My Favourite Kit: Liverpool 1996-97 (Away)

Ollie Irish

9th, November 2010


By Michael Wade

When choosing a favourite football kit there are some tough decisions to be made. Do you stay true to the shirts of your own football team, the ones with so many personal, emotional and fond memories attached? Do you go for the ones which are aesthetically pleasing or symbolic, or do you opt for something which reminds you of a particular time in your own life?

I have tried to encapsulate all three and gone for a football kit which I owned and as a 12-year old boy loved wearing – the Liverpool away kit of 1996-97.

This eye-catching cream number by Reebok, with its huge red crest, was worn by the likes of Robbie Fowler, David James, Steve McManaman, Jason McAteer, Phil Babb and Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock – you might also remember them as the ‘Spice Boys’.

This nickname wasn’t a term of endearment, it was meant as a resentful barb at a group of young men earning lots of money, living a high-profile celebrity lifestyle and having a great time with it. In many ways Liverpool’s players of this era were the standard-bearers for the tabloid-friendly footballers we see today – millionaires such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Ashley Cole, John Terry and Wayne Rooney.

This Liverpool team was as dominant off the pitch as Manchester United were on it. Fergie’s fledglings might have cleaned up in the silverware stakes but across the way in Liverpool the lads were too busy giving rock ‘n’ roll interviews to Loaded magazine, getting linked to all manner of Page 3 girls and wearing cream Armani suits on the pitch at Wembley to care.

Whatever your opinion of the Spice Boys and how much talent they wasted, the football tapestry of the time was richer for their presence and, in a perverse  way, it’s fitting that they will always be remembered for a kit (and a dodgy suit) rather than a trophy.

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More in the fav kits series (home kit unless otherwise stated):

Real Madrid, 2002

Arsenal 2002-04

Denmark 1986

Juventus 1995-96 (away)

Man Utd 1994-96

Cameroon 1990

Tottenham 1986-87 (third kit)

Nottm Forest 1992-94

Argentina 1986

Inter 1980s

Tottenham 1985 (as worn by Maradona)

Man Utd 1993-95 (away)

Newcastle United 2005-07

West Brom 1977-81

Man City 1998-99 (third kit)

Posted in Featured, Kits & fashion, Liverpool

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  1. George says:

    That picture of Neil Ruddock looks like a possible shit look-a-like for Michael Madsen

  2. Ollie Irish says:

    Yeah, he’s a ringer for Mr Blonde. I think it was Mr Blonde anyway!

  3. TheDazzler says:

    Bang on Ollie Irish, it was Mr Blonde.

  4. G says:

    The official colour was Ecru

  5. shay says:

    I don’t care what you know I am going to torture you anyway!

  6. Joe says:

    I never got why they always made kits 5 sizes too large in the 90’s. It looks like Steve McMananamanaman (did I spell that right?) could sail a boat with that thing.

  7. Lee Sharpe says:

    The Spice Boys were a bunch of twats and Roy Keane knew it.

    “Anyone who has ever played football, or drunk, with Roy Keane has a favourite story, and Lee Sharpe’s goes back to the days when his Manchester United team-mate regularly used to punch and puke his way through the city’s nightspots. Keane had been knocking back the drink one Saturday night, without any food, and was “absolutely smashed”, according to Sharpe, when some Liverpool players walked into the bar.

    It was Liverpool’s Spice Boys white-suits-for-the-cup-final heyday and Keane started picking an argument with his fellow Republic of Ireland international Phil Babb. Sharpe can remember him shouting (with the expletives removed): “Who the hell do you think you are, Babb?”

    John Scales tried to act as peacemaker and walked into another stream of invective. “You, Scales, you’re rubbish as well, with your England B cap, you’re nowt, rubbish.” Then Jamie Redknapp came over, with his London patter and twinkling eyes, trying to smooth things over. “You, Redknapp, are you happy with your Under-21 caps?” Keane spluttered. “What the hell have you done in the game?” On and on it went. “All of which I thought was pretty funny,” Sharpe cheerfully remembers. “Roy was a great lad, a great mate. He loved a laugh and to go out, but he had this blackness inside him I never understood, and it came out when he drank.”


  8. kyte says:

    to be honest you have a pretty shitty taste in kits

  9. Mind Gamer says:

    Did you just put Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock in the same sentence as ‘Young Men’? The guy looked about 50 then!!!!!! Lee Sharpe, interesting story mate. Roy Keane having a ‘blackness’ inside him. No shit! Ask Alf Inge Haaland!!!!

  10. […] My Favourite Kit: Liverpool 1996-97 (Away)Who Ate All The Pies… 'n' roll interviews to Loaded magazine, getting linked to all manner of Page 3 girls and wearing cream Armani suits on the pitch at Wembley to care. … […]

  11. […] 1996: The Fab Four show off the new Liverpool away kit (this one) at LFC’s Melwood Training Ground. From left to right: Steve McManaman, Rob Jones, Stan […]

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