We all have our favourites… But what is the best? (According to data!)
What is the fan’s favourite Premier League Football kit of all time?
Football shirts and kits are a core part of our DNA as a footballing nation. Ask any fan; they will recall their most-loved kits and recite vividly the positive (and sometimes negative) memories they will have associated with the shirts.
And while everyone’s preferred shirt and shorts combo is a subjective, deeply personal, and emotional opinion, here at JD we have attempted to pull together a data set that would illustrate to us which are the kits with a golden legacy and which will go down in the Premier League hall-of-stinkers…
We’ve scraped, tickled, and vacuumed the data from every corner of the internet, pulling our research from fan ratings, search demand, and the resale value of specific shirts from each current Premier League team’s last 31 seasons. The hope was that the data pulled could become a sufficient answer to the question: What is each club’s fan-favourite Premier League Kit of ALL TIME?
We all have our personal favourite kits, but what is the best?
The home shirt donned by Arsenal’s legendary invincibles side has unsurprisingly been crowned the Arsenal fan’s all-time favourite shirt! Worn by the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, and Ashley Cole as Arsenal amassed an incredible unbeaten season that has yet to be replicated since in English Football… (Big up to the 2016/17 Celtic side who did it up in Scotland though!)
Arsenal’s 2021/22 away kit proved popular amongst Arsenal fans as Mikel Arteta’s men secured Champions League football for the first time since 2015/16, finishing Prem runners-up in the process!
The closest Arsenal has come to a Champions League title came in 2005, finishing runners-up to Barcelona in the 2005/06 final. On that day, this Yellow kit was worn by Patrick Viera, Thierry Henry, and Sol Campbell as Arsenal came agonisingly close to a historic European triumph.
Deep into the Abramovic era, after years of attempting to win a Champions League, Roberto Di-Matteo, the interim coach, secured a historic UCL win against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
On that famous night, the winning penalty was scored by Didier Drogba, netting wearing this Blue & White trim strip that will forever be etched into the folklore of Chelsea!
Chelsea fans’ second-favourite kit over the past 30 years came in the first Jose Mourinho season without a league title. The Blues finished runners-up to Manchester United but did complete the domestic cup double.
Scoring a total of 69% across our metrics and making it the third-most-popular Chelsea kit collection was the 2013-14 offering. This year, Jose Mourinho returned to the club for his second stint as manager, as the team finished third while donning a white away kit and black third kit.
Like Chelsea, there was a time when Manchester City did not enjoy the financial status they currently have. Back then, you could find the Citizens lingering around the third division amongst clubs like Wycombe and York City… However, whilst donning this shirt, Man City secured their promotion to the second division, giving this kit cult status among the City fans!
Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, David Silva, a nail-biting title run-in with Liverpool, a second Premier League win in three years.
2013/2014 was the season that Man City proved to the world that they were here to stay, with this shirt setting the tone for an era of dominance in modern English Football.
The season of 2018/19 proved to be an incredibly successful time for City, as they completed a unique domestic treble. The kits this year included a navy away shirt with blue and yellow stripes, as well as a purple third kit with an orange shirt sash.
This was the shirt in which United secured their third Champions League triumph, with Wayne Rooney and a young Cristiano Ronaldo inspiring United to a league and Champions League double. The home shirt is remembered fondly as this was the year Cristiano Ronaldo hit 31 goals and won his first Ballon d’Or.
United won the first Premier League season wearing this famous shirt from the 1992/93 season. I’m reading that Mark Hughes was the top scorer. He was a midfielder right!? He scored 15 goals that year, and that’s quite impressive. I’ve also read that Eric Cantona was signed for 1.0m from Leeds, but Leeds announced the deal as 1.2m to keep the fans on side.
It all kicked off in that first year, and the shirts were able to match it!
In what remains one of the all-time best campaigns for an English club, United, featuring the likes of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, and Paul Scholes won a bonkers Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup treble.
That was so extremely impressive until City replicated the feat last season. That makes it still undoubtedly impressive, but perhaps less unique… But still impressive, and also hard!
Robbie Fowler, John Barnes, big collars, the mid-nineties & pure vibes. We don’t know for sure why this shirt is regarded as highly as it is, but we think the aforementioned probably played a large part. Plus, It’s a very beautiful shirt, need we say any more?
This is the shirt from the year in which Loris Karius fumbled the Champions League final. Firmino, Salah, and Mane became the deadliest front-line in Europe, and somehow, James Milner became the unlikely holder of the record for most assists in a single Champions League campaign. Madness!
Third-favourite for Liverpool fans and joint-second on our kit index with 72% was the 1996-97 offering. This kit collection had an all-red home kit with white collar, as well as a cream-coloured away shirt with black shorts.
This is the Tottenham fan’s all-time favourite Premier League kit. It’s plain and under designed, but also sublime in so many ways. There are lessons to be learned in this strip for Premier League shirt manufacturers.
Sometimes, less is more, and sometimes more is more depending on your angle… It also helps to have Harry Kane and Heung Min Son banging in the goals left right and centre, securing Spurs Champions League Football at the expense of bitter-rivals Arsenal! (Son won the Prem golden-boot with 23 goals that year.)
On the pitch, Tottenham suffered a hangover from the club’s greatest ever moment, appearing (and losing) in the 2018/19 Champions League final. And despite Nike producing a fine shirt for the club to don as they attempted to build on the previous years’ success, by November, Spurs had unravelled. Hero manager Mauricio Pochettino had been sacked, and Jose Mourinho had been installed in place; the rest of the season fizzled into a boring mire of park-the-bus obscurity.
Installed one of the most decorated managers of all time to build on a historic Champions League final appearance, never backed him in the transfer market, qualified for a domestic cup final, and sacked him the day before the game! Spurs bottled a trophy, and not for the first time…
At least Tottenham, Gareth Bale, Son, and Harry Kane all looked great in this Nike shirt from the 2020/21 season!
Search the table below to find your team’s favourite kits!
- Index looked at the metrics: fan ratings of kits, search demand for kits, and resale value of kits for every team competing in the 2023/24 season over their past 31 seasons (since PL inception)
- Kits were grouped into the seasons (1992/93 and so on) and scored out of 31 against each of the metrics (the highest value season scoring 31, the second highest scoring 30 and so on, with 1 being the lowest)
- This gave a total possible score of 93 for every team’s season against all of the kit metrics combined
- The highest score for an individual team’s season indicates that this is the fan’s favourite kit collection
We don’t make the rules, and science has deemed these shirts to represent the best that Nike, adidas, Umbro, and the others have knitted together over the Premier League years.
There are undoubtedly some corkers in here; they stand proudly amongst some of the more forgettable efforts from the Premier League era. And while the data may decree that certain shirts will stand taller than others, it’s important to remember that ultimately your favourite premier league shirts are your favourite premier league shirts, and no amount of data should go any way into persuading anyone otherwise.
So in conclusion, the debate can remain burning… What is your favourite Premier League shirt of all time?
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JD Football | November 21, 2023