1997 - 2010
Following the resignation of Terry Venables, Glen Hoddle steered England to the 1998 World Cup Finals in France, Kevin Keegan came and went followed by Sven Goran Eriksson, the first non-English manager of the national side and Steve McLaren. England played their home matches at different Premier League venues between 2001 and 2007 while Wembley was rebuilt. The terms "Home" and "Away" kits became complete misnomers as England were as likely as not to play in red in front of their own fans, even if there was no colour clash.
1998 World Cup Finals
1998 WCF v Colombia
1998 WCF v Argentina
Red returned to the England pallette after the experiments of the previous kits. The new white "home" kit made its debut at Wembley in a World Cup qualifier against Italy and featured bold red and navy side panels. The crest had been redesigned, the three lions now appearing in light blue and a miniature flag of St George was added to the collar. Critics pointed to the large "Umbro" logo that was printed prominently above the crest, overshadowing the more discrete "England", printed below. A red and white change kit was reintroduced, to the delight of supporters, although this version incorporated shadow stripes and a repeat pattern made up of the flag of St George woven into the fabric. The white and navy kit was used 22 times and only one variation ever appeared, when it was teamed with the white shorts of the change kit for the 1998 World Cup match with Argentina. The World Cup versions had "FIFA WORLD CUP FRANCE 1998" printed below the crest. Squad numbers were worn on the shirts as well as shorts in all matches for the first time.
The white/navy kit appeared for the last time on 10 February 1999 at Wembley when France beat the home side 2-0.
Euro 2000 Change
Umbro's new white and navy effort, which was worn for the first time in Budapest on 28 April 1999, was an altogether less cluttered design than worn previously. The crest was redesigned yet again, and now incorporated the word "ENGLAND" on a navy bar above the three lions (now restored to navy blue).
Altogether the white shirt appeared only 12 times and was worn only twice at home. The contrasting rings and crew neck gave the white shirt a distinctively 1960s retro feel tempered by very modern subtly shaded side panels and horizontal bands. The introduction of a far more discrete manufacturer's logo was a welcome development. The red and white change kit was marketed to trade on the 1966 World Cup winning outfit, even though it was trimmed in navy. This set was worn six times on home soil appearing for the first time at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on 10 October 1999.
For the Euro 2000 finals in Holland and Belgium England's kits were adorned with the tournament badge and fair play patches on the sleeves but there was no additional embroidery below the badge.
After the disappointments of France '98 and Euro 2000, a wave of optimism greeted England's new manager, the cerebral Sven Goran Eriksson. Umbro rose to the occasion with a pair of stunning new designs. The white kit, launched on 28 February at Villa Park in a friendly against Spain, featured a single, bold vertical red stripe on both shirt and shorts. The all-white version was used four times, most notably in last World Cup Final qualifier against Greece, when David Beckham salvaged a draw to book England's place in the World Cup finals. This was the first match in which players' names appeared on the back of their shirts outside of the final stages of a tournament (this has been a permanent feature ever since). It was also the first time since 1960 that the name of England's opponent and the date had appeared on the shirt, now embroidered below the squad number rather than below the badge.
The new red change kit cleverly incorporated the flag of St George as a repeated motif, trimming the shorts, collar reverse, cuffs and stocking turnover. This outfit was used for the first time against Italy at Elland Road on 27 March 2002 and appeared six times, twice in World Cup final matches in Japan (against Argentina and Nigeria). The last time it was seen was in the embarrasing home defeat at the hands of Australia in February 2003. The white shirt had been retired the previous October after the European qualifier against FYR Macedonia.
A pattern was now firmly established of introducing one new kit each season, each having a "shelf-life" of two years.
Euro 2004 Change
8 Feb 2005 v Netherlands
The new white and navy strip was introduced in a European Championship qualifier in Leichtenstein, certainly the smallest venue to have witnessed the unveiling of a new England kit. Tapering red trim now adorned the shoulders and sleeves and on the left sleeve, Umbro placed a small gold star to signify England's single World Cup win. (This fashion was started by Brazil who had added three green stars above their crest.) The name of England's opponent was now placed on the base of the shirt front rendering it invisible when shirts were tucked in properly. The all-white version was used three times in home games and only once away, in Spain on 17 November 2004, which happened to be the last time that this design of shirt was used.
The new change kit was inspired once again by the 1966 World Cup top, even down to the plain crew-neck. The St George Cross motif reappeared at the shoulder seam and on the shorts in stylised form and was also sewn into the reverse of the shirt, inside the neck. The gold star now appeared above the badge and the match details were restored to the chest. A further innovation was the introduction of silver for the numbers' and players' names and an extremely shiny fabric for the shorts. This kit was introduced ahead of the Euro 2004 finals, held in Portugal. It was used eight times in all (four times at home) and last appeared against the Netherlands on 9 February 2005 at Villa Park, when "NO TO RACISM" appeared in place of the usual match legend and "Kick it Out" patches were added to the sleeves.
31 May 2005 v Colombia
2005-06 World Cup Matches
20 June 2006 v Sweden WCF
2006 Euro Qualifiers
11 Oct 2006 v Croatia Euro Qualifier
The St George's Cross theme was picked up again in Umbro's new design, introduced in a World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland played at Old Trafford on 26 March 2005. The only adornment to the classic white shirt was a stylised cross on the right hand side and a discrete red flash on the left sleeve. Competition patches were now worn in qualifying matches for both the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008 competitions.
The new red change kit was launched on 27 February 2006. Once again Umbro stayed with tradition with some modern additions, including a small St George's Cross on the left shoulder. The crest was slightly larger and enhanced with a gold border. Umbro used "body-mapping" to ensure a perfect fit and claimed their state-of-the-art fabric channeled heat away from the body. Even the numbers were made from breathable fabric.
No amount of technical innovation could help England when they were eliminated from the World Cup finals at the quarter-final stage by Portugal in yet another agonising penalty shoot-out.
2007 1 June v Brazil
6 June 2007 v Estonia Euro Qualifier
2007 Euro Qualifiers
2007 Euro Qualifiers Alternate
2008 World Cup Qualifiers
2008 World Cup Qualifiers Alternate
2008 World Cup Qualifiers Change
The latest kit in the two-year cycle introduced Umbro's new template, which featured diamonds cluttering up what was otherwise an attractively simple design. Manufacturers were by now trying to outdo each other with ever more extravagant claims for their miracle fabrics: Umbro claimed their "Trilogy" fabric created a micro-climate that kept the wearer at the perfect temperature regardless of conditions. This miraculous new white shirt first appeared at Old Trafford on 7 February 2007. Brazil visited on 1 June that year for a friendly to mark the opening of the new Wembley stadium: a special sleeve patch was worn for the occasion.
As usual, an all-white alternate version was available for games against opponents wearing blue or black shorts. The red change kit, introduced in 2006 made its final appearance in June 2007. Defeats at the hands of Russia and Croatia meant that England missed the Euro 2008 finals in Switzerland/Austria and led to the departure of Steve McLaren.
The new red kit was launched in a friendly game against Switzerland, Fabio Capello's first match in charge.
2009-2010 World Cup Qualifiers
10 Oct 2009 v Ukraine
< England 1984-1997
After a long tease campaign, England's new "home" kit was unveiled at Wembley on 28 March 2009 in the friendly against Slovakia. The FA made much of the involvement of the players in the design process (without revealing what this involvement amounted to). The design pleased those who hanker for a return to the plain classic appearance of England's traditional shirts worn with white shorts and socks. The FA crest was also revised to more closely resemble the classic version introduced in the 1950s, complete with match details embroidered onto a scroll underneath. The date printed below the scroll was in red for matches at Wembley, blue for away games.
For World Cup qualifying matches squad numbers were worn along with the South Africa 2010 patch on the sleeve. Navy shorts and rather curious red/white stockings were available for matches when England's new white shorts and socks clashed with opponents. The alternate socks were not used.
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