And so to the only four teams not signed up to the big three kit manufacturers (Adidas, Nike and Puma).
England's kit has never been supplied by any of those three (and we shudder to think what that might look like if it ever were). For the bulk of the last fifty-odd years it's been Umbro's privilege to do that and after numerous shirt designs they arrived at the 2010 vintage which was entirely white, save for the England badge and Umbro's red diamond logo.
There is, of course, the small matter of Umbro's 'tailored' styling which makes the shirt actually look like a shirt rather than a silky piece of fabric that's been rattled off a production line without any thought in southern Asia. It's got a proper collar, tapered sides and, well, it looks like it's just had a good ironing, frankly. 'Smart' barely does it justice…
But that's not all: the red away shirt was only recently launched and it too gives a generous nod in the direction of days gone by, notably the victorious era of the 1960's. With a round-necked shirt that was all red with only white cuffs to distract the view, the accompanying white shorts and red socks won’t have failed to bring back happy memories to all England fans of a certain age.
Ironically in this World Cup, we got to see this away kit in slightly modified form with the introduction of red shorts too. Very rarely have England worn an all-red change kit but when Fabio Capello's men strode out to play Slovenia a week ago or so, one wondered whether this wouldn't be the last we'd see of it. As it turned out, the Second Round match against Germany allowed for one more viewing, but we reckon it should be adopted permanently. It's bold, bright and a classic look for the England team to wear when the all-white isn't an option.
a huge Reebok logo.
The team from CONCACAF were seen all too briefly wearing an all-white strip featuring a shirt that had a blue band across the upper chest. The band faded from blue to white the nearer it got to the middle – a nice touch – and there were also some odd blue slashes either side of the bottom part of the shirt which, while serving no purpose, at least provided another point of interest. The away kit saw a reversal of the same, being all blue with white bits of business here and there. Quite nice, all in all.
And that's that. A very brief overview of the kits on show at this World Cup, and perhaps more importantly the sanity employed by each of the manufacturers when it came to designing them.
Once again, our great thanks go to John Devlin from True Colours Football Kits (www.truecoloursfootballkits.com) for the use of his excellent football kit graphics. To see all of John's World Cup kit designs in greater detail, click here.)