It’s different, it’s very different. I’m going to say that right away, because us purists hate it when designers sully the simple white shirts of the England National Team. There have been chevrons, holograms and even a red strip through the shirt in recent years, yet Umbro designer David Blanch in his last incarnation, stripped the England kit to its most primal form. Now, we have subtle ‘design’ elements, including these ‘crosses’ (below) on the shoulder, by graphic designer Peter Saville. We’ve never seen that before, Clive.
Here’s the new shirt, below, and it looks from these early images (released this morning) that the shirt is true to the ‘Tailored by Umbro’ form. I.e. It’s expensively cut like a Saville Row suit, with enough difference to the last version that is now ruined by negative memories of an unsuccessful World Cup performance.
At first glance it appears the racing green England goalkeeper shirt survived, but I’m told it’s actually black with a purple trim (“Unbelievable, Jeff,” scoffed Umbro’s Aaron). Because the Robert Green ‘keeper’s jersey is haunted. Regardless of whether you put a Grandad collar on it.
But do I like the new England shirt? Yes I do, I bloody love it. The blue Umbro logo…works. The collar is functional yet interesting. Those graphically designed crosses are special: “The traditional red cross is still present alongside blue and green ones, which are colours present in the official England team crest,” explains Saville, “These have been joined by a purple cross, a blend of all the three previous colours to accentuate diversity.”
So it’s a ‘diverse’ England shirt. But most importantly, it’s a fresh one. New start and all that, lads? England play Bulgaria in Friday’s Euro 2012 qualifier. You can see more pictures of their new shirt on Umbro.com