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England Home Shirt, 2011-13: Tailored By Umbro

What would England's home shirt look like if it was designed by New Order's album cover designer?

In March 2009, there was a lot of hoopla about the launch of the innovative new England home jersey from Umbro. Four Four Two Magazine had the exclusive. And millions of soccer fans around the world, mostly England supporters, were clamoring to see what the new kit would look like.

Sadly for England, the home kit was far superior to what the England national team conjured up on the pitches in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup. It was one of those cases where the beauty of the shirt didn’t match the dour performances on the pitch. To no fault of Umbro, it was a complete mismatch.

Less than 18 months later, Umbro and England have unveiled a new home football kit which will be adorned by England this Friday when they play Bulgaria in a Euro 2012 qualifying group match.

To me, it’s far too early for England to unveil a brand new kit but if the club teams can do it, I suppose the national teams can do it too although it’s not as if England even got to wear the 2009/2010 home kit that much after all.

The new England shirt from Umbro isn’t a significant departure from the World Cup top. It still features the classy features such as the regal crest, the beautifully sewn star above it, and the gorgeous white fabric that’s so pure that it makes you feel cathartic.

To be completely honest, the first time I saw the new design of the England shirt, I hated it. But the more I look at it, the better it appears. And the sentiment of the shirt is admirable. As you can see on the back and shoulder of the jersey, there’s a pattern of four different colored crosses: red, blue, green and – all three colors mixed together – equaling purple. The purple is meant to reflect how England is now a very culturally diverse nation.

When I looked closer at the design, the small colored crosses look like specks. But examining it even more closely, the specks of color made me think that if the Pet Shop Boys, Frankie Goes To Hollywood or New Order ever designed an England home shirt, it would look like this. Upon further investigation, I wasn’t surprised to find out that iconic designer Peter Saville was the man responsible for the new England shirt creation. Saville is perhaps best known for designing album covers for New Order, Joy Division, Duran Duran, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD) and many others.

I’m in two minds about this new England shirt. One, I love it and think it’s a work of art. But two, it’s too pretty to be a football shirt. It doesn’t conjure up what England needs to be on the pitch. They need to be more aggressive, to get back to basics, to play with grit. But the new England jersey is too pretty for that. It needs to be in an art gallery or worn on a catwalk, not covered in grass stains and blotches of mud or pulled by opponents who try to be cheeky and grab the shirt behind a referee’s back.

Maybe it’ll grow on me after I see England wear it on Friday against Bulgaria. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s a creative masterpiece in terms of football shirts. But is it the right shirt for England? No pressure Fabio Capello’s men, but you’ll need to prove you’re worthy of pulling on the shirt of England. Even more so than usual.

Here are more images of England’s new home jersey including close-ups of the new fabric design, as well as a video interview with Saville who shares his insights regarding the England jersey and why it was an important canvas to work on:

To discover more regarding England’s new home jersey and their blue shorts (to replace their white ones they wore in the 2010 World Cup), head on over to Umbro’s website.

Pre-Order England’s new home shirt today so you’ll be the first to receive it when it’s released in October, 2010.

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  1. Paul

    September 11, 2011 at 11:27 am

    This kit is awful!! The gayest kit ever!! Why do the people who design the England kit keep trying to change our colours??? Brazil, Italy, Spain, Argentina and all the rest never change their colours!! England should always be home: White Shirts, Navy Shorts, White Socks. Away: Red Shirts, White Shorts, Red Socks. Stop messing with it and making us a laughing stock. I won’t buy this tosh!!! I want a plain shirt with the Three Lions badge!

  2. Sean

    May 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    should be having nike or even puma brand for england kits so would look success.

  3. Matthew Stiddard

    October 12, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Not inpressed at all. Pink & green crosses what has that got to do with England. Is this more about the profit from the sale of the kit than the kit itself. Horrible wouldn’t waste my money on such a sad design our flag is red & white and that should be the colours of our kit and please don’t say blue as the Union Jack is a flag is to represent the United Kingdoms of England, Scotland & N. Ireland and trust me niether of these countries are united when it comes to supporting our own football teams.

  4. Rydal

    September 4, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    With this kit being dated 2011/2013 it would of surely made sense to release it next feb/march. This would give the other kit another 6 months and every one wouldnt feel so ripped off.I wondered why my local sports shop were selling them for £10 last week.They will never shift them now.

  5. Alzy1982

    September 3, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    That is so awful! I’d feel like a homosexual roaming around with little coloured flags on my shirt. I have bought every England shirt since 1998 but even last years kit release had me hesitating. My wallet is staying firmly in my pocket on this one

  6. Fabio Capello

    September 3, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I didn’t think it was possible to make a shirt worse than the previous England home kit, but oh my have Umbro achieved just that.

  7. Smokey Bacon

    September 3, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    This is what team England is all about these days – flogging horrible kits every 18 months to mug punters. This kit is a joke – basically a grandad shirt and as for the crosses….WTF! Whatever next, the names of Charlton, Hurst, Banks etc embroidered on the cuffs. I long for the day when Adidas or Nike takeover and produce a shirt for its intended purpose and not as a “fashion” statement. If they are going down this road, they might as well have Burberry on the shirt – that would really be reflective of modern Britain.

  8. Justin

    September 3, 2010 at 8:41 am

    what made the last one classy was the retro collar. Also, I’m not the biggest fan of the blue shorts combo… to me, England is either white or red.

    • Dave C

      September 3, 2010 at 9:34 am

      White shirts and dark blue shorts have been England’s traditional first choice colour scheme pretty much since the dawn of time. They’ve only started wearing all white in the last 2-3 years.

  9. brn442

    September 3, 2010 at 12:46 am

    I wonder if the shirt will get a FAC number as well? I’m not gonna make any quips involving Ian Curtis and that neck line. Speaking of which – too early for a new shirt in my opinion, however, its a piece of art – well done. I expected a return to a navy collar, I guess that will be in the next one. The blue on the shorts look lighter than previous versions.

  10. Gaz Hunt

    September 2, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Initially not a fan of this.

    I think the reason Umbro has quickly become such a hot sportswear company (again) is the focus on traditional, retro, and clean design.

    This shirt seems to make a depart from that – I can see this being remembered like some of the crazy, early 90s shirts in the future.

    The “old” England home shirt (very similar to this one but with the collar and lack of rainbow crosses) is by far my favorite shirt in my closet. I’m thinking about buying another one now that the price is coming down.

  11. Dave C

    September 2, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Also, isn’t that extended grandad collar feature down the middle of the chest going to interfere with the numbers printed on the front? Or maybe they’ll print them over one side of the chest instead.

  12. santi

    September 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I thought that this was a 10/12 home kit and that there’d be a new one for the 2012 euros. Maybe I’m making that up?

  13. raging ricardo

    September 2, 2010 at 10:56 am

    CXXTS! after lashing out much needed cash on a england shirt clearly cited as home shirt 2010/2012 they release this. wouldnt mind if we actually did well in the WC but this just rips the piss out of every England fan.

    That siad, its a lush shirt love the hundreds and thousands st georges, very cool.

  14. Dave C

    September 2, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Firstly, I’m really dissapointed that they’re bringing out a new home kit so soon after the last one. I don’t remember England ever replacing a shirt so quickly in my lifetime. I’m gonna check out my own England shirt when I get home and see if it has a “best-before” date on it.

    From a marketing point of view, it would seem to make more sense to release a new shirt just before Euro 2012, when a bit of hype has built up. Not now.

    But putting aside those issues for a moment, my thoughts are this:

    The shirt is actually pretty cool looking. I like the grandad-style collar.

    The multi-coloured crosses on the shoulder sound like a horrible idea (I’d rather not have designers use the England shirt as an opportunity to make a political statement about the demographics of the nation, especially when it doesn’t fit the colour scheme of the team). But they actually look pretty cool. I would have prefered it if they were just red crosses though, or maybe if it had just been used on the inside of the shirt (like the lining of a suit).

    The one thing I disliked about the last England kit was the fact that they generally wore white shorts. I thought this was conflicted with the retro-look, since England have not traditionally worn all-white. And also, the all-white just looked very femine.

    So I’m glad they’ve gone back to blue shorts…but from the photograph, it looks like the shade of blue is wayyyy to light. Instead of looking like England’s traditional colour-scheme, they look like an Italy away kit.

  15. daveg

    September 2, 2010 at 9:22 am

    From the back it looks like a trifle with hundreds and thousands on top 😉

  16. JUNT

    September 2, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Agree its a bit too early for a new kit, but I’m a sucker for anything Peter Saville.

  17. Bishopville Red

    September 2, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Looks like another classic cut from Umbro. The crosses seem a little hokey, though, and therefore inconsistent with the classic banded collar look.

    Regardless, it’s far too early for a new England kit. At least club sides get about 35+ matches out of their kits.

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