50 Years Of The Replica Shirt: The Admiral Book


In the 1973-74 season, Admiral changed the British football landscape forever with the introduction and sale of the first ever replica shirt. The move sparked an explosion in football design, manufacturing and culture from the early 1970s through to the present day, a journey that in 2024 has been chronicled in a commemorative, coffee table-style book. Blending newly commissioned photography with archive images, original design sketches and contributions from collectors.



Long-Form Essays: Delve into the intricate stories behind notable kits and their cultural context through the lens of football's finest writers. Harry Pearson, Rob Bagchi, Daniel Gray, Ian King, Andi Thomas, and Ian Plenderleith offer insightful perspectives on iconic Admiral shirts.

Contributions from Famous Fans: Famous fans share their personal connections to football kits. Maisie Adam, Mark & Paul Watson, James Brown, Guy Mowbray, and others add their voices to the narrative, highlighting the emotional resonance of their favourite shirts.

Academic Insight: Gain a deeper understanding of the design, manufacturing, and social impact of football shirts with contributions from experts Jean Williams and Andrew Groves, which sheds light on the evolving nature of kit culture.

Player and Manager Recollections: Hear firsthand accounts from legendary players and managers who've worn these historic shirts. Insight from Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, Sue Smith, Peter Shilton, Roy Hodgson, Viv Anderson, Mark Hateley and more offer a unique perspective on sport and style.

Comprehensive Illustrated Admiral Kit Directory: Explore the evolution of Admiral kits with a comprehensive directory crafted by designer John Devlin. Each design is meticulously documented, offering a visual journey through football fashion.



"Opportunities like this don’t come around very often and we’re thrilled to be working with our friends at Glory and a brand like Admiral on this book. To be able to mark such a massive piece of football history and most importantly fan culture in such a spectacular way is something we’re very proud of.”

Rob MacDonald & Adam Bushby (Halcyon Publishing)

"Admiral are a cult brand – the England ’82 shirt is still worn with pride on Euro and World Cup terraces today, so it’s an absolute privilege to help celebrate the huge impact the brand has had in pioneering the replica shirt market. From the early Leeds shirt to the stunning William Morris-inspired Walthamstow kit, Admiral keep reinventing themselves – and we couldn’t be more excited to document it.”

Lee Nash (Glory Studio)

"With over 110 years of history it is a great honour to be able to collate many of the most important football shirts since Admiral invented the replica football kit market 50 years ago. These pieces are important parts of both football tradition, culture and design. In Halcyon and Glory, Admiral have found partners that are both experts in the world of football, in addition to being fans of the brand. We are very excited to be releasing the first official Admiral retrospective.”

Theo Hamburger (Head of Marketing, Admiral Sports)

Marking the first year of replica shirt sales, an initial 1,974 individually numbered hardback books are now available for pre-order.


50 Years of Inventing Replica - The Admiral Book50 Years of Inventing Replica - The Admiral Book
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