Norwich have prepared for life in the Championship this season by raising eyebrows with the release of their new third kit. Drawing inspiration from a classic number from 1992, the Carrow Road side’s colour-splashed effort has been met with a mixed reaction. It has been described as looking like everything from bus seats to the work of a two-year-old finger painter.
Football has always thrown up fashion designs ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, but where does the Norwich version rank alongside some of the craziest football shirts ever?
In 2014 Deportivo Lugo from the Galicia region of Spain were sponsored by a local beer and turned up in this number. The goalkeeper kit featured an octopus tentacle, another delicacy from the locality. It gives a whole new meaning to the idea of three points for a win…or should that be pints?
La Hoya Lorca
Spain seems a hotbed for food and beverage-related football attire. Murcia-based side La Hoya Lorca once turned up in an away shirt featuring a head of broccoli, inspired by the region’s nickname as the ‘vegetable garden of Spain.’ Your mother may have been right all along when she told you to eat your greens, because the veggie-wearers won promotion in the gear.
The Colorado Caribous were a team from Denver who competed in the North American Soccer League (NASL) for just one season in 1978. However, this tasseled top design did little to bring the side luck. They finished with the worst record of any team, 22 losses out of thirty games, and propped up the table at the end of the season before the franchise upped sticks to Atlanta.
To most, Manchester United’s third kit from 1996 looks reasonably normal. But when Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils found themselves trailing 3-0 to Southampton at half-time, the manager infamously ordered the players to change at the interval. The Scot later claimed his charges couldn’t see each other because of the all-grey design. United went on to lose the game - in fact they never won while wearing the ensemble - and it has since been voted by fans of the Old Trafford club as the worst of all time.
Hull City’s nickname ‘The Tigers’ was taken very literally by their kit designers for the 1991-92 season. Rather than seeing them roar, Hull struggled in Division Three in this animal-print number. The club now takes on the big cats of the Premier League and in 2013 the owner registered to try to change the official name to Hull City Tigers, much to the horror of many fans.
The African powerhouse has produced some superb footballers with the likes of Samuel Eto’o top of the pile. In the build-up to the 2002 World Cup, ‘The Indomitable Lions’ sported vest tops but with FIFA’s intervention, at the finals themselves, they were forced to wear a sleeved garment underneath. Cameroon’s experimentation with jersey design didn’t end there. At the 2004 African Cup of Nations, the shirt and shorts were sewn together, meaning Eto’o and co. were basically playing in onesies. It led to a major dispute between kit supplier PUMA and FIFA which rumbled on for months.
In the late ’90s, VFL Bochum were sponsored by Faber, a Germany lottery company who wanted to incorporate their multi-coloured logo into the look of the kit. The designers did a great job as the rainbow jerseys of yesteryear have now become legendary. Maybe the shirts were the butt of opposition fans’ jokes, but as a retro-kit that is like no other, Bochum hit the jackpot.