The History of the Liverpool Football Shirt
The original design of the football shirt for Liverpool may surprise some fans, as it was actually blue and white, not red.
Another key historical element of the Liverpool shirt is the liver bird emblem, a symbol of the city of Liverpool dating back 650 years.
The inclusion of the liver bird on the Liverpool shirt didn’t actually happen until 1947, despite it being used as the team’s emblem since 1901, but this mythical bird is now a prominent feature on all Liverpool shirt incarnations.
The liver bird sometimes appears embroidered in gold or in white, depending on the current sponsor, but she is always there protecting the players and showing their deep ties to their home name city.
As the look of the shirt has continued to evolve, the liver bird can now be seen on the shirt crest placed against a white background that also incorporates the Shankly Gates, in homage to the legendary manager of the club.
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The Importance of the Liverpool Football Shirt
The Liverpool team shirt has been an important part of the team’s identity for over a hundred years and has enjoyed a number of different sponsors over the last century.
Umbro began making the Liverpool strip in 1970, and by 1978 the team had their first sponsor, Hitachi.
This was a big moment for the Liverpool shirt, as they were actually the first Football League team who chose to feature their sponsor’s name on their shirt, which is obviously now something that is done by clubs all over the world.
The mid 1980’s to the mid 1990’s saw Adidas take over as sponsor, and some of these shirts were the most iconic in Liverpool’s history.
Since the 1990’s, Liverpool’s team shirt has continued to be sponsored by big name brands, including Nike, Warrior Sports and New Balance.
Although the style and look of the team’s shirt may have changed a lot over the years, one thing has never changed – the striking red colour that Liverpool are now famous for all across the world.
Not just instantly recognised at home, the first time Liverpool wore their now iconic red strip in Europe was during the 1964-1965 season, where the team played against Anderlecht, with manager Bill Shankly commenting that it made Ronnie Yeats “look 7ft tall” and totally terrifying to their opponents.
Liverpool continued to wear their red shirt for all matches, including their FA Cup win at Wembley that same year, and again in 1973, which was also the same year that Liverpool won the UEFA Cup too.
Between 1998-2004, Liverpool again ended their season as FA Cup, UEFA Cup and League Cup winners, and during this time the Liverpool shirt was again updated to reflect the full saturation of red colour.
Although the club has endured some ups and downs performance-wise, by 2018 they were back on form, and under the management of Jurgen Klopp have enjoyed much success, including being named winners of the Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
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