The Umbro Story

Tailoring Football Since 1924
2014

Umbro renew historical partnership with Everton FC

Revealed by the club’s fans during an innovative event at Umbro’s Manchester HQ, a new deal with Premier League giants Everton starts in the 2014/15 season. The deal with Everton marks a huge step back onto Premier League pitches, and is closely followed by deals with Hull City, Derby County, French clubs FC Nantes and RC Lens, Dutch team NAC Breda and an exciting deal with the Serbian national team..

Umbro is 90

A special birthday for anyone, but especially a football brand, Umbro turned 90 on the 23rd May 2014. From a cupboard above a pub to a global name in football, Umbro has been the heart and soul of football for 90 years. We continue to innovate as well, with the new UX-1 boot the first of many exciting new arrivals on the pitch.
2013

Umbro purchased by Iconix in multi-million deal

In early 2013 Umbro was purchased by Iconix Brand Group, a US-based company that owns many famous brands including Peanuts, Rocawear and Starter. Immediately focusing Umbro back on the football pitch, the deal marks an exciting new development in our history as we look towards our 90th birthday.
2012

Manchester City clinch the title with an injury time thriller

Marking the culmination of a partnership with Umbro that began in 2009, Manchester City win the Premier League after a nerve-wracking race for the finish line with neighbours Manchester United. Beating their rivals to the trophy on goal difference on the final day of the season, it's Manchester City's first league title win since 1968.
2011

England Away reigns in Spain

Continuing their groundbreaking approach to shirt reveal moments, Umbro unveil the new England away shirt alongside British boxer David Haye as he fights for the World Heavyweight title in Hamburg, Germany. At the same time, the new blue away shirt is also revealed by top dance act Chase & Status during their performance at the Benicassim Festival in Spain.

Liam Gallagher sings Blue Moon to launch Manchester City

Long time Manchester City fan Liam Gallagher helps to launch the club's new home shirt by recording a version of the MCFC anthem Blue Moon with his band Beady Eye. The shirt, which Manchester City wore during their triumphant 2011/12 season, featured an innovative 'sound-wave' as part of the design, which was created from a recording of City fans singing the same song.

City's first trophy in 35 years, Tailored by Umbro

Manchester City win the FA Cup after beating Stoke City 1-0 in tailored Umbro kits, their first trophy in 35 years.
2010

Umbro brings England together for the national anthem

On the eve of the World Cup in South Africa, Umbro celebrated English diversity and pride with a spirited version of the national anthem.

Top designers help to inspire England

Manchester, England: Umbro collaborate with top designers Aitor Throup and Peter Saville on the England football shirts, adding to the number of innovative creative thinkers to work with the brand.

Kasabian rock Paris by revealing Umbro's new England away shirt

Umbro launch the new England kit with rock band Kasabian live on stage in Paris. The new red kit, part of the Tailored range designed by Umbro, is worn by the English band's frontman Tom Meighan during the encore of their show. The first time a football shirt had ever been launched in this way, the collaboration captured people's attention around the world and highlighted the ways in which football and other culture can come together.

World Champion's Collection puts a fresh spin on a classic image

Recalling iconic Umbro adverts from the 1960s, Umbro celebrates the seven nations that have tasted glory in football's biggest competition with the World Champions Collection. Featuring wives and girlfriends of players from each country, the resulting images were captured by top photographer Rankin. The World Champions Collection shirts featured a stylish new crest for each of the seven countries involved, designed by an up-and-coming artist from each nation.
2008

Umbro tailor an innovative design for the national team

Umbro revolutionise the world of football kit design once again with the launch of a new England home shirt, bringing together innovative performance technology and classic English tailoring in a clean, smart design. To mark the launch of the kit, Umbro celebrated many exciting and unusual aspects of English culture, including music, actors, gurning and dog breeds!.

Umbro asks fans to Bring It On

Part of a digital manifesto on football created by Umbro, the Bring It On campaign is launched, bringing all of Umbro's clubs and players under one banner. The campaign celebrates the passion of fans and players through a series of cool videos and online activity.
2007

Deco goes underwater to promote his new boots

Umbro produce their first waterproof football boots, the Ultra SX. To celebrate, Umbro creates a special film featuring Portuguese star Deco playing football in a full tank of water, wearing his Umbro Ultra SX football boots throughout.
2006

Football around the world is captured for One Love

Documenting the game of football around the world, the One Love project explores the different cultures, people and styles that play the game and the commonality shared between them all. With images taken in 26 different countries, photographer Levon Bliss collaborated with Umbro to capture the variety of different worlds that share the global game of football.
2005

Chelsea triumph in Umbro shirts

Wearing Umbro kits, Chelsea storm to their first league title for 50 years under new manager Jose Mourinho.
2004

Jumpers (and lamposts, and bus stops) for goalposts

Celebrating football at all levels, Umbro's Goalposts campaign captures the way in which a game can spring from anywhere. Featuring a series of unlikely locations that serve as goalposts for intrepid footballers, the resulting video is a terrific success online and on tv.
2002

Two English icons come together

Marking another groundbreaking collaboration, Umbro work alongside iconic English designer Paul Smith to create a limited edition version of the England football shirt.
2000

Umbro start the 21st century with more design innovations

A year of innovation at Umbro, as the revolutionary Sportswool material is introduced alongside XAI football boot technology and the first reversible football shirt for an international team.
1999

United's historic night in Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain: Manchester United clinch the European Cup with a last minute victory against Bayern Munich, completing a historic treble in Umbro kits.
1997

Carlos lights up Le Tournoi

Le Tournoi, a pre-season tournament in France, is brightened up by a goal scored by Brazilian Roberto Carlos. Wearing Speciali football boots, Carlos curls the ball spectacularly from outside of the box from a seemingly impossible angle.
1996

Football's Coming Home - almost

Euro 96 is the first major football tournament to be held in the UK since the World Cup in 1996, but there would be no repeat success for Umbro-clad England – a semi-final defeat on penalties to Germany knocks out the hosts.
1994

Brazil bag their fourth in the United States

Brazil win their fourth World Cup, again wearing Umbro kits after a penalty shoot out against Italy, the first time the final had been decided in this way. Two of the most colourful stars of the finals – Columbian midfielder Carlos Valderrama and Mexican goalkeeper Jorge Campos – wore Umbro boots throughout the tournament. The finals were held in the USA, a surprise move at the time that has since been recognised as an influence on the start of a professional league in the United States.
1993

England legend Owen signs for Umbro

14 year-old Michael Owen agrees a deal to wear Umbro boots whilst playing with the England Centre Of Excellence. Soon after graduating from the school at 16, Owen signs for Liverpool, making his debut soon after and going on to become one of the most prominent strikers in the Premier League. His explosive appearance at the 1998 World Cup saw Michael Owen become England’s youngest ever goal scorer, and he now stands fourth in England’s all-time goalscoring chart. Throughout his career, Owen has worn Umbro football boots, and continues to do so today..
1992

Umbro's Speciali boot: the start of something special

Known for its comfort and classic style, the Speciali would go on to be Umbro’s pinnacle boot for the next 20 years.
1987

Hot air and fast cars

In two of the more unusual moves outside of football, Umbro supply both the Formula 1 Williams team and the Virgin Atlantic Flyer Balloon with kits.

Goal machine Shearer appears on the scene

Southampton, England: A 17 year-old Alan Shearer writes to Umbro whilst a youth player at Southampton, asking if we could possibly supply him with any kit. Umbro responds by sending five pairs of football boots. Soon afterwards, Shearer makes his full debut for the Southampton first team, scoring a hat-trick, and was soon established as a first choice player. Signing a full sponsorship deal with Umbro, Shearer rose to become the finest striker of his generation, first choice for England and twice breaking British transfer records. Winning numerous awards over his career, Shearer remains the Premier League’s top all-time goalscorer, Newcastle United’s record goalscorer and equal fifth in England’s all-time scoring list.
1986

Umbro steps into the world of football boots

The first Umbro football boots are manufactured in Brazil, marking a significant new development in the company's 63 year history. During this period, Umbro expanded rapidly around the world, particularly in areas such as the USA where football (or soccer!) was becoming increasingly popular on a grassroots level.

Hand Of God defeats Umbro-clad England

England and Scotland wear Umbro kits in the Mexico World Cup, England losing in the quarter finals to Maradona’s infamous ‘Hand Of God’ goal.
1984

Umbro and England reunite

Umbro begin supplying the England team with kits once again, after a decade-long break.
1977

Liverpool mark the start of a golden decade

Liverpool beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 to clinch the European Cup, completing the double and marking the start of a decade of dominance in England and Europe. They would wear Umbro kits for a large part of this period.
1976

City beat Newcastle in an all-Umbro final

Umbro celebrate both teams in the 1976 League Cup final and the referee wearing Umbro kits.
1974

Umbro's founder passes away

A sad time for Umbro as founder Harold Humphreys dies. His sons John and Stuart take over the running of the company.
1972

70th celebrations for Harold Humphreys

Chairman and founder Harold Humphreys celebrates his 70th birthday. On the occasion, Humphreys said: ‘There are three things which constitute the ability to succeed, and that’s enthusiasm, tenacity and sheer damned cheek – but all in good measure.’

Triple success for English teams in Umbro

A trio of first time success in the English game for teams wearing Umbro kits: Leeds United claim the FA Cup for the first time, Stoke City get their first taste of silverwear with the League Cup, and Brian Clough leads Derby County to their first ever league title.
1970

England and Brazil battle in the heat of Mexico

Umbro’s lightweight and breathable Aztec shirts help to battle the heat in the summer’s World Cup, where England and Brazil do battle in a famous group game. With holders England knocked out in the quarter-finals, Brazil go on to claim another trophy with a team that many consider to be their finest ever.

City find success in Europe

Following their FA Cup win the previous year, Manchester City find success in Europe, clinching the Cup Winner’s Cup with a 2-1 victory over Gornik Zabrze in Umbro kits.

Historic replay in FA Cup Final

Umbro provide kits to both FA Cup finalists, but the trophy itself is not decided at Wembley for the first time since 1923. Chelsea and Leeds United battle to a 2-2 draw at Wembley, before a replay at Old Trafford sees Chelsea win 2-1.
1969

Leeds and City lead the way in Umbro

Manchester City are FA Cup champions, beating Leicester City 1-0 in a red and black striped Umbro shirt that then becomes an iconic part of the club’s history. Leeds United, one of many top English teams wearing Umbro kits, triumph in the league.
1968

Umbro's success saluted with a London Design Award

In recognition of their work throughout the sporting world, Umbro are given a London Design Award.

United taste European success in Umbro

Wembley, England: Just a year after Celtic’s European Cup triumph, Manchester United become the first English club to win the trophy, wearing tailored Umbro kits. Fittingly, the final is played at Wembley, with United beating Benfica 4-1.
1967

Celtic's Lisbon Lions make history

All born within 30 miles of Glasgow, Celtic’s ‘Lisbon Lions’ team become the first British club to win the European Cup. Wearing Umbro kits, Celtic defeat Inter Milan 2-1 in the final, completing an unprecedented ‘quintuple’ of trophy wins.
1966

1966 and all that

England beat West Germany 4-2 in the World Cup Final at Wembley, creating one of the most iconic moments in English football history.

Umbro tailor the world

Harold Humphreys’ son John travels to each country taking part in the forthcoming World Cup, agreeing a deal to supply 15 of the 16 countries involved. A bespoke range of kits is created for each country, with some teams receiving up to 30 shirts per game for their star players!

Umbro tailor the British game

85% of all British football teams are tailored by Umbro at this moment in time, a testament to the strength and popularity of the brand.
1964

United star Denis Law signs up with Umbro

Denis Law, one of the biggest footballers in the world at the time, signs an exclusive endorsement deal with Umbro. The Manchester United and Scotland striker supports a range of replica kits that allows young fans to recreate his look on the pitch.

Warehouse blaze fails to derail

On 6th January, Umbro’s factory is destroyed in a fire. Just a week after the blaze, the factory is back up and running.
1963

Harold Humphries described as the 'Dior of the football world'

Humphreys - 'the Dior of the football world'. This quote came from an article in the Daily Express on Tuesday, October 22nd, 1963, in an article exploring the evolution of football kits over the last 100 years, in which Umbro had lead the way.
1962

A second taste of success for Brazil

Brazil win the World Cup for the second time, beating Sweden 3-1 in the final in their tailored Umbro kits.
1961

Spurs at the double

Tottenham Hotspur become the first team in the twentieth century to win the double with a 2-0 win over Leicester City in the FA Cup final, kitted out in Umbro.
1959

Umbro introduce replica kits to the world

In a move that changed sportswear forever, Umbro starts to sell Junior Boys Kits, a set of shirt, shorts and socks that would allow young players to wear the same look as their footballing idols. The first time replica kits were sold, this marked the start of what would soon become a massive international industry.

Matt Busby and Umbro come together for a special collaboration

Umbro collaborate with Manchester United manager Matt Busby to style a winter sportswear range, using his insight of the game to develop the designs. One of the first official collaborations in football, it marked the start of Umbro’s ‘Choice Of Champions’ collection.
1957

Teddy Tinling leads the way in tennis wear

Umbro start to produce sports clothing in collaboration with Teddy Tinling, a tennis player and designer who would be behind nearly all the innovations in tennis clothing design for the next three decades creating dresses for female Wimbledon winners from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. After his death, it was also discovered that Tinling had worked as a spy for the British government during the Second World War.
1954

Bannister makes history in four minutes

Roger Bannister makes history as he becomes the first man to run a mile in less than four minutes, wearing Umbro apparel. After years of training and several failed attempts, Bannister achieves the ‘impossible’ and marks his name in the history books.
1953

All four finalists tailored by Umbro

A hugely successful year for Umbro sees both FA Cup finalists Blackpool and Bolton and both Scottish Cup finalists Rangers and Hearts kitted out in Umbro football shirts.
1952

Umbro sets a gold standard in athletics wear

1952 - The British team at the Summer Olympics wear Umbro kits, tailored for the needs of their individual sports. Umbro would supply kits for the British Olympics team for the next 20 years.
1949

A special gift from the staff to celebrate Umbro's 25th anniversary

Umbro staff present Harold Humphreys with a clock to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the company. The factory workers – every single one of them – chipped in for the gift. Through the years this timepiece was a permanent symbol of their loyalty to the company . When production demands were high, employees often turned the clock hand back in order to have more time to complete their garments – Humphreys’ pride was their perfection.
1948

Unusual colours for the FA Cup Final

Manchester United beat Blackpool 4-2 to win the FA Cup final, with both teams wearing Umbro kits – unusually both teams were asked to wear change strips at the request of the FA, United playing in blue and Blackpool in white.
1946

Umbro staff head to the seaside

Harold Humphries himself was always involved in staff events such as this outing to Blackpool in 1946, leading the company and approachable as a boss. He was described as a firm but friendly leader by staff.
1940

Harold Humphreys leads Umbro staff dance

Harold Humphreys always aimed to create a family atmosphere amongst his staff, hosting events such as this staff dance in 1940, which helped to forge a strong sense of cameraderie amongst the workforce.
1939

Umbro support the war effort

As the Second World War began, Umbro went from producing football jerseys to crafting army uniforms, gas mask covers and even fittings for Lancaster Bombers, after Harold Humphreys persuaded the government to allow Umbro to help in the war effort. Also feeding over 250,000 troops in the Umbro staff canteen, Humphreys helped to keep spirits high amongst staff and vitally keeping the company afloat during the war.
1938

Umbro live on TV as the FA Cup enters the living room

The FA Cup final is broadcast on television for the first time, with Preston North End beating Huddersfield Town 1-0 to clinch the trophy, wearing Umbro kits.
1935

Umbro introduce Fricshunfree to the world

This year’s innovation was Umbro's ‘Fricshunfree’ shorts. Offering unrivalled support and increased movement, the shorts are a major design innovation in the sporting world.

Wednesday find Wembley success in Umbro kits

This year’s innovation was Umbro's ‘Fricshunfree’ shorts. Offering unrivalled support and increased movement, the shorts are a major design innovation in the sporting world.
1934

Umbro innovate with Tangeru shirts

Umbro's Tangeru shirts, first worn in the FA Cup final this year, were made from Peruvian prima cotton, an innovative soft fabric that was soon adopted throughout the football world.

Umbro make their Wembley debut

Manchester City beat Portsmouth to win the FA Cup final at Wembley, winning 2-1. Both teams wore Umbro’s innovative Tangeru kits in the final, with Manchester City sending a telegram after the game thanking Umbro for ‘the fit, quality and smartness of the entire outfit.’
1928

Umbro work around the clock

Just four years after they were established, Umbro are now producing enough stock to supply 5000 teams. In an unprecedented move, the company offers a 24 to 48 hour delivery service to keep up with the demand.
1926

A long term commitment

22 year-old Lillian Eyres starts work as one of six machinists at Umbro’s HQ in Cheshire. Working for the company for 54 years, she retired in 1980 aged 76, just one of many long-standing employees who became part of the family at Umbro.
1925

Umbro hits the road

Umbro invests in its first car, a temperamental Austin Seven, allowing salesmen to travel further afield to showcase their products. Soon afterwards, products are on sale throughout the British Isles.
1924

The journey starts here as Umbro is established

Harold Humphreys sets up Umbro with his brother Wallace in a small workshop in Wilmslow, Cheshire, inspired by the growing interest in football witnessed nationwide. The name comes from Humphreys brothers.
1923

A famous football moment inspires Harold Humphries

The FA Cup final between Bolton and West Ham, that came to be known as the White Horse final. The game, which was the first to be played at Wembley, saw an estimated crowd of over 200,000 supporters arrive at the ground. The game symbolised how football moved from being a popular sport to a national obsession, and young tailor Harold Humphreys saw this as an opportunity to take his skills into the burgeoning world of sportswear.