153 Years of the England Football Kit: The Beginnings (1862-1982)

From humble beginnings to the famous 1966 triumph to the 50th anniversary of said triumph in neighbouring France, we bring you the evolution of the Three Lions’ jersey.


This is the first part of our series covering the England football shirt printing history, 153 Years of the England Football Kit, check out the modern history of the England football kit here!

The 2015/2016 premier league season will go down in the history books, no less, for the near-impossible feat crafted oh-so-magically by Claudio Ranieri and his Leicester City boys. But it must also be remembered for the emergence of a fresh English attacking power embedded in Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane. With 49 goals between them in the league and Kane being the first Englishman to win the coveted golden boot since Kevin Phillips in 2000, Roy Hodgson must thank his lucky stars to have these two bursting onto the premier league scene like a bright spark of previously unfound energy and vigour. Throw in a budding and match-hungry young Rashford into the picture and it suddenly doesn’t quite seem like Welbeck will really be missed all that much. It certainly seems like the Three Lions have the potential to go far at this year’s Euro 2016 in not-too-faraway France.

The History of The England Football Shirt: The Beginnings (1862-1982)

Come the 11th day of June, 11 lions will be led onto the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille by Roy Hodgson to kick off their European campaign against Russia. With so much potential in this year’s squad, England will be holding their breaths as they aim to win their first international football trophy since the Alfie’s boys’ conquest. After all, what better a time to bring home a trophy than on the 50th anniversary of that famous World Cup win? You don’t have to have been around for too long to recognise this famous photo of Sir Bobby Moore in that long-sleeved, iconic-red England jersey being lifted. Oh yes and he’s lifting the 3.8 kilogram, gold plated sterling silver and lapis lazuli Jules Rimet trophy!


The vibrant-red and classic-white pairing has made the English jersey one of the most recognisable kits in football history. Over 150 long years have passed since the formation of the Football Association in 1863 in the UK and the first donning of an English football jersey. From the first international match against Scotland in 1872 to the recent friendlies against Turkey and Australia, we’ve seen sleeves, buttons, collars, and even a bizarre kit of yellow shirts come and go.

In preparation for the Euro 2016 tournament, we’ve created a two-part infographic taking us from the kick-off of the formation of the FA to the final whistle at the 2014 Brazil World Cup, with of course a momentous stop on a certain wondrous London afternoon in July 1966.

So as Roy Hodgson looks forward to handing England their first ever European Championship trophy, we journey backwards with an invitation for you to go down memory lane with us to take a look at the 153-year history of the evolution of the Three Lions’ jersey!

Enjoy our infographic!

retro england football shirt

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