Patta and Umbro have done it again.
Ajax, Amsterdam, 1990. A granite Frank de Boer. A silky Dennis Bergkamp. A tearing it up Aron Winter. And, that kit—the one with the geometrics, the one with those stripe details on the chest, the one you want to wear for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Patta and Umbro have come together once more to create their second drop of authentic, historical football shirts paying homage to Patta’s hometown and its football team. Featuring two ‘away’ styles from the 90–91 season, one with a purple and black colour combination and the other blue and white, both feature Patta college logo flock prints, embroidered crests, and an Umbro logo on the breast. It’s all bloody glorious.
To launch the collection, Patta spoke to iconic goalkeeper Stanley Menzo about his influence in the original jersey design, his ten seasons (and nine titles) at Ajax, and his love for Amsterdam as a city. Menzo, who until recently was manager of Ajax Cape Town in the South African Premier Soccer League, also very handsomely models the range—photographed by Kyle Weeks.
“I made my pro debut in a grey & yellow Le Coq Sportif kit, but played in Umbro for the longest time, some time after Le Coq. I can’t recall what year that was exactly, but I do remember they came up with typical English goalie shirts. The English goalies in that time would always wear a green jersey with shorts in their team’s colours and the same socks as their teammates; I really found that eye-offending. I felt it just didn’t match. The shirt would always be some boring hue of blue or green and I hated that.
“Appearance is one of the most important aspects when you perform. As a football player you’re basically an artist, and I want to look good while performing. It doesn’t have to twinkle, it doesn’t have to glisten, it doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be a big brand name, but it has to look good and fit your personality. I’ve always found this most important, even in my days as football amateur. I even played in an uhlsport jersey with the logo of our sponsor Kappa sewn on for one season, just because I hated the ones they had for me. Colour, especially with my dark skin, is very important.
“So when the time came to play in Umbro, licensee Wil Langenberg was there and I just told him “I don’t like what’s available at the moment, can I get a kit that I’m more comfortable in? Something that fits better to me?” And that is how this type of jersey came to be. I was very outspoken about my desire to look good on the pitch and Johan (Cruyff) agreed. So we developed these shirts with Wil & Len Langenberg. I don’t want to fully claim them but I am definitely responsible for them and I was the first with these type of shirts. They come from a very tumultuous time, it was around the infamous *rod incident and they bring back memories of a beautiful time with Ajax.
“When looking back at old photos of me in action my thoughts are: I look good… but OH MY, what’s up with those very short shorts, hahaha!
“I grew up at Ajax, Ajax is my team. Amsterdam will always be my city.”
The Patta x Umbro Football Jersey 2018 Collection will be available in store at Patta Amsterdam and London on Saturday, March 17 and online from Monday, March 19 onwards. We really like the beautiful aspects of football. You can read more about them in our quarterly magazine—available here.