Retro 1860 Munich by Nike

We can’t claim to hold too many memories of the team who wore this icy little 1860 Munich shirt by Nike, but we’re certainly not alone in holding an affinity for this retro-90s number.

Thanks to the gift of t’interweb, we now know that the great Abédi Pelé and Germany midfielder Jens Jeremies starred in these shirts back in the 1996-97 season, as Sechzig held their own in the Bundesliga; slugging-out a 3-3 draw with city rivals Bayern along the way.

1860 Munich, Munchen, Nike, 1996-97
Classic mid-90s Bundesliga styling, complete with a classic beery sponsor

Let’s be honest, it wasn’t the style of football on offer in Munich that attracted so many curious customers of JJB Sports to this shirt.

The national chain were doing a reasonable line in nicely priced European football shirts, alongside domestic designs from Premier League and SPL clubs.

The back of the shirt and collar each find space for numbers

Back in the good old days, many Brits tried to pick-up a local team’s shirt when away on holiday but for the first time, we had a UK retailer bringing exciting kits to our high streets.

Stepping into a JJB store back in the 1990s offered supporters a sight to behold, with football shirts displayed from floor to ceiling, meaning that you had to ask a member of staff to fish your chosen item down for you using a hook on the end of a very long pole.

All of this only served to build the sense of wonder and excitement those continental kits stirred in your belly.

Nike shirts were still a relative rarity

We didn’t have the same coverage of European leagues as we do today, so catching sight of a shirt from a Munich club that wasn’t named Bayern triggered a sense of intrigue, and this TSV 1860 München shirt caught the eye for a number of reasons:

1️⃣ – Nike were still relatively new kids on the kit block and thus this held something of a rarity factor

2️⃣ – The icy blue and white broken stripes set it apart from the more standard PSV Eindhoven fair on display

3️⃣ – That black lion crest

4️⃣ – Everyone loves a German beer sponsor!

Little Bavarian details like this tag adorn the shirt

In our book, a local sponsor on a football shirt always works better than a far away conglomerate, especially when it’s a brewery.

1860’s sponsors Löwenbräu (Lion’s brew) was founded in 1383 and still produces beer in the city of Munich in accordance with the Bavarian purity laws of 1516.

Nike’s 1860 1996-97 home shirt was almost the same as the one from the season before, which saw the colours inverted in a look which perhaps succeeds more than the big white bib seen here.

Tonight’s winning numbers are “18” and “60”

Nike’s positioning of the “1860” detail on the sleeves meant that the players’  version of the shirt featured the Bundesliga logo on the opposite arm to every other club.

The collar was very similar to Arsenal’s first Nike shirts and was a little uncomfortable to wear, meaning there was always the temptation to customise it with a pair of scissors as Ian Wright used to do with his.

Pop your collar

Nowadays, 1860 Munich find themselves in the lowly 3rd tier of German football, but their annual novelty kits’ toast to Oktoberfest always get football shirt nerds like us talking.

1860 have returned to Nike for the 2020-21 season, with the Americans providing silky shirts in a cool shade of blue and we hope they help inspire a renaissance for the Weiß und Blau.

Baggy, slightly uncomfortable to wear and a little bit retro, this 90s shirt still holds a massive sentimental draw for us!

What do you remember of shopping for shirts in the 1990s?

Please let us know in the comments section below!

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