Going back in time to find the best ever England football jersey

White or red (or even that fashion mistake in light blue) the England football jersey has carried the nation's hopes around the world. Usually, it should be said, without too much success. We looked through the archives to pick out our 5 favourite versions. Retro replica shirts are available from The Old Fashioned Football Shirt Company (www.toffs.com), and more recent ones on ebay (www.ebay.co.uk)

There's a lot to be said for the classical simplicity of the plain white, button-collared jersey worn by those England teams who deigned to play foreign teams in the innocent decades from 1930 until the 1950s. This was a jersey that carried a certain air of superiority, until those Hungarians demolished that attitude with 6 goals at Wembley in 1953.

The Admiral badge years of the late 70s still have their admirers. The wing-collars and the blue and red stripes down the sleeves occasionally made England look like Crystal Palace, but then, England were playing like Crystal Palace at the time.

The 1986 World Cup strip had a certain class to it, although that looks suspiciously like a pink band among the navy-blue round the neck. England reached the quarter-finals that year, thanks mainly to Peter Beardsley and Gary Lineker.

The 1996 European Championship jersey put the badge and the number right in the middle, an unusual look that seemed to make much more sense when England beat Holland 4-1. It was the year that football was coming home. Germany won the tournament.

No, we haven't forgotten the boys of '66. England's football history, from Geoff Hurst's puffed-out cheeks to Bobby Moore's brandishing of the Jules Rimet trophy was tinged in red, with those scarlet jerseys managing what the white ones never could, before or since. Isn't it just typical that the archetypal England football jersey turned out to be the away strip?

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