The progress made between 1995 and 1998 was quickly undone in the 1998/99 season
as Liverpool finished 7th behind teams such as West Ham, Aston Villa and Leeds.
Blackburn Rovers were relegated that season, only a few years after winning the
Premier League. Liverpool improved in 1999/00 to finish 4th (good enough for a
Champions League place now) but were still well behind Manchester United who were
the runaway leaders.
Whilst various manufacturers had used round collars before (think 1987 and 1989), the
1998/00 home shirt was the closest modern day shirt to replicate the traditional home
shirt of the 60s and 70s. The body was plain red (unlike the 1989/91 home), the collar
was circular (unlike the 1987/88 ‘crossover’ shirts) and the badge was round (just like
the 1965 FA Cup jersey).
This shirt was worn by Rigobert Song in the English Premier League in 1999/00. Song
was born in Cameroon and handed the responsibility of captaining the under-20s at the
early age of 16. He was a strong defender who never pulled out of a tackle, but was not
used to the disciplined positional environment that was so important for a centre-back
in England. Song left the club at the end of the 1999/00 season after playing in 38
games. The shirt has been signed by the whole squad including players such as
Gerrard, Fowler and Owen.
Once again the easiest way to confirm that a shirt from 1998/00 is match worn is by
measuring the Carlsberg logo from left to right. A measurement of 27cm will indicate
that the jersey is match issued. Reebok issued both long and short sleeve replicas in
this style of shirt so sleeve length is irrelevant for authentication purposes. Another
difference between a match shirt and a replica is the Reebok logo on the chest. In a
reversal of the techniques used by Adidas, it is the replica shirts which featured
embroidered logos, and the match worn shirts that had a rubber embossed logo.
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