Three Lions on a shirt… apart from when they’re not. The 150 year history of the England football kit

Three Lions
Three Lions on a Shirt is a new book that charts the history of the England football shirt (Image credit: Getty Images)

Baddiel, Skinner and The Lightning Seeds made the phrase ‘Three Lions on a shirt’ synonymous with English football thanks to their chart hit-cum-terrace anthem at Euro 96. But the plain white shirt and iconic crest have been part of English football for 150 years.

And while the look of the Three Lions may have changed over the years, they have been ever present on the England kit since the 1870s - apart from a few rogue shirts in the 1970s - but we’ll come to that later.

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James Andrew

James Andrew is the editor of FourFourTwo, overseeing both the magazine and website. James is an NCTJ qualified journalist and began his career as a news reporter in regional newspapers in 2006 before moving into sport a year later. In 2011 he started a six year stint on the sports desk at the Daily Mail and MailOnline. James was appointed editor of FourFourTwo in December 2019. Across his career James has interviewed the likes of Franco Baresi, Sir Alex Ferguson, David Beckham and Michael Owen. James has been a Fulham season ticket holder since the mid-1990s and enjoys watching them home and away, through promotion and relegation.