The 1995/96 season was a minor turning point for Liverpool Football Club. After
disappointing for the majority of the early 1990s, Liverpool broke back into the top 3 of
the Premier League. The highlight of the season came against Newcastle United, when
Liverpool triumphed 4-3, in a game considered by many to be the best Premier League
match of all time.
This season was to be the last year that Adidas manufactured the clubs jerseys.
The new shirt featured an ‘air-tex’ design, with many holes clearly visible to the naked
eye. This breathable material was countered however by the unusual decision to pair it
with a thick ‘woolly’ collar. The new v-neck design resembled a 1930s cricket sweater,
which many did not consider to be the most suitable fabric for a footballer to wear
during sport. All was forgiven however by the clear reference Adidas was making to
the shirts of the ‘glory days’. The all red shirt with white v-neck collar was simply an
updated version of the traditional jersey that Liverpool wore during their most
successful years in the late 70s and early 80s. If not for the reference to the 1977-82
home shirt, this shirt this shirt would still be remembered fondly for the epic 4-3 match
verses Newcastle alone that year.
This shirt was worn by the record-breaking striker Robbie Fowler, affectionately
called ‘God’ by the Liverpool supporters. Fowler was a truly special player with
unquestionable talent. He was regarded by many to be the most natural goalscorer that
game has ever seen, even beating Ian Rush’s record of the quickest player to score 100
goals for the club. Fowler enjoyed his most successful season wearing this shirt,
scoring an impressive 36 goals in 1995/96, and this really is a piece of modern day
Liverpudlian history. The shirt has been signed by various ‘Spice Boys’, including
McManaman, Redknapp and Fowler himself. The fact that this shirt was worn by
arguably the greatest Liverpool player of all time, in his best season, makes it one of the
most treasured items in my collection.
Here is Robbie in 1996 wearing this exact shirt.
Robbie Fowler - mature, professional, role model.
BEWARE: Finding a genuine match worn shirt from this era can prove difficult.
Despite the common misunderstanding, Adidas DID release long sleeve replicas to the
public. The safest way of ensuring that a shirt is genuinely match issued is to confirm
that the sponsor is 27cm in length. All replicas had much smaller logos that measured
8.5inches. Lextra had to issue some slightly larger sleeve patches for Liverpool this
season. These patches were sewn into the shirt instead of ironed on. Whilst these
patches were not widely distributed to the public, collectors should be aware that there
were still some fakers who were able to purchase these larger patches. To confirm a
shirt as match worn, it should have a ‘large Carlsberg’ logo (27cm), sewn-on oversized
sleeve patches, and player coded ‘133’ neck labels.
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