When David Haye walked to the ring against Wladimir Klitchsko on Saturday night he was sporting England’s brand new navy blue Away kit.
The kit’s appearance was at the height of the hype and expectation for English triumph, only for the fans to be let down with failure in Haye’s defeat. In that respect it was quite fitting for the football team’s shirt to be revealed in this way , especially as Haye was backed by Fabio Capello.
Any hidden meanings aside, the shirt is actually quite nice, though as a casual top rather than a playing jersey. In plain navy blue with the Umbro badge on one side and the iconic Three Lions with sadly only one star above it, it is simplistic but stylish. The lighter shade of blue for the collar gives the shirt an added-quirk but keeps the polo shirt feel – bound to appeal to most fans.
It reminds me of the style of the white kit of the 2010 World Cup, which I wish was around when I was at school as I would have got away with wearing it as uniform. The new blue shirt passes as a polo shirt and may even pass the ‘no football kits’ test with some nightclub bouncers.
Blue is a rare colour in England kit history, this is only the 11th time England have opted for it, compared to 41 red versions, although even a ‘reversible’ number was released when Umbro couldn’t make up its mind. Last time England wore anything like a blue shirt was when Gareth Southgate missed that penalty in Euro 96.
The shirt’s stylistic image wins on points against some previous designs but does it strays too far from a traditional football strip?