For Chelsea fans, the Premier League has also brought (by far) the club’s most prosperous years.
From the signings of talented magicians like Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Vialli in the late 90s, to Roman Abramovich’s takeover in 2003 and five league triumphs. Chelsea have been one of the major benefactors of the creation of the Premier League.
The Blues have also worn some classic kits throughout the Premier League era. During the 25 seasons of the Premier League, three kit manufacturers have produced the London clubs strips; Umbro, Adidas and now Nike.
Lets take a look at the ten best efforts from the last 25 years…
10. Away – 2003/05
A classic and clean look featured in one of the Blues early away kits under Roman Abramovich.
A blue collar and sleeves were neat features, but it was the faded blue and black lines at the heart of the shirt that made it memorable.
Worn more during the 03/04 campaign, Chelsea began to flourish on the pitch and this kit was a great hallmark for fans of the beginning of a revolution.
9. Umbro Home – 2005/06
To mark Chelsea’s centenary year, Umbro crafted a shirt necessary for a celebratory season.
Neat gold stripes placed on the shoulders gave symmetry to the design and the reintroduction of Chelsea’s classic badge since disappearing in 86, helped add a strong sense of tradition to the kit.
What helps the shirts longevity is that it was played in the middle of Chelsea’s Premier League dominance. A second league title under Jose Mourinho made the addition of gold seem a match made in heaven.
8. Umbro Home – 1995/97
Seen by many of the older generation of Chelsea fans as the start of something exciting for their club.
A classic baggy shirt with flashes of gold on the badge, collar and Umbro logo gave the club a suitable kit for a changing side. With the likes of Gullit, Hoodle and Zola signing, the Chelsea faithful were mesmerised to see talent unlike anything they’d witnessed before.
The kit was worn when the Blues triumphed over Middlesborough in 1997 to win the FA Cup Final.
7. Adidas Away – 2014/15
The later Adidas years lacked many classic strips but this one bucked the trend.
A bold blue collar topped a traditional looking kit which the Blues wore on their way to winning the Premier League and League Cup in 2014/15.
It will most be regarded as the kit worn in a classic at Goodison Park – where the Blues ran out 6-3 winners. New signing, Diego Costa, truly marked himself as the menace of the Premier League and Blues fans loved it.
6. Adidas Home – 2006/08
Taking over from Umbro, Adidas made the classic three stripes seem a natural fit with the royal blue of west London.
Back when the Adidas logo was still imprinted at the top of the chest, the kit stuck with the classic white and blue but added flair with a unique design below the shoulders.
The shirt lasted two full seasons in which the Blues captured both domestic cups, and reached their first Champions League final.
5. Adidas Third – 2008/09
Yellow and Chelsea just seem a natural fit.
Despite being the third kit, the shirt would naturally take prominence for its classy look. A mostly clean design and blue round neck collar made for a stylish changed kit.
The kit would have centre stage in May when the Blues triumphed over Everton to claim the club’s fifth FA Cup on a memorable day at Wembley.
4. Umbro Home – 1997/99
The kit that was worn for Chelsea’s first European triumph since 1971.
Reclaiming the same trophy they’d won previously with a Gianfranco Zola winner in Stockholm, the kit was placed in folklore as Dennis Wise lifted the European Cup Winners Cup
In a rare design, white covered the sleeves with yellow and black lines outlining. The retro feel of the Umbro logo and Autoglass sponsor helps the shirt for nostalgic reasons. Though its undeniable the kit was another step in Chelsea’s rise to prominence.
3. Umbro Away – 2004/06
The combination of silver and black for Chelsea’s away kit seemed a masterstroke from Umbro when released in 2004.
A unique match of colours stood out as Chelsea brushed aside opposition on their way to claim Premier League dominance. The silver pattern that covered the shoulders helped the shirt to stand out, but the addition of silver shorts really made it a kit worth having.
Club icon Didier Drogba hit his first goal away at Selhurst Park, which is all the more reason for it to be on this list.
2. Umbro Away -1994/96
A kit remembered by football fans of all clubs for its staggering design.
Despite being criticised early on, the unmissable orange and grey strip has now claimed cult status among Chelsea fans who view it with a sense of pride for being one of the clubs most memorable away strips.
A textured grey design covers most of the shirt, but pops of orange and light grey make it one of the Premier League’s boldest shirts.
1. Umbro Home – 2003/05
A special kit, for the special one.
The shirt that brought Chelsea into the Roman era in the summer of 2003, but marked its place in history when Frank Lampard clinched the Premier League title in April of 2005.
Umbro’s finest work. A collar gives definition to the shirt, plus a ring around the badge is a nice addition. White stripes going down the shorts pays homage to the classic kits of the early 70s.
Apart from the Champions League triumph in 2012, the season Chelsea claimed their first domestic title in 50 years will forever hold a special place in Chelsea hearts. The home kit was a defining part of that memory.