A selection of Blackpool shirts will feature in the National Football Museum’s new exhibition, STRIP! How Football Got Shirty, opening in Manchester on Friday (22 November).
The away jersey from the 1948 FA Cup Final, where Blackpool suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Manchester United, will feature as part of the early history of football shirts. The 1989-90 MGC Sports home shirt, featuring the distinct tangerine diamond all-over print, will also go on display, alongside the Seasiders’ most recent away jersey, which champions Blackpool Council’s ‘Get Vocal’ mental health campaign in place of a traditional sponsor.
The museum’s latest exhibition unpicks the global fascination with football shirts and how they have influenced football culture, design, fashion and technology.
With well over 200 shirts on display, STRIP! is one of the largest curated exhibitions of football shirts ever assembled in this country.
It will examine how football shirts have developed from mere kit to genuine objects of desire, looking at the design of the football shirt, from the functional to the aesthetic, influential designers and manufacturers and the rise of the football hipster, as well as detailing iconic shirts and shirt disasters.
Shirts from the museum’s own collection will be on display, alongside loans from Classic Football Shirts, kit manufacturers including Adidas, Admiral, Hummel and Umbro, specialist collectors and enthusiasts and football clubs. It will also feature interviews with designers including Jürgen Rank, Senior Design Director at Adidas (who is overseeing the design of their Euro 2020 range) and Bert Patrick, formerly of Admiral and credited in 1974 with pioneering the replica shirt industry with the first commercially available England shirt.
Shirts created as high fashion items will also feature including those by cult label Fokohaela, designers Christopher Raeburn and Yohji Yamamoto and Dutch streetwear brand Patta.
Illustrator Mark Johnson will be designing shirt mash-up collage terrace banners to complement the exhibition and John Devlin, designer and author of the True Colours book series, is acting as a consultant.
Jon Sutton, National Football Museum’s lead curator for the exhibition, said: “Football shirt culture has become a huge phenomenon and has devotees across the world. While fans will still buy a shirt to show support for their own team, there is a huge interest in international sides, special editions and a nostalgia for classic designs of the past. Fans will obsess over the details of colour combinations, placement of logos and even the sponsors of the shirt. While many of the shirts on display will be remembered with affection there will also be a few disasters in there too!
“We’re sure this exhibition will appeal to anyone with an interest in design, fashion and technology.”
Iconic shirts on display will include England's home Umbro shirt as worn by the Three Lions at Italia '90, Brazil’s classic 1970 World Cup shirt as worn by Pele and West Germany’s 1988-1990 designed by legendary Adidas designer Ina Franzmann.