FOOTBALL shirts may not be the desirable of fashion items, but all supporters have an opinion on them.
Here are the 10 best Saints shirts - do you agree, or are there other more deserving kits which should be on this list?
1976 – 1979, Home, Admiral
The candy-stripes home shirt. It perfectly walked the tightrope of being unmistakably stripes and at the same time ensuring it had nothing in common with any other club. Synonymous with Saints' return to the top flight at the end of the '70s.
Memorable player – Mick Channon
Memoriable moment – Promotion back to Division One
1980 – 1984, Home, Patrick
A firm favourite and perhaps the design most requested each summer before Saints reveal their new kit. Rank Xerox, Air Florida and Draper Tools were the sponsors with their name plastered across the front of the shirt over the five years it graced The Dell.
Memorable player – Kevin Keegan
Memorable moment – Narrowly missing out on the league title
2010 – 2011, Home, Umbro
The sash – a return to the roots of the club and a huge success when it was brought back to mark the club’s 125th anniversary. It stood apart as well as adorning the players as they surged to promotion from League One to the Championship. The original sash was in fact just a piece of red cloth worn over a white shirt, so could be in any direction, although the 21st century version ran from the right shoulder to the left hip.
Memorable player – Rickie Lambert
Memorable moment – Pitch invasion after promotion
1993 – 1995, Home, Pony
A controversial kit, which in fact looks better now than it did at the time. The shirt is dominated by the huge Pony tick – a geometric version of the Nike swoosh – but showed that stripes don’t have to be straight forward.
Memorable player – Matt Le Tissier
Memorable moment – Le Tissier’s sublime brace againt Newcastle at The Dell live on Sky to signify his return to the starting line-up.
2001 – 2003, Home, Saints
The kit which welcomed in the new era as Saints moved to St Mary’s – but its highlight for most people will have been at The Dell in the one match it was featured in SO15. It was a return to 'normal' stripes after two years of the fat stripes with the first kit the club produced themselves.
Memorable player – James Beattie
Memorable moment – Le Tiss scoring the last league goal at The Dell
1976, Away, Admiral
The reason Saints’ fans expect to see a yellow and blue away kit is because of this shirt. It was introduced in the 70s as part of the fashion for clubs to try and emulate Brazil. On one day in May 1976, Saints did just that on the Wembley turf.
Memorable player – Bobby Stokes
Memorable moment – Lifting the FA Cup
1991 – 1993, Home, Admiral
The sponsor logo was itchy and inflexible but this simple and understated design was – even with its very tight shorts. Sadly, the football at the time was also quite simple – but at least the kit saw a march to Wembley for the Zenith Data Systems Cup final, although we wore a fetching blue number for the final.
Memorable player – Alan Shearer
Memorable moment – A topsy-turvey 4-3 which Saints lost on the final day – but kept Oldham up against all the odds.
1962 – 1972, Home, Toomers
From 1950 until 1976, there were no huge changes in the Saints kit other than changes to the collar. Prior to 1950, the club played in navy shorts and had worn red and white stripes since halves were ditched in 1896 prior to the move to The Dell, but ultimately the stripes and shirts stayed the same – the kit was functional rather than anything else. This simplicity made this shirt great. For these 10 years, it had a simple round collar, which changed from white to red.
Memorable player – Ron Davies
Memorable moment – Saints gaining promotion to the top flight for the first time
1995 - 1997, Saints, Pony
A far more straightforward design than its predecessor, this shirt was light weight and modern feeling - which basically meant it was made of nylon. The collar would never stand up - as it should have if you wanted to emulate the Cantona inspired fashion of the time - but regardless, it certainly looked decent, even with the huge red shield around the badge.
Memorable player - Egil Ostenstad
Memorable moment - Smashing nine goals past Man United in two games.
2003 (UEFA Cup), Home, Saints
Very much a shirt of two halves. The front looks superb and the thin stripes make it different to any Saints shirt before or since. However, the rear was an abomination – solid red to allow for bizarre UEFA rules about numbers on ‘hard to read’ stripes to placate short sighted commentators the continent over. The front looked superb, but the rear made us look like a low rent Arsenal. Sadly, was only worn once as Saints crashed out to Steua Bucharest over two legs.
Memorable player - Kevin Phillips
Memorable moment - Welcoming back European football to Hampshire
Bonus - Man United, Away, 1996, Adidas
Always certain to raise a smile from Saints fans for an emphatic 3-1 win! The first minute or so of the video below may remind you why. In fact, you may also enjoy the match featured afterwards as well...