11 away kits forged in the depths of 90s Premier League hell

It is 20 years since Manchester United’s black and grey monstrosity but that is only the start

Manchester United in kit hell The Red Devils looked a little grey and overcast that day... Image Getty

The 90s was a strange time for fashion, especially when it came to Premier League football where teams regularly sported some of the most bizarre away strips ever known to man.

Arguably the most famous, however, belonged to Manchester United, who once sported a grey and black kit deemed so hideous manager Sir Alex Ferguson actually cited it as an excuse for losing a game.

Already 3-0 down away at Southampton during the 1995/96 campaign, Fergie ordered his players to change their kit at half time, claiming the grey and black made it difficult for them to see each other.

Manchester United went on to lose 3-1 and, 20 years to the week since that famous defeat, here are some of the other terrible kits to grace the Premier League in the decade football fashion forgot.


Blackburn Rovers


A football shirt version of Christopher Nolan’s film Memento, Blackburn’s owners went to extreme lengths to ensure players knew who they were turning out for with a bizarre tattoo sleeve/strip.


Aston Villa


David Cameron’s favourite West Ham…sorry Aston Villa strip, this effort takes inspiration from boater jackets posh folk like to wear. Ideal for an inner-city Birmingham club, then.


Nottingham Forest


Forest wanted something modern and artful. What they got was this strange party popper confetti-over-the-shoulders effort that felt like an acid house flashback.


Manchester City


Manchester City’s mid-90s woes extended as far as the club’s inability to put together a decent away kit. This effort seemingly takes inspiration from Manchester United. You had one job…


Newcastle United


Less of an away kit and more a covert homage to Thunderbirds, this green, orange and blue effort was far from F-A-B.




Remember when One2One was a mobile phone network and when Premier League teams persisted with using varying shades of orange in their away kits? Everton fans do.




Boasting the same television static-style grey complexion as Manchester United’s infamous Southampton kit, this came with one added feature: orange shoulder pads which gave players the appearance of wearing an ill-fitting high-vis jacket.


Sheffield Wednesday


Like a shirt-based tribute to Sega Megadrive classic Echo The Dolphin, this sea-inspired techno tie-dye mess is not exactly what you would call underwater love.


Coventry City


It’s difficult to know what is going on with this Coventry shirt other than to ask: is it made out of ham?


Newcastle United


“What football needs is to be more like rugby,” one Newcastle exec probably belched back in ’96. “Starting with the shirts.” Even Mike “Get a free Sports Direct mug” Ashley wouldn’t have let this happen. Probably.


Manchester City


Keen to jump on the shit grey kit bandwagon, Manchester City decided to invert the concept with some weird grey shoulders alongside red and black stripes. The kit designers at Manchester City in the 90s were evidently on crack.

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