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The 10 most legendary England World Cup kits of all time

12:54 am AEDT 2/12/22
England World Cup Best Kits
There have been some classics over the years…

When England began their 2022 World Cup campaign with a historic win against Iran, they did it wearing a home shirt that hasn’t always been favourably reviewed. Over the course of their 16 appearances at the tournament, though, England have stepped out in some of the all-time classic World Cup kits.

Looking for a classic England shirt of your own?

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The number of stores dedicated to selling the best vintage football kits, including match-worn shirts, has grown over the years. There is no shortage of treasures you can find on these sites, so here are the best to help you find your next retro gem:

With that in mind, here are the 10 best World Cup shirts England have ever worn.

  • England 1982 Home kit

    #10 1982 Home

    The format for the World Cup was very different forty years ago, and England only made it to the second group stage – where they were drawn against hosts Spain and eventual finalists West Germany. While the result wasn’t perfect, the kit wasn’t bad. Coming 12 years after England had last played in a World Cup, the shirt was notable for the addition of a blue and red section across each shoulder. It was also the final shirt that Admiral made for England, just eight years after their historic sponsorship deal.

  • england 2010 Home kit

    #9 2010 Home

    In the early 2010s, England stripped their kits right back to basics. Nothing exemplifies that more than 2010’s home shirt, which was plain white and finished with a red Umbro logo and the three lions in red and blue. For many people, this is what an England kit should be, and the simplicity of the design made it more powerful. In the end, though, England made it to the knockout round before being knocked out by Germany after Frank Lampard’s wrongly-disallowed goal.

  • England 1998 Away Kit

    #8 1998 Away

    The red of England’s away shirt and the contrasting collar make 1998’s effort similar to the 2022 design. The shirt was also packed with a number of ‘90s-details that have helped make it something of a collector’s item. The stand-out features are the tonal red stripes, and a St George’s Cross motif that runs up the centre of the shirt, culminating in a huge flag in the middle. Despite the clear aesthetic qualities of the shirt, England only wore it once, during a routine win over Colombia to end the Group Stage.

  • England 2014 Away Kit

    #7 2014 Away

    On first inspection, England’s 2014 away shirt follows the same back-to-basics formula as the shirts for the previous tournament. However, the red shirt also features some subtle design touches that help to improve it. The main feature is the tonal red pinstripes that run across the jersey, adding to the overall design while also helping to form a barely-visible cross in the centre of the shirt.

  • england 2002 Home kit

    #6 2002 Home

    For the 2002 World Cup, England and Umbro trialled the introduction of a single red stripe, running off-centre down the front of the shirt. The design was immediately popular, but sadly has never been seen again. Instead, it’ll forever be associated with the Beckham free kick that guaranteed England’s place at the World Cup and the eventual defeat by a Ronaldinho-inspired Brazil in the quarter-finals.

  • England 2022 Away Kit

    #5 2022 Away

    While England’s home shirt for this year’s tournament has received some criticism, the away shirt is a straight-up banger. While it’s the first mainly red away kit England have worn since the 2018 World Cup – there’s been a dalliance with blue in between – the design looks even further back than that. The stand-out detail is the contrasting collar, which has drawn comparisons with some of England’s much-loved shirts from the early ‘90s.

  • England 1990 Away Kit

    #4 1990 Away

    There can be little doubt that 1990 was the pinnacle of England’s kit designs. While the 2022 away shirt is a nod to this kit, the original still has something else. Part of the appeal lies in the tonal red pattern that runs across the shirt, as well as the red and white detailing around the collar. While this was taken to the 1990 World Cup – a special edition was designed – England wore their home shirt in every game at the tournament and, as such, it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

  • England 1998 Home kit

    #3 1998 Home

    The 1998 home shirt will forever be associated with two defining moments for England’s next generation. The first moment came 16 minutes into the quarter-final, when Michael Owen – aged 18 – ran through the Argentina defence and gave England the lead. Half an hour later, another equally iconic moment occurred as David Beckham lashed out at Diego Simeone and was sent off. While the design itself is one of England’s best – the button collar and white and navy sections under each sleeve are both nice touches – it will always be best remembered for that game.

  •  england 1990 home kit

    #2 1990 Home

    For the 1990 England team, it seemed like anything was possible. Gascoigne was at the peak of his powers, John Barnes had just inspired Liverpool to the league title and Gary Lineker was still leading the line. Soundtracking this golden generation was New Order’s World in Motion, and the video was crammed with archive footage of England’s 1990 home shirt, complete with red numbers and the Umbro pattern around each sleeve. No wonder it became a classic. The elephant in the room, however, is the shirt New Order’s Bernard Sumner wears in the video. The 1990 third shirt is arguably England’s greatest ever shirt, and yet it was worn just once, in a game against Turkey a year later.

  • England 1966 Away

    #1 1966 Away

    England’s most iconic World Cup shirt is, unsurprisingly, the one worn during England’s most iconic World Cup moment. The picture of Bobby Moore carried aloft by England’s players, holding the trophy in one hand, is one of the most famous World Cup pictures of all time. An equally important part of the image is the bright red of England’s shirts, the change strip from the traditional all-white design.