As the Premier League celebrates its 25th anniversary, we thought it would be fitting to take a walk down memory lane and review the top 25 jerseys of this era. We’ve picked out the iconic jerseys, the most memorable and the best special editions. Our list is in chronological order – we’ll let you rank them in order of your favorites.
1. Aston Villa 1992/93 Home Jersey – Aston Villa, currently in the Championship, spent the inaugural Premier League season challenging for the title although they eventually came up short finishing in second place behind Manchester United. The Lions home soccer jersey was a definite winner, however. In classic claret and blue, the stand-out design aspect was the lace neck collar. The claret trim on the round neck and sleeves was simple and stylish – a nice job from Umbro to kick off our list.
2. Sheffield Wednesday Home Jersey – 1992/93 – A simple, effective design of the blue and white stripes makes this jersey a firm fan favorite. The Sanderson logo fits in well on the front of the shirt, and we love the black and yellow colors for the player number, Umbro logo, and Wednesday badge which make them pop out.
3. Arsenal Away Jersey – 1992/93 – This yellow and blue zig-zag design might not be the most pleasing on the eye, but it’s certainly memorable. Perhaps it was designed to put off opposition players? Whatever the thought process, it works in a way that many other 90s designs didn’t.
4. Liverpool Away Jersey – 1992/93 – The Reds became the Greens for away matches in the inaugural Premier League season. The dark green kit with white trim was a top effort from adidas, who made sure you knew who made the kit by putting three huge stripes across the sleeve and shoulder. We wouldn’t be complaining if Liverpool resurrected this away kit in the future.
5. Nottingham Forest Home Jersey – 1992/94 – Forest’s traditional red jersey was given a slight tweak with the additional of white pinstripes, which turned out to be a great decision. The use of white for the club badge and logos complemented the design and resulted in a beautiful jersey.
6. Blackburn Rovers Home Jersey – 1994/96 – Blackburn may now be languishing in the third tier in England, but they are part of the elite group of clubs to have won the Premier League. They did so wearing their iconic blue and white jersey, split down the middle and with different color sleeves. The red of the McEwan’s Lager logo complemented the rose on Rovers’ badge. This is also the shirt where Alan Shearer announced himself to the world as a supreme goalscorer.
7. Chelsea Away Jersey – 1994/96 – Orange and various shades of grey is a combination that most designers would back away from, but kudos to Umbro for coming up with a jersey that worked. Although grey kits have often been criticized by players who say it makes it harder to spot teammates, the orange likely offset this problem and resulted in a unique colorway.
8. Leeds United Home Jersey, 1995/96 – Asics went with a simple look for this Leeds United jersey but added an interesting element, a mock turtle neck. They also ditched the club badge in favor of an embroidered LUFC, making the jersey seem like it might be better suited to a casual get-together than a fiery Premier League encounter.
9. Newcastle United Home Jersey – 1995/97 – Newcastle were a thrilling prospect during this period, famously blowing a big lead in the title race against Manchester United which featured Kevin Keegan’s ‘love it’ rant. The home shirt remains a classic, with bold back and white stripes and the Newcastle Brown Ale logo. The collar featured a four-button design (maybe at the request of David Ginola so he could show off more chest hair?), while the adidas logo blended in beautifully.
10. Coventry City Home Jersey – 1996/97 – Another former Premier League team now struggling in the lower leagues, we’d be happy to see Coventry back in the big time if they could bring designs like this with them. Featuring thick blue and black stripes on the main body and the sleeves, Coventry made this design their own.
11. Derby County Home Jersey – 1997/98 – Puma gave a lesson in how to spice up a plain white kit with some nice use of black trim, as well as the white buttons on the black collar neck. With Puma the sponsors as well as the makers of the kit, they inverted the black and white to make the two logos stand out on their own.
12. Wimbledon Home Jersey – 1997/98 – It’s hard to believe that The Crazy Gang was a top-10 side in the late 90s, but was extinct early into the new decade. We can still reminisce about their great kits, including the home shirt from 1997/98. A strong navy blue with yellow trim, makers Lotto placed their logo underneath the neck to make way for an embroidered ‘The Crazy Gang’ on the top right. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the navy isn’t a block, but a mash-up of design features, making it a very suitable kit indeed.
13. Crystal Palace Home Jersey – 1997/98 – The red and blue stripes are synonymous with the Eagles; the 97/98 home shirt is possibly the best example. The red stripes are slightly thinner, while the white on the collar and sleeves tops it off nicely. With clubs experimenting with thin stripes nowadays, we’ll always have time for the classic designs like this.
14. Manchester United Home Jersey – 1998/00 – Umbro outdid themselves with this jersey, incorporating a zip neck collar and the diamond pattern down the sleeves. In red with black and white trim, this is possibly the most memorable Manchester United kit of all, thanks in part to their treble-season and the dramatic Champions League final win against Bayern Munich.
15. Tottenham Hotspur Home Jersey – 1999/01 – Spurs ended the 90s with arguably their best home shirt of the Premier League. White, with a blue collar and blue trim, the adidas and Holsten logos blended in seamlessly to create a classic jersey. Flair players from Europe used to love a popped-up collar – we say it’s about time they became more common.
16. West Ham United Jersey – 1999/01 – Another claret and blue masterpiece, this time from east London. The blue trim runs along the collar and all the way down the sleeves, with subtle white trim alongside. The Fila and Dr. Martens logos are simple and unobtrusive. This kit is best remembered as being worn by Paulo Di Canio when he scored his outrageous, goal-of-the-season scissor kick against Wimbledon.
17. Southampton Home Jersey – 2001/03 – Saints fans have been treated to a range of great jerseys down the years, and one that really sticks in our mind is from the 2001 season. Made under Southampton’s own brand, they stuck to the basics with red and white stripes and got it exactly right.
18. Portsmouth Home Jersey – 2003/05 – Pompey made their debut in the Premier League in a lovely blue number with white trim. The Ty heart logo may have looked out of place on a lot of jerseys, but it fit in well with the Portsmouth top. With Pompey working their way back up to the Premier League, perhaps it won’t be too long before we see them again.
19. Arsenal Home Jersey – 2005/06 – Nike gave Arsenal a special kit for their last season at Highbury. The redcurrant color was chosen as it is what the Gunners wore during their first season at the ground in 1913. This was commemorated with embroidered text above and below the Arsenal badge. Although the kit divided opinion, it saw a dramatic send-off in Arsenal’s final home game – Thierry Henry scored a hattrick in a 4-2 win over Wigan and kissed the Highbury turf, while legend Dennis Bergkamp made his final appearance.
20. Chelsea Home Jersey – 2005/06 – Umbro designed this jersey to commemorate Chelsea’s 100th anniversary, and they duly wrapped up the title in dominant fashion. In royal blue with gold trim, embroidered text around the badge noted the anniversary. With players such as Robben, Lampard and Drogba terrorizing the opposition, defenders often couldn’t get close enough to admire the kit.
21. Manchester City third shirt, 2009/10 – We love this Umbro effort not only because of the sash design featuring the club’s Ardwick colors, but also because the sponsor Etihad opted for a smaller logo underneath the club badge, allowing the sash design to remain uninterrupted. It has a throwback feel to days when jerseys were a lot less cluttered. Cue the nostalgia.
22. Burnley Home Jersey – 2009/10 – Errea designed this retro style short to commemorate Burnley’s title win 50 years prior, and it just so happened that they got promoted to the Premier League to showcase it. The season ended in relegation, but fans will always have this classic kit as a fond memory.
23. Liverpool Home Jersey – 2013/14 – This should have been the kit that Liverpool adorned during their first ever Premier League title win, but a late-season collapse, and that Steven Gerrard slip against Chelsea, put an end to that dream. We can still admire the shirt though, in a classic red with just a hint of white trim. The badge and logos all being in yellow gave a nice uniformity to the design, while the red had subtle dark red vertical lines like kits of old.
24. West Bromwich Albion Tribute Jersey – 2015 – In 2015, West Brom were granted permission by the FA to wear a one-off kit to pay tribute to former striker Jeff Astle. The all-white kit was a replica of the one worn by the team in the 1968 FA Cup final, when Astle scored the only goal in a win against Everton. The match against Leicester didn’t have the fairytale ending for the Baggies, as Jamie Vardy scored a stoppage time winner to hand the Foxes a 3-2 win.
25. Everton Home Jersey – 2015/16 – The blue half of Merseyside got to enjoy this modern classic from a couple of seasons ago. We especially like the V-neck design with the white trim, and the elephants from the Chang logo don’t appear out-of-place in the slightest.
Which of these is your favorite – or did we miss one? Let us know in the comments section below.