Sponsor: Shipstones, Labatt’s
As worn by: Stan Collymore, Roy Keane, Stuart Pearce, Teddy Sheringham
The Great Umbro Lace-Up Collar Experiment that greeted the launch of the Premier League in 1992 claimed several victims – and we’ll look at them in a special bumper edition another time – but a handful of the eleven teams whose 92/93 kits were made by the company managed to escape. In some cases, it was by virtue of wearing the same kit as in 91/92 – but there were also a selection of brand new kits that, while they did conform to the sudden trend for big baggy 1930s-style shorts, remained mercifully free of neck laces.
Of these, undoubtedly the greatest was the one worn by Nottingham Forest. Just look at this thing – it’s an absolute beauty. Just two colours across the whole kit, with no unnecessary embellishment on any of the logos, and the white slicing through a gorgeous shade of red. It’s simple, it’s classy, and it’s effective – with the red-trimmed shorts making it look even better. Admittedly, if you don’t like pinstripes on a kit (as some people don’t), you’re not going to get on with it – but if you don’t like pinstripes on a kit, you’re a damned fool.
Unfortunately, as the kit is associated with Brian Clough’s final season and a horrendously embarrassing relegation, it’s not necessarily the most popular with Forest fans (although it was also then worn as they bounced back into the Premier League the following year). But the rest of us can enjoy its sharp lines and deep colour tone without any emotional attachment – even as we scratch our heads trying to figure out the apparently haphazard manner with which it bore a Labatt’s logo one week, and a Shipstones logo the next…