England Football Online
Page Last Updated 1 September 2008
 
 
West Germany
   
Federal Republic of Germany
Deutscher Fußball-Bund
Foundation: 18 December 1904

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England vs. West Germany

England had played Germany three times before the Second World War. The partitioning of Germany at the end of the war had restricted the Deutscher Fußball-Bund to select players from only the western side of the country, but they continued to play in the same colours (white shirts, with black shorts and socks) as Germany had, thus resulting in a colour clash, whenever they met England. We believe that England had called on a blue change uniform against Germany before the war, whilst the Germans had a red change kit.

By the time of their first meeting with West Germany, in 1954, England were using a red change uniform and after unveiling a new lightweight white v-neck shirt against Wales in their previous fixture, they used this first post-war encounter with their former enemies to wear a new red equivalent of the v-neck. Although the game was played at Wembley, it was England, as the home team, in an air of cordiality, who were happy to change colours. They also wore the name of their opponents in a crescent beneath the emblem. Note this appeared as GERMANY, without the 'western' prefix - they were not popularly referred to as 'West Germany' until the 1960s to distinguish the country from the German Democratic Republic, as East Germany's football team began to flourish. In essence, England were still playing a team representing the Deutscher Fußball-Bund, just as they had been before the war and this was considered to be their fourth meeting with Germany.

England's first trip to post-war Germany, to Berlin in 1956, surprisingly saw the teams wearing exactly the same colours as at Wembley, almost eighteen months earlier, with one small exception. England had temporarily discarded the crescents with the opposition team name underneath the emblem.

Nine more years passed before England were back in Germany, and yet again, it was they who wore the change colours, as Nürnberg, Bayern witnessed England's only appearance in a red round-neck shirt made by Bukta. This was also the last occasion that West Germany wore black socks against England, as by the following year, they had followed the trend of switching to lighter-coloured socks.

1966 was, of course, a momentous year for both countries, if a little more memorable for England. West Germany made two trips to Wembley, the first of which saw them wearing a change green shirt against England for the first time. However, as it was paired with white shorts and socks, it meant that England, now in Umbro uniforms, were obliged to change their socks to red.

When it came to the World Cup Final, the teams tossed a coin to decide who would wear white shirts on the big day and, once again, it was England who ended up playing in red. This might seem a familiar sight nowadays, but it was only the third time ever (and the first time in twelve years) that England had worn red shirts for a full international played at home. West Germany, meanwhile, had now settled on white socks, to go with their white shirts and black shorts.

The final firmly established red as England's preferred second-choice colour of shirt and when they met again in Hannover, in 1968, both sides appeared in the same colours.

1970 saw England relieved of their status of World Champions, in an epic quarter-final, by West Germany. This time, they were happy to change and must have thought it would be a good omen. Sporting a lightweight red shirt with small holes for ventilation in the Mexican heat, England stormed into a two-goal lead, but extra time was to prove their downfall.

Two years later, they met again in the two-legged quarter-final of the European Championship, where, at last, in their eighth meeting, England got to wear their full first-choice uniform of white shirts, navy shorts and white socks, against West Germany. Their opponents added green socks to their change uniform and wore rounded collars for the first time against England. In all their previous encounters, they had appeared in v-necked shirts. The other notable curiosity about the first leg at Wembley was that England's goalkeeper, Gordon Banks, was sporting what appeared to be a yellow training jersey, without emblem or number on it.

The second leg, played two weeks later, in Berlin, saw England back in red, facing a 3-1 deficit to claw back, which proved to be too much.

England's Colours Against West Germany 1954-72
No. Date Shirts Shorts Socks Gk

Venue

Shirts Shorts Socks

293

1 December 1954         Empire Stadium, Wembley, London      

306

26 May 1956         Olympiastadion, Berlin      

390

12 May 1965         Städtisches Stadion, Nürnberg, Bayern      

397

23 February 1966         Empire Stadium, Wembley, London      

409

30 July 1966         Empire Stadium, Wembley, London      

423

1 June 1968         Niedersachsenstadion, Hannover      

448

14 June 1970         Estado de Guanajuato, León, Mexico      

459

29 April 1972         Empire Stadium, Wembley, London      

460

13 May 1972         Olympiastadion, Berlin      

Their next meeting saw England's uniform transformed by the new Admiral contract into a red, white and blue strip and from hereon in, the goalkeeper also had his own separate uniform; a yellow jersey, with black shorts and socks. At Wembley in 1975, West Germany wore the same green uniform they had worn three years earlier.

In 1978, in München, England's red Admiral change uniform was worn against West Germany for the first time and, despite their opponents also wearing black shorts, Ray Clemence, in the England goal, wore his usual uniform. West Germany's socks bore the three adidas stripes across the tops.

For their next meeting, in the 1982 World Cup, it was England, once again, in red, though this time, it was the second, more flamboyant Admiral design, albeit modified from the version they had worn in the opening game of the tournament. West Germany had also updated their kit and were curiously wearing shorts made by Errea, paired with adidas shirts and socks. The shirts had also acquired a winged collar with a v-neck and displayed the three stripes on the sleeves, for the first time against England. Both sides wore numbered shorts.

Four months later, at Wembley, West Germany chose to wear white socks with the green change uniform and, as in 1966, England had to pair red socks with their white uniform, which was the second made by Admiral. West Germany, meanwhile, had updated their change shirt to include white pin-stripes. This was their last visit to England, before the re-unification of the country.

Their next meeting, in 1985, was their second in Mexico. England were now back in Umbro red and Peter Shilton, who saved a penalty for the one and only time in his 125-cap international career, wore a strange combination of grey jersey, coupled with the same red socks as the outfield players, but the navy shorts from the white uniform. It was the same red uniform in Düsseldorf, in 1987, but Shilton was now in an all-grey outfit.

For their final meeting, in the 1990 World Cup semi-final, another epic encounter, England managed to wear white against the Germans for the first time in a major tournament. West Germany, meanwhile, had brought back the green socks for their change uniform.

England's Colours Against West Germany 1975-90
No. Date Shirts Shorts Socks GK Opposition Shirts Shorts Socks
488 12 March 1975             Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London      
518 22 February 1978             Olympiastadion, München      
568 29 June 1982             Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid      
571 13 October 1982             Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London      
603 12 June 1985                 Estadio Azteca, Santa Úrsula, ciudad de México, Mexico      
627 9 September 1987             Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf      
663 4 July 1990             Stadio Delle Alpi, Torino, Italy

 

 

 

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