Red is the colour, England is the name

England unveiled their new away shirt for the 2010 World Cup in novel style last month – with Kasabian launching the kit at a gig… in Paris.

The Leicester rockers made history by becoming the first ever band to launch an England shirt, with lead singer Tom Meighan stunning the unsuspecting 2,500-strong audience at the Paris Olympia by donning the striking red shirt ahead of the group’s encore.

Jeers from the predominantly French crowd soon turned to cheers as Meighan began belting out anthemic hit ‘Fire’.

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“It’s brilliant to be the first band ever to launch an England shirt and where better to launch this particular kit than away from home?” said Meighan.

“When Umbro approached us to represent England away we jumped at the chance as we are all football fans and loved the idea of revealing the England away shirt when playing in the country of one of our great footballing rivals.”

Handing the honour of wearing the iconic outfit for the first time to a band goes against the traditional approach of using England’s players to unveil the jersey.

The Three Lions’ current home shirt, also tailored by Umbro, was launched in March 2009 at Wembley against Slovakia, with the entire England first-team revealing the new top on completion of the national anthem.

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Umbro's Chief Marketing Officer Trevor Cairns explained the reasons behind the change of tactics.

“For the launch of the latest England away shirt Umbro decided to turn to other Englishmen who, like the England team, represent the nation abroad.,” he said.

“We came up with the idea of approaching an English band on tour. Like a football team, they are ‘away’ when performing in other countries.  Kasabian are as passionate about their football as their music so it’s brilliant that they agreed to wear the shirt in Paris.”

Iconic images of the gig will be turned into a global advertising campaign for the brand, including a giant poster in Kasabian’s hometown of Leicester.

The shirt itself is tailored out of three distinct panels consisting of different technical fabrics, each one aimed at providing players with the best possible advantage.

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The front panel is designed for comfort and contains a high cotton content, as well as featuring a sloping neck to increase ventilation to the player’s body.

The back and side fabric includes a mesh to help ventilation and to take moisture away from the player’s skin - while the sleeves, inspired by the 1966 England kit, have a high elastane content which allows maximum player movement.

Fabio Capello’s players will sport the shirt for the first time in the friendly international against Egypt at Wembley on March 3, prior to heading to South Africa for this summer’s global showpiece.

They are expected to wear red in their final group stage encounter against Slovenia in Port Elizabeth.

The Three Lions are aiming to secure a first major trophy since 1966, emulating the achievements their predecessors ecorded on July 31 – also wearing red.

Read on and recollect five more memorable England away moments wearing the iconic red away shirt.

Bryan RobsonEngland 3-1 France, 16/06/82

England arrived in Spain with a point to prove, after failing to qualify in 1974 or 78. And they didn't take long to give the fans back home something to cheer about - just 27 seconds, in fact.

Manchester United midfielder Bryan Robson got on the end of a Terry Butcher flick-on to volley England into an early lead in their first group match, entering him into the record books at the time as the scorer of the quickest goal in World Cup finals history. Captain Marvel was later given a specially inscribed gold watch by FIFA for his troubles.

Sadly, England were eliminated in the now defunct second group stage, bizarrely without losing a game, after draws with Spain and West Germany saw them finish in second place.

Alan ShearerEngland 1-0 Germany, 17/06/00

The English public were desperate for Kevin Keegan's team to put one over the Germans in this crucial Euro 2000 group match, having been knocked out of Euro 96 on their own turf by their old foes.

England were now back in red, having worn the infamous grey away kit in that Wembley semi-final defeat four years previously.

Newcastle forward Alan Shearer stooped to head David Beckham's cross past Germany keeper Oliver Kahn, as an England side featuring the likes of Martin Keown, Phillip Neville and Dennis Wise held on for a scrappy 1-0 victory.

David BeckhamEngland 1-0 Argentina, 07/06/02

Having been part of the England side that exacted revenge over Germany two years previously, David Beckham had a personal score to settle when the Three Lions faced Argentina in the Sapporo Dome in the 2002 World Cup.

Becks was still haunted by the memory of his controversial red card at France 98, and the world was expectedly watching to see if he could get one back over Diego Simeone, with whom Beckham tussled shortly before being sent off four years earlier.

The England skipper smashed home a 44th minute penalty to give his side a 1-0 win over Simeone and co, which helped England on their way through to the knock-out stages, and helped send Argentina packing at the first hurdle - which was nice.

Wayne RooneyCroatia 2-4 England, 21/06/04

"Wayne who?" the rest of Europe cried, as the 18-year-old Liverpudlian scamp boarded England's flight to Portugal for the 2004 European Championships.

By the time he cooly slotted his second goal of the night, and third of the championships, past Croatia keeper Tomislav Butina, the whole world knew exactly who he was.

The Everton forward was quite possibly the star of the tournament, and on current form he looks primed to make a similar impact in South Africa this summer.

Joe ColeSweden 2-2 England, 20/06/06

England didn't have a lot to celebrate in Germany in 2006. Injuries denied Sven Goran Eriksson of his first choice strike partnership or Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney, before David Beckham ended the tournament in tears after standing down as captain.

But most painfully of all, Portuguese winker Cristiano Ronaldo helped dump England out of the competition at the quarter final stage after a tense penalty shoot-out in Gelsenkirchen.

One stand-out moment came from Chelsea's Joe Cole, who scored one of the goals of the tournament with this sensational dipping 30-yard volley in the final group match against Sweden.

The new away kit will go on sale on March 3 and is available to pre-order now.

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