The Observer’s Book of Soccer retro kit bonanza insert

Legendary football statistician Albert Sewell penned the Observer’s Book of Soccer, a suitably pocket-rocketesque contribution to the canon of Observer’s books.

Cover I picked up a copy of the fifth edition, with powerhouse striker Malcolm ‘Supermac’ Macdonald in his Arsenal pomp gracing the cover, on holiday in Lyme Regis from the wonderful Sanctuary Bookshop. More on Lyme to come soon.

The inside is a collection of facts and figures from around the world of football in the late seventies and includes a wonderful colour insert detailing the kits of the league clubs of the day. Sorry for the grainy pictures but you should get the idea.

P1 The highlights of this retro kit bonanza start immediately – note Blackburn Rovers’ harlequin collar and neck line.


Burnley’s blue chevron must have made many a Lancastrian lass’ heart skip a beat on an otherwise drab Turf Moor afternoon. And surely Cardiff would have graced the top flight a little sooner had they stuck to the natty number above rather than cashed in and changed colours altogether. In fairness, the colour change appears to be helping somewhat at the time of writing.


Coventry’s motoring heritage is reflected in their dazzling Autobahn-esque sky blue special.


Of all the kits here only Middlesborough are still rocking a round neck. Ayresome.


Port Vale’s sleeves are quite breathtaking. Was there a short-sleeve version?


This was the Tottenham kit worn by a young Glenn Hoddle. They didn;’t win much then either but they looked good.


West Ham have surely never looked better. As for York City, Y not?

P11This page deals with goalkeepers and international kits. The best ever Welsh kit, bar none. And the yellow goalkeepers top severely marked ‘internationals only’.

You often find this and other ‘Observer’s’ books knocking around for a few quid and there’s always something new to learn in them. Highly recommended.

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