As someone who has long since read blogs on vintage football kits, it’s a very surreal experience to be finally writing my own. So I hope this conveys my love and borderline obsession of the subject.

Part #1 – When did I first notice older kits being worn?

As a youngster, there was always a stigma of seeing someone wearing a jersey that was a few years behind the most current release. It was a childish and immature observation of someone who couldn’t afford to buy the newest kit, and how much my outlook would change in a few years’ time. 

I joined the Scotland Supporters Club in 2006, the start of the agonisingly close qualifying campaign to the 2008 European Championships. I hadn’t been to a Scotland game for a few years and it was quite the culture shock for someone who was borderline drinking age. The experience of being in Glasgow for the pub shutters going up, travelling from boozer to boozer consuming as much lager as possible while having all manner of Scottish music over the speakers – from Rod Stewart to Deacon Blue – was one that gripped me quickly.

It was the first time where I started to notice an alien concept to me, a large majority of supporters wearing old shirts. The range was vast, from the quintessential Scotland jersey of the 1960’s with the white collar and cuffs to compliment the navy, to the salmon away of 1999. They were all on show. Both tops that I’d owned as a youth to ones that I’d never seen before were worn proudly by other members of the tartan army who were having an absolute whale of a time. I didn’t feel out of place in my up to date Diadora home shirt, but the idea of wearing a vintage Scotland top to a game was one that I wanted to fully embrace and where I’m sure my love for retro football kits and my desire to collect them was born.

Part #2 – My First Two Kits Ever!

Full disclosure, to my eternal shame I cannot remember the first ever football top that was ever bought for me. Unfortunately, neither can my parents! So I will go with the two the were definitely the first ones I ever had although I’m not certain which one was my first.

Rangers Away 1992/1993

This is, in my opinion, the best Rangers away strip of all time. Rangers were at the time amongst the leading sellers of replica kits in Britain at the time and in 1992 adidas were to offer Rangers a deal which would put them in with Europe’s elite such as Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Marseille who also wore the famous three stripes. 

A gift on Christmas morning in 1992, I rarely had this shirt off of my back in the following weeks. It was everything that I think an away kit should be; basically a reverse of the home. Where Rangers home strip would have royal blue shirts with three white stripes on the shoulders and white shorts, the away would have white shirts with red stripes on the shoulders with blue shorts. It is also a great example of not all template kits being boring and without imagination. Plenty of teams signed with adidas used this “equipment” template and the designs remains absolutely iconic to this day. The strip was used in one of Rangers greatest ever seasons, where they would win the treble and come within a whisker of the European Cup Final, being pipped to winning the group by eventual winners Marseille.

Scotland Away 1992

While I mentioned above that an away kit is best when it is a direct reversal of the colours used in the home, I will absolutely contradict myself here. This strip could not be any more of a removal from its home counterpart. It is as 90’s as they come with its use of bright, garish colours and lightening effect flashing across the torso. 

This was a birthday gift which preceded the Christmas gift of the Rangers away top mentioned previously. Another which was rarely off my back. This came packaged in a novel “Umbro Repli-Kit” box, something which was commonplace for Umbro back then however nowadays it is normally reserved for limited edition/anniversary releases of shirts. 

This would be one of my first retro kit purchases after my experience of going to Scotland games regularly. I naively thought I would stand out as one of the only ones wearing this shirt at matches, however the fact that I seemed to see this on every other member of the Scotland support is testament to its endearing popularity, not only in 2006 but lasting right up until present day where a younger generation of the Tartan Army can be seen with many of these jerseys among their ranks. 

(By C. Bruce – @chris_b241 on X/Twitter)