Pale blue short-sleeved shirt, with
square rhombus shadow stripes, each with a darker right half and all set
slightly to the left of an underlying diagonal grid. Navy blue
crew-neck, with thin white stripe in middle and two thin red stripes
either side of it. White button on a navy blue rectangular insert
beneath the neck, adjoining an overlapping white rectangular insert on the
inside of the shirt. Pale blue underarm-half of hem, with outer white front
quarter and outer navy blue back quarter on left sleeve, and outer navy
blue front quarter and outer white back quarter on right sleeve. Thin navy blue stripe along
shoulder. Embroidered emblem on left breast. Two embroidered navy blue
concentric diamonds on right breast, with 'umbro' in navy blue
lower-case lettering underneath. Navy blue numbers on reverse, in the same
font as on the previous Umbro England shirts, with a white
border, outlined in navy blue.
Pale blue shorts, with white
shadow pattern and navy blue waistband. Thick white panel comprising lower
third of seams, joining two thin navy blue stripes edging upper two-thirds
of seams, with a rectangular navy blue block across the middle. Two embroidered
navy blue concentric diamonds on left thigh, with 'umbro' in navy blue
lower-case lettering underneath. Embroidered emblem on right thigh.
Pale blue socks.
Solid white diamonds across tops, edged with two navy blue hoops.
at the Football Association was determined to re-introduce a pale blue uniform
to the England palette, obviously mindful of the
worn at the 1970 World Cup, against Czechoslovakia.
This is the only explanation for the persistent
attempts to establish pale blue as England's second-choice colour in the ten
years between 1986 and 1996. Firstly, at the World Cup in Mexico, pale blue
shorts and socks were paired with the white shirt against Argentina, when
white shorts and red socks would have been the usual alternative.
Then, for the 1988 European Championship in
Germany, England were issued with this all-blue number, seemingly without
any hope of it actually being worn in the tournament, or anytime else, for
that matter. A new
red uniform had also been introduced just before the tournament, in the
Rous Cup, against Colombia. This was, presumably, the second-choice uniform
and provided the perfect contrast to the white and navy blue home kit. So,
unless England were going to face the red and white stripes of Paraguay in
the European Championship, they would not need a third-choice. The cynical
might suggest it was introduced purely to generate replica sales.
Nevertheless, the FA persisted with the notion
that a pale blue kit was essential. This one did, at least, appear in a
European Under-21 Championship fixture, against Turkey, in Izmir on April
30th, 1991. Both short and long-sleeved versions were worn in the same game.
Strangely enough, it was already redundant by then, as the full
international side wore the latest
pale blue uniform
the very next day.
Another blue kit
appeared in 1992, before the
indigo blue kit
of 1996, which was officially launched as England's second-choice, finally
put paid to any pale-blue preferences when it was worn in the traumatic
shootout defeat against Germany.