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My Favourite Kit: Denmark 1986

By Jeff Livingstone

Denmark’s Morten Olsen in action against Scotland at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico

IN amongst the angst I felt re: Bryan Robson’s shoulder and Ray Wilkins’ general shiteness during the early stages of Mexico ’86 was the revelation that was Denmark.

It wasn’t just the results. It wasn’t the performances, as impressive as they were. It was the kit.

Having grown up on a staple diet of Bukta and Admiral, whose kits made Umbro feel fairly cosmopolitan by comparision, no amount of Milano on Midweek Sports Special would prepare me for the impact of those Hummel strips.

The Denmark home kit in 1986, made by Hummel

This kit was different. A red or white affair with contrasting pinstriped panels and chevrons down the sleeves. But these weren’t just chevrons, or even arrows – they were statements of intent. Like the clear imagery of a Kraftwerk album cover, the chevrons pointed the way forward: attack attack attack. And attack was exactly what the Danes did.

Starting in 1986 in a veritable group of death with a 1-0 victory over Alex Ferguson’s Scotland (Jock Stein had passed away and Sir was in temporary charge), the Danes then went nuts against Uruguay with a 6-1 mauling of the South Americans. Verona’s Preben Elkjaer scored a hat trick, ably assisted by the genius Michael Laudrup.

As the Danes disposed of West Germany (ironically the birthplace of Hummel) 2-0, little me was confident he had seen the World Cup winners. Teutonic efficiency coupled with the grace and flair of Brazil, who were stuttering badly at the time, Denmark looked invincible. Invincible right up to the point when Emilio Butragueno and Spain tore them apart, with ‘El Buitre’ helping himself to four goals in a 5-1 win.

I think that loss actually hurt me more than England’s defeat at the hand of Diego Maradona (although I still attach equal blame to Terry Fenwick and Peter Shilton for that one); such was my admiration for Denmark. In all honesty, it probably laid the cornerstone of my fascination with world football.

I purchased both the red and white Subbuteo versions of Denmark’s kit, and even gazed fondly at the Hummel Tottenham effort that half the kids at my school bought, which would have included Hoddle or Waddle on the back had we done things like that back then… but it wasn’t the same. They just looked like extras from ‘Jossy’s Giants’, but Denmark looked like gods. For a short time, I thought they were.

Jeff is the editor of fine football blog In Bed With Maradona

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By Ollie Irish on September 6th, 2010 in Featured, International football, Kits & fashion, Retro. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

17 Responses to “My Favourite Kit: Denmark 1986”

  1. Ollie Irish says:

    Huge fan of this kit too, Jeff. Especially the home one.

  2. Love the kit, especially the away one, and still have the shirt.

  3. […] Excerpt from: My Favourite Kit: Denmark 1986, Hummel – Who Ate All The Pies (blog) […]

  4. tspot says:

    thats gotta be a shit lookalike for mark hughes!!

  5. jamjam says:

    erm i see the curtains stiched up nicley ..

  6. Lee says:

    Didn’t Villa once have something very similar?

  7. […] My Favourite Kit: Denmark 1986, Hummel Tweet […]

  8. frenchy says:

    Yes it is, Villa & Southampton 86-87 season, but the most stylish hummel shirt of that era was Coventry City, 1987 FA Cup winners.

  9. deckard says:

    michael laudrup is god. and one of my favourite players of all-time. although reaching the highest peaks at club level, he only shone with his national side once – denmark 86. thus, the main reason i believe he terribly overshadowed in the 80’s by the likes of platini, zico, rummenige, and maradona. laudrup was right up there with them. as well as the yugoslavian wizard dragan stoijkovic.

  10. Tom Jones says:

    How can anyone like this shirt unless they’re Danish?
    It looks like something a Vietnamese 12 year old have made on his own without instructions from his boss.

  11. MaxMad says:

    Being a Dane myself, I feel obligated to salute your decision to choose this as your favourite kit, Jeff. Thank you for a great article as well.

    And as a reply to Tom Jones above me, not all Danes like this kit. It’s basically a love/hate affair. Either you like it, or you don’t. Simple as that.

  12. Rich P says:

    I loved the Denmark kit at the time – if anyone wants to see a display ot ‘Total Football’ just watch a recording of Denmark 6 Uruguay 1, in the 86 World Cup. Funny thing is, Spain did Denmark 5-1 in the next round – they must have spotted a weak link.

  13. DAN c says:

    Great kit, I agree. Love the all the Umbro half and half kits from this era. Also a huge fan of the Adidas chevron shirts worn by Holland and USSR in Euro 88. Someone should nominate those.

  14. Germantinyfirecracker says:

    this is amazing FULLEST FECKIN STOP. i’d probably go to jail for it in order to get it for free.

  15. […] the football was only part of the appeal. Their groundbreaking Hummel kit is among the most iconic in any […]

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