Midweek fixture: 27 Favourite home shirts – ranked!

Back before lockdown, I thought it was time to settle the ultimate argument; just what has been Oxford United’s best ever kit? Yellow shorts? Blue stripes? Navy or royal blue? Adidas or Manor Leisure? The options are endless. So which was your favourite; from hundreds of votes, here are the 27 best.

27. 1973-1975

We start with one of the great Oxford United controversies; yellow shorts. This seventies take was very much of it’s time with the likes of Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester City all adopting a mono-colour approach. There’s not much to this, but I like the Umbro styling and the circular badge.

26. 2012-2013

It’s 2012 reboot comes in at 26, although adopting a standard Nike template, it’s a pretty faithful update, the collar and buttons split opinions.

25. 2014-2015

A pleasant surprise when it was revealed in the car park of Oxford Prison hotel. The single hoop is a unique take on the shirt though the hurried adoption of Black N Rounds as a sponsor was pretty grim. It was an awful season, which undoubtedly impacts the overall perception.

24. 2017-2018

Quite a nice, inoffensive design but one synonymous with the post-Appleton struggles of Pep Clotet. Aesthetically, it deserved more than just a storming comeback win at Charlton, but that was probably its most notable outing.

23. 1921

Not a bad showing for a 100 year old shirt nobody got to see. Perhaps it’s due a modern re-run?

22. 2001-2003

The first Kassam Stadium era shirt, which is associated with the struggles of Mark Wright and the brutish pragmatism of Ian Atkins. A shirt which comes with a particularly high shine.

21. 1949-1950

Periodically the club will turn to blue sleeves to give us a bit of variety in the club’s kit design. This intra-war years shirt with the old Headington United badge is a nice take.

20. 1975-1977

The blue and yellow stripe is a design which has threatened to tear the club apart in the past. This mid-seventies version, with its navy stripe, may not have brought any notable success, but I’d like to see a re-run of it at some point.

19. 2011-2012

A shirt I thought would do better than it did. The season in general didn’t amount to much, but it did break the Swindon hoodoo.

18. 1989-1991

After the dizzy heights of Division 1, we returned to the second tier and took on this design. The season wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t what we wanted. This shirt pretty much reflected that.

17. 1977-1980

The 70s was all about Admiral and their audacious designs, shirts were heavily branded and broke every rule. Sadly, we didn’t get one of their classics, but it’s still nice to see a bit of Admiral in our history.

16. 1996-1998

If you’re like me, you only have to take one look at the grandad collar on this one and you’re transported back to Nigel Jemson trying to make the universe revolve around him.

15. 1968-1970

The Big Ron shirt; Brylcream, dubbin’ on your boots, The Blackburn Game, The Preston game. This old gold number will give your dad a funny feeling in his trousers.

14. 2010-2011

A strong showing for a shirt which was controversial when it was released for our first season back in the Football League. It’s too blue they screamed, now it’s a bit of an cult classic.

13. 1991-1993

For some people it’s difficult to look at this shirt without seeing Mike Ford’s Madchester ‘cutains’ hairdo.

12. 2018-2019

The start of the Puma/Singha years, and a solid opener. It looked better with blue shorts, because, well, just because.

11. 1998-2000

For me, this is the all-time default Oxford United kit – plain yellow with a simple trim and a good solid V neck. An absolute beauty, but not one that makes the top 10.

10. 2009-2010

An effortlessly stylish Nike template and the last to feature Buildbase. It’ll always be synonymous with Alfie Potter and all that but 10th is a surprisingly weak showing for the shirt that took us back to the Football League in 2010.

9. 2016-2017

A nod to the pinstripes of the early 80s, this post-promotion shirt saw some action – beating Birmingham and Newcastle in the cup as well as a derby double of Swindon, including THAT Rob Hall howitzer.

8. 1982-1985

Kit-wise, the glory years of the mid-eighties will always be synonymous with what came later, but this pinstriped beauty made by Spall Sports was the kit that carried us through the peak from beating Manchester United and Arsenal to promotion to the top flight.

7. 1993-1994

When a club celebrates a major milestone, it usually seeks out an old classic and updates it. For our centenary, we ignored that old trope and introduced this challenging design. The train tracks on the sleeves are magnificent, though were never repeated.

6. 2019-2020

Teetered on the edge of legend, the promotion shirt that never was? The first, and perhaps last, Oxford United shirt to feature a sublimated flux.

5. 1980-1982

A real beauty; the classic Adidas trefoil, the simple badge, the royal blue shorts. OK, so it was a generic template used by everyone from Sweden to Mansfield, but just look at it.

4. 1987-1989

Fourth is not bad for a yellow and white striped shirt which was worn in a relegation season.

3. 2015-2016

Re-booting an all-time classic from the mid-80s was a bold move. In the end it was a masterstroke; 2015-16 had everything, promotion, giant killings, derby wins and a Wembley visit, in the end, the re-boot decision just re-confirmed the design’s legend.

2. 1994-1996

The ghosted badge in the design splits opinions from a purely aesthetic perspective, but the late-season charge to promotion in 1996 makes this one an all time classic.

1. 1985-1987

Not the most attractive shirt – the yellow is too pale, the shadow stripes are dated, but the adoption of Umbro as manufacturer felt very grown up after the Spall Sports years. It’s also a shirt that didn’t see a lot of league wins, narrowly avoiding relegation in 1986. But there was that game, and that’s why it’ll always be a classic.

Published by

Oxblogger

Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s