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European International Tops

Sweden – 98/99

Currently ranked 18th in the world, the Swedish Men’s National Team have been making a name for themselves recently as they have managed to qualify for both knockout rounds of the current Euro 2020 and the 2018 World Cup under head coach Janne Andersson who took over the blue and yellow in 2016 after they finished bottom of their group in Euro 2016.

Unfortunately Sweden never qualified for the 1998 World Cup and this kit was never displayed on the world stage, however they did wear it during their qualification for Euro 2000 which they did end up qualifying for. Two loses to Italy and Belgium and a draw against Turkey meant Sweden finished bottom of their group with the one point.

During this time, Sweden did have two soon to be world class talents in their squad with Henrik Larsson and Freddie Ljungberg being their two powerhouses. Larsson was just at the youth of his Celtic career while Ljungberg had just been signed by Arsenal. Over the years, both players were first team regulars with Larsson gaining 106 caps and Ljungberg gaining a respectable 75 caps.

Ljungberg would go on to lift two Premier League titles, one being Arsenal’s invincible season, and three FA Cups while totalling 241 Premier League appearances for Arsenal and West Ham. On the other hand, Henrik Larsson would lift four Scottish Premierships, with Celtic, and two La liga titles and a Champions League with FC Barcelona while claiming four Swedish Player of the Year awards from 2001-2004.

As for this top, the thing that stood out to me straight away was the collar. A nice open 90’s style collar that opens at the front showing a smaller badge on the blue underneath. Also you don’t find many tops nowadays that have laces on the chest which I think makes this look stunning.

Other details you will find on this jersey is faint lines traveling down the strip with the Sweden badge facing upwards and downwards. Also the Adidas three stripes travelling down the sleeves, around the collar and on the laces on the front.

In all I think the colour combination for Sweden kits are a delight and I am glad I managed to pick this one up from Classic football Shirts during my time in London. It really is the worlds biggest football shirt collection.

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Club Tops European

Igor Budisa – FC Schweinfurt 05 02′

FC Schweinfurt 05 are a fourth division German side that currently play in the Regionalliga Bayern and just missed out on promotion into the third flight of German football by means of playoff after finishing second but being crowned champions after Türkgücü München were top of the league for the 19/20 season before it was cancelled, due to the pandemic, was removed from the league and placed into the division above and the rest of the league continued without them.

FC 05 were a regular in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga divisions in Germany from the 1930’s to the 1970’s but now mainly yo-yo between the 3. Liga, Regionalliga Bayern and the Bayernliga Nord which is the third, fourth and fifth divisions.

This jersey comes from a one time match between FC Schweinfurt 05 and Motherwell FC at the end of the 01/02 season with the well’ travelling over to the town of Schweinfurt in a friendly as North Lanarkshire in Scotland is said to be its twin town and both teams wanted to celebrate this fact. Twin town meaning that both towns share planned activities and visits.

Unfortunately for Motherwell, the Germans beat the Scots 3-2 with most of the steelmen’s players being brought straight out the youth academy. As this was a council trip, Motherwell also had a trip to a local vineyard planned but with most of the team being made up of young boys, most weren’t old enough to take part in the tasting.

The player in question today is journeyman midfielder Igor Budiša who has racked up appearances at 16 different clubs, starting and finishing his career with Croatian side NK Osijek also playing for teams in Germany, Hungary, Greece, Russia and China.

This top is different to most as it does not contain a badge anywhere with the only branding being the name of the team along the back above the number. Hummel have obviously tried something very different in using a zip on the collar instead of using buttons or just a flat collar.

Also the Hummel branding being used on a diagonal replicates the blue hazard stripe design on the sleeves. All the lettering and numbers are made from felt which looks fantastic with the 3D style numbers.

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Club Tops European

Patrice Grillon – Chievo Verona 02′

Current Serie B side Chievo Verona have usually been punching above their weight in the Serie A for a few years before eventually being relegated in 2019 and being unable to bounce back up.

Only playing their first season in the Serie A in 01/02, they were favourites to go back down after finishing 3rd to gain promotion. However, Chievo would shock everyone by finishing 5th and qualify for the UEFA Cup but would be eliminated in the first round to Red Star Belgrade.

After finishing 5th, the club would finish a respectable 7th and 9th then in 2006, the flying donkeys would be awarded a champions league spot due to the teams above them being involved in a scandal which would see them banned from European competition.

Getting eliminated from both Champions League and UEFA Cup in the qualifying rounds in the 06/07 season, Chievo would sack their manager in October and would be relegated on the last day of the season. In the 07/08 season they would win the Serie B, by a single point, and bounce back up into the Serie A.

Being established in the Serie A until the 18/19 season they would be put back down into the Serie B and are currently there after finishing a disappointing 8th finish in the season. Whereas rivals Hellas Verona currently sit 10th in the Serie A.

French midfielder Patrice Grillon would only play in Verona from December 2001 to July 2002 with this jersey coming in the pre season of the 02/03 season before Grillon left the club.

This away top comes from their second season in the Serie A when they finished 7th and were put out the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Cup.

This would also see the final season of Oliver Beirhoff’s career as he played one season scoring seven goals.

This shirt is simple as it is the one light blue throughout while using a darker blue for the sponsor, name, number and team name at the bottom. Also using this darker blue as a trim for the collar and the sleeves which helps to finish off the top.

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Club Tops European

Martyn Corrigan – FC Jokerit 00′

Probably one of the most obscure kits in the world, FC Jokerit have a very small history of just five years but in those five years they managed to bring in a Finnish Cup and a Second division title. Based in Helsinki and starting the 99/00 season in the Second Division, the club managed to win the Finnish Cup in their first season, with help from a young Corrigan who played 13 times for the club after signing from Falkirk in the middle of the season.

After winning the Finnish Cup, Corrigan would sign for Lanarkshire side Motherwell FC, in the 00/01 season, where he would spend seven years of his career and rack up 243 appearances while also representing Scotland B on two occasions.

As for FC Jokerit, their last season would be in 2003 where they finished 10th and after that they were bought over in March 2004 by rivals HJK Helsinki and were renamed to Klubi-04 which is used as a reserve team for HJK.

Former Dutch fullback Jan Everse also managed the team for a few months.

Corrigan, centre, speaking to Hammell, right. Motherwell can stun Rangers at Hampden and banish League Cup ghost of 2005 insists Martyn Corrigan – Daily Record

Naturally a right back, and what a right back he was, Corrigan would play there, centre back and right midfield when called upon. An extremely hard working full back that used his stamina and aggression to get him through games, which is shown by the 02/03 season Martyn would play all but the final 16 minutes. Due to his favouritism with the fans, Martyn would gain the nickname “Kaiser”.

This top really has a lot happening with all the sponsorships, the Karelia coat of arms, Adidas badge and stripes of the cleverly created badge. The collar reminds me of the old Welsh 76′ jersey that uses the Admiral logos on the collar.

A tidy finish too with the front of the collar blending back into the top. The shimmer throughout the small stripes really bring this to life.

The badge features a jester on top of a football with the primary colours, red, yellow and blue, along with the team name, location and year founded.

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British Club Tops

Luka Modric – Tottenham 10′

Luka Modric has won all there is to win at club level with Real Madrid but before his big money move to Los Blancos, Modric was showing off his talent in North London with Tottenham Hotspur.

Arriving from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008, for a then club record fee of £16.5 million after turning down both Manchester City and Newcastle Utd, Luka would play 160 games for the North London outfit, He would be directly involved in 44 goals with 17 goals and 27 assists.

Not often a goal scoring threat, Modric is able to create a chance out of nothing in the middle of the pitch with most of his game time at Spurs coming from the central midfield area or out on the left midfield.

Tottenham almost doubled their money on the Croatian, when Real Madrid paid £30 million for his talents. Luka’s role in the midfield became more industrious and hard working for Madrids Galacticos compared to him being the main creator of the team, as his role was in London. In Madrid he was part of a deadly midfield trio with German Toni Kroos and Brazilian Casemiro as the three won four Champions League titles and two league titles, becoming one of the best midfields of the modern era.

It wouldn’t be until 2018 that Luka Modric would earn the recognition he truly deserved. After winning the Champions League and captaining his country to their first World Cup final, Modric was awarded with FIFA’s and UEFA’s best men’s player of the year award along with a Ballon D’or.

This top was the first of seven home jerseys designed by Puma, taking over from Kappa in 06/07 to their deal finishing in the 12/13 campaign, with Under Armour stepping in. Over Puma’s tenure, they kept the home shirts mainly the traditional, always using white as the primary and navy as a secondary colour. Puma would change their style a few times, using a crew neck, a V-neck and also a collar to keep in line with the trends of the time.

A closer look at the white body of the jersey reveals small air holes in the jersey, helping to keep the players body cool, along with a different material running up the side of the top, for the same reason. This top comes with two felt Premier League badges on each sleeve and felt name and numbers with the sponsor being a bit more sympathetic to the club colours than some of the modern jerseys. The jersey is finished off with a large embroidered cockerel.

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British International Tops

Trevor Cherry – England 76′

Trevor Cherry was an English full back that could be played anywhere along the back line. Starting his career with Huddersfield Town, Cherry would make the move to Leeds for £100,000 where he would play 399 games and go onto captain the club.

Winning his first cap in 1976 against Wales with this jersey coming from his game against Scotland the same year in the Home Championship.

Cherry would go down as the first England player to be sent off in an international friendly as England played Argentina in 1977 with Cherry getting two teeth knocked out after the rash challenge on Daniel Bertoni who then decided to punch Cherry in the mouth.

Cherry was part of the England squad for the 1980 European Championships in Italy but was restricted to a single substitute appearance against Spain which would be his last international cap.

This top comes from the 1976 Home Championships where Scotland Hosted England at Hampden. Scotland would win the game with goals coming from centre half Gordon McQueen and clinical striker Kenny Dalglish with a penalty from Mick Channon giving England a goal back in the 87th minute.

Admiral only produced two England home kits with this being the first and the last being the 1982 jersey that also features on The Kit Rail under Terry Butcher.

As for this top, it’s a classic England home top using the main three colour red, white and blue with red and blue stripes travelling down the sleeve and also around the collar.

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British International Tops

Willie Pettigrew – Scotland 75′

Regular subscribers to The Kit Rail will know that we’ve already covered Willie Pettigrew with his stunning Dundee United 1981 Scottish Cup Final Jersey. For that reason we are covering Willie’s full Scotland international career, from the under 23’s through to his last full cap.

Scotland Under 23’s

He made his international debut for the under 23 side, at the age of 21, in a friendly match in Sweden that was played on the 16th of April 1975. Scotland won this fixture 2-1.

A European Championship clash in Romania would see Willie score his first international goal in another 2-1 win coming on the 31st of May 1975.

Next up would be a double header against Denmark with Scotland securing a crucial 1-0 win away, on the 2nd of September 1975, and adding yet another victory, this time beating the Danish 4-1 on the 28th of October 1975.

Pettigrew ended the international calendar year with another European Championship Victory, grabbing himself a brace in a 4-0 destruction of Romania at Brockville on the 16th of December 1975. This result saw Scotland top their group and continue through the tournament.

Willie’s sixth and penultimate under 23 cap would come against Wales at Wrexhams Racecourse Ground on the 4th of February. During this game, Willie would score another brace to secure a narrow 3-2 victory for the Scots. We covered this match when we featured the Joey Jones jersey not too long ago.

The last cap to come for Willie Pettigrew would be in the second leg of the Under 23 European Championship Quarter Finals as Scotland took on The Netherlands in front of an amazing 32,000 fans at Easter Road, home of Hibernian, on the 24th of March 1976. Scotland lost the first game 2-0 (a game that Willie missed due to injury). Scotland would win the second game 2-0 but would lose on penalties after a 2-2 aggregate score. You can find more details on this match as we covered it during the Jan Everse jersey.

In all Willie started 7 games at under 23 level winning all seven and grabbing himself five goals in the process.

Full International Career

2 weeks after his last under 23 cap, Willie would make his full international debut and what a debut it would be.

A home friendly versus Switzerland on the 7th of April 1976 would see Willie net his first goal after only 2 minutes. This would be the only goal of the game as Scotland would win the game 1-0. This game has also been covered as we featured Rene Hasler earlier this week.

Cap number two would again see Willie find the net, scoring the first goal in a 3-1 win over Wales at Hampden Park on the 6th of May 1976. You can see more of this game and jersey on Terry Yorath’s page on the The Kit Rail.

A few days later would come cap number three which would see Scotland beat Northern Ireland convincingly in a 3-0 win at Hampden Park with goals from Gemmill, Masson and Dalglish.

Willie would have to wait six months for cap number four which would be a world cup qualifier against Wales. We would see another victory for Scotland and Pettigrew as the Scots would beat Wales 1-0.

Willie’s fifth and final cap would come on the 27th of April 1977 and would see Scotland run out as winners in a 3-1 victory against Sweden with goals coming from Hartford, Dalglish and Joe Crag.

Willie would play five times for his country, scoring two goals in the process and would be in the winning team on all five occasions. If you add Willie’s under 23 appearances, you end up with an impressive 12 games representing Scotland, 12 victories and a highly commendable 7 goals.

Willie Pettigrew, take a bow.

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European International Tops

Rene Hasler – Switzerland 76′

As Switzerland begin to face up against Italy on matchday two of Euro 2020, we’re going back in time to show off this golden oldie from when Scotland hosted the Swiss back in 1976.

Rene Hasler was a 5ft 7′ defender who played his full career in Switzerland with FC Zurich, FC Basel for two separate spells and Neuchâtel Xamax FCS.

Starting his career way back in 1969 at FC Zurich, where he would win the Swiss Cup before moving onto FC Basel. It is during his time in Basel Hasler would earn his first cap for Switzerland which would be on the 21st of October 1972 against Italy in a 0-0 draw. Rene’s last international appearance would end with a 2-1 defeat to Spain.

This jersey is from Switzerland’s clash with Scotland from the 7th of April 1976. The game ended 1-0 to Scotland with Willie Pettigrew scoring on his debut for his country inside the first two minutes of the game.

Rene Hasler, Second up on the right column.

This Adidas classic is similar to many from around that time with a simple two colour combination with one being the main body, white, and the other being used for the collar and Adidas stripes, red. The colours used being from the Swiss flag as shown as the badge.

This top also features a black Adidas branding which other Adidas made kits did not during this time. One such case would be the Netherlands top which is featured on the website that is Adidas but only shows the stripes with no branding.

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British International Tops

Terry Yorath – Wales 76′

With Euro 2020 about to begin, we have been holding off sharing this beauty of a top but now we can with Wales’ first game against Switzerland quickly approaching we can finally talk about it.

Making 59 appearances for Wales from 1969 all the way to 1981 while captaining the team for 42 games. Yorath also managing the team for five years guiding them to wins over Brazil and then European champions West Germany while almost qualifying for the 1994 World Cup.

Yorath was also the first Welshman to play in a European Cup final as Leeds were beaten off Bayern Munich in the 73/74 final.

This jersey is from Yorath’s games against Scotland in the Home Championships from the 6th of May 1976 where Scotland got the better of the Welsh 3-1 thanks to an opener from Motherwell favourite Willie Pettigrew.

Yorath seen having a tussle with Scotland number 10 Archie Gemmill. Can be seen around the 7:30 minute mark. 06/05/1976 Scotland v Wales – Bing video

Probably one of Wales most iconic kits, this symmetrical beauty uses the bright red of the dragon as the main colour with the green and yellow coming from the Royal Badge of Wales. The best thing about this kit may be the yellow Admiral branding on the collar matching the stripes down the side. No Wales kit would be complete without the badge and this one is a beauty, showing the dragon off in all its glory surrounded by the green shield with yellow stars.

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Club Tops European

Michael Higdon – NEC Nijmegen 13′

NEC Nijmegen badge

Englishman Michael Higdon started his career at Crewe Alexandra before making his move to Scotland where he would play with Falkirk and St Mirren, scoring 15 and 18 goals respectively before finding his form for with Motherwell.

Higdon (right) celebrating with Humphrey (left). Motherwell Legend Michael Higdon retires from football. : MotherwellFC (reddit.com)

It is with The Steelmen where Higdon would become a cult hero as he would score 13 goals in his first season and then a massive 26 league goals in the 12/13 season, where he would become Motherwell’s top goal scorer in a season since the Second World War. As a result of Higdon being so important to Motherwell’s 2nd place finish in the league, he was voted PFA Scotland’s Player’s Player of the Year.

Higdon with his PFA PPOTY award. Tam Cowan: My hero Higdon had the Mother of all hangovers – Tam Cowan – Daily Record

After leaving the Scottish side on a free, Higdon would move across the English Channel to Dutch side NEC Nijmegen. The Scouser would only play in Holland for one season but he would continue to be as prolific abroad, scoring 14 goals but this was not enough to keep Nijmegen in the Eredivise. After the season, Higdon would get his move back to England with a bid coming in from Sheffield United.

Higdon with NEC Nijmegen. Higdon leads NEC to victory — Nijmegenleeft.nl

As for this beauty, Jako have produced an instantly recognisable kit for NEC Nijmegen as the use of their classic three colours are used through this iconic shirt, with the main torso being split in two with the contrasting red and green while using the last colour, black, as the sleeves. The clubs double headed eagle is replicated from the badge and can be seen spread out over the bottom of the jersey.

At the bottom on the back, there is also a skyline of the city of Nijmegen, which is also the oldest city in Holland. This cityscape features the Nijmegen Railway Bridge, which was demolished twice during the Second World War, once by the Dutch to defend against the attacking German’s which was then rebuilt and destroyed again by the German’s as they fled the American’s. The bridge was nicknamed “Little Omaha” due to the casualties suffered on the bridge.