Unparalleled is that rush of blood and excitement that engulfs you as you try on the kit of the club you support.
Liverpool Football Club boasts some of the best supporters in the world. From Merseyside to Down Under and Boston to Jakarta, you name it and there they will be, members of the red brethren keeping the Bill Shankly spirit alive.
Barring those fortunate folks who have been on hand to witness Liverpool making history, the rest of the lot express their support in various ways. On matchdays, this is usually at the local pub along with fellow sympathisers, sporting the club colours, holding the beer glasses high up and singing Kop-famous songs sitting before a widescreen television.
If you’d noticed the “sporting club colours” part from above, then you’ll also understand why kits are a little bit more important to these supporters sitting miles away from Anfield.
It is the only way that they find acceptance and recognition, even as it allows them to feel connected to their beloved club.
Thus every year when the new kit releases, there is interest from these off-shore fans as much as the local supporters.
So, when Liverpool decided to reveal their choice of kits for the 2013-14 season earlier this month, certain sections of these “off-shore supporters” were in for a shock. A look at the team’s away kit and you’ll know the cause behind the shock.
Over the years, Liverpool have managed to release such shocking kit designs among the many good ones that have gone down well with their supporter base.
So, here we rank the best of Liverpool kits, donned by the best of players for the best part of the last decade.
It was Fernando Torres’ first season in the Premier League.
Debuting away against Aston Villa, Torres sported this kit as he went about his business, terrorising defences like only he knew how to.
Red stripes running down along the sleeves, the kit makers appear to have perfected the contrast with red stripes on the white top and black shorts.
The little white stripes along the side of the shorts only amplifies the magnificence.
Another kit sporting bright contrast colours, this is the third kit from the worst-ever season in the recent history of Reds.
Perhaps it would have been appreciated a bit more had the Reds’ results been reflective of the kit's excellence.
The logo had changed from Carlsberg to Standard Chartered. But this pure black kit stood out from the rest.
Maybe it was the golden interruptions along the collars, sleeves and shorts. The kit numbers and logo, too, received the golden thread treatment, altogether making it one heck of a third kit to remember.
Inspired by the kit from the 1983-84 European title-winning season, the new home kit is a step up from the current one.
For one, the white stripes on the collars and on the sleeves is an improvement and makes it less like an industry outfit and more like one that a footballer would wear.
The new kit supplied by Warrior retains the Liver bird logo and the Standard Chartered name at the centre.
The kit suppliers based in America expect the new kit to find takers in foreign markets as well. As it stands, there isn’t a reason why it won’t succeed in outside markets, especially the Asian market.
Liverpool, during much of the '80s and '90s, released away kits in yellow colour.
Following the end of Reebok’s tenure, adidas once again took over the mantle of designing kits for LFC during the 2006-07 season.
The first away kit that adidas designed on their comeback was essentially a rehash of the one worn by Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool squad during the 1985-86 season.
The kit received criticism at first. But its popularity increased as the season progressed, and more people accepted it as the club tried to reconnect with the glory period of the '80s.
The fine red lines along the shoulders, sleeves and shorts were attractive. So, too, were the collars that evolved from the round-neck pattern that Reebok produced the previous season.
This was Reebok’s final away kit design before handing over the reins to adidas.
Particularly catchy about the kit is the half red, half black stripe along the sides of the white shirt. In the shorts, it was a half red, half white stripe placed in perfect contrast to the black shorts.
The collar style was also unique, and the kit was a captivating design in every sense.
Once again adidas rehashed the stripes on the sides from the 80s kit that they had produced.
The distinct thing about the kit was its collar. The collars were a total change over from years and years of round and V-necks that Reebok had designed.
The flappy collar model, thus, was a welcome change, and the overall simplicity of the home kit appealed well to the supporters.
This is a personal favourite kit design.
Liverpool’s European conquest for the 2007-08 season had them wear this absolute stunner of a design.
The best thing about the kit was not just its eye-catchy design and colour combination but that it fit well on just about anyone.
The red and white collar and the white stripes along the shoulders of the shirt and on the shorts made it stand out on any night.
The Merseysiders first sported grey kits during the 1987-88 season and continued to wear a variation of it until 1991.
As adidas emerged back on the scene as official kit suppliers for Liverpool, the first thing that they got doing was remaking kit designs from the golden 1980s period.
And as such, this iconic grey kit design emerged out of the factories.
Much like many other kit designs in Liverpool’s illustrious past, the kit was criticised at first.
However, the uniqueness of the kit design was recognised, appreciated and by the time Andrea Dossena had lobbed Edwin van der Sar for Liverpool's fourth goal in that historic game against Manchester United, the legacy of the kit had long been established.
Arguably the best away kit design of all time.
There is something about the colour black. If used well and in contrast with just the appropriate colours, it has the uncanny ability to produce visually sound kits.
The golden letters were merely the cherry toppings for this magnificent design.
And finally, the best kit design to have come out in the last decade…
Post Istanbul, when Liverpool were the champions of Europe, Reebok came up with a gem of a design to suit the Merseysiders’ dominant status.
Reebok’s earlier designs had drawn flak for their monotonicity and lack of innovation. But with the final kit that they designed for Liverpool, the kit manufacturers nailed it.
It was not the innovative collar and the nascent white stripe in it that swung the vote in its favour. It was not the beautiful golden stripe that did the trick neither.
It was the simplicity. It was red all over, but more than that, it was the Liver bird, the logo and the five stars on top of it that did the trick.
Yes, the five stars!