This time in Kit Interested we’re focusing on solely on goalkeepers, but from two different, yet equally brilliant angles. For previous installments with a bit of everything, click here,
Goalkeepers In “Wrong” Shirts
This segment is in collaboration with kit expert and friend of POTP Giampaolo Bon, who was recently in touch regarding the fascinating world of goalkeepers playing in other teams’ shirts. Giampaolo also provided many of the images we link to, with the fact that we can’t show them directly making this post a potential future project for the illistaration masters at MuseumofJerseys.com.
Goalies have always been a world unto themselves in kit-terms by their very nature of having separate gear to the rest of the players and by the 1970s it became relatively common for goalkeepers to wear a different brand of kit to the outfielders, emphaising their specialised position in the squad. Since uniformity wasn’t as issue for the ‘keepers, in a way their shirt “didn’t really matter” so long as it was distinguishable from those around them.
Given that, the start of the decade also brought quite a beautiful development which obviously would have been impossible for numbers 2-11, in that those between the sticks could wear a shirt intended for a different side altogether. Sometimes this was due to unforeseen colour clashes – which has happened numerous times with full teams too of course – but, more uniquely, also for sentimental reasons.
On January 14th, 1970, England took on the Netherlands in a friendly in Wembley, which saw young Dutch goalie Jan Van Beveren come up against his idol, Gordon Banks. Both ‘keepers kept clean sheets on the night and followed through afterwards on the revered custom of exchanging shirts.
Unlike most, however, Van Beveren’s exchanged Banks shirt was not then retired. The next month, while playing for his club Sparta Rotterdam against Ajax, Jan can be seen with three lions on his chest wearing the yellow jersey in action – a heartwarming reflection of his admiration for the English World Cup winner.
This delightfully childlike tribute to Banks was not just limited to club games either, as Van Beveren wore the England shirt at least once representing the Dutch national team – seemingly away to Yugoslavia on 04/04/71. Presumably he had used it several times in between too, or afterwards, and may not have even been the first to do this, but it seemed a good place to start.
Inversely, some English ‘keepers themselves have turned out for their country in non-English shirts. But we’ll get to that in a bit, first staying with another continental Germanic-speaker appearing in another British shirt.
In early May, 1979, West Germany came to Cardiff, Wales, for a Euro 1980 qualifier. The day before the game, during training in a small ground in Runcorn, England, German goalkeeper Sepp Maier could be seen wearing a green West German outfield away shirt, which is interesting enough as it is for the likes of you and I.
On May 2nd, Maier led his countrymen out in Cardiff’s Racecourse Ground against the Welsh. But from a far, he himself could have been Welsh, as the German shot-stopper was decked out in a red shirt.
Considering Wales are quite well known for their red strips, and with their previous meeting against the Germans coming only a couple years earlier, this was quite an oversight. Sepp was wearing the top during the coin toss, but quickly afterwards was given a spare Wales ‘keeper jersey to change into.
The yellow Admiral garment was the same as being worn by his opposite number in the Wales goal Dai Davies, with manufacturer logos on the collar and a centralised crest rather than the more standard configuration. By half-time a non-red West German jersey had been found for Sepp to finish the game in, which was also Adidas branded compared to the Erima shirts of his teammates displaying the other goalkeeper kit trait we mentioned earlier nicely.
This wouldn’t be the last time for a country’s kit staff to forget the colour of the opposition’s shirts where the goalkeeper was concerned. The following year in 1980, England went to Romania on October 15th for a World Cup qualifier with Ray Clemence in a similar yellow Admiral number to that of the Welsh – a popular colour for ‘keepers at the time.
But of course, Romania famously wear yellow. Clemence was given an un-badged green and black Romanian shirt to wear in goal instead, but the mix-up was evident due to mashing of his Adimiral shorts with the Adidas shirt.
Going back to more wholesome variety of “wrong” shirt wearing, the next example stems from the meeting of Peru and Italy at World Cup 82. We actually recently mentioned this match on the POTP social media pages, due to an unusual mid-match interruption caused by a Peruvian colliding with the the referee.
Like Van Beveren with Banks in 1970, Peruvian net-minder Eusebio Acasuzo was coming up against a goalkeeping legend in Italy’s Dino Zoff. And after a 1-1 draw and the exchanging of shirts, Acasuzo was now in possession of an invaluable piece of sports clothing that he too was not going to forget or throw in a corner.
Zoff’s shirt would later be worn by Acasuzo for his club side Universitario, with it’s distinctive grey shade, blue collar and Italian flag crest. Again though, like Van Beveren, he didn’t stop there as the shirt was modified with a Peruvian crest and used when playing with the national team.
On top of this, Cameroon’s Thomas N’Kono had also swapped with the Peru number 1 during the World Cup. Amazingly, this Le Coq Sportif jersey could also later be seen from time to time at both domestic and international level on Acasuzo, making him one of the most prolific of all time in this field.
The final two items on our list come nearer the end of the 80s and if you’ve been keeping track you’ll remember that England were involved in one, but it’s actually both. Where it concerns them specifically is via the slightly obscure Rous Cup in May, 1989, a competition between England and Scotland that also included a South American invitee at this time.
A couple months early in March, England had taken on Albania in a World Cup qualifier which was the scene of our other last example. We talked about the Albanians at length last year in this post on Museum of Jerseys, where the subject also came up.
Albania had recently started wearing one of their greatest kits of all time at this time point, with a sharp Adidas design. In goal Halim Mersini was also in a smart new green shirt, but something was off about the crest.
For Swedish fans of the 80s the shirt may have looked familar, as it was the very same as worn by Thomas Ravelli, but with an Albanian badge covering the Swedish one. Evidentally, this had been exchanged when the two had played in the same qualifying group in November, 1989.
England then faced Chile in Wembley on May 23rd, 1989, in the unusual strip of white shirts, white shorts and red socks, to accommodate the blue shorts and white socks of the visitors. Peter Shilton in goal, like against Alabnaia, wore a blue/dark-toned shirt with a vertical zig-zag design, in which the groundwork for the mind-warping designs coming in the 90s (see below) could be seen.
Four days later England traveled up north to to face Scotland in Hampden and it seems not a thought was given to the goalkeeper shirt, which would of course clash with the home side’s navy. As the oldest fixture in the world this was fairly inexcusable, with the apt punishment of Shilton having to appear in a Scotland shirt (although England won 0-2 to win the Cup).
A Selection of Classic 1990s Goalkeeper Jerseys
Before getting to our own screenshots, we just wanted to reference this (beautiful) picture and comment below that we recently came across in a kit group on Facebook:
While the commenter thinks that a shirt like this is “crap” due the designers apparent acid and E use, we’d argue it’s brilliance for actually the exact same reason and are very happy that jerseys like this exist. Of course there are many we won’t get to cover here, so keep an eye-out for part two in the future.
Celtic FC, 1992:
CSKA Moscow, 1992:
Borussia Dortmund, 1993:
Grasshopper Club Zürich, 1995:
Hannover 96, 1994:
Eintracht Frankfurt, 1990:
Werder Bremen, 1994:
Shelbourne FC, 1993:
[…] here for all in this series looking at interesting kit items, or here for the last episode in which we looked at the world of international ‘keepers wearing shirts […]