Whether it’s to celebrate the creation of the club, to commemorate a significant success, or to pay homage to a defining event in history, special edition anniversary shirts have grown in popularity over the last decade, taking on a defining role as club’s honour special moments.

From retro throwbacks to mash-ups to reversible options, the opportunity to celebrate with a special edition shirt is not something that is often passed up, and with many teams reaching major milestones in their illustrious histories in recent years there's been a real boom in the market of late. Some were worn as a one off, some were worn for a whole season, but to make it into this particular list they had to have actually been worn in a match at least once. That rules out a few absolute beauties but them’s the breaks. We’ve undoubtedly overlooked one or two, so we’ll prepare ourselves for the inevitable barrage on social media. Let's jump straight in...


Barcelona Centenary Shirt (1999/00)

One of the first on the list, both in terms of date of release but also quality. In 1999 Nike and Barcelona were at the beginning of what has now become one of the longest lasting partnerships in world football, but it didn’t stop them celebrating the club’s centenary in style, with a simple split of the classic red and blue colours. It was a defining moment in shirt design and one that paved the way for the anniversary shirt.


Manchester Utd Munich Air Disaster Memorial kit (2008) 

Manchester United commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster in 2008 by playing in the most simplistic of throwbacks in the Manchester derby. The design was devoid of anything apart from the number on the back of the shirt – no kit manufacturer or sponsorship logos, no names, not even a club crest. Following special dispensation from The FA and the Premier League, the design reflected the look of the kit that the 'Busby Babes' wore in the 1958. A fitting tribute.


Chelsea FA Cup Commemorative Kit (2020)

Chelsea became the latest British club to jump on the special-edition-anniversary-kit bandwagon by celebrating 50 years since their FA Cup triumph from 1970 with a commemorative kit that they wore in their third round game against Nottingham Forest.  Although still featuring a sponsor, it was covert in its execution, with blue on blue joined by hits of yellow most notably on the retro club crest.


Inter Milan x Nike 20 Year Anniversary Shirt (2019)

Rivalling Barca in the longevity of their relationship with the Swoosh, Inter Milan and Nike released a shirt that rode the crest of the mash-up wave, combining some of the best features from their shirt designs over the last two decades in celebration of their 20 year partnership. The Nerazzuri wore the shirt in the Milan derby in March, a game they won 3-2.

Chivas 1-min.jpg
Chivas 2-min.jpg

Club Deportivo Guadalajara Club World Cup Shirt (2018)

Celebrating their participation in the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup – a competition they qualified for thanks to their CONCACAF Champions League win – Chivas and PUMA unveiled a special edition shirt that took inspiration from the club’s shirt designs from one of their most successful periods in the late 60s and early 70s. Only 2018 were made and they absolutely flew off the shelves.


Poland Centenary Shirt (2019)

Celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the Polish Football Association, the unique design of the Poland Centenary shirt saw a split white and red base that formed the Polish flag, with the template combining the nation’s home and away shirts for a distinct look. It was worn by the men’s national team for the first and only time on 10 June 2019 when they beat Israel 4-0 in a EURO 2020 Qualifier.


Toulouse 80th Anniversary Shirt (2017)

To celebrate its 80th anniversary, Ligue 1 club Toulouse unveiled a special jersey made by Joma that featured a clean, sponsor-less look. It was designed with a special v-neck collar and retro style laces, while the fabric was dyed in the club’s famous violet colours.The shirt also featured a specially designed badge, based on the three logos that have been used by the club over eight decades. It was worn in the 0-0 draw with Marseille on the 9 April 2017.


Brazil Copa America 100th Anniversary Jersey (2019)

Nike went way back for the inspiration behind the Brazil 2019 Copa America away kit, unveiling a design that celebrated the 100th anniversary of Brazil's first Copa America success in 1919. That tournament was hosted in their own back yard, and as they prepared to host it again last year, Nike have re-visited an iconic white and blue that used to be the Selecao’s home colourings. In a case of history repeating itself, Brazil won the competition again this time around.


France Centenary Jersey (2019)

Once again turning on their special edition charm, Nike launched a limited edition jersey to help the French Football Federation celebrate their 100th birthday. The minimal but elegant design, which saw the royal blue base joined by gold detailing, was worn by the squad when they took on Iceland at the Stade de France on 25 March 2019, a game they comfortably won 4-0.


Kaizer Chiefs 50th Anniversary Jersey (2020)

50 years is relatively young in the footballing world, but with the help of Nike, Kaizer Chiefs were only too happy to celebrate with a stunning special edition shirt. Placing gold on black for some premium feels, the shirt was just part of the club’s celebrations, and as a gesture of appreciation to its supporters, they made tickets available free of charge for their match with Highlands Park, in which the team wore the shirt and won 3-0.


Angers SCO Centenary Collectors Shirt (2019)

Another ton, and another special edition centenary shirt, this time courtesy of Kappa, who provided Angers SCO with a stripped back version of their home shirt. Once again looking to the past for inspiration, the shirt paid homage to shirts that the club used to wear in the 50s, with simplistic and retro black ‘SCO’ lettering appearing in place of a club crest. The shirt was worn in the preseason match between the French Ligue 1 side and Arsenal, a match that ended 1-1 after 90 minutes, with Arsenal ultimately ruining the party by winning 3-4 on penalties.


Manchester City 125th Anniversary Shirt (2019)

Manchester City had only just begun their partnership with PUMA when they celebrated their 125 year anniversary at the start of this season. But with no hassle, the German brand knocked up a specially designed limited-edition commemorative anniversary kit, which was inspired by the Club’s history, with specific design elements voted for by the club’s fans. Limited to 1,894 individually numbered units, City wore the shirt in their Community Shield triumph against Liverpool.


Manchester United Centenary Reversible Shirt (2001/02)

Not content with just one design to celebrate their centenary season, Manchester United were gifted a Two-for-one reversible design by Umbro. On the one side they had a white base joined black trim, and on the other was a golden base, again with black trim. The shirt was worn for the duration of the season, however the team could not provide a anything worthy of the shirt, not winning any competitions and finishing third in the league – their lowest finish since the Premier League began.


Lille OSC 75th Anniversary Jersey (2019)

So what is OK to celebrate? With a lot of the big clubs in world football having more than a hundred years in the bank, Lille OSC decided they wanted in on the anniversary-shirt party, releasing a special edition shirt that celebrated their 75th year with the help of New Balance. Designed as a tribute to the early years of LOSC, the shirt saw the return of the distinctive chevron across the chest. Smart design that the team wore in the 1-0 win over Dijon on 30 November 2019.


Juventus 120 Year Anniversary Shirt (2017)

In 2017 Juventus had existed for 120 years, and adidas duly helped them celebrate the fact. Paying homage to the club's 1887 inception, when the club was formed by a group of students, and taking inspiration from Juventus kits of the early 50s, the jersey featured the classic white and black stripes, with a wide back panel on the reverse. It also had no club crest, instead solely focusing on three gold stars, each representing 10 league titles. It was worn for the first and only time in Juve’s 2-1 against Benevento on 5 November 2017.


Everton Goodison Park 125 Year Commemorative Shirt (2017)

On 2 September 1892 Goodison Park saw its first Everton game, and along with the help of Umbro, the club celebrated the 125th anniversary of that occasion with a special-edition jersey that was worn in the 2-2 friendly against Sevilla on 6 August 2017 in the legendary stadium. The stripped back design featured the original Everton Crest embroidered on the chest, alongside the words “Goodison Park. 125 years” on the back of the neck.


Stuttgart “Original” Jersey (2018)

Another club to reach their 125th year, VfB Stuttgart and PUMA launched the limited edition “Original” jersey, which recreated the famous ‘Brustring’ jersey of 1925 with it’s bold red chest ring, which became synonymous with success for the fans as the club wore it every time they won a competition in the 50s, 80s and 90s. The like-for-like recreation was worn in the club’s last home game of 2018, a match they lost 1-3 against Schalke.


Lazio 115 Year Anniversary Shirt (2015)

Another marker that leaves you questioning whether it really warrants a special shirt, but taking the any excuse approach, Lazio and Macron put out a 115 year anniversary shirt. Expect a 120 year shirt this year then. But the design was pretty glorious. While many designs look toward past glories for anniversary kits, Lazio opted to base the design of this shirt on two that were worn during the tumultuous 1980s – their 1982/83 and 1986/87 home shirts. It was worn during the 3-1 victory over AC Milan on 24 January 2015. 


Celtic 125th Anniversary Kit (2012/13)

For their 125th anniversary, Nike and Celtic launched a superb retro kit that replicated the uniform worn by the club in their very first match on 28 May 1888. Unfortunately it was never worn in a match, but the club also launched a special home shirt which the team wore throughout the 2012/13 season. The Celtic shirt traditionally has seven unbroken Hoops, but for this special edition there were nine thinner hoops, linking back to the nine consecutive Scottish league titles Celtic won between 1965 and 1974 – a record that has never been broken.


Marseille 120 Year Anniversary Shirt (2019)

PUMA provided a crisp design for Marseille, which saw a sky blue cross dominate the white base to create a unique look worthy of the 120th anniversary title. All the PUMA logos on the shirt took on a metallic silver colour as did the club crest. can't help but feel that UberEats could have sat this one out to help with the whole premium, special edition vibes though… They wore it for one game, the 1-0 win against St-Etienne. 


Inter Milan Centenary Away Shirt (2007/08)

The second entry for Inter on this list, and for their centenary year Nike provided them with a special away shirt, which they wore during the 2007/08 season, going on to win their third Serie A title in a row on the last day of the season with a victory over Parma. The design saw the flag of Milan – not to be confused with the St George's Cross of England – taking front and centre stage. The Pirelli logo shrunk down and was positioned beneath the crest on the left of the chest so as not to take the shine away from the main feature.


Fulham 140 Year Anniversary Shirt (2019)

A limited number of the Fulham 140 Years Anniversary Shirt were produced by adidas – 1,879 to be precise, marking the year the club came into being. A twist on the design of the Club’s first strip, the shirt featured Fulham’s famous white and black colours, which were introduced for the first time in 1889. Fulham wore the shirt in a pre-season friendly against West Ham on 27 July 2019.


Werder Bremen 120th Anniversary Shirt (2019)

Loud was the word to sum up Werder Bremen’s 120 year anniversary shirt. Or, to be more precise, Lauter, which is German for loud. Because this shirt celebrated 120 years of Werder and it paid homage to the league’s loudest fans through an extraordinary combination of shirt designs from home shirts of the past decade, in a mashup shirt that was as loud as the fans themselves. Werder Bremen did the shirt proud, beating Augsburg 4-0 in it back on 10 February 2019.


Borussia Dortmund Blackout Centenary Shirt (2019)

PUMA turned out the lights for Borussia Dortmund’s special edition Centenary Shirt. It debuted in a 5-0 win over Dusseldorf at Signal Iduna Park, catching fans by surprise ahead of kick off and subsequently catching the club by surprise as it sold out in a matter of minutes. One year on from the end of the coal industry in the Ruhr area, the club marked the moment in a black shirt, shorts and socks, which included the logos of all partners: Evonik, PUMA, Opel and the Bundesliga. Super sleek and so seductive.


AC Milan 120th Anniversary Commemorative Shirt (2019)

Limited to 1,899 individually numbered shirts, the AC Milan 120th Anniversary Commemorative Shirt featured the same thinner red and black vertical stripes as the home shirt, but they are joined by gold detailing through the sponsor and the special club crest, which acknowledges the anniversary by placing ‘120’ underneath. Milan wore the shirt in the 0-0 draw with Sassuolo on 15 December 2019.