UPDATE: 20th May, 2020 - Everton announced a new three-year deal with kit manufacturer hummel earlier today. We’ve taken a look at what the new Everton kit could look like from their current portfolio of work, and so here’s a quick look at the best Everton home kits of all time for them to measure up to.
It’s been jersey week on SBNation (or kit week for those, like me, on the other side of the Atlantic) to end April. So I’ve taken a look back at some of Everton’s best - and worst - home kits over the past 30 years.
Remember, this is purely subjective, and many of my choices are based on personal memories of watching Everton. So if you disagree, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Best Everton Home Kits
Though I was too young to remember this era, any talk of Everton kits cannot ignore the iconic 1985 strip, worn by arguably the greatest Toffees team of all time. It was a simple Le Coq Sportif design, with the white bib at a sensible size, and worn by some truly great players on some memorable evenings, including the 1984 FA Cup Final and 1985 European Cup Winner’s Cup final. It also had the world’s favourite Danish canned meat company (?!) as a sponsor.
Umbro took over in 1986 and it was an impressive debut effort, with a clean design, thin white piping and a new sponsor in the form of NEC. It was also, of course, the kit worn the last time we won the league title in 1987.
This was the strip Everton wore when I first started watching them, so it is a personal favourite. But it is also a fine kit in its own right. A classic, clean design from Umbro, in contrast to some of the more wild away kits of the era.
It was also the kit worn for some of Everton’s most famous matches of the 90s, including the 3-2 great escape against Wimbledon, the Duncan Ferguson-inspired victory over Liverpool and their memorable run to the FA Cup final, though they would wear a different strip at Wembley.
I’ve always been a big fan of home kits with a black trim alongside the blue and white. The 1995-96 kit, first worn in the 1995 FA Cup final, did just that. Notable games aside from the cup final include the 2-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield and a 7-1 thrashing of Southampton. There was a new sponsor too in the form of photocopier supplier Danka.
After a few more ropey Umbro strips, Puma came in at the turn of the millennium, with the 2004-05 strip one of my favourites. This is principally because of what happened on the pitch, with the Toffees defying all expectations to finish fourth. Memorable matches included a 1-0 win over Liverpool, with Lee Carsley’s goal resulting in this iconic image. It was also the first year of a decade-long shirt sponsorship with Chang Beer.
This was an underwhelming season to say the least, with Everton controversially dumped out of the Champions League by Villarreal before being thrashed by Dinamo Bucharest in the UEFA Cup. But...I really liked this kit! I liked the collar in particular, and it also had less white on it than the previous season’s kit. Sadly it was worn during a season we would rather forget so I cannot imagine it is a popular choice among Blues fans.
Le Coq Sportif returned as Everton’s kit supplier in 2009. Though I wasn’t a fan of their 1985-inspired opening effort in the 2009-10 season, I really liked their design for the 2011-12 season. Again it had a classic collar, but I also liked the introduction of yellow/gold alongside the blue and white, a nod to some of the team’s classic away strips. Memorable games included the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Sunderland, with Nikola Jelavic continuing his fine start to life in an Everton shirt. There was also the 4-4 draw with Manchester United that ultimately cost the Red Devils the title. Sadly, the season will also be remembered for the disappointing 2-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool at Wembley.
After a brief sojourn with Nike, Umbro returned in 2014 and their first kit back was a cracker. Once again, the black trim gave it a classy look with a smart collar. On the pitch, Everton struggled to replicate the success of the previous campaign under Roberto Martinez. Though there was an eventful run to the last 16 of the Europa League and the sight of Samuel Eto’o wearing an Everton kit.
Worst Everton Home Kits
So we have had a look at some of the best, but what about the worst? Here are a few that are unlikely to be fondly remembered.
Probably a candidate for worst Everton home kit of all time. Where do I start? Well, it’s not royal blue for a kick-off. It has the strange yellow and blue band across the chest and the badge looked strange inside a huge circle. It’s cause isn’t helped by the fact the 1997-98 season was one of the worst campaigns in living memory, culminating in that nerve shredding 1-1 draw against Coventry to stay up on goal difference on the final day of the season.
Puma’s debut kit after taking over from Umbro had far too much white on it. It also coincided with a rather dour time for the club at the tail end of the Walter Smith era, bar a three month revival upon the arrival of David Moyes.
I understand Le Co Sportif’s thinking by having a nod to the famous 1985 kit, but the white bib was far too big. The blue was a little too light for my liking as well.
I was really excited by the prospect of Nike taking over as kit manufacturer, but their two home efforts were desperately disappointing. Clearly template kits with little originality, both had white armbands that just didn’t work (though the long sleeve version didn’t have them and looked much better). The 2013-14 season also carried THAT badge, which was ditched after 12 months following a furious backlash. The irony of course is that was also one of Everton’s best campaigns for years, with the Toffees finishing fifth with a record Premier League points tally.
This looked more like a training shirt than full kit, though it is was at least the right colour. There was also the controversial sponsorship deal with SportPesa and introduction of shirt sleeve sponsor, Angry Birds.
What are YOUR favourite (and most hated) Everton home strips? Let us know in the comments below!
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