its potential.

In this kit the team reached the FA cup final which resulted in 1-0 defeat to arch-rivals Manchester United, which was probably remembered more for those awful white suits than on-field performance.

And although it may be seen as a disappointing transition era for Liverpool fans, this football shirt stands out as a classic design that deserves a place amongst the greats.

AC Milan 1989/90 (Home)

milan 1990 home kit

This Milan side have arguably gone down as one of the greatest teams of all-time.

And this classic red and black Milan shirt is steeped in prestige as well as being aesthetically pleasing.

In this kit, Milan were dominant winning the European Cup back to back, with the team being nicknamed the immortals due to their rare successes.

Graced by the likes of Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, and Paolo Maldini, this kit is a symbol of tactical innovation under the legendary coach Arrigo Sacchi.

It represents a period when Milan was the epitome of footballing excellence, combining defensive solidity with attacking flair.

This shirt sets the foundations for a story of a team that set the benchmark for future generations, a narrative of dominance, class, and the relentless pursuit of perfection.

Mexico 1994 (Home)

mexico 1994 home kit

The Aztec-inspired of the Mexico 1994 home shirt. Back when football shirts weren’t just a slight variation of the previous jersey.

This cult classic was worn during the 1994 World Cup, where the creativity of the kit was echoed by their players, none more so than legendary keeper Jorge Campos.

The Mexico 1994 home kit is a narrative of cultural identity, of playing football in a way that celebrates heritage and tradition.

Blackburn Rovers 1994/95 (Home)

blackburn rovers 94-95 home shirt

The Blackburn Rovers 1994/95 home shirt will always be fondly remembered to a fairy tale triumph, an underdog story that saw the club from a small town in Lancashire go on to clinch the Premier League title.

Personally funded by local businessman Jack Walker, this iconic shirt was worn by the likes of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton, as Kenny Dalglish’s side went on to win the Premier League title ahead of Manchester United.

It represents a time when Blackburn Rovers disrupted the traditional hierarchy of English football, proving that even the unexpected can become reality.

West Germany 1990 (Home)

west germany 1990 home kit

The clean, white design of this West Germany 1990 home shirt, accented with the German flag colours, is a beautiful shirt steeped in both football and political history.

It was the shirt worn during their World Cup-winning campaign in Italy, a tournament that saw them crowned champions for the third time.

Not only that, this shirt was the last ever shirt of West Germany, with the Country of Germany being formed in the same year.

On the pitch it was worn by the likes of Lothar Matthäus and Jürgen Klinsmann, and goes down as one of the most iconic shirts in world football.

Real Madrid 2001-2003 (Home)

real madrid 01-03 home kit

Where would any classic football shirt collection be without the classic white of ‘Los Blancos’ Real Madrid.

The Madrid home shirt of 2001-2003 represents the beginning of ‘Los Galacticos’, a period when the club assembled some of the greatest talents in football history.

This was the kit worn by the likes of French football star Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, and Ronaldo, to create a team that brought a new level of glamour to the game.

It represents a time when Real Madrid was not just a football club but a global phenomenon, showcasing a brand of football that was as attractive as it was effective.

One of the finest moments in this football shirt is the 2002 European Cup winning volley of Zinedine Zidane against Bayer Leverkusen.

Perfect technique, and a shirt befitting of such a goal.

Greatest Classic Football Shirts – Summary

By now, we’re sure reading this you’d have taken a few trips down memory lane.

From iconic shirts blazoned in glory, to wonderfully crafted shirts from periods your club would prefer to forget.

We’ve covered from across the globe some of the most iconic vintage football shirts you’re likely to fix eyes upon.

Do you agree with our teams choices? Drop us a message on Instagram and let us know your thoughts!

All shirts mentioned in this article are available within the Inside Forwards shirt collection.

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Our Top 5 Kits Of Euro 96


Euro 96 was one of the most exciting tournaments of recent years.

Although it ended in heartache for England, the atmosphere brought to the British Isles by the travelling fans was electric.

One of the best things about any international tournament is the wave of new kits unveiled for the competition.

And Euro 96 did not disappoint!

In this article, we pick our top 5 Euro 96 kits that live long in the memory.

croatia home kit euro 96

Croatia home kit

Who can forget the Croatia team of Euro 96?

In the country’s first major tournament, it boasted stars such as Zvonimir Boban and Robert Prosinecki, whilst the team was spearheaded by star striker Davor Suker.

The Croatians exploded into the quarter-finals of the tournament, only to lose out 2-1 to eventual champions Germany.

Croatia brought many great memories such as Davor Suker’s lobbed goal against Denmark. However, it is their home jersey we remember most fondly!

The red and white checkered shirt has always been a standout design, and there is no design quite like it! This was the first time it was showcased on the international stage, and it made quite the impression.

italy euro 96 kit

Italy home shirt

Italians are known for their style, and their Euro 96 home shirt did not disappoint.

In its traditional blue colour, it was stylishly finished off with gold and white trims to the sleeves.

We love the gold finishes across the kit (it even outlines the shirt and number prints) and is ever a popular shirt in our store for football fanatics.

Unfortunately on the pitch, the Azzurri didn’t do this classic kit justice.

Even with players such as Gianfranco Zola, Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Del Piero, the Italian national team went out with a whimper. The Azzurri exited in the group stage with what many would put down to Arrigo Sacchi’s tinkering tactics.

England away shirt

This grey England shirt will always be memorable for on-pitch agony against arch-rivals Germany, but the kit itself deserves a special mention.

The first English kit of its kind in the colour grey, the kit was a truly unique design that has not been seen before or after.

This grey England kit was worn during their conclusion to the tournament, with current England manager Gareth Southgate missing the all-important penalty.

Both England Euro 96 shirts can be purchased in our store.

zidane france euro 96 kit

France home shirt

France are another international team who seem to have a conveyor belt of classic kits. Euro 96 was no different with their laced home jersey.

In its traditional royal blue with the French flag colours draped across the shoulders, the shirt oozes class and sophistication. Not to mention, that laced finish underneath the collar!

This was a France team that boasted the talents of Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira, Marcel Desailly and Zinedine Zidane.

Managed by Aime Jacquet, Allez Bleus reached the semi-finals before being beaten on penalties by the surprise team of the tournament, the Czech Republic.

netherlands home shirt euro 96

Netherlands Home Shirt

With its distinctive Orange colour, the Netherlands kits are always in someone’s favourite kit conversation.

This particular shirt was used at Euro 96 and is one of our favourites too!

In a classic kit design, the Oranje home shirt from 1996 features a white colour that sports subtly the colours of the Netherlands national flag.

The Dutch side were in the media often during Euro 96 due to rows within their own camp. Even though they had stars such as Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Kluivert and Edgar Davids, they still failed to make it past the quarter-finals and were knocked out by France.

This classic Dutch shirt is available in our store for immediate delivery.

Notable kit mentions

It isn’t always the case nowadays, but in the era of Euro 96 kits were often very distinctive from their predecessor. That made our selection for the top 5 shirts at the tournament all that more difficult!

So, it would be rude if we did not give some honorary mentions to some kits that deserve a shout out.

german kit euro 96

Germany home shirt

Most shirts at Euro 96 were collared jerseys. The Germans decided to go for a different approach and chose a design that preferred a stub collar.

The shirt has a timeless design that felt retro before it even had years on its clock!

Germany crowned this one-of-a-kind kit by winning Euro 96, putting the shirt in folklore as well as football fanatics wishlists.

netherlands away kit euro 96

Netherlands away shirt

Yes, we love a Dutch jersey! To be fair to us, this shirt is another one that was a stand out from other designs at the time.

With two top performances from the Netherlands Euro 96 jerseys, it’s a shame their team didn’t echo them on the pitch.

Top 5 kits from Euro 96 – Conclusion

So, there you have it! Our top 5 kits from Euro 96.

A classic era of creative football kits, that have stood the test of time and are still loved even 25 years on.

Do you agree with our picks?

Let us know in the comments below or on our Instagram page.

Want to see more classic jerseys, visit our online store for more retro collections!

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England’s Euro 96 Campaign

shearer euro 96 switzerland

The summer of 96. The stage was set for something special.

The first major championship on English soil since the famous 1966 World Cup win, a catchy song ready to be bellowed across Wembley, and a nation ready to party.

The England 96 squad

The England squad was littered with established stars including the Premier League’s top scorer Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham (The famous SAS duo), as well as a few promising youngsters such as Gary Neville.

There was a real buzz around England’s chances. Manager Terry Venables had got the team playing an attractive brand of football and they were widely seen as potential dark horses for the tournament.

england euro 96 squad
England’s Euro 96 squad

The Full England Squad List

  1. David Seaman (Arsenal)
  2. Gary Neville (Manchester United)
  3. Stuart Pearce (Nottingham Forest)
  4. Paul Ince (Inter Milan)
  5. Tony Adams (Arsenal)
  6. Gareth Southgate (Aston Villa)
  7. David Platt (Arsenal)
  8. Paul Gascoigne (Rangers)
  9. Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers)
  10. Teddy Sheringham (Tottenham Hotspur)
  11. Darren Anderton (Tottenham Hotspur)
  12. Steve Howey (Newcastle United)
  13. Tim Flowers (Blackburn Rovers)
  14. Nick Barmby (Middlesbrough)
  15. Jamie Redknapp (Liverpool)
  16. Sol Campbell (Tottenham Hotspur)
  17. Steve McManaman (Liverpool)
  18. Les Ferdinand (Newcastle United)
  19. Phil Neville (Manchester United)
  20. Steve Stone (Nottingham Forest)
  21. Robbie Fowler (Liverpool)
  22. Ian Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

The England Euro 96 kits

pearce england euro 96 kit

England 96 home kit

England’s home kit for Euro 96 was a subtle all-white design that was finished off by a Navy and lighter blue collar.

Navy shorts and white socks supported this popular England shirt.

pearce euro 96 grey away kit

England 96 away shirt

The England 96 away kit was unique with its grey colour. Never done before or after, the kit had 2 shades of grey creating a ‘stripe’ effect on the jersey.

The England shirt was complimented by grey shorts and socks.

Euro 96 group stage

England was placed in a squad with the Netherlands, Switzerland and an eye-catching tie against neighbouring rivals Scotland.

By no means an easy group to qualify from, but most England fans would have been confident of making it through to the knockout stages.

England vs. Switzerland

First up was a match against Switzerland who had recently changed manager to replace Roy Hodgson who had departed to Inter Milan after a successful qualifying campaign.

It all started so promisingly with Alan Shearer firing in the opener with his first goal for England in 2 years.

However, Switzerland hit a late equaliser through a Kubilay Turkilmaz penalty. England were unable to find a way through for the remainder of the match, having to settle for a 1-1 draw.

shearer switzerland euro 96
Shearer puts England ahead against Switzerland

England vs. Scotland

A game that is etched in the memories for England fans.

The Wembley atmosphere was electric for the match, with the auld enemy Scotland desperate to spoil the party.

An Alan Shearer header again gave England the perfect start, before Gary McAllister had a chance to equalise from the penalty spot.

However, David Seaman pulled off a great save to keep the English lead intact.

Now, enter the stage Paul Gascoigne!

Gazza receives a ball from Darren Anderton on the edge of Scotland’s box, he loops the ball over an incoming Colin Hendry, before smashing a right-foot volley past the helpless Andy Goram.

gascoigne euro 96 scotland
Gascoigne fires a volley in to score one of the goals of the tournament

He runs over to grab a water bottle and goes on to perform the famous doctor’s chair celebration. Gazza had single-handedly put England into dreamland.

The game finished 2-0 to England and Gazza’s wondergoal is still remembered as one of the best moments in English football history.

One of the most famous goals (and celebrations!) in recent England international history, and it effectively sealed the Three Lions’ spot in the knockout stages.

gascoigne doctors chair euro 96
Gazza’s famous ‘doctors chair’ celebration

England Vs. Netherlands

The final group game against the Netherlands.

The Dutch side was full of well know exciting stars, with many players plying their trade for Champions League runners-up Ajax Amsterdam.

Notable names would include Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Kluivert and the De Boer brothers Frank and Ronald.

Both teams needed a win to be sure of qualification, with Switzerland and Scotland still in with a chance should results fall in their favour.

Alan Shearer converted from the spot to continue his goal-a-game ratio in the tournament so far, following a foul on Inter Milan midfielder Paul Ince.

The SAS strikeforce was in full flow with Teddy Sheringham scoring a second from a Paul Gascoigne corner.

This was then followed by a wonderful Alan Shearer strike, cutting across the ball to fire into the top corner.

Sheringham then left no doubt of victory with a fourth goal, finishing a rebound from Darren Anderton’s effort.

Patrick Kluivert did grab a consolation goal, which meant the Dutch qualified for the knockout stage instead of Scotland.

Shearer england netherlands euro 96
Shearer scores his second against the Netherlands

Euro 96 Quarter-Final – Spain

After emphatically topping their group, England hosted Spain in the quarter-final stage at Wembley.

The game was not a classic and ended in a tense 0-0 result after extra time.

Now for the scenario every England fan dreads…Penalties!

However, it wasn’t the usual disappointment for the Three Lions. Hero of the hour David Seaman saved Miguel Angel Nadal after Hierro had blasted his penalty against the bar.

4-2 on pens and England through to the semi-final.

Against who? No other than arch-enemy Germany.

seaman spain england euro 96
Seaman saves a penalty against Spain, booking England’s place in the Semi’s

Euro 96 Semi-Final – Germany

england grey euro 96 kit
England’s side wearing their grey away kit against Germany

The stage was set. Arch enemies on more than one occasion, England and Germany faced each other with a chance of reaching the European Championship Final.

Germany had been impressive throughout the tournament and would be a real challenge to England reaching their first major final for thirty years.

Wearing the iconic grey kit, England got off to the best start possible when Alan Shearer headed his fifth of the tournament from a Paul Gascoigne corner.

However, the tournament lasted only 13 minutes before Stefan Kuntz put home the equaliser to leave things on a knife edge for both sets of fans.

shearer goal euro 96 germany england
Shearer puts England in the lead against Germany

A tense game where England almost nicked it when Gazza slid to meet an Alan Shearer cross (So, so close!).

After extra-time came the much-feared penalties against an efficient German side who had beaten the English at Italia 90 from the same scenario.

The Germans carried out their penalties as expected with laser precision, and to the delight of England fans so had their side!


With both sides scoring 100% of their penalties, it came down to arrived sudden death…..

Can centre-half and current England manager Gareth Southgate step up to put England into a lead once more?

Unfortunately. No.

Southgate misses.

southgate miss euro 96
Southgate misses his penalty against Germany
southgate germany euro 96
Heartache for Southgate and England

Andreas Moller scores his penalty to give the Germans a spot in the Euro 96 final.

England fans were left heartbroken, but this group of players had managed to forge a bond between fans and the team that would live on for many years to come.

England didn’t just provide us with memorable tournament, they also gave us two classic kits that remain popular over 25 years later! Both shirts can be purchased today from our store.

Do you have fond memories of England at Euro 96?

Let us know in the comments below!