Leicester City shirt 2020-21 away

Kits

A look at some of the most iconic and striking kits, home, away or otherwise, throughout the Club's history.

Leicester City supporters young and old would be forgiven for thinking the Club's traditional colours of blue and white have been in place for the entirety of 138 years of history. However, there have been clues over recent seasons to the contrary, usually in the form of away shirts, designed with several nods to bygone eras from the Foxes' heritage.

Formed, initially as Leicester Fosse, in 1884 by the members of a bible class at the now-demolished Emanuel Chapel on New Park Street, the Club was naturally quite different in its formative years.

Leicester Fosse's first-ever match, featuring a team with an average age of 16, was a 5-0 victory over Syston Fosse and included a shirt which would return to prominence 119 years later. Unfortunately, despite the wealth of material in the Club's archives, there are no pictures of the kits which Leicester Fosse adorned in the years between 1884 and 1886.

However, in 2003, using drawings and first-hand accounts, the Club made the decision to mark the year of their 120th anniversary with an away kit which replicated that maiden shirt design. An all black kit, featuring a striking Cambridge blue sash, running from the right shoulder down to the left hip on the shirt, was a modern twist on the Club's first-ever home strip.

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Chocolate brown and blue halves
Chocolate brown and blue halves

Bowler hats, moustaches, early shin pads and Fosse's chocolate brown and light blue home kits.

It is speculated that Leicester Fosse's continual switch in primary colours could, at least in part, be put down to the Club's desire to always be easily distinguishable from their rugby counterparts, Leicester Tigers.

As a result, in 1886, two years after the Club's formation, Leicester Fosse began to run out onto the field in an entirely new - and decidedly unique - set of colours. It was around this time that Leicester Fosse elected to wear shirts with chocolate brown and Cambridge blue halves, with white shorts, or as they were called at the time, 'knickers', with dark 'stockings'.

This is a version of Leicester's colours which has never been returned to or replicated, even in the era of more elaborate away shirt designs, but it nonetheless coincided with several key landmarks. In 1890, the kit's final year of use, Fosse defeated Coalville in the Leicestershire County Cup final in Loughborough and, the following season, they were introduced to the FA Cup for the first-ever time.

For the next nine years, running until 1899, Leicester wore white shirts with black shorts and, for reasons which are difficult to explain definitively, some players had Leicester Town's coat of arms sewn into the fabric.

The white shirts were also the first to be adorned at Filbert Street in 1891, before spending the next 111 years there, as the 'Fossils' embarked on their first full season in the Midland League.

A major moment in the Club’s history arrived in 1894, meanwhile, as a AGM granted Fosse with enough votes to earn election to the recently-formed Second Division within the Football League pyramid. By 1899, however, the Club had taken the notable decision to play in a Cambridge blue and white palette which is vaguely recognisable today, but it would take Leicester Fosse 14 years to earn promotion to the top tier.

Their spell in 'light' blue and white lasted just two seasons, though, as the Club changed its colours again, to dark blue shirts, with light blue sleeves, white shorts and dark socks in the 1901/02 season. From 1902 until 1919, a year after the conclusion of the First World War, Fosse were back in blue - a darker shade than previously - and white as players not in conflict represented the Club in wartime regional competitions.

By the time football began to get back in order, the Club was in a dire financial situation and, in the same year which Leicester regained city status, the Club was registered as Leicester City Football Club in 1919. Their inaugural season as 'City' saw the team run out with blue and white vertical stripes across the home shirt, alongside white shorts and blue socks, but this design would remain for just three years.

Thus, finally, after 38 years of existence, Leicester City returned to the blue and white kits which remain in place in the present day, later finishing within one point of winning the top title in 1929.

In blue and white, Leicester City have won the Premier League, the second tier title a record seven times, lifted one FA Cup, won the League Cup three times, and competed in six European campaigns, most notably in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League, when the Club reached the quarter-finals.

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One year in white
One year in white

A brief flirtation with a white home kit in the early 1970s.

They were in all blue, of course, on the day they ended a 132-year wait to be crowned as English champions in 2016, with Wes Morgan and manager Claudio Ranieri lifting the Premier League trophy. 

Meanwhile, for one season only, in 1972/73, the Club did deviate from their traditional home colours, electing to wear an all-white kit for one season, inspired by Spanish giants Real Madrid. Players and fans alike, though, rebelled against the decision, making it the only year since 1922 in which Leicester's football team wore anything other than a blue home shirt.

Despite this, there have been occasions when outside influences have forced the Club to briefly break from tradition, largely due to the growing demand to broadcast fixtures on television.

Before the advent of colour televisions, FA Cup finals were broadcast in black and white, but when two teams in dark colours confronted each other in the showpiece event, measures had to be taken. In the days leading up to 1963 final defeat by Manchester United, for instance, a coin toss decided that Leicester would have to wear white shirts, to avoid a clash with United's red shirts.

Those occasions are rare in City's history, however, meaning the Club's association with its current colour palette, especially following 2016, is one recognised by fans of all teams around the world. 

1949-50 home

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Leicester City shirt 1949-50
Leicester City shirt 1949-50

This is the first Leicester City shirt to ever feature a crest, for the final of the FA Cup in 1949. The Foxes would lose out to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the showpiece, but it marked the beginning of an era of frequently-changing home kits.

1963-64 - away 

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Leicester City shirt 1963-64 away
Leicester City shirt 1963-64 away

When Leicester City faced Manchester United in the final of the FA Cup in 1963, they were forced into wearing a white kit, despite there being no obvious clash with United's red shirts. This is because white worked better on old black and white televisions. The Foxes would lose the final, though. 

1972/73 - home

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Leicester City shirt 1972-73
Leicester City shirt 1972-73

For one season only, the Club changed to a white home shirt in 1972/73, inspired by the exploits of Spanish giants Real Madrid. Jimmy Bloomfield's side were renowned as English football's entertainers during this period, but the change in colour was reversed just one season later.

1973-76 - home

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Leicester City shirt 1973-76
Leicester City shirt 1973-76

The fox and crops inside Leicester City's crest were moved into a roundel in the 1970s as the Foxes ran out in a shirt which would come to inspire later kits. The large white collars, typical of the time, would later be replicated during the 1990s, especially under Martin O'Neill's management.

1976-79 - home

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Leicester City shirt 1976-79
Leicester City shirt 1976-79

Admiral would soon come in to produce the Club's official kits, a sign of the growing interest in football strips. This design, which is popular to this day, featured several Admiral logos throughout the colour and sleeve panels which would perhaps today be considered too many.

1983-85 - home

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Leicester City shirt 1983-85
Leicester City shirt 1983-85

In 1983, a truly iconic Leicester City shirt entered circulation - still sold as part of the Club's retro collection to this day. The pinstripes have been replicated on Foxes shirts in the 21st century too, while the original also displays the 'running fox' logo which remains iconic in the modern era.

1983-85 - away 

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Leicester City shirt 1983-85 away
Leicester City shirt 1983-85 away

Although just an alteration of colours, this away kit from the same time period is fondly remembered too, with green and yellow pinstripes providing a link to sponsors Ind Coope and a striking alternative for the likes of Gary Lineker and Steve Lynex.

1985/86 - away

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Leicester City shirt 1985-86 away
Leicester City shirt 1985-86 away

Controversial to some, due to similarities with the home kit of rivals Nottingham Forest, the colour red entered Leicester City's palette in the 1980s. It has since returned on several occasions, most recently in 2016/17.

1987/88 - away  

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Leicester City shirt 1987-88 away
Leicester City shirt 1987-88 away

Yellow became one of the most used colours by Leicester City in the late 20th century. Aside from offering a suitable difference for potential kit clashes on away trips, it also provided a striking look for the Foxes on their travels.

1990-92 - home 

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Leicester City shirt 1990-92
Leicester City shirt 1990-92

In the early 1990s, heavily detailed football kits were in fashion, so Leicester City and manufacturer Bukta joined the trend with this patterned design. It was worn by Brian Little's Foxes as they suffered one of two heartbreaks in the old First Division play-offs. 

1992-94 - home 

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Leicester City shirt 1992-94
Leicester City shirt 1992-94

Although slightly less defined, patterns were still in vogue in 1992 when the Club revealed this design. The heavy v-neck colour would also come to inspire Leicester City's 2020/21 home shirt. The Foxes finally won promotion in this shirt, with Steve Walsh the hero against Derby County at Wembley.

1994-96 - home 

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Leicester City shirt 1994-96
Leicester City shirt 1994-96

Leicester City's new crest, recognisable today, was worn during the Club's first-ever Premier League campaign and the subsequent promotion, via the play-offs, in 1996. Steve Claridge was wearing this kit when his added time volley defeated Crystal Palace in the play-off final. 

1995/96 - away 

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Leicester City shirt 1995-96 away
Leicester City shirt 1995-96 away

Perhaps a nod to Leicester City's green and yellow pinstriped shirt of the 1980s, the Club revealed this jade and navy strip in 1995. Although not popular at the time, it has taken on a life of its own in recent years, leading to it now being a part of the Foxes' official retro retail range. 

1996-98 - home

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Leicester City shirt 1996-98
Leicester City shirt 1996-98

The Fox Leisure shirts continued into the late '90s as a large v-necked shirt, with the crest still inside a shield, was worn on the day Martin O'Neill's side lifted the Club's second League Cup with a victory over Middlesbrough in 1997.

1998-00 - home 

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Leicester City shirt 1998-00
Leicester City shirt 1998-00

The Foxes were back at Wembley in 2000 and another League Cup was secured in a simpler home shirt, with a large white 'flappy' collar. It is possible this was inspired by Leicester City's home shirt between 1973 and 1976.

2001/02 - home

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Leicester City shirt 2001-02
Leicester City shirt 2001-02

Leicester City would come to wear this shirt despite changing kit manufacturers, from Fox Leisure to Le Coq Sportif, and main shirt sponsors, from Walkers Crisps to LG Electronics, until 2002. This meant it was the Club's official home shirt for their final-ever season at Filbert Street after 111 years there.

2002/03 - home

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Leicester City shirt 2002-03
Leicester City shirt 2002-03

V-necks were back in for the Foxes' move to a new home, now called King Power Stadium, in 2002. Micky Adams' side won promotion that year as Leicester City wore an all-blue kit with navy side panels and collar. 

2003-05 - away 

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Leicester City shirt 2003-05 away
Leicester City shirt 2003-05 away

In a hugely popular move, the Foxes went back to their roots in the Club's 120th anniversary year, adorning this all black kit, with a Cambridge blue sash, which Leicester Fosse wore at the outset of their existence. It would be repeated again almost 10 years later.

2004/05 - away

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Leicester City shirt 2004-05 away
Leicester City shirt 2004-05 away

In another nod to the past, this 'Fosse gold' kit made an appearance in the middle of the first decade of the new century. A Leicester City first also saw it become the Club's first-ever reversible shirt, with a navy option on the inside. 

2009/10 - home

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Leicester City shirt 2009-10
Leicester City shirt 2009-10

An adapted crest and no shirt sponsor made it clear this strip was to commemorate the Club's 125th year. The Foxes went close to back-to-back promotions under Nigel Pearson wearing this simplistic Joma design.

2014/15 - home 

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Leicester City shirt 2014-15
Leicester City shirt 2014-15

It would take the Foxes another few seasons to end their top-flight exile and a collared PUMA shirt announced their return. Gold panelling also completed the look, as Leicester City completed a stunning late revival to see off the threat of an immediate return to the Championship.

2015/16 - home 

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Leicester City shirt 2015-16
Leicester City shirt 2015-16

King Power's new logo was front and centre for the Club's greatest-ever season as the Foxes wore all blue, with gold detailing, during a campaign which started with Leicester City being relegation favourites and ended with Claudio Ranieri's men lifting the Premier League title.

2016/17 - home 

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Leicester City shirt 2016-17
Leicester City shirt 2016-17

The Club's debut appearance in the UEFA Champions League saw a return to collars, while gold trims remained. A pattern similar to '90s kits also featured. Leicester City beat Club Brugge, Copenhagen, Porto and Sevilla in this shirt, before narrowly losing out to Atlético Madrid in the last-eight.

2019/20 - away 

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Leicester City shirt 2019-20 away
Leicester City shirt 2019-20 away

A brand new colour in the Club's collection, pink was chosen for Leicester City's adidas away strip in 2019/20. It would prove to be one of the Foxes' most popular ever away shirts.

2020/21 - away

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Leicester City shirt 2020-21 away
Leicester City shirt 2020-21 away

Leicester City's wait for an FA Cup crown came to an end in 2021 and the Foxes were wearing another new colour - maroon. The sight of Youri Tielemans' winning strike against Chelsea and the footage of Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan lifting the trophy are now synonymous with this kit.

2021/22 - home

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2021/22 Leicester City home
2021/22 Leicester City home

A textured home shirt was introduced for the 2021/22 campaign, which began with the Foxes lifting the Club's second FA Community Shield - beating Premier League champions Manchester City, courtesy of Kelechi Iheanacho's late penalty - at Wembley Stadium. This shirt also featured prominently during the Club's run to the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa Conference League, eventually ending against AS Roma - the furthest City have reached in Europe. 

Leicester City Crest

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