As worn by: Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Gary Mabbutt, Pat van den Hauwe, Teddy Sheringham
For someone who doesn’t support, nor even particularly like Spurs, it’s perhaps unusual that I have such a strong personal history with this kit. But it was worn by the winning team in the first F.A. Cup Final I ever watched; it was one of the first two strips I owned in Subbuteo form (coming along with Forest as part of the Woolworths-exclusive “1991 F.A. Cup Final” set I got for my birthday later that year); it’s probably the first strip I remember watching my then-hero, Gary Lineker, play in.
(Yes, despite being a Liverpool fan, Gary Lineker was my first footballing hero. In my defence, I didn’t know at the time that he used to play for Everton. All I knew was that he appeared in Roy of the Rovers a lot and he had the same birthday as me.)
But of course, this kit was significant to the wider English footballing landscape, too – and not just because it was the one Paul Gascoigne was wearing when he basically knacked his entire career. For the final, Spurs switched from the Hummel kit they’d worn in 1990/91 to this new deal with Umbro – and with it, a controversial new style of shorts. Gone were the ’80s-style bollock-stranglers, and in their place, something that was apparently akin to a pair of baggy shorts from the 1920s. Of course, looking back now, they don’t look particularly massive at all – but it’s hard to understate just how widespread the derision was from all quarters about this new-fangled trend for retro shorts.
Coupled with the ludicrous lace-up collars that Umbro would begin to introduce the following year (of which more on another occasion – I know I keep promising that, but we will get to it), this might be the first example of football fashion going all hipster-ish, long before that word existed to describe it. What’s funny now, though, is that rather than looking Edwardian, it’s about as clasically ’90s-looking a kit as you can imagine.