Staying in the 1970s again, a closer look at a shirt that saw us win some silverware, an Umbro ‘special’ for the 1974 league Cup final that’s closely related to the 1975-1977 home shirt by Umbro/Wolves official we blogged about the other day. A shirt there are, confusingly three similar versions of. Not bad for a shirt only available for a short time that never saw retail release.
- Season(s): 1974
- Finished: First Division, 12th.
- Style: 9/10
- Popularity: 8/10
- Quality: 9/10
- Collectability: 8/10
- Estimated price: Pre-covid, £750-£1k replica, player issue circa £5k. Now – who knows?
Firstly, some context. The 1974 Football League Cup Final was the final match of the 1973–74 Football League Cup and was played at Wembley Stadium on 2 March 1974, and was contested by two First Division clubs, Manchester City and of course the inimitable Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wolves were the massive underdogs for this one but we triumphed 2–1 with goals from Kenny Hibbitt and John Richards. Colin Bell had equalised for Manchester City. This gave us our first major silverware since lifting the 1960 FA Cup. John Richards is showing a match-prepared and worn version above. Note the similarities with the 75 shirt and in particular the small Umbro logo – this will be important later. These were limited to the ones worn by the squad and are worth a lot – current estimate is approx £5,000.
The player/ director ‘gift’ version
The second version caused confusion for some years. After some research for the excellent ‘They Wore the Shirt’ book, where this was featured as a player spec shirt, it was realised that this actually produced in 1975 and is a shirt that was created as a gift for players and directors. It’s a genuine Umbro player issue shirt… with two big differences from the final shirt – the position of the match detailing was higher on the final shirt and even more noticeably you’ll note a much bigger Umbro badge on this. 11 of these individually numbered ones were made with them previously being worth up to £1,000 each – likely more now.
The commemorative version
Finally, non-numbered versions were also produced in larger numbers, again in 1975 and these are very similar spec to the player/director ‘gift’ version… but do sadly lack the squad number on the back. Still a very nice shirt that went for circa £500-£750 before the pandemic.
There was also a repro version that was available from the club shop for a limited time but it lacked the aertex style material and anecdotally didn’t sell very well at the time. It also of course lacked the iconic umbro badge.
Again, a classic shirt that is well regarded and again proves that shirts that were around when wolves triumphed… always remain favourites for generations afterwards.