The tragic event known as the Heysel disaster brought the curtain down on Liverpool’s
dominance of the European game. English clubs were banned from competing in
Europe from the start of the 1985/86 season, with Liverpool receiving an additional year
to the widespread suspension for their part in the tragedy. Back at home however,
Liverpool was set to continue their winning ways, achieving the League and FA Cup
double in 1986.
After more than a decade of producing Liverpool shirts, Umbro stood down as the team’
s kit manufacturer, and in stepped German manufacturer Adidas. To celebrate the
arrival of Adidas, and to possibly signal a fresh start for the club following Heysel, a
brand new design was created. The shirt was made from a much lighter material than
the 1982-85 home jersey, and Adidas decided to ditch the bold pinstripes, opting for a
much more subtle two-toned look.
This shirt was worn by Ian Rush who, with 346 goals, is the greatest goalscorer in
Liverpool’s history. Rush wore this shirt in the 1985/86 and 1986/87 seasons before
saying his goodbyes and joining Juventus. Rush scored 33 goals in 1985/86, but went
even further in his 'farewell season', netting 40 goals in all competitions. Rush left a
hero, and only time would tell if he would ever return to grace the field of Anfield again...
There were two variations of this home shirt worn by the players; a double-lined
sponsor version (shown above), and a single-lined sponsor version. Genuine match
worn shirts from this era had an embroidered Adidas logo (with two registered ®
trademark logos) in addition to an embroidered Liverbird. Numbering to the rear of the
shirt was standard white stitched-on cloth in 1985/86 and white Adidas velveteen in
1986/87. No long-sleeve replicas were ever commercially released.
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