Three players worked their way up through the club’s youth system to make their
debuts in the 1996/97 season. The first was David Thompson, but it was the arrival of
Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen that would really prove their worth to the club over
the coming years. Whilst it took a few seasons for Carragher to become fully
established as a first team player, it was Michael Owen that would cause the biggest
impact during his first two years at the club, finishing top scoring in only his second
season.

Any female in the land with tell you that dark colours are slimming on the waistline, so
when John Barnes saw this new shirt his heart must have dropped. Reebok introduced
the world to the colour ‘Ecru’, meaning cream to you and I. The badge was oval like the
home shirt, but the collar was made round and tight. Seeing Barnsey tottering 
up the touchline in this kit will always be a memorable image for all Liverpool
fans.

 

This shirt was worn by Stig Igne Bjoynebye. Stig was a Norwegian International who
played for Liverpool 184 times after signing for the club in 1992. He best season came
in the 1996-97 season when he played over 50 games, but he struggled in the years that
followed. He was later sold by the club in 1999. This shirt was worn in 1996/97 for
certain as the numbers were manufactured by Reebok and not Lextra. This shirt is also
the much rarer long sleeve version (Reebok did not release long sleeve replicas in this
style).

The Stig.

The two biggest giveaway signs that a shirt is genuinely match worn is a larger
Carlsberg logo (27cm wide) and long sleeves (Reebok never released a long sleeve
replica shirt). In 1996/97 the shirt had Reebok numbering (player shirts had no
Liverbird logo at the bottom), and in 1996/97 the shirt had Lextra numbering. (10 inches
tall). Despite the common mistake made by many collectors, a neck label that states
sizes in words, ie XL, is NOT conclusive proof that a shirt was match issued. Reebok
released a number of replicas with worded neck label sizes during the campaign. A
long sleeve shirt in this style is a relatively rare item of sporting memorabilia. I have
only seen one long sleeve ecru shirt on eBay in the last 3 years.

Thanks to Anfield Relics (www.anfield-relics.com) for supplying me with this shirt.

 

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1996-1998 ECRU SHIRT