The most valuable vintage football shirts
- Credit: Archant
In recent years, football shirts from the 1980s and 90s have invoked more and more nostaliga for fans – with jerseys becoming valuable collector’s items.
Now, research conducted by Casumo has looked at vintage shirts featured on Classic Football Shirts to find the most valuable of them all.
International team shirts were also considered to see which are worth the most in 2020.
And among the most famous valuable shirts are Barcelona’s away jersey, worn during their first-ever European Cup triumph at Wembley, which is now worth almost £600.
Holland’s iconic home shirt from 1988, when they won the European Championships, is worth £599.99 and expert Gary Bierton, from Classic Football Shirts, explained why in a special Q&A.
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Q.Why are vintage football tops so popular?
A.I think the popularity is driven by a few things but primarily nostalgia. Every football supporter has memories – good and bad, and the shirt is the connection that takes you back to those moments in your life, whether it be watching the game on TV, getting your heroes autograph, or recreating the goals in your back garden.
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The designs are also imaginative, particularly moving into the early 90s, and there’s a feeling that looking back 25 years football had a little bit more innocence. I think that appeals to supporters today who want to buy into that history in a unique way, even if it’s not necessarily the shirt for their team and wear something that stands out.
Q.What makes vintage football shirts so valuable?
A.There are a variety of factors that influence the value of a shirt. What happened on the pitch is obviously important, look no further than the Leicester City title-winning shirts from the 2015-16 season, they wore a fairly similar design the season before that’s worth much less!
Q.How does design affect the value?
A.Design is also crucial. The iconic adidas masterpieces are a part of popular culture, revered nearly as much as the moments in which they were worn. Germany’s 2018 World Cup kit used elements the historic 1990 shirt, and if the rumours are correct, Holland will wear an 88’ inspired design for the Euro’s. It has been interesting to see how the football fashion trend connects with this. Demand for 90s shirts that once might have been overlooked for being too bold or garish are now avidly worn as fashion pieces and shirt culture has touched even high fashion. This wider interest invariably impacts the value
Q.Are there other factors that determine the value of the shirts?
A.Availability is a third factor, both in the market for new and old shirts. Like any form of collectables, value is driven by rarity. The joy of collecting football shirts is you can’t be sure what’s out there, but for particular seasons there are hundreds of people waiting for it. It might not have appeared for a couple of years, and it might be a while before you see it again. Recent releases such as the Juve x Palace collaboration have set an intriguing trend aiming to recreate that same aura in the modern market. There’s definitely a place for that, though it still happens on its own naturally. The best shirts of the 2010s are already collectors’ items in their own right and will increase in value as their legacy and rarity builds.
Q.How do international competitions such as the World Cup and the Euros affect the value of the shirts?
A.In the build-up to a big tournament, there is huge anticipation and Worldwide interest, set up by the enduring legacy of past editions. That certainly piques the interest in the shirts worn in those special moments. The beauty is you can never predict where the next one is going to come from. Few supporters would have bought the Holland away kit before the 5-1 victory over Spain in 2014. I’m equally sure that the Spain away jersey from their triumph in 2010 caught much attention prior to being worn in the Final. Certainly from a commercial perspective, neither of those shirts would have been a key focus, yet they’re now a part of the fabric of memories that people cherish for a lifetime.
Top 10 club shirts
1. Barcelona’s 1991-92 away shirt worth £599.99.
This rare shirt was worn in FC Barcelona’s first-ever European Cup triumph under Johan Cryuff – one of the most famous nights in the side’s history.
2. Napoli’s 1990-91 home shirt worth £499.99.
Napoli’s home shirt featuring the Scudetto shield and Mars sponsorship was worn by Diego Maradona in his final season in Naples.
3. Man Utd 1986-88 third shirt worth £449.99.
To say third kits from this era are a rare commodity would be an understatement. This was also Sir Alex Ferguson’s first season in charge, and a classic adidas design makes this one of the most valuable Man Utd shirts.
4. A.C. Milan 1999-00 home shirt worth £399.99.
This is a very rare home shirt worn in A.C. Milan’s centenary season featuring a special club crest.
=5. Arsenal 1991-93 away shirt worth £374.99.
Featuring an iconic bruised banana design which symbolises the bold designs from the early 90s, this shirt is extremely rare and increasingly sought after since adidas resigned with Arsenal; a true collectors item.
=5. Inter 1997-98 third shirt worth £374.99.
Iconic third shirt worn when the side triumphed in the UEFA Cup, with Brazilian Ronaldo at the peak of his powers. This design was only worn in European competition and is hugely popular amongst collectors worldwide, both for the design and rarity.
=7. Chelsea 1986-87 home shirt worth £349.99.
Chairman Ken Bates decided the club should produce their own home shirt as a cost-cutting exercise, the outcome being this one season design which was extremely prone to wear and damage. It’s nearly impossible to find now as a result.
=7. Liverpool 1989-91 home shirt worth £349.99.
Classic adidas design worn when the side last lifted the League title. This shirt has risen in rarity in part due to this.
=9. Dortmund 1996-97 home shirt worth £299.99.
This very rare Champions League home shirt was worn when the side triumphed, defeating Juventus in the 1997 UEFA Champions League Final. The Dortmund/Nike partnership is seen as a highlight of 1990s design.
=9. Juventus 1997-98 away shirt worth £299.99.
Another centenary kit – notable for the pink colourway which takes influence from Juventus F.C.’s first jerseys. This shirt represents iconic Kappa design for the Italian giants.
Top 10 international shirts
1. Holland 1988 home shirt worth £599.99.
Arguably the most sought after football shirt of all time, the Holland ‘88 combines a stunning adidas geometric design with success on the pitch, thanks to Marco Van Basten’s stunning goal that led to victory at Euro ‘88. The shirt debuted at the tournament and was never seen again.
2. USA 1994 shirt worth £499.99.
This stars and stripes ’denim’ adidas design was worn by the host nation when the World Cup came to the United States for the first time.
3. Soviet Union 1989-91 home shirt worth £449.99.
This shirt, with a stunning vintage design, was the last USSR shirt to feature at a World Cup – it’s extremely rare as a result.
=4. Brazil 1978-89 home shirt worth £399.99.
This design was worn at the 1978 World Cup by the team dubbed the greatest ever not to win the competition.
=4. Denmark 1986-88 home shirt worth £399.99.
Featuring a famous Hummel design worn at the 1986 World Cup, this is one of the most popular collectIble shirts ever made.
=4. Romania 1994 away shirt worth £399.99.
Special stories at the World Cup mean that demand for a particular shirt can quickly increase. Romania, led by Georghe Hagi, went all the way to the quarter-finals against Sweden wearing this shirt, an iconic adidas template.
=7. Argentina 1994 away shirt worth £299.99.
Diego Maradona wore this when he scored his final ever goal for Argentina at USA ‘94, followed up by ’that’ celebration. An extremely rare adidas design.
=7. England 1982 home shirt worth £299.99.
Arguably the most popular England shirt ever (closely tied with the 1990 kit), this iconic Admiral design features the national colours, and originals are extremely rare to find in men’s sizes.
9. Germany 1988-90 home shirt worth £199.99.
An example of a widely available design which is rare and still in demand today, thanks both to the World Cup 1990 victory and a superb design which incorporates the colours of Germany’s national flag.
10. France 1984-86 worth £149.99.
Famously worn when the host nation triumphed at Euro ‘84 inspired by Michele Platini. This iconic design was then reused for the ‘98 home shirt, another victory on home soil for Les Bleus.
*Data, imagery and commentary has been provided by Classic Football Shirts. The results are based exclusively on the shirts issued to the public from national teams as well as the top five European leagues. Shirt prices were correct according to Classic Football Shirts on the February 5, 2020.
For more details go to https://www.casumo.com/en-gb/blog/vintage-shirt-value.