1979-1982 home shirt by Umbro/unknown

One of, if not the, most popular Wolves shirts of all time, in part due to the fact that Wolves last won a decent piece of silverware while wearing it. It’s the 1979 Umbro classic as seen at Wembley whilst breaking (red-hot favourites) Nottingham Forest’s collective hearts and while claiming the 1980 League Cup thanks to a solitary Andy Gray goal.

Seasons: 1979-1980, 1980-1981 and 1981-1982
Finished: Football League First Division, 6th, 18th and 22nd (relegated)

Style:10/10
Popularity:10/10
Quality:8/10 (marked down for itchy Nylon)
Collectibility:10/10
Rarity: 9/10

Estimated price: £300+ replica, player issue £2k+

Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by Umbro - front
Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by Umbro – front

It may be hard to believe now but the now-iconic Wolf ‘head’ badge was initially met with a few raised eyebrows. It was a departure from the previous leaping Wolves logos that had started appearing on the shirt from 1970.

Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by Umbro - close up of badge
Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by Umbro – close up of badge

This by contrast was a little more ‘in your face’ and stark, not being constrained in a shield. The nylon material it was printed on was almost iridescent and glowed in the floodlights.

Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by Umbro - close up of diamond logo
Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by Umbro – close up of diamond logo

It had the ‘new’ style Umbro badge and was made in England.

Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by Umbro - close up of label
Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by Umbro – close up of label

This particular one was a set commissioned after the Wembley triumph of 1980 and differed from the match issued version in that badges were printed and not embroidered. The number on the rear is made from a separate piece of material and is machine stitched in place, along with the iconic ‘umbro diamonds’ running down the sleeves. It is the favourite all-time shirt for many Wolves fans although in addition the triumph at Wembley it was also a relegation shirt during the third of the three seasons it was worn.

Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by Umbro - close up of the umbro diamonds
Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by Umbro – close up of the umbro diamonds
Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by Umbro - rear
Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by Umbro – rear

Due perhaps to it’s enduring popularity, a bootleg version was briefly available some years ago. It’s a reasonably facsimile at a glance:

Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by unknown - repro
Wolves 1979-82 home shirt by unknown – repro

Similar styling and dimensions although the colour and finish isn’t as reflective or vibrant as can be seen when placed next to each other:

Wolves 1979-82 comparison Original left, repro right
Wolves 1979-82 comparison Original left, repro right

The umbro diamonds are printed as opposed to machine sewn:

Wolves 1979-82 comparison diamonds Original left, repro right
Wolves 1979-82 comparison diamonds Original left, repro right

Yeah it says Umbro on it but it’s obviously not hence marked as ‘unknown for purposes of the blog. Still… good enough to tide me over until the day wolves hopefully return to umbro and (please) reissue a retro version of this classic shirt. I can dream can’t I?

Author: Mark M

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