Nineties Kit of the Week: VfL Bochum (97/99)

bochum-9799home bochum-9798away
bochum-9899away bochum-9798gkblack
bochum-9798gkblue bochum-9899gk
bochum-rainbow1 SOCCER BRUGGE/BOCHUM bochum-rainbow3 bochum-rainbow4

Team: VfL Bochum
Strip: Home/Away/Goalkeeper
Year: 1997-99
Manufacturer: Faber
Sponsors: Faber Lotto
As worn by: Yildiray Basturk and a bunch of German players I’ve never heard of, sorry

Well, this is it. I think we may have reached a point where this feature has to come to an end, because really… how can this ever be topped?

This remarkable kit came about as a result of VfL Bochum’s sponsors Faber, the company who run the German national lottery. They’d already sponsored the club for a few seasons, but decided to increase the visibility of their rainbow-patterned logo on the club’s shirts. The only way to get around restrictions on such increased sponsorship, however, was to pretend to be the club’s shirt manufacturer – so that was what they did. I don’t know what company actually made the Bochum shirts for these seasons, but they were branded as Faber, and each kit came with an unforgettably huge rainbow pattern across fully half of it.

The white shirt was the home kit for two seasons, while the blue and red were each an away kit. And the goalkeeper kits didn’t escape the rainbow pattern either – while having it spread down fully half the kit would presumably have made them too similar to the outfield shirts, they did get the snazzy baubles down the arms instead, which gave them the effect of rather looking like they were advertising Central Television.

The thing is, while this is a ridiculous kit, and it frequently shows up on “worst football kits ever” lists, and it should never have worked… I absolutely love it. How can I not? It’s amazing, there’s basically nothing like it (apart from some of the earliest MLS kits, which we’ll come back to another time), and despite being a ridiculous clash of far too many colours, it’s actually well designed. It’s textbook ’90s football kit fashion, basically.

(Don’t worry, by the way – we will be back next week. I’m not done with ’90s kits yet by a long shot.)

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