Top 100 Football Shirts of 2019 - Part 4: 70-61
Top 100 Shirts is all about unearthing those hidden gems from teams you'd least expect. Step forward, 1874 Northwich.
The best football shirts of 2019
Football shirts are the great leveller.
In many walks of life there is no toppling the establishment. The big boys snap up all the accolades, leaving the chasing pack to fight over the remaining scraps.
But football shirts are different. You can find designs in non-league football that put a Champions League-winning side to shame. A club from Chile can outclass a team in the Premier League in terms of kits, even if they will never meet on the field. This exciting degree of parity is a big driving factor behind Top 100 Shirts and, whilst many of the top spots will inevitably be filled by familiar faces, it’s the underdog stories that are often the most interesting.
Last year we saw Clapton CFC reach as high as #19 on our list, and this year I’m very happy to say that 1874 Northwich F.C., a club who play in the North West Counties League Premier Division, are making their Top 100 debut alongside the likes of Real Madrid and Marseille.
So here’s to the Clapton’s and Northwich’s of the world. The football shirt landscape wouldn’t be the same without you.
Other blogs in this series
70 - Marseille Away
The roof of the Stade Vélodrome has always been iconic, and the inspiration of that wave-like structure is clear to see in Marseille’s new away shirt. This fantastic graphic runs all over the shirt, submerging the front, back and sleeves like a cascading (not to mention sponsorless) sea-blue wave.
A perfect example of why brands should go big or go home.
69 - Fortuna Dusseldorf Third
Uhlsport have designed a beauty of a shirt for Fortuna Dusseldorf!
Uhlsport say that the shirt is inspired by the fans and the games in floodlit stadiums. The red and white stripes going across the front of the shirt is based on the flags waved by the supporters and the club crest and Uhlsport logo have a glow-in-the-dark effect to represent the floodlights illuminating those fans.
A superb shirt, showing that Uhlsport can do more than just cracking goalkeeper gloves.
The term ‘wavy’ is bandied about a lot in regards to shirt, but very few designs actually live up to the moniker. Fortuna Dusseldorf’s lovely third kit however combines a black base with a series of red and white horizontal stripes, and in what looks like a tribute to a barber's pole, the stripes rise up like a wave.
I’ve run out of words to talk about the glow in the dark crest too. That’s worth checking out.
68 - Parma Third
Whilst they haven’t scaled those dizzy heights once again in 2019, their phoenix-emblazoned third kit has provided plenty of eye candy. Erreà have made dot based pattern their speciality in recent seasons, so it’s pleasing to see that theme continued alongside some fun additional touches.
An improvement over last year’s attempt for me. Errea have found their footing with what they want to do with Parma’s third shirt, and the subtle bird really makes the shirt pop. I also like the yellow trimmings, a nice contrast to the blacks and blues.
Finally, I’m always a fan of the colourless badge and this one works nicely to stop the shirt looking too busy.
67 - RB Leipzig Third
Leipzig’s third kit answers an intriguing question. What sort of design do you (a brand) create for a 10 year old club, in a year when you’re trying to push retro looks?
In this case i’m really glad Nike didn’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole by creating a faux-retro design for Red Bull, and their more abstract, Lille-esque pattern is a welcome sight.
66 - Real Madrid Away
I know a lot of people who aren’t really fussed about the new Madrid kits, but I’ve got to say that all three of their designs are pretty smart this year. Their dark blue away kit is probably my pick of the bunch, although I’m more impressed by the gold detailing than the subtle “sound wave” graphic. It’s a fairly standard adidas shirt, but you can’t deny it looks damn tidy.
65 - Costa Rica Cup
Although this stunning Costa Rica shirt uses the same design as last year’s World Cup shirts, the use of black and gold really make this shirt stand out.
The recoloured, monochrome badge is stunning and the gold design on the front (looking like it’s been inspired by old Windows Media Player graphics) looks great. The choice of black may seem odd, but apparently it’s to pay tribute to the Italia 90 squad that used black and white shirts during that campaign.
Whatever the reasoning, there is no denying that it is a lovely shirt.
In last year’s World Cup, Costa Rica had one of the most forgettable set of kits at the tournament. And yet, if New Balance had brought this black and gold beauty forward a little bit, they would’ve been one of the talks of Russia.
Of course the gold look made a lot of sense for the Gold Cup this year, and it serves as a reminder that on their day, New Balance can compete with the best.
64 - Monchengladbach Third
I'm usually not a fan of green shirts, but for this I make an exception. The pattern - apparently in homage to Borussia's old stadium, the Bökelbergstadion - is chaotic and decidedly 90's-esque, but stunning nonetheless. The contrast of the white collar and Puma logo are the underrated highlights for me here though.
63 - Blackburn Away
No football team on the planet does a half and half shirt quite like Blackburn, so it's only fitting that this amazing effort makes our list. This fresh take on the classic style by the powerhouses of unique pattern Umbro ticks all the right boxes in terms of colour too, with both sides being grey but having a subtle difference in terms of shade.
Umbro proving yet again that they are serious players in contemporary shirt design.
I’m still not sure what to make of this one. I mean, we all know the pattern is a variant of the Umbro logo, but it also looks kinda like the branding for a really bleak 1990s kids show. Like if SMTV Live had been really depressing or something. Plus, any Manchester United fan can tell you the problems with wearing grey out on the pitch.
Then again, at least this offers something a little bit different, and the monochrome crest and minty accents do serve up some redeeming qualities. I guess I’m just surprised to see it up here in the early 60s bracket.
62 - 1874 Northwich Away
Take a bow, Northwich. Many clubs have attempted to ride the recent wave of kit enthusiasm, but few have managed to both capture the imagination of the community and deliver a design which stands tall as one of the best designs this year.
The involvement of local illustrator Phil Galloway (a personal favourite of mine) was a stroke of genius, and the results speak for themselves.
Oh, yes. I got all excited about this when I first saw it on Twitter, and that excitement hasn’t dimmed as the weeks have rolled by. The shirt was designed by local artist Phil Galloway, so it’s completely bespoke to Northwich and bursting with the kind of individuality so many modern kits lack. Just look at that graphic!
In short, this shirt is unlike anything else you’re likely to find this season, and it’s fantastic to see a North West Counties team edging out the likes of Real Madrid. Sensational stuff.
61 - UNAM Pumas Away
Let’s face it, this is all about that giant puma head. Just like it always is. This particular tradition has always made UNAM’s shirts stand out to me, and this year’s effort is packed with even more character than usual. The eye is immediately drawn to that gorgeous gold detailing, but the highlight here can actually be found within that deep navy colourway.
The navy section features a pretty tidy stripe pattern but, if you look a little closer, you’ll actually find a unique graphic inspired by the Aztec god of rain. Pretty cool, eh? I wish they’d calm down on the sponsors a bit, but this is still straight out of Nike’s top drawer.
The Top 100 shirts of 2019 - Table
|41||Philadelphia Union Away||Part 6: 50-41|
|42||Sampdoria Home||Part 6: 50-41|
|43||Atlético Tucumán Home||Part 6: 50-41|
|44||Hamburg Home||Part 6: 50-41|
|45||Huesca Third||Part 6: 50-41|
|46||Charlton Away||Part 6: 50-41|
|47||Leones Negros Third||Part 6: 50-41|
|48||Arsenal Away||Part 6: 50-41|
|49||Forward Madison Third||Part 6: 50-41|
|50||Club Puebla Home||Part 6: 50-41|
|51||Valencia Third||Part 5: 60-51|
|52||Manchester City Away||Part 5: 60-51|
|53||Besiktas Home||Part 5: 60-51|
|54||UNAM Pumas||Part 5: 60-51|
|55||Middlesbrough Home||Part 5: 60-51|
|56||Zenit Away||Part 5: 60-51|
|57||Australia Women Home||Part 5: 60-51|
|58||Ecuador Home||Part 5: 60-51|
|59||Ajax Home||Part 5: 60-51|
|60||Coventry Away||Part 5: 60-51|
|61||UNAM Pumas Away||Part 4: 70-61|
|62||1874 Northwich Away||Part 4: 70-61|
|63||Blackburn Away||Part 4: 70-61|
|64||Monchengladbach Third||Part 4: 70-61|
|65||Costa Rica Cup||Part 4: 70-61|
|66||Real Madrid Away||Part 4: 70-61|
|67||RB Reipzig Third||Part 4: 70-61|
|68||Parma Third||Part 4: 70-61|
|69||Fortuna Dusseldorf Third||Part 4: 70-61|
|70||Marseille Away||Part 4: 70-61|
|71||Forest Green Third||Part 3: 80-71|
|72||Spurs Third||Part 3: 80-71|
|73||Dundee United Home||Part 3: 80-71|
|74||Sao Paulo Away||Part 3: 80-71|
|75||West Brom Away||Part 3: 80-71|
|76||Frankfurt Home||Part 3: 80-71|
|77||Mali Away||Part 3: 80-71|
|78||Netherlands Women Home||Part 3: 80-71|
|79||Roma Home||Part 3: 80-71|
|80||Inter Home||Part 3: 80-71|
|81||Venezia Home||Part 2: 90-81|
|82||Schalke Third||Part 2: 90-81|
|83||AGF Aarhus Home||Part 2: 90-81|
|84||Marseille Home||Part 2: 90-81|
|85||Atletico Madrid Third||Part 2: 90-81|
|86||Newport County Home||Part 2: 90-81|
|87||Brazil Cup||Part 2: 90-81|
|88||Schalke Away||Part 2: 90-81|
|89||Charleroi Away||Part 2: 90-81|
|90||Gremio Home||Part 2: 90-81|
|91||Zenit Saint Petersburg Home||Part 1: 100-91|
|92||Fluminense Home||Part 1: 100-91|
|93||Lazio Away||Part 1: 100-91|
|94||Portland Thorns Home||Part 1: 100-91|
|95||Venezia Away||Part 1: 100-91|
|96||Stuttgart Third||Part 1: 100-91|
|97||Newport County Away||Part 1: 100-91|
|98||Atletico Madrid Away||Part 1: 100-91|
|99||Nantes Away||Part 1: 100-91|
|100||Urawa Red Diamonds Home||Part 1: 100-91|
Can you believe we still have 60 shirts left to reveal?
We’re leaving no stone unturned in our quest to find the best this year, and if all these shirts have got you in a bargain hunting mood, check out FOOTY.COM’s football shirt section. There’s something for everyone, with prices checked regularly from hundreds of retailers.