Creative: Pro:Direct / Photography: Pro:Direct / Words: Pro:Direct

As we approach EURO 2024 we’re taking a look at which decade had the best England football shirts – 60s, 70s, 80s 90 or 00s? There have been some iconic designs down the years, and England fans have seen it all wearing the famous Three Lions – the sweat and the tears, the beer stains acting as a badge of pride and memories of pure jubilation before the inevitable defeat on penalties.

Your favourite retro England shirt will be influenced by your year of birth, favourite players, summers of nostalgia, beer gardens, frothy pints and shattered dreams – but it’s the oh-so-nears that make our DNA as England fans, and the oh-so-nears that will make that first trophy since 1966 that bit sweeter. So best decade for England shirts? Let’s go…

1960s England Football Shirts


We’ll start here. First thing’s first – full marks for performance. The 1966 shirts, in particular the away shirt, will forever be synonymous with English football with Bobby Moore lifting the England’s first and only World Cup trophy. If you’re after a retro England shirt that bleeds victory then this is the decade – complete with Moore’s stitched number 6 on the back. Decent start, but not the best decade, a little too simplistic, albeit beautifully vintage. 

1970s England Football Shirts

This is all about the 1970 kits for the World Cup in Mexico. Umbro introduced a new mesh technology to combat the extreme Mexican summer heat and produced three stunningly simplistic shirts in white, red and light blue. The last England World Cup Shirt for 12 years as England failed to qualify for the tournaments in 1974 and 1978, and with that in mind we’re ruling out 1970s as the best decade for England shirts.

1980s England Football Shirts

This is where it started to get interesting. Two of the greatest England shirts of all time were produced for the 1982 World Cup (by Admiral) and 1986 World Cup (by Umbro). The 1982 design had the classic red and blue pattern on the chest and shoulder while the 1986 shirts in three colour boasted that retro-licious v-neck. The 1989 buttoned collar is well worthy of a call out too.

2000s England Football Shirts

How is this retro? Yeah, we hear you. But it is. That home shirt from the 2002 World Cup has us dreaming of early starts in Japan and South Korea and Ronaldinho lobbing David Seaman to ruin another summer of dreams. EURO 2004 – which is somehow 20 years old – is all about Wayne Rooney bursting onto the scene in the collared England home shirt. Another superb year of retro England shirts but we’re going for the 90s as the best year for England football shirts.