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Where we're at
Inspired by over 90 years of history, we're also constantly looking towards the future. In 2017 Umbro creates some of the finest football kits for a host of top teams around the world, a fantastic collection of exciting pro-level boots, innovative equipment and smart lifestyle clothing inspired by the beautiful game.
90 years young
For a brand that's part of the fabric of football, a 90th birthday is particularly special, so we were excited to mark this occasion in 2014. 90 years on from when Harold Humphreys launched his innovative sportswear company, we're proud to still be part of the sport we love, and still looking to the future.
Part of the Iconix family
Umbro was purchased by the New York-based Iconix Brand Group in 2013, an exciting new era for the brand that soon saw us focus on the football pitch, with a new deal signed as the official technical partner to Everton Football Club, and the return of our iconic boot as the Speciali Eternal was released.
Tailored for success
The launch of a new England shirt in 2009 marked something truly special from Umbro, with a revolutionary design inspired by the tailoring history of the brand. A smart, simple design that was also technically innovative, it marked the start of a period collaborating with the British designer Aitor Throup, who also worked on the Archive Research Project - a capsule collection inspired by iconic pieces in the Umbro archive.
Michael Owen wins Ballon d'Or
Only the fourth English player to win the prestigious trophy, celebrating the finest footballers in Europe, Michael Owen was awarded the Ballon d'Or in 2001 following his tremendous exploits for club and country. Bursting into the public's attention with his goal against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup, Owen wore Umbro boots throughout his career, during which he was recognised as one of the finest strikers of his generation.
United win the Treble
A moment to remember, not just for Manchester United fans, as the club score twice in injury time to beat Bayern Munich and secure a historic treble - Premier League, FA Cup and European Cup. All three were won in an Umbro kit that has understandably become an iconic design for MUFC fans. Not only that, but the goal that won it for them was scored in Umbro Speciali boots - Ole Gunnar Solksjaer poking home the winner in the 92nd minute.
Carlos conjures some magic
Playing in the pre-season Le Tournoi tournament, Brazil's Roberto Carlos lit up a game against France with a goal that is still considered as one of the finest ever scored. A free kick 35 yards from goal, the strike from Carlos in his Umbro Speciali boots has been replayed millions of times, analysed by experts and scientists and attempted to be recreated, all thanks to the seemingly impossible bend and swerve he was able to put on the ball. In 2014 the goal served as the inspiration for the Umbro Golaço competition.
Shearer shines at Euro 96
The Premier League's all-time top goalscorer, Alan Shearer is an English icon of the modern era - and wore Umbro Speciali boots throughout his career. 1996 marked a truly special time for Shearer and Umbro, as he finished as top scorer at the European Championships in England, before moving to his hometown club, Newcastle United. Unfortunately England were beaten in the semi-finals, but the excitement around the tournament meant that the Umbro kits of the time have become iconic for fans of this era.
The Speciali is introduced
Still going strong today as an evergreen part of our boot collection, the Speciali was first introduced in 1992. One of the lightest boots on the market at the time, made in Italy using some of the finest leather available, the Speciali would become a truly iconic boot, worn by some of the finest players in the world during its lengthy career.
Italian tournament, English style
The World Cup in Italy marked another era when Umbro kits were in the ascendance - our Pro Training collection for professional clubs has gone on to inspire fashion and football culture for years afterwards. On the pitch, England rallied and reached the semi-finals under Bobby Robson, with the Umbro kits worn by the squad still celebrated today as some of the finest ever designed for the team.
Umbro's First Footwear
Umbro's first foray into the world of footwear - the Cascavel leather boot - is released in Brazil. Previously, a partnership with adidas saw the German brand provide footwear while Umbro handled the kits. From the Cascavel, Umbro's boot offering quickly grew, and would soon include a number of iconic footwear styles.
Taping is introduced
An iconic design feature from the Umbro archives, Umbro taping was first introduced in 1976 as rules about sponsor logos on football shirts were relaxed. The Umbro diamonds running down the sleeves on kits for teams such as Everton, Scotland and Wolves are now regularly regarded by fans as their finest ever, and taping has returned in various incarnations since this first golden era.
Aztec jerseys in Mexico
Another World Cup win for Brazil in Umbro, this time in Mexico. The aptly named Aztec shirts were the innovation of the time, a lightweight and breathable garment designed to combat the heat of a Mexican summer.
World Cup Win
We all know what happened on the pitch in 1966, but outside of England's win fifteen of the sixteen teams at the tournament were kitted out in Umbro. On the domestic front, 85% of British clubs at this time were wearing Umbro kits.
Umbro Soccer Set is introduced
The first opportunity for fans to own replica kits, the Umbro Soccer Set had shirts, shorts and socks boxed up in one package - another innovation in the football world that is now considered part of the fabric of the game.
Brazil rule the world in Umbro
Beating Sweden 5-2 in the final, Brazil are crowned world champions for the first time. It's the first of five World Cup wins for the Brazilians, four of which were won in Umbro kits. The tournament also marks the first appearance on the world stage for Pelé, who was 17 at the time.
The Four Minute Mile
Following on from the 1952 Olympics, where Umbro had supplied kit to the entire British athletics team, two years later we helped with a momentous sporting moment. Roger Bannister, taking part in a racing meet in Oxford, ran the first ever sub four-minute mile. He did so wearing Umbro athletic wear.
Umbro aid the war effort
Switching from the production of football kits to military uniforms and fittings for the inside of Lancaster Bombers, Umbro lend a hand to the war effort, and also keep the company afloat during the Second World War.
The Umbrochure is introduced
Starting out as a simple list of products, the Umbrochure would go on to become a full colour brochure celebrating the world of Umbro. It was one of many innovations from the brand's early years which also included 48 hour delivery timings and product innovations such as our famous 'Fricshunfree' shorts and Tangeru jerseys.
FA Cup Final
Manchester City and Portsmouth take part in the FA Cup Final at Wembley, both wearing Umbro kits made using the innovative Tangeru fabric which used Peruvian pima cotton. City are the eventual winners, and send a telegram to Umbro thanking them for the excellent quality of the products, stating 'The fit, quality and smartness of the entire outfit was undoubtedly perfection.'
To cope with the demand for Umbro's products and to offer an unprecedented 48 hour delivery service, the company's first factory is established.
Umbro is established
Humphrey Brothers is established by Harold and Wallace Humphreys, a small sportswear company based on the outskirts of Manchester. Taking the 'UM' from Humphreys and the 'BRO' from Brothers, the company soon began training as Umbro.
Umbro is the original Manchester-based football brand that invented sportswear and sports tailoring. Umbro's first major football kit was made for Manchester City in 1934, a kit they won the FA Cup in.
Today, the company combines its heritage in sports tailoring with modern football culture to create groundbreaking and iconic football apparel, footwear and equipment that blend performance and style.
The Boy Done Well
Harold Humphreys was barely out of his teens when he started a sportswear company called Umbro from a tiny wash house on Green Lane in Wilmslow in 1924. The first deliveries were made with a handcart but within ten years, he was dressing Manchester City and Portsmouth for the 1934 FA Cup final at Wembley. If City took home the trophy, it was the smartness of the kits which caught everybody's eye.
By 1966, 85% of all British clubs would be wearing Umbro.
The boys from Brazil in 1958. Tottenham Hotspur's Double-winning team of 1960/61. England's conquering heroes and 14 of their competitors at the 1966 World Cup. Liverpool's enduring European dynasty in the seventies and eighties. Manchester United's treble-winners of 1999. The finest sides. The most memorable games. All with one thing in common. They wore Umbro.
Even a brief list of memorable Umbro moments is a trip through the annals. Pele and Bobby Moore swapping shirts in sweltering Guadalajara in 1970. Alan Shearer wheeling away with his right hand in the air after all those England goals. Michael Owen slaloming through the Argentine defence in St. Etienne. Wayne Rooney's first Premier League goal. Umbro on their backs or on their feet. Sometimes both.
It wasn't just kits either. At the 1966 World Cup, Umbro crafted 5000 different garments to ensure players had the right gear to wear for work, rest and play during the three-week long tournament. Over time, the ever-increasing Umbro range of sportswear from trackie bottoms to training tops, rain jackets to sweat shirts became fashion staples in the schoolyard and on the street. Rock stars took the stage wearing drilltops with the giant Umbro double diamond on the chest. A much cooler kind of bling.
While also serving rugby, cricket and basketball with distinction through the years, Umbro revolutionised how football kits and sportswear developed. Collaborating with the most celebrated managers (from Sir Alf Ramsey in one era to Fabio Capello in another), and iconic footballers (Franny Lee to John Terry), everything has always been about making the shirt, the shorts and the socks as match fit as the players who wear them.
Decades before replica shirts became fashion accessories, it was Umbro who introduced affordable kid-sized versions of club kits, allowing children to dress just like their heroes for the first time. They knew what the fans wanted because, even as the local outfit became truly global, Umbro retained the character and feel of the Humphreys family business.
Wear With Pride, Play With Passion
Wherever the iconic double diamond is found, on trainers or boots, drill tops or team apparel, it guarantees quality and authenticity. Every item bearing the Umbro logo has been designed by people who genuinely know and love this game.
The visionary Harold Humphreys wanted to bring a tailoring touch to sportswear to stylishly serve the practical needs of the modern, competitive athlete. From Speciali boots, the lightweight revolutionary that remains a favourite in dressing-rooms across the world, from the playground to the training ground, Umbro remains true to that ethos.