Goalkeepers haven't always been the odd man out of the team when it comes to their choice of kit. In the early history of the game, football teams were identified by the colours of their caps and socks or simply by armbands. But by the time the first ever FA Cup Final was played in 1872, clubs had adopted their own distinctive strips and team colours, which in many cases have remained essentially the same ever since.
Strict rules governed what was and what wasn't permissible in terms of colours and patterns. Goalkeepers in particular, until the rules were relaxed in the 1970s, were limited to green, blue, scarlet and white tops except for international matches, where yellow or black was the colour of choice following a ruling by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in 1921. Green proved most popular simply because of the law of averages - very few teams wore a green football kit. Yet it wasn't until the turn of the century that goalkeepers began to take on a separate identity. Indeed, prior to the First World War, the only way a goalie was distinguishable from his teammates was by the fact that he wore a cap on his head - although it must be said that in 1909 Scottish goalkeepers were instructed to wear a different coloured jersey from the rest of their teammates.
Early goalkeeper shirts often came in two forms. The first resembled a tight fitting undershirt or long-sleeved vest can often be seen in early photographs, usually being worn by the legendary Billy "Fatty" Foulke. The second was the more traditional woolly polo neck sweater. This heavy-looking thing became commonplace during the cold winter months and only really died out in the early sixties, when fashion dictated that a more athletic jersey should be worn. These light cotton garments were already popular on the continent but it wouldn't be the last time British football was slow on the uptake.
Goalkeepers were also a bit behind the times when it came to wearing a number on the back. It was always assumed that the goalie wore the number one shirt, even if in reality he didn't. He didn't need to, really. The colour of his shirt told you where he'd be playing that afternoon. Squad numbers were originally introduced as a way of identifying the players more than anything and although goalies traditionally wear the number one shirt there's no law in the game to say an outfield player cannot wear that number. Former Tottenham Hotspur favourite Ossie Ardiles, for example, wore the number one shirt for Argentina during the 1982 World Cup Finals while fellow midfielder Norberto Alonso wore the same number when they lifted the Cup in 1978.
And it is not confined to just Argentine football. Dutch striker Ruud Geels wore the number one shirt in 1974 after the Holland squad, like Argentina team, were numbered alphabetically. Closer to home, defender Stuart Balmer was given the same number when Charlton Athletic first listed their squad in the early 1990s for the same reason.
The earliest record of numbered shirts being worn dates from the 1922/23 American Soccer League season when a team from St. Louis by the name of Scullin Steel wore numbers on the back of their tops for the 1923 Challenge Cup Final. Back home in Britain, numbered shirts didn't appear until August 1928 when Arsenal and Chelsea ran out for the new season, but that little experiment only lasted two League games and numbers didn't become compulory until 1939, although the experiment was repeated again for the 1933 FA Cup Final. However, on this occasion instead of both sides wearing one to eleven, the two teams were numbered from one to twenty-two. Everton's goalkeeper had the honour of wearing the Number 1 shirt while his opposite number in the Manchester City goal had to make do with the Number 22 shirt!
At international level they first appeared in 1937, when England wore numbers on the back of their shirts for their game against Scotland at Hampden Park. The following year numbered shirts made their first appearance at the World Cup finals in France. Sixteen years later, teams competing in the 1954 Finals in Switzerland were obliged to assign a unique 'squad number' for each player although their names would not appear on the back of the players' shirts until the 1992 European Championships held in Sweden (although Scotland did experiment with this idea in the early 1980s). The 1954 World Cup also marked the first occasion that an England goalkeeper wore a numbered shirt when Gil Merrick lined up against Belgium.
Until the mid-nineties, goalkeepers traditionally wore the same shorts and socks as their colleagues. There were exceptions, with some goalkeepers donning an all-green ensemble during the 1960s. In the early 1970s England legend Peter Shilton famously wore an all-white goalkeeper kit until he was beaten by a long-range shot during a mid-week FA Cup semi-final replay at Villa Park by none other than Liverpool's Kevin Keegan - apparently Shilton's kit was too reflective under the floodlights, making it easier for opposition forwards to pick their spot. Conversely, Eastern European goalkeepers, such as the Soviet Union's Lev Yashin and Hungary's Gyula Grosics, favoured an intimidating all-black strip.
By the 1970s goalkeepers in the United Kingdom began spreading their wings with regards to the colour choice of their jerseys, coinciding with the introduction of colour television sets. Keepers such as Chelsea's Peter Bonetti, QPR's Phil Parkes and Ipswich Town's Paul Cooper regulary wore a red shirt rather than green, even when there was no colour clash. Cup finals in particular seemed to give goalkeepers to the incentive to break from the norm and add a dash of colour to proceedings. In 1974 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Gary Pierce wore red in their League Cup victory over Manchester City while Alex Stepney wore a blue goalkeeper shirt in 1976 when Manchester United famously lost to Second Division Southampton in the FA Cup Final. Two years later, Cooper wore red when Ipswich beat Arsenal at Wembley in the same competition but it wasn't until 1984 that another goalkeeper broke ranks, with Steve Sherwood wearing the same colour when Watford succumbed to Everton (he apparently wore it to keep Graham Taylor's wife, Rita, happy as she preferred the all-red outfit).
In 1992, however, clubs in the top flight of the English league were required to rethink their choice of goalkeeper colours when the Premier League decided that their referees would wear green ahead of the start of the new league. Although home/away strips took precedent over the ref's choice of shirt, it was decreed that goalkeepers would have to opt for an alternative if it was green. The decision also saw a plethora of black away kits after the rules were relaxed regarding black tops.
These days, goalkeepers are willing to sport all manner of lurid concoctions. None more so than Mexico's flamboyant goalie-cum-centre forward Jorge Campos. But not all keepers are happy with their kits. David Seaman in particular was less than overawed at the all-red strip that made him look like "a packet of sweets" while former England international Chris Woods was once forced to wear lilac socks when playing for Sheffield Wednesday. Others have taken a dislike to their shirts purely for superstitious reasons. Arsenal goalkeepers, for example, never wear a new shirt unless it has been washed. This practice dates back to 1927 and the FA Cup Final after Gunners keeper Dan Lewis blamed his slippery new jersey for his failure to save the goal that spelt defeat.
However, despite the many colours and varities on offer, the growing trend of goalies going up the other end during the closing minutes of a game in search of a late equaliser (see Goalscoring Goalkeepers) saw a change in the law when the IFAB decreed that goalkeeper kits could no longer clash with their opposite number. Although designed primarily for major competitions and tournaments, there was a caveat to the ruling. If both keeper jerseys are the same colour, the referee is free to allow the game to start if a replacement cannot be found.
Ayr United's Hugh Sproat had a novel way of winding up fans of the two Auld Firm clubs in Scotland. If Ayr were playing Rangers, he'd wear a green top, but if The Honest Men were playing Celtic, he purposely pulled on a blue jersey just to get them riled.
Welsh internationl Leigh Richmond Roose caused a similar stir when he played as a guest for Port Vale in a reserves game against his former club Stoke City in 1910. Roose insisted on playing in his old Stoke City shirt and annoyed the opposition fans further by the turning in a Man-of-the-Match performance. The game ended in a riot.
Roose also insisted on wearing the same undershirt for every game - an old black-and-green Aberystwyth top - which was never washed for fear of bad luck.
French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez is often credited for the introduction of short-sleeved goalkeeping tops into the modern game, which he first wore along with fellow keeper Pascal Olmeta during his time at Marsaille.
Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has a collection of jerseys worn by some of the great goalies of the game.
Saint-Étienne goalkeeper Jérémie Janot is known throughout France for his hatred of Olympique Lyonnais, traditional rivals of the club with whom he has played most of career, and once attempted to celebrate Lyon's exit from Europe at the hands of AC Milan by wearing a Milan kit while turning out for Saint-Étienne the following weekend. In 2005 he reinforced his eccentric reputation by wearing a Spider-man themed kit - including the mask! - for a game against FC Istres.
When Croatian keeper Draen Ladic played his 59th and final game for his country against France in 2000, he symbolically wore the number 59 on the back of his shirt.
Similarly, when Poland's Jerzy Dudek played his last international football match - and 60th appearance in total - for Poland against Liechtenstein in June 2013 he wore number 60 on the back of his shirt.
Bill Lloyd was once ordered to change his jersey before a league match in the 1950s after the referee complained it wasn't a regulation colour. According to reports, the former Millwall Football Club goalkeeper had decided to wear something that bore more resemblence to something his grandmother had knitted rather than a traditional goalie shirt.
Former Derby County, Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Stephen Bywater wears the number 43 shirt as a tribute to his mentor and former goalkeeping coach at West Ham United, Les Sealey, who tragically died at the age of 43.
Having twice broken his leg while assigned the number 13 shirt, goalkeeper Nick Hammond decided to take the number 23 shirt for The Robins 1993/94 Premier League campaign because he considered his old number to be bad luck.
Former Partick Thistle and Scotland goalkeeper Alan Rough always wore his original number 11 shirt from his first club under his goalkeeper's jersey for good luck.
Peter Schmeichel used to wear a XXXL-sized goalkeeper shirt.
When Lenny Pidgeley returned to Chelsea after a season-long loan with Watford, his teammates gave him the number 40 shirt to remind him of the 4-0 defeat handed out by The Blues to the Hertfordshire club in the FA Cup while Pidgeley was in goal.
When England faced Romania in their first game of the 1970 World Cup finals, goalkeeper Gordon Banks had to change his shirt half way through, switching to a red shirt - England's away kit at the time - because the yellow jersey he was wearing clashed with the Romanians' strip.
Romania's choice of strip proved problematic once again during a World Cup qualifying match in Bucharest in October 1980. Ray Clemence was forced to run out in a green and black Adidas goalkeeper top borrowed from England's opponents after it was discovered that the FA had failed to pack the alternative blue strip that was traditionally worn if the opposing team wore yellow.
Clemence's rival for the England shirt, Peter Shilton, suffered a similar ignominy towards the end of his international career. In 1989, before a Rous Cup game against Scotland at Hampden Park, Shilton was forced to don an opposition shirt after arriving at the ground to discover his kit included a dark blue jersey that clashed with Scotland's traditional blue.
West Germany's Sepp Maier wore a yellow Wales jersey when the two teams met in the mid-1970s, again due to a clash of colours with the keeper's original choice of kits.
A similar thing happened to Millwall's David Forde before the start of the Lions' game against Preston North End in December 2010 when the referee decided that his light grey jersey was too similar to the home side's white shirts. A red North End training top was eventually found and the Irishman went on to keep a clean sheet.
According to research carried out by Dr Iain Greenlees, a reader in sports psychologist, and researcher Michael Eynon at the University of Chichester, strikers are twice as likely to miss a penalty if the goalkeeper they are facing is wearing a red shirt.
Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak once had to put up with having his name mis-spelt on the back of his shirt and was forced to play as "Zuszczak" during a League Cup tie against Crewe Alexandra.
When Spain won the 2008 European Championship, third choice goalkeeper Andrés Palop wore former Spanish number one Luis Arconada's shirt from the 1984 Euro final, receiving his medal from UEFA President Michel Platini, who scored the opening goal in the same match following a mistake by the Spanish goalkeeper.
David Seaman became the first England player to wear a shirt with the Three Lions emblem in the middle of the chest - as opposed to the left breast - when he lined up to face Denmark at Wembley in March, 1994.
Portugal's Vitor Baia opted to wear the number 99 after he discovered that the No.1 jersey was taken following his transfer from Barcelona to Porto in 1999. He kept the same shirt number for the rest of his career.
In September, 2000, Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon caused a stir when he chose the number 88 to wear on the back of his goalkeeper's jersey while playing for Parma. Italy's Jewish community highlighted the fact that the figure was a popular neo-Nazil symbol but Buffon pleaded his innocence, claiming he was unaware of the hidden meaning, and offered to change numbers explaining that the League prevent him from wearing his original choice - 00 - on the grounds that it wasn't a real digit.
In February 2014, Egyptian goalkeeper Mahdi Soliman was forced to wear a Liverpool goalkeeper shirt after Ghazl Mahalla's kitman left his top behind ahead of their match with Al Ahly. With no alternative top available, the club were forced to buy a shirt from a neighbouring sportshop and opted for the kit usually worn by the Reds' Simon Mignolet. The club still had time to stick the logo of their own sponsors, McDonald's, on the front. Al Ahly won 1-0.
While with Wolverhampton Wanderers, the ever-eccentric John Burridge wore a Superman outfit underneath his kit.
Blackpool goalkeeper Joe Lewis suffered the ignominy of having to wear a signed shirt when the Tangerines took on Reading in April, 2015. The shirt was originally set aside for a club sponsor but when the club discovered they did not have a spare shirt for Lewis, the keeper was left with little option but to don the jersey and get on with the match, which ended 1-1.
By a quirk of fate, neither goalkeeper wore the number one shirt in the 1978 World Cup Final. Holland's Jan Jongbloed, who replaced first choice Piet Schrijvers, wore number 8 while Argentina's Ubaldo Fillol wore the number 5 shirt at the other end.
Before fashions changed in the 1990s, Grimsby Town's goalkeepers traditionally wore a red jersey rather than the conventional green kit as this colour was considered to be unlucky within the local fishing community, who made up the club's fanbase.
In the days before multi-coloured goalkeeper shirts, it was rare to see a goalkeeper in a shirt other than green unless you were an Arsenal fan during the 1982/83 season. Throughout that particular campaign goalkeepers Pat Jennings and George Wood collectively wore all four traditional colours - Green, red, blue and white - thanks in part to the Gunners' strange choice of a green and blue away kit.
Pat Jennings experienced another issue with his goalkeeping top in 1984 when the kitman was forced to print the letters of the club's sponsors onto Jennings' shirt before an away game against Ipswich Town. Unfortunately the jersey bore a closer resemblance to a cheap, seaside t-shirt than the logo of Japanese electrical giants JVC.
Orlando City goalkeeper Tallman Hall become an internet sensation when eagle-eyed viewers spotted the words "Team Crest Here" instead of an Orlando badge on his shirt when he took to the field to face Seattle Sounders. Having become the most talked about goalie on social media, Hall explained that the badge had come loose before the game and had been ripped it off to avoid it annoying him during the game.
Boca Juniors goalkeeper Carlos Navarro Montoya wore a particularly eye-catching/vomit-inducing kit depending on your point of view during the 1995/96 season. The baggy yellow kit featured splashes of blue and pink with white stars and was rounded off with a cartoon truck on the front with a cartoon version of Montoya behind the wheel. And if that was enough, he also had a white version in case of a possible kit clash...
When Petr Cech signed for Arsenal in 2015, he opted to wear the number 33 shirt, partly due to his age at the time of signing and also because he had played 333 Premier League games before joining the Gunners.
When England met Sweden at Wembley in 1968, Alex Stepney walked out in a blue jersey for what would prove to be his one and only international cap, despite Sweden wearing blue shirts for the fixture instead of their traditional yellow. Stepney quickly changed into a yellow jersey, with a red number 12 on the back, which was the first time an England keeper had taken to the field in a numbered shirt higher than one. In the second half, Stepney switched to a jersey without a number on the back. It turns out the first shirt had been issued to Stepney for the European Championships in Italy the following month before officials found the jersey he should have been wearing at half-time.
Back in May, 1973, Peter Shilton became the first England goalkeeper to wear a green jersey in an international since the War when he was selected to face Czechoslovakia for a friendly in Prague.
Danish goalkeeper Jørgen Nielsen never actually made an appearance for Liverpool during his time at Anfield, but his shirt did. Back in September 1999, during a game against neighbours Everton, the reds goalkeeper goalkeeper Sander Westerveld was sent off in the 77th minute along with the Toffees' striker Francis Jeffers after they got into a fight. However because Liverpool had used all of their substitutions, left back Steve Staunton borrowed Nielsen's shirt and filled in as goalkeeper for the remainder of the match.
Chile international keeper Miguel Pinto designs his own goalkeeper shirts and regularly incorporated a lion or owl into his designs, which were the mascots of his first club Universidad de Chile.
When Liverpool Football Club's online store decided to post an image with the names of the club's new summer signings on the back of the team's shirts for the new season, they were left as red-faced as the club's home kit when eagle-eyed punters noticed that they'd incorrectly spelt the name of goalkeeper Adam Bogdan. Some Liverpool fans must have been wondering who Bogden was...
Third Lanark goalkeeper Jocky Robertson was such a big Heart of Midlothian fan that when the two sides met in the 1959 Scottish League Cup final, Robertson wore a Hearts shirt beneath his own goalkeeper's jersey. Hearts won 2-1 but Robertson played outstandingly for his side despite his split allegiances.
Brazil international João Leite reguarly added the phrase "Jesus Saves" onto the front of his goalkeeper shirt before games until officials took exception to his actions and banned him from doing it again. On hearing the news, Leite allegedly retorted "They can take Christ off my shirt but nobody can remove him from my heart."
Uruguayan goalkeeper Pablo Aurrecochea has donned a ranged of whacky goalkeeper tops during his career, including designs that have featured Mickey Mouse, the Hulk, Batman, the Pink Panther and Krusty the Clown from The Simpsons.
In July 2016, Dunfermline Athletic goalkeeper David Hutton decided not only to change his squad number but also the name on the back of his shirt, running out for the Pars with the name Sinclair-Hutton and the number 43. "That is my wife`s name," the keeper explained. "She asked if I would do it so I did it for her dad as well. 43 was my squad number when I started at Aberdeen."
Colombia international goalkeeper Miguel Calero used to have a pair of wings on the back of his jersey around his number as a nod to his nickname, El Cóndor.
In September 1981, Associated Television were unable to screen match highlights of Derby County's clash with Leicester City on their Star Soccer programme because Derby's goalkeeper Roger Jones' shirt was emblazoned with a sponsor logo in the fist half, which fell foul of the TV broadcasting rules of the time.
Two Leeds United goalkeepers wore international jerseys for first team games during the 1970s. Gary Sprake set the trend by wearing an Italy shirt for the club's European Cup semi-final against Celtic back in 1970 while David Harvey wore a red Scotland international jersey during a league match against Leicester City in 1978.
Wycombe Wanderers have come up with a novel way of gaining an advantage over their opponents for the 2017/18 season - a goalkeeper top designed to distract strikers. The kit, designed by goalkeeping coach Barry Richardson, features a pink kaleidoscope pattern on bright yellow and has already had an affect on Wycombe's own forwards during pre-season. "You're always looking for that extra 1% and hopefully this can help us in one way," said Brown.
Back in 1991, before the days of substitute goalkeepers, Aston Villa's David Platt was forced to don the goalie gloves and go in goal during a match against Arsenal at Highbury following an injury to Nigel Spink. With Spink unable to remove his shirt, Platt was forced to wear the Gunners' spare goalkeeper jersey, prompting the Arsenal faithful to serenade Platt with the chant of "You'll never play for Arsenal".
According to former FA secretary Ted Croker in his autobiography, The First Voice You Will Hear Is, England's goalkeeper crisis during the 1982 World Cup Finals was so bad that at one point midfielder Glenn Hoddle was almost listed as the team's back-up goalkeeper, having previously kept a clean sheet while playing for Tottenham Hotspur. With Ray Clemence struggling with a back injury and Joe Corrigan a doubt, the team had a goalkeeper shirt made up with Hoddle's squad number on the back. Fortunately for Hoddle and manager Ron Greenwood, he never had to take over from Peter Shilton between the sticks as Clemence recovered sufficiently to take his place on the bench.
Sheffield Wednesday reserve goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith was desperate to be the Owls' Number One that before the start of the 2016/17 season he chose to wear the closest squad number to it - the number 2 shirt. It's not the first time in a goalkeeper adorned this number in English football. Bristol City goalkeeper Billy Mercer wore the number during his time at Ashton Gate, even wearing it at Wembley in the Auto Windscreens Shield final defeat by Stoke City in 2000.
When Mexico international goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa joined Standard Liege in the Summer of 2017, he chose the number 8 shirt, which caused a bit of consternation on social media.
For reasons unknown, when Ray Clemence took the field for England against Cyprus in 1975, his shirt was missing the Three Lions badge. The same thing happened again the following year when he was picked to play against Scotland and Finland.
When Rochdale's Mick Poole decided to try his luck in the NASL with the Portland Timbers, the number one shirt was already taken so the American side gave him the unique shirt number of '00'. Poole kept the number for his entire career in North America both returning home to Rochdale in 1981.
Atlanta Chiefs goalkeeper Graham Tutt also wore the number '00' shirt during his brief tenure with the NASL side.
In 1987, former NASL outfit Chicago Sting, who by this time were competing in the Major Indoor Soccer League, dispensed with the Number One shirt altogether, giving first choice goalkeeper Cris Vaccaro the number '0' shirt and back-up keeper Scoop Stanisic the number '00' jersey.
Argentinian fourth tier side Ferro de General Pico raised a few eyebrows when they unveiled their goalkeeper shirt for the 2018/19 season as it featured an image of Homer Simpson disappearing into a garden hedge...
Uruguay side Peñarol were left rather red faced in April, 2018 when they arrived for a Primera Division away game against Progreso and discovered that they had packed the wrong goalkeeper jersey, leading to a kit clash with the opposition. However, a remarkable solution was found when club staff spotted a fan in the away end wearing the correct replica goalie shirt that they had forgotten to pack. The fan in question was escorted down to the pitch, where he handed over his top to keeper Kevin Dawson and in return was given an official club jacket to wear for the duration of the game. Dawson kept a clean sheet as Peñarol triumphed 1-0.
Back in February 1970, Netherlands international goalkeeper Jan van Beveren took to the field for Sparta Rotterdam in a game against Ajax wearing a yellow England goalkeeper shirt that he received from Gordon Banks after an international friendly the month before.
Italian goalkeeper Cristiano Lupatelli refused to be constrained by his position when it came to selecting his squad number. During a two-season spell with Chievo, Lupatelli wore the number '10' shirt and then went on to wear the number '3' jersey after he joined Roma.
Team USA goalkeeper Mary Harvey wore the number '2' shirt for the 1996 Olympic football tournament, which the United States went on to win with Harvey in goal. The keeper explained the rationale behind her decision on Twitter by pointing out that her favourite number when playing for the national team was '22' and with squad sizes limited to sixteen players, she chose the next best thing after fellow goalie Briana Scurry was given the traditional number one jersey.
In May 1923, England's Ernie Williamson took to the field against Sweden in a hooped goalkeeper shirt due to a colour clash with their opponent's yellow tops. It's not clear where the Football Association found the replacement jersey, but it is presumed that they borrowed it from a local club.
Sweden's Thomas Ravelli wore a rather unique - and short-lived - goalkeeper shirt that resembled the kind of outfit a gymnast would wear during a World Cup qualifier in September, 1981. At first glance, it looked like a traditional green goalkeeper shirt but also featured an under carriage that clasped together to form a one-piece shirt that was designed to stop his shirt slipping out of his shorts when diving. According to the website footballshirtcollection.com Peter Shilton was offered the chance to wear one but turned it down.
Back in August 2018, three Norwich City goalkeeper shirts belonging to Australian keeper Michael Theoklitos turned up in a charity shop in Australia. The shirts, featuring the name of the keeper on the back, were spotted by an eagle-eyed shopper on a clothes rail and reputedly belonged to Theoklitos, who played just once for the Canaries in a 7-1 defeat to Colchester on the opening day of the 2009/10 season.
Grimsby Town goalkeeper Nigel Batch used to wear three jerseys when he was playing - whatever the weather. The keeper confessed that he hated to feel the cold, especially when playing, and wore extra layers as a result to stay focused on match day.
Stoke City's Jack Butland wore a special memorial kit for his side's game against Aston Villa in February 2019 following the death of England legend and former Potters goalkeeper Gordon Banks. The plain green shirt was devoid of sponsor logos and club badges in a throwback to the type of jersey Banks wore during his career. As an added touch, an inscription to the keeper was sewn into the side of the jersey and Butland completed the kit by wearing the same shirt and socks as his outfield colleagues.
When Third Lanark toured South America in 1923, they played an exhibition game against a select XI from North Argentina, with both sides wearing shirts with numbers pinned on the front. Their goalkeeper, a certain T. Ferguson, also wore a rather fetching striped jersey for the match.
In May 2019, Adidas released images of David de Gea wearing the new Manchester United goalkeeper kit for the forthcoming seasons, proclaiming it was inspired by the strip Peter Schmeichel wore during the Red Devils treble winning campaign. Unfortunately for all concerned there was one small problem; de Gea was wearing a purple kit. The outfit Schmeichel had worn in that historical season was green...
When Norway took on neighbours Sweden in a Euro 2020 qualifier in September 2019, Norwegian keeper Rune Jarstein was forced to wear the team's away strip because his yellow goalkeeper kit clashed with their opponents' shirts.
Back in 1978, Werder Bremen goalkeeper Dieter Burdenski took to the field of play wearing a mish-mash of a strip that consisted of a brown shirt with white sleeves, brown shorts with a misplaced white figure one emblazoned on the left thigh and a pair of green socks.
After joining Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Summer of 2018, Rui Patrício chose to wear the number 11 shirt for his new club out of respect for former first choice keeper Carl Ikeme, who had just retired following treatment for acute leukaemia.
Italian goalkeeper Marco Fortin regularly wore the number 14 shirt during his playing career because the pronunciation of his surname sounded similar to the number fourteen in English.
When the International Football Association Board ruled that goalkeepers should wear yellow shirts in international games back in 1921, the FA delegate from England proposed that the jerseys should be red but their suggestion was rejected after a protest from the Welsh FA.
Scotland's David Harvey wore three different coloured shirts for his team's group games at the 1974 World Cup finals - Red against Zaire, green for the Brazil game and yellow for the Scots' final match against Yugoslavia.
Peru's 1982 World Cup goalkeeper Eusebio Acasuzo picked up a few souvenirs during his trip to Spain, namely the shirts of Italy's Dino Zoff and Cameroon's Thomas N'Kono. He would go on to wear both jerseys for his club side Universitario and the Peru national side, albeit it with the badges covered up by the South American side's national emblem.
For reasons that cannot be established, when Libya lined up for their African Nations Cup in Tripoli in 1979, the goalkeeper's shirt displayed a large yellow number '5' on the front of the shirt.
When Fulham took on Hereford United at Craven Cottage in September 1976, goalkeeper Peter Mellor started the game wearing a green turtle neck jersey made by Admiral with two white stripes down each side and red 'one' on the back. However, referee Alan Robinson of Waterlooville instructed Mellor to change the shirt as it didn't confirm to League regulations, which required keeper tops to be plain. The goalkeeper completed the game in a plain green Umbro shirt, complete with a Fulham badge on the breast and a white 'one' on the back.
Davey Adams was the last Celtic goalkeeper to wear a green-and-white hooped shirt in match. Following a rule change in 1910, he switched to a yellow jersey.
David James was forced to wear a black training top for the match when England played Croatia at the 2004 European Championships. Officials deemed that the keeper's original shirt, which featured splashes of red, clashed with the red shirts of the outfield players. With the blue back-up shirt also ruled out due to Croatia's choice of kit, England had little choice than to stitch a badge and print a number onto one of the goalkeeper training shirts.
In a similar vein, Manchester United's Mark Bosnich had to wear an off-white training sweat shirt for a game against Arsenal in January 2000 as his intended yellow jersey clashed with the Gunners' away kit. The match was held up while a suitable replacement was found.
When Macclesfield Town arrived at the Abbey Stadium to play Cambridge United in October 2019, their kitman suddenly realised the the bright yellow kit goalkeeper Owen Evans was due to wear was too similar to the home team's amber shirts. With no alternative packed, Evans had to wear a white Cambridge keeper jersey from a previous season, with the badge taped over.
During a game against Swindon Town back in 1894, Millwall Athletic goalkeeper Abraham Law was little more than a bystander as his side tore into Swindon and decided to pull on an extra sweater in an attempt to keep warm. He was spotted by an opponent called Jones, who attempted to take advantage of the situation but could only shoot wide while Law was hopelessly tangled up within his jumper. Millwall went on to win 9-0.
Another Millwall goalkeeper who experienced an issue with his jersey was Reg Davies, who turned up at Walsall's Fellows Park ground to watch his new side play but ending up being called into action after Syd Morgan was injured in the warm-up. However Davies had to replace his olive green jersey at half time because the referee was having trouble telling him apart from his blue-clad teammates under the floodlights.
When England played Albania in a World Cup qualifier in March, 1989, the opposition's goalkeeper, Halim Mersini, took to the field in the shirt that he received from his opposite number Thomas Ravelli following a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sweden the previous November. However, to maintain national pride, the Albanian badge had been crudely stitched over the original Swedish one.
When Broxburn Athletic played St. Mirren in the Fourth Round of the Scottish FA Cup, their goalkeeper Connor Wallace was hoping to swap jerseys his opposite number Vaclav Hladky at the final whistle. However, the Czech stopper refused, as he didn't think his club had enough jerseys for him to give one away!
Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher had to change his shirt at half-time on his debut for the club in December 2020 because the kit man for the Reds managed to spell his name incorrectly. Eagle-eyed viewers, including pundit Gary Lineker, spotted that the Irish-born stopper had taken to the field with the legend 'KELLHER' on the back of his jersey. It didn't stop him keeping a clean sheet, however, as Liverpool beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0.
Neville Southall was forced to wear a Cardiff City goalkeeper shirt, complete with their South Wales Echo sponsorship logo, when appearing for Wales in a match against Norway in 1994 due to a colour clash.
In December 2020, Staines Town goalkeeper Jack Turner was banned from wearing an all-pink kit to support his mother, Kim, who was suffering from breast cancer. The keeper was told he could not wear the brightly coloured strip because it was not the Middlesex side's official colours, despite David James wearing a similar kit for Portsmouth in 2009 to generate funds for the Wessex Cancer Trust and the Premier League turning a blind eye.
Before kit manufacturers got, er, shirty with clubs and insisted that every member of the team wore their products, it was not uncommon to see goalkepers adorn jerseys made by other companies. When Crystal Palace played Nottingham Forest at Selhurst Park in 1979, for example, both John Burridge and Peter Shilton wore identical green Umbro jerseys, neither of which featured their respective club badge, despite the fact neither side wore an Umbro kit. As if to highlight the anomoly further, the back of each shirt had a rival manufacturers' font - Admiral in Burridge's case, Adidas for Shilton.
Arsenal's Bernd Leno was forced to wear a white away kit instead of his usual goalkeeper strip after it was deemed to have clashed with Wolverhampton Wanderers' own choice of colours for their Premier League clash in November 2020. Because Wolves did not bring a back-up strip of their own, the onus was on the Gunners to find a replacement.
When Erik Sørensen appeared in a trial game for Morton against Third Lanark in 1963, the Greenock club refused to provide his name to the watching media, who in turn dubbed him "The man in black" in their reports, due to the keeper's choice of an all black strip.
For reasons unknown, the Republic of Ireland's reserve goalkeeper Paddy Roche was forced to change his shirt number before a World Cup qualifier against France in Paris in 1976. The referee insisted the goalie wore a number 12 on his jersey rather than the FAI's original choice of 16.
For Scotland's game against Romania at Hampden Park in a European Championship qualifier in September 1990, goalkeeper Andy Goram took to the field wearing a plain green Umbro jersey that lacked the team creast on the left breast due to an horrendous colour clash not only with the opposition but also the referee. With Scotland's first choice jersey of silver and yellow having been deemed too similar to Romania's choice of yellow kit, Goram had initially intended to wear the team's red back-up shirt However the referee's black kit was then deemed to similar to Scotland's dark blue shirts and because the officials "change strip" was red, someone was hastily sent out to acquire a green jersey for the keeper to wear!
Kazakhstan international goalkeeper David Loria liked to wear the number 99 on the back of his shirt, in honour of his father and grandfather, who both wore the number 9 shirt.
After the Premier League relaxed the rules around the colours goalkeepers could wear for games, Everton's Neville Southall opted to wear black for night games, in the belief it would be harder for opposing strikers to pick him out.
Joe Hart paid tribute to former Celtic goalkeeper John Thomson to mark the 90th anniversary of his tragic death at the age of 22 following a match against Rangers at Ibrox in 1931. Hart wore a specially made black kit with the Parkhead icon's name and 90 emblazoned on the back during the warm-up.
Gianluigi Donnarumma wore the number 99 shirt throughout his career with AC Milan, to mark the year of his birth. When he moved to Paris Saint-Germain he opted to wear the number 50.
For their Watney Cup clash against Colchester United in 1971, West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Jim Cumbes sported a traditional green jersey with a red number 15 emblazoned on the back.
Panathinaikos goalkeeper Takis Ikonomopoulos wore a Spanish national shirt for the 1971 European Cup Final, which saw the Greek side take on Ajax at Wembley. The Greece international had swapped shirts with his idol Jose Angel Iribar at the end of an international match against Spain the year before and wore the jersey throughout the competition.
After Juventus beat Glentoran in the 1977/78 European Cup, Dino Zoff exchanged shirts with his opposite number Dennis Matthews and the Glens goalkeeper was so enamoured with his new top that he regularly wore it for the rest of the season back home in Ireland.