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England's Uniforms

England's Home Uniform
October1935 to May1939

1923 Uniform
1935 Away Uniform
1946 Home Uniform

P 27 W 16 D 2 L 9 F 83:A 40
63% successful



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At the beginning of the 1935-36 season, the Football Association, at last, decided to provide its national team with a complete uniform for every match. No longer would international players have to make up the rest of the kit by appearing in assorted club shorts and socks.

The shorts were navy and the socks were probably black. Uniform socks with two white stripes around the turnover, had been provided previously, and the new pairs were of this design, with the further addition of white strapping around the calf, presumably to keep the shin-pads in place. They had been worn for the first time in the previous season's fixture against Scotland.

Another milestone was reached in 1937, when England wore black numbers on the backs of their shirts. It is an oft-repeated myth that this happened for the first time against Scotland, and it may have been suggested to the Scottish Football Association before the game, but their hosts, however, felt that each player's position on the field was sufficient enough to identify them and numbers were not worn in that game by either side. Unperturbed, England headed off on a tour of Scandinavia, the following month, and we believe that they wore squad numbers in each match.

For the rest of 1937, England persisted with their numbered shirts, as did their opponents, but in 1938, Scotland, once again, resisted, with England, consequently, removing their numbers at Wembley, and also on their European tour, one made famous because they were obliged to give the Nazi salute before beating Germany, in Berlin.

England were back in numbered shirts for every game of the 1938-39 season, the last before the outbreak of war. They even wore them against Scotland (who did not number their shirts until 1944), though England changed at half-time from their saturated shirts into a set of plain white un-numbered shirts borrowed from the host club, Queen's Park. The digits were back for the end-of-season tour (though, this time, probably not squad numbers) and they have been ever-present since; even for the duration of the conflict. They did dispense with the Three Lions emblem on their shirts (as they had during the First World War), but England managed to turn out in the same shorts and socks to maintain a professional image during wartime.

The shirt above left was that worn by Jimmy Cunliffe on his only international appearance, against Belgium, in Brussels, in 1936. It is part of the Neville Evans Collection and we are grateful to the England Match Shirts and National Football Shirt Collection curator, Simon Shakeshaft for permission to reproduce it here.

Matches in Which England Wore the 1935 Home White Uniform



19 October 1935 3-1 vs. Ireland, Windsor Park, Donegall Avenue, Belfast BC AW
201 5 February 1936 1-2 vs. Wales, Molineux, Waterloo Road North, St.Peter's, Wolverhampton HL
202 4 April 1936 1-1 vs. Scotland, Empire Stadium, Wembley, London HD


6 May 1936 1-2 vs. Austria, Praterstadion, Wien Fr AL
204 9 May 1936 2-3 vs. Belgium, Stade du Centenaire, Bruxelles Fr AL


205 17 October 1936 1-2 vs. Wales, Ninian Park, Sloper Road, Cardiff BC AL
206 18 November 1936 3-1 vs. Ireland, Victoria Ground, Boothen, Stoke-on-Trent HW


2 December 1936 6-2 vs. Hungary, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London Fr HW


17 April 1937 1-3 vs. Scotland, Hampden Park, Mount Florida, Glasgow BC AL


England wore squad numbers for the following three games:


14 May 1937 6-0 vs. Norway, Ullevål Stadion, Oslo Fr AW
210 17 May 1937 4-0 vs. Sweden, Råsunda Fotbollstadion, Solna kommun, Stockholms län Fr AW
211 20 May 1937 8-0 vs. Finland, Töölön pallokenttä, Töölö, Helsinki Fr AW



England wore numbers on the back of the shirts for the following three games up to the end of 1937:
212 23 October 1937 5-1 vs. Ireland, Windsor Park, Donegall Avenue, Belfast BC AW
213 17 November 1937 2-1 vs. Wales, Ayresome Park, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough BC HW


1 December 1937 5-4 vs. Czechoslovakia, White Hart Lane, Tottenham, London Fr HW


9 April 1938 0-1 vs. Scotland, Empire Stadium, Wembley, London BC HL


14 May 1938 6-3 vs. Germany, Olympiastadion, Westend, Berlin Fr AW
217 21 May 1938 1-2 vs. Switzerland, Hardturm Sportplatz, Zürich Fr AL
218 26 May 1938 4-2 vs. France, Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes, Paris Fr AW


Please note, for this season, England wore numbers on the back of the shirts in every game.


22 October 1938 2-4 vs. Wales, Ninian Park, Sloper Road, Cardiff BC AL


26 October 1938 3-0 vs. Rest of Europe, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London Fr HW
221  9 November 1938 4-0 vs. Norway, St. James' Park, Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne Fr HW
222 16 November 1938 7-0 vs. Ireland, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester BC HW
223 15 April 1939 2-1 vs. Scotland, Hampden Park, Mount Florida, Glasgow BC AW


England did not wear numbers in the second half against Scotland.


13 May 1939 2-2 vs. Italy, Stadio Comunale San Siro, Milano Fr AD
225 18 May 1939 1-2 vs. Yugoslavia, Stadion Beogradski SK, Beograd Fr AL


Awaiting photographic evidence, but it seems highly likely that England wore this uniform.
226 24 May 1939 2-0 vs. Romania, Stadionul ANEF, Bucureşti Fr AW


England's Record wearing the 1935 Home Shirt
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Home 10 7 1 2 32 12 +20 1 3 3.20 1.20 75.0 +5
Away 17 9 1 7 51 28 +23 0 4 3.00 1.647 55.9 +2
Total 27 16 2 9 83 40 +43 1 7 3.074 1.481 63.0 +7