We asked Copa 90's Ed Groves to pick his five favourite shirts. 

For anyone with a passion for football, it's a big ask - akin to choosing a favourite child. He managed it, though - and he's selected five crackers, too...


Liverpool 95/96 Home

There is a rail full of better looking Liverpool shirts that preceded the 95/96 Home Shirt, but none of them had a collar that should only belong on a cricket sweater. And that is the sole reason why it is for me the Cult Kit and the first one I bought. It's my favourite, and I don’t say that to all the others.



It isn’t comfy, you feel like you’ve just had a haircut, but none of that matters. Forget your dri-FIT technology, I’m going to pine for a time when Robbie Fowler looked like he could have supplied some left-arm skiddy stuff, moving it late away from the batsmen, just as he did with the keepers that year while at the other end Stan throws down snorters, both of them constantly sledging the oppo - “Oi Phil, you aren’t even the best footballer in your family”. Finally, John Barnes saunters in at number 4 and effortlessly stokes the ball around the field. For all the talent they’d still lose to United in the FA Cup final, a United side that had a real Baggy Green energy about them, inevitable, relentless.

Aside from the collar, the darker red was a classier look, likewise, the pin-striped club emblem. Best worn long sleeved, as regularly modelled by Barnes and McManaman that year. The quartered away shirt was also pretty special.



Newcastle 95/96 Away

The belle always photographed together with the Liverpool number was of course Newcastle’s home shirt, but the glass slipper actually belonged to the Away edition.

While at first glance it might look like someone at the factory has toyed with the settings and produced a faded Bayern Munich kit, it somehow works, held together by one of the greatest sponsors in history, the Blue Star perfectly complimenting the horizontal stripes. 

They were better times weren’t they, when you had the local ale sponsoring Newcastle, Dagenham Motors for West Ham, and Fatboy Slim’s Skint Records blazoned across Brighton shirts. When you find the perfect harmony, sponsors make kits, and I’m a sucker for big, outlandish ones.



Anyway, Sir Les, the aptly named David Désiré Ginola and Tino all entertained us that year, but would suffer the same unfortunate fate as Liverpool, and lose out to Ferguson’s Baggy Greens in the league.

Here’s a little bit of trivia to drop into your next Zoom Quiz, both Newcastle home and away along with the Liverpool away were the first shirts to sport the grandad collar, long before any COS look-book.



Club America 95/96 Home

Look at it in all its primary splendour. The geometric design draped across the shoulders conjures up images of El Cole, Columbia’s iconic Birdman. Everyone looks to the Germany kits of this era for references, but for me it doesn’t get much better than this.

For all I said above about local sponsors, it’s impossible not to enjoy the Coca Cola logo. However, the real showpiece is the Club America emblem. For me one of the best going. It looks like it should sit on a 100ft screen, deep underground in a Bond villain’s lair, a nuclear warhead flying across the screen, displayed by flickering red LEDs, think of the satellite dish in Goldeneye. Onatopp strung up on a tree nearby. I’d love to see Pierce Brosnan wear this kit.



Juventus 95/96 Away

96 is becoming a bit of a theme. Trophy winning shirts tend to be canonised, Netherlands 88, but aside from the fact Juventus defeated defending champions Ajax in the UCL final sporting this shirt, it’s truly made by the two massive stars adorned on each shoulder . Simple but incredibly elegant, the perfect accompaniment for the UCL logo that sat within. A Christopher Nolan Inception design, stars within a star.

If there was a superhero vs super villain match, it would be hard to look past this as the goodies kit. Could equally double up as the official kit for the Remain campaign.



PSV 92-94 Home

This shirt oozes class. You’d expect to find it on a menswear best dressed list, the best work wear for a workers club. 

It is a crying shame that PSV kits no longer carry the same iconic PHILIPS logo. It just doesn’t look right, just like a 2021 Inter Milan shirt without Pirellii. The simple block font perfectly suited the vertical red and white stripes. Nothing else was needed, but the Adidas Trefoil was still the cherry.



Coming into 92/93, PSV had won 6 of the last 7 Eredivisies, but they wouldn’t win another until the spring of 97. The key to PSV’s titles had been the diminutive Romario and he would spend his final season in Eindhoven wearing the shirt, still plundering goals for fun (whether they were scored in the Eredivise or his back garden, they all counted to shorty). The only pity is the fact we never got to see his protege wear the shirt. A quick wiki tells me Romario and Ronaldo together slotted 34 goals in 20 games for Brazil in 1997, crazy stuff.




Words by Ed Groves

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