Amid much speculation and debate the new England shirt is revealed today as England line up against Slovakia in an international friendly. The design is sure to continue the debate however, as Umbro unveil their retro-modern take on one of the most famous of all football shirts.
Umbro say that this new England football shirt is not an evolution or a redesign of an old one, but rather it is the symbol of a new beginning. With a strong history of supplying England shirts, Umbro certainly have heritage on their side. The new shirt has been built from the inside out, bringing together a new take on innovative design combined with classic English tailoring. The shirt also creates a landmark as the design process featured a bespoke fiiting session for every player. From start to finish top professionals in both football and fashion were consulted (and even some input from Don Fabio Capello), meaning this shirt is literally tailored by England.
England's first choice kit is now an all-white affair from top to socks, reflecting purity, simplicity and minimalism. A single button collared neck line is covered by a stylish placket, giving the shirt an air of contemporary smart and confidence. The designers wanted to make sure the new shirt would move with your body, grow and shrink as you play. Traditionally, shirts are cut straight which restricts movement, so with the new shirt Umbro's team of tailors and bespoke designers looked to address this.
The Crest too has had a re-design, inspired by the badge used on England shirts in the 1950s. With a sense of accuracy and pinpoint sharpness, the old crest has been perfectly updated to a standard that would not have been acheivable then. Naturally featuring the Three Lions, each players' shirt will feature the opponent and date in a scroll underneath. The World Cup Winners star also remains, but is matched to the tone of the shirt in a subtle, classy finish above the crest. The back of the shirt sees a new style of number - again similar to those seen historically on England shirts - desgined to incorporate a flex-like approach to allow them to move with the shirt.
Not only have the Umbro design team been creating a new England football kit for the outfield players, but they have also designed a stunning new strip for the goalkeepers, as worn by David James and Ben Foster in the Slovakia match. James also sported the new Umbro Pro Goalkeeper gloves, after switching back to the Double Diamonds from HO earlier in the year.
There is also a full new training and supporter range to compliment the new kit, available from launch. The new shirt is expected to retail around £50 GBP, and you can pre-order from today, Saturday 28th March for release general retail release on April 1st - when England take on the Ukraine in a vital World Cup 2010 Qualifier.