Probably the most important signing made in the summer of 2004 was of a Mr Rafael
Benitez. The Spaniard arrived in England after enjoying great success as the manager
of Valencia. Whilst many expected the manager to need at least a couple of seasons to
settle in, the ‘Gaffa’ did the unthinkable by winning the Champions League in his first
season. Cue the birth of the phrase… “In Rafa we trust”…
After some commendable shirts released between 2000 and 2004, Reebok came up
with this absolute stinker at the start of the 2004/05 campaign. It was a horrible shade
of yellow and had an equally unsettling black pattern running diagonally across the
shirt. To finish off the shirt, the powers that be decided that green for the Carlsberg
logo would be a good colour to pair with the yellow. Reebok were shortly replaced by
Adidas as kit manufacturer the year after this shirt was retired.
This shirt was worn by Momo Sissoko on his debut for Liverpool Football Club. Sadly
Sissoko, ever the feisty player, was sent off for a string of badly timed tackles. What
makes this shirt extra special to me is that I was in the stands that day, cheering on the
reds as they won 2-0.
Like the home shirt from the same season, there were both genuine long and short
sleeved shirts issued to the player. The large Carlsberg version was used in the
Premier League for just one season and should have no ‘playdry’ logo on the right
sleeve in addition to the 27cm logo across the chest. Those shirts with a small
Carlsberg logo, whilst not as commonly faked as the equivalent version in the home
design, are obviously much less valuable than those with a large Carlsberg logo.
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