It was perfect, Liverpool’s home strip between 1993 and 1995. We could leave it there, and that would be enough said. But we won’t. We rarely do…
The early-to-mid 90s was a strange time to be a Liverpool fan. European cup-winning talisman turned curmudgeonly dynasty dismantler, Graeme Souness, was about to flee to Galatasaray to blossom into the fully insane human we recognise today, boot room graduates Ronnie Moran and Roy Evans were waiting patiently in the wings to take charge of a mixed bag of fading greats and exciting young prospects, and Liverpool were trotting about the pitch in a kit made by adidas Equipment. Not plain old adidas. Not three stripes on the sleeves, a trefoil, and misty-eyed tales of European aways. It was right there on the collar, underneath an intimidating new angular logo. ‘Equipment’, in capital letters. A brave new world.
Liverpool had won the FA Cup in an adidas Equipment kit in 1992. They’d beaten Sunderland in a shirt that marked the club’s centenary year. Bruce Grobbelaar, Jan Mølby, Ray Houghton, and Michael Thomas had featured, as Liverpool strode out 2–0 winners, Ronnie Moran acting as interim manager as the aforementioned Souness recovered from heart surgery and posed for photographers from The Sun. Afterwards, Bruce Grobbelaar walked on his hands with his medal in his mouth, and the Liverpool team posed with a Liverpool umbrella that was shaped like a baseball cap—look it up, it’s the most 1992 umbrella you’ll ever see. I don’t remember anything of this, however. I was four years old.
The kit that followed, however, and the players that played in it, marked the beginning of my love affair with Liverpool F.C.—Ian Rush passing the torch to Robert Bernard Fowler, Steve McManaman staking a claim for curly-headed, bandy-legged redheads everywhere, Roy Evans and Ronnie Moran with the mannerisms of every mild-supping Scouse uncle I’d ever met, a defence that was held together with bits of tape, and the spit and guile of Steve Harkness and Mark Wright, Rob Jones’ increasingly upsetting injuries, David James being appalling, and then briefly magnificent and then appalling again,and attacking football. Proper, scintillating, exciting, modern attacking football. To a fault.
As I learnt what football was, and what it could mean to those around me, the team I loved entertained me in perhaps my favourite football shirt ever. Carlsberg replaced Candy, the ubiquitous adidas stripes moved from sleeve to torso, the Liverpool crest moved to the middle of the shirt and green—adidas Equipment green—details were introduced. It wasn’t one for the traditionalists, it was perhaps the wrong red, it featured too much white, and the green was a curveball, but for a new, exciting era at Liverpool, and for a new generation of fans, it was perfect.
In 1995, the kit’s swan song, Liverpool won The Coca-Cola Cup, Steve McManaman won Man of the Match, and my dad bought a green adidas Equipment cap for the summer. He lost it on a tram in Florida, and he’s still not truly over it.
We have teamed up with our mates from Greatest Kits, so that you can buy the shirt that we’ve been harping on about above. Head here to pick up a bit of Coca Cola Cup history to wear for popping down the shop. You can also subscribe to our quarterly magazine for lots and lots more harping on about football kits.