Top 100 Football Shirts of 2019 - Part 7: 40-31
We’re into the top third of Top 100 Shirts, and the story of this round is Hackney Wick, the small team from London who’ve made a big impression this year.
The best football shirts of 2019
Stories are everything, and the rise of Hackney Wick is one of the most uplifting stories you’ll find in the world of football.
Founder Bobby Kasanga was inspired to start a football club after spending 8 years in prison, and upon his release the Peckham native set about creating an environment where kids could come together and do more than just play football. Players were encouraged to volunteer in the local area, pathways were set up to help guide members across different areas as well as sport. Ultimately the work of the club helped to keep young people safe and away from the violence of rival gangs operating throughout the neighbouring boroughs.
Since their formation in 2015 the side has gone from strength to strength, and such was their growing reputation that Nike reached out directly from the U.S. this year, offering to collaborate on a brand new set of bespoke kits. As you’ll see later on, the end results were pretty special.
What’s more, at the time of writing the club are fresh from announcing a pioneering partnership with Italian giants Roma. Yes, the Roma. Hackney Wick and the Giallorossi will work together over the next 12 months on a range of initiatives, proving just how high you can rise with a powerful idea and an unflinching commitment to giving back.
Barcelona proudly proclaim that they are ‘more than a club’, but I would argue that the phrase is more fitting for Hackney Wick FC.
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I don’t even know where to start. I mean, this is pretty much the ‘Inception’ of football shirts, with enough mind-bending layers to have even Christopher Nolan scratching his head.
“Outrageous”, “mesmerising” and “trippy” are all words I’d use to describe that awesome graphic, spiralling around that Vodacom sponsor like an out-of-control funhouse. The fantastic pattern and colours create a dizzying optical illusion, and it’s hard to stare at it for too long without feeling like I need to lie down. Or reach for my wallet.
This design might seem a bit over-the-top for some people, and that’s completely understandable. For me, though, this is their popular 2012/13 home kit jacked up on steroids (or some kind of hallucinogenic) - and I absolutely love it.
Memories of last year’s outstanding but never-released black China away kit instantly spring to mind when seeing this shirt. Thankfully, this China away shirt for the women’s national team is real and a stunner!
I know it’s not to everyone’s taste but I really love the colour combination. The grey and black look sleek and elegant, while the orange adds a lovely vibrancy without going over the top. However, this shirt is all about the pattern that dominates the front and back. Phoenixes can be seen covering the body of the shirt and they look beautiful.
Nike produced a lot of great looking shirts for teams participating at this year’s Women’s World Cup and this is probably my favourite of the lot.
Umbro have produced some of the best kits that will take to the pitch through the 2019/20 season and the Derby County home kit is one of my favourites.
Only using black and white in the kit means there is a classic feel to the kit, with the use of gradient lines on the sleeves giving a modern feel to the kit. In the marketing at the kit launch, we are told that the kit is based on the one worn during the 1995/96 promotion season (produced by Puma) and also the “iconic stanchions” of Pride Park. I’ll be honest I’m not too sure about that, but the design works well and shows what could have been done with Nike’s Vapor template which it has more than a passing resemblance to.
This kit was so close to greatness.
All the right elements are in play: a beautiful deep green and gold colour scheme, consistency across the applications, a unique pattern which references the Basque flag. But cruelly, we’ve been denied a classic due to the way the pattern cuts off abruptly whilst sitting in New Balance’s ubiquitous template for this year.
Still, we’ve ranked this as the 37th best kit of 2019, which is a pretty decent outcome all things considered.
I think my favourite football shirt design principle is white with two different secondary colours and this is a wonderful example, recalling AC Milan change kits of the 1980s and 1990s (albeit with Middlesbrough having navy rather than black).
Some navy trim on the Boro home kit would have helped the two to tie together better, but we’ll get over that.
hummel continue their look back in the kit world with this wonderful away kit for Middlesbrough.
Taking the traditional chest band seen on Boro kits, this incarnation uses a red/blue in the band on a white shirt. For me the hummel branding also brings the shirt to life here, the “Bumblebee” logo and the chevrons take the appearance of the classic hummel kit design of the 80s. This is another example of a shirt for that works well for its simplicity and one that I believe is part of one of the best kit combinations in the Championship in 2019/20.
Everything about this shirt is pretty classy. Vancouver Whitecaps have always benefitted from a gorgeous colour palette, and adidas have used these colours to great effect. In fact, this is undoubtedly some of the German brand’s strongest work this season, and is also the best shirt you’ll find in the MLS.
Starting from the top, I’m a huge fan of the classic-style collar, mirroring the dark navy in the crest and beautifully contrasting the crisp white colourway. This shade looks even better on the thick chest band, which also features a lighter shade of blue to round off the full-house of club colours.
While Premier League clubs have their sleeves ruined by Angry Birds or one of the various gambling companies, Vancouver instead implement a rather lovely maple leaf emblem - complete with retro lettering. Further down the shirt, you’ll find a nod to the old club crest, and I’ve got to say it’s these little details which make this classy design really stand out.
Ronaldo. Stoichkov. Guardiola. This gorgeous shade of teal green brings back memories of all of them, and anything which harkens back to 90s Barca is alright by me.
Although I don’t think this comes close to the craziness of Kappa’s iconic 96/97 design, this is still a strong entry in Nike’s stunning collection of third shirts. That retro V-neck collar is a particular highlight for me, matching up with those smart cuffs and offering the perfect contrast to that teal colourway.
The all-over diamond pattern provides a lovely bit of depth, but it doesn’t quite hit all the right notes and looks a bit messy (no pun intended) up close. It’s definitely been upstaged by some of Nike’s other third kits, but there’s no question this is still very nice to look at.
This is damn cool. So cool I’m on the verge of saying the word “wavey” for the first time in my life. Hackney Wick’s stunning home shirt is just about as distinctive and unique as modern designs get, with bold splashes of colour sitting atop a remarkable all-over graphic.
The London club is dedicated to tackling gang culture in the capital, doing what they can to engage with local youngsters and keep them off the streets. In fact, it’s those youngsters who are responsible for that fantastic graphic, providing the sketches used throughout the design and making sure cramming it full with plenty of character.
Peter Hoppins, the man behind that Nigeria shirt, also worked on the design, and his influence is clear to see here. This is every bit as bold, iconic and beautiful as those 2018 Naija kits, and it’s great to see a team in the 10th tier of English football coming up with something so special.
I really wish I was cool enough to pull this off. It’s just fantastic.
The dazzling geometric shapes and vibrant colours are just all kinds of fun, reminding me of just how little I’ve grown up in the past 25 years: I’m still very easily distracted by colourful patterns. The double-diamond sleeve cuffs have also got me completely smitten, while even the name of the club and its crest are absolutely awesome.
This is packed with colour, character and more than its fair share of confidence. If only more football shirts could be so brave.
This is one of my favourite shirts this year.
The gorgeous, unique fingerprint/contour pattern is intricate whilst also managing to look great from a distance. The colour combo is fresh and interesting, and perhaps my favourite detail is the details, with each graphic looking like it belongs on the kit.
I picked one of these shirts up earlier this year, and I don’t plan on ever selling it.
The Top 100 shirts of 2019 - Table
|1||Roma Away||Part 10: 10-1|
|2||Barcelona Away||Part 10: 10-1|
|3||Arsenal Home||Part 10: 10-1|
|4||Coventry Home||Part 10: 10-1|
|5||Inter Milan Third||Part 10: 10-1|
|6||Inter Milan Away||Part 10: 10-1|
|7||Cambridge United Away||Part 10: 10-1|
|8||West Ham Away||Part 10: 10-1|
|9||Roma Third||Part 10: 10-1|
|10||AC Milan Home||Part 10: 10-1|
|11||Hull City Home||Part 9: 20-11|
|12||West Ham Home||Part 9: 20-11|
|13||Germany Women Home||Part 9: 20-11|
|14||PSV Away||Part 9: 20-11|
|15||V-Varen Nagasaki Peace Jersey||Part 9: 20-11|
|16||Club America Home||Part 9: 20-11|
|17||Everton Away||Part 9: 20-11|
|18||Tunisia Third||Part 9: 20-11|
|19||England Women Away||Part 9: 20-11|
|20||PSG Third||Part 9: 20-11|
|21||Monaco Away||Part 8: 30-21|
|22||Pescara Away||Part 8: 30-21|
|23||Marseille Fourth||Part 8: 30-21|
|24||France Women Away||Part 8: 30-21|
|25||Ajax Away||Part 8: 30-21|
|26||Go Ahead Eagles Away||Part 8: 30-21|
|27||Western United Away||Part 8: 30-21|
|28||Lille Home||Part 8: 30-21|
|29||Chelsea Third||Part 8: 30-21|
|30||AIK Away||Part 8: 30-21|
|31||Hackney Wick Away||Part 7: 40-31|
|32||Hearts of Oak Home||Part 7: 40-31|
|33||Hackney Wick Home||Part 7: 40-31|
|34||Barcelona Third||Part 7: 40-31|
|35||Vancouver Whitecaps Home||Part 7: 40-31|
|36||Middlesbrough Away||Part 7: 40-31|
|37||Athletic Bilbao Away||Part 7: 40-31|
|38||Derby County Home||Part 7: 40-31|
|39||China Women Away||Part 7: 40-31|
|40||Kaizer Chiefs Home||Part 7: 40-31|
|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|
We’ve entered the top third of Top 100! Things are only getting better from now on, so be sure to keep checking back in the coming days for the conclusion of the countdown.
And until then have you seen our kit tracker, a blog which picks out the best football shirt deals every week at various price points including ‘Under £10’, ‘Under £20’ and ‘Under £30’?