I have decided to step away from the speculation and obituary like pieces on Lerner and turn my attention to the kit launch in the coming weeks. As ever, the designers will need to have struck a balance between maintaining tradition and offering something new if they are to please the majority of Villa fans.
With that in mind, I am going to give you a run down of the fans’ favourite kits from the Aston Villa archives.
Firstly, I take you back to the bright season of 1958-1959. This was a fantastic kit for Villa, serving us well. The badge is long gone but recent kits have shown hints of this old-aged beauty.
Next is the kit of 1969. Worn when the Villans finished the season towards the bottom of the Second Division, it is arguably one of the best Villa shirts ever. The lion stood out on this kit, which may be why it has become a retro classic.
“Oh, it must be… It is… Peter Withe!” The legend himself wore this fantastic shirt. The players shone in both kits that year across Europe and beyond! Made by Le Coq Sportif, this shirt is rightly respected by those of a claret and blue persuasion, conjuring up memories of Aston Villa Football Club’s greatest achievement.
The kit of 1987 to 1989 was a real marmite kit. It was bold and wacky for its time. The cross sections of sky blue were unique and, understandably, were met with great curiosity.
This shirt from 1992-1993 may have been worn before I was born but it is one I admire. It is beautiful and is a must have for all Villa fans. What could any fan dislike about the fabric or the string collar? I wish I had been around to get one at the time rather than a reproduction made twenty years down the line.
How on earth did this get past a prototype? I find it vile but know many people loved this kit. In fact, when I asked fans to name their favourite kits, this was a very popular choice. Why? The colours are all wrong and clash completely.
Who remembers the chants of ‘Come on you Cows!’ and ‘Moo!’ in O’Leary’s second season? I love this shirt based on the memories of standing in the Holte in 2004-05 hearing those chants.
Finally, the kit that received the warmest reception has to be the Acorns kit of 2009-2010. The best move Randy Lerner ever made as owner was forgoing sponsorship and allowing the team, and proud fans, to bear Acorns on the shirt. It was a real sign of Aston Villa’s community involvement. It was not the best looking shirt but it was all about the sponsor.
The speculation over the new shirt is sure to rumble on until it is released. Rumours suggest the new kits will be inspired by the classic away shirt worn on that famous night in Rotterdam.
Overall, Aston Villa fans have seen some horrendous kits and some excellent, memorable ones. Which one is your favourite kit? Does it feature here? Be sure to let us know which one is closest to your heart and why.