The Best Football Shirts in Denmark
Denmark is the home of Hummel. And Hummel are the godfathers of beautiful shirt design.
Hidden Gems - Denmark
See previous editions of Hidden Gems here:
Denmark is the home of some of my favourite things. I love their bacon and pastries (some would say maybe too much), I can’t wait to introduce my 17-month-old son to Lego, I (occasionally) enjoy a cold Carlsberg and I could watch videos of the Laudrup brothers and Christian Eriksen playing football, all day long.
Denmark is also the home of Hummel. They are the manufacturers of the first football shirt I ever owned (Spurs 1986, if you must ask) and also produced some of the most iconic shirt designs in the history of the sport. It is because of my love of Hummel (and that 1986 Denmark home shirt) that I decided to look through the shirts on show in this year’s Danish Superliga.
In terms of Danish football, the players are perhaps more well-known than the actual Danish Superliga itself. Great players don’t tend to move to the Danish Superliga which is perhaps understandable as it has considerably less money and less television exposure. However, great players have started their careers in the Danish Superliga. Peter Schmeichel, Michael and Brian Laudrup and the 1977 European Footballer of the Year, Allan Simonsen all started in their homeland before moving onto some of Europe’s biggest football clubs.
Not only did the league give these players a platform to begin their careers, but it is also where 13 of the remarkable Euro 1992 winning squad played their club football. In fact, of the 20 players in that squad, only 1 of them had never played in Denmark’s top division.
So, onto the ‘Hidden Gems’. Below I’ve picked out, what I believe to be, six of the best Danish shirts being worn in this season’s Superliga and surprisingly, they are not all Hummel.
Brondby away shirt
It seems that Hummel have taken a page out of adidas’ book and have gone through their archives to find inspiration for this shirt. I can’t look at this shirt without thinking of Hummel’s iconic half and half shirt worn back in 1986 by the likes of Coventry, Aston Villa and most notably, Denmark.
For me, that Denmark kit is one of the best of all time and although this Brondby away shirt may not reach the same heights, it is definitely one of the best shirts this season.
Although this kit does seem to have more than a passing resemblance to that classic Denmark shirt, Brondby have actually opted for the half and half design to symbolise how the club was founded. In 1964 two local clubs, Brøndbyøster and Brøndbyvester Idrætsforening, merged to become the club we now know as Brondby. In further homage to this merger the year ‘1964’ can also be found on the back of the collar.
The combination of black, gray and ‘sand’ give the shirt a sleek, elegant look. The classic Hummel chevrons adorning the shoulders and the subtle gold piping on the collar also add to the overall elegance of the shirt. Hummel deserve a good pat on the back as they have designed one of the best-looking shirts this season.
Aarhus ‘special edition’ home shirt
This stunning special edition AGF Aarhus home shirt pays homage to one of the club’s greatest ever players, Aage Rou Jensen.
Hummel designed the shirt as part of their ‘Share Legends’ series. Last season, Danish teams that had Hummel as their shirt manufacturer received a special edition shirt released to honour a club legend.
Aage Rou Jensen spent his whole career at the club, making 423 appearances and winning 4 titles and these feats are embroidered on the shirt under the club badge.
The shirt is a great combination of old and new. It has a sleek, modern cut combined with little nods to shirts worn by Jensen back in the 1940s and 50s. The badge and collar are reminiscent of what was used during that era. Even the main sponsor is an ode to past. Jensen worked for Ceres while also being a player for AGF and the sponsor recreates the logo used at that time. The usual Hummel chevrons make an appearance on the sides and they look as classy as ever.
The shirt will not make too many appearances during the season which is unfortunate as a shirt this beautiful should be worn as many times as possible. Having said that, the club’s regular home shirt for the season, is also very nice indeed.
FC Copenhagen third shirt
This season, the ‘fade’ effect is a popular design choice for several clubs.
Teams such as Manchester United and Spurs are sporting this ‘fade’ effect and they seem to have divided opinion. For every fan of the shirt there is a fan who hates it and vows not to buy this season’s kit. They certainly seem to be a ‘Marmite’ design.
However, in my opinion, this FC Copenhagen third shirt is the best of the ‘fade’ kits. Perhaps it’s because of the colours, with the black fading into grey being a more subtle contrast.
It could also be because the effect (which has taken its inspiration from the roads that take the team to their away matches) looks better spaced out across the middle of the shirt, as opposed to everything happening at the bottom of the previously mentioned kits.
Or maybe it’s because the club badge has been adapted to fit in with the shirt’s colours. All I know is that each element works perfectly to create a fantastic looking kit.
Randers FC home
Randers FC is still a young club having only been founded in 2003. It came about from a merger between six local clubs and have quickly established themselves in Danish football. Although they still haven’t won a league title, they did win the Danish Cup only four years after being formed.
Randers will be playing this season’s home games wearing this smart shirt by Puma. The shirt is predominantly sky blue with a darker shade of blue on the shoulders. Just by this description alone it sounds like it is nothing special. But what really makes the shirt stand out is the design on the body. It is almost as if if it has come out of an old dot-matrix printer. However, rather than looking old-fashioned, it actually has a very modern feel to it.
Randers proudly state on the club’s online store that they are using this design before some of Europe’s top clubs. This could mean that we may see other clubs using this template in the future. However, when a shirt is this nice, I don’t mind seeing it again.
Odense BK away
Hans Christian Andersen, the author of some of the most well-known fairy tales, was born in Odense many, many years ago. Statues depicting characters from his fairy tales can be found around the city and his childhood home is now a museum.
However for local football club Odense BK, fairytale seasons have been few and far between. Odense have had some degree of success in their history as they have won the Danish title on three occasions and Danish cup five times but unfortunately they haven’t lifted silverware since 2007.
Odense will be hoping to add to their trophy cabinet wearing this lovely away shirt designed by Hummel. The shirt is predominantly black, with the Hummel chevrons on the shoulder. The club’s colours of blue and white run vertically down the left of the shirt but what really makes the shirt unique is the embossed dragon on the front. This is a reference to the ‘Funen Lindorm’, a symbol of Funen, the island where Odense is located. Legend says that the dragon watches over the island and protects it from enemies.
Whether the dragon will protect the club this season, remains to be seen. But whatever happens on their travels, they will at least be looking smart.
Vejle Boldklub home
If I’m honest, I have seen this Hummel template being used by other clubs this season.
However, using a template does not mean it is not a lovely shirt and I believe that this is best I’ve seen. The design is simple but elegant and the club colours have been used to great effect with white chevrons, neck and sponsor all complimenting the vibrant red. The white neck catches my eye as it almost seems to match to the edges of the club badge to the side of it. I’m sure the two are not connected but it certainly made me think of it.
Hummel have also added some design features to make it unique to the club. In 1958, not only did Vejie win the first of its five league titles but it also completed the double by winning the Danish Cup for the first time. This feat is remembered with embroidered, gold lettering under the Hummel name. Under the club badge, a motto is also embroidered and the nickname of that 1958 team is also on the back of the shirt.
It may not be one of Hummel’s most creative shirts, but it is certainly one of the most pleasing on the eye.
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