In 1974, a small Midlands
underwear firm changed soccer forever when it won the contract as
official kit supplier for England's national team - featuring a
tradition-busting combination of bright colors, definitional
striping, and, uniquely, prominently positioned manufacturer's
logos on both shirt and shorts.
Admiral Sportswear’s bold
designs and distinctive branding - soon outfitting storied club
sides like Manchester United, Leicester City, Norwich City, West
Ham, and Sheffield United - quickly caught fans' attention with
their detailed "replica" versions, which offered the most ardent
supporters a novel opportunity to literally dress like their
favorite pro players.
Sports documentarian/author Andy
Shirty: The Rise & Fall of Admiral Sportswear") tells
us the story of how Admiral unwittingly invented
today's now-multi-billion-dollar replica jersey industry - while
revolutionizing the worlds of sports commerce and street fashion
If you followed any of the
franchises from the late 1970s/early 1980s North American Soccer
League or Major Indoor Soccer League (or even the American Soccer
League's Columbus Magic) - chances are you remember (or even owned)
an Admiral shirt!