Aston Villa Home Shirt 1980/81 Review and History

Aston Villa's classic and retro shirts history and reviews collection

Aston Villa Home Umbro Shirt 1980/81

What was the shirt Villa played in when you became a Villa supporter? Well, this classic design that spanned 1976 to 1981, was the first one MOMS owned (long sleeve version). The team of Gary Shaw, Gordon Cowans, Alan Evans, Sir Dennis and the gang, wore it to lift the League title in the 1980/81 season to immortalise their legacy in Villa history.

The distinctive striped collar, along with the trim, seemingly was designed to fit perfectly with Peter Withe and Alan Evan’s trademark sweatbands (which MOMS also owned a pair of).

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One of the most celebrated Villa shirts featured the beloved round Villa badge and it was the last Villa shirt design not to carry a sponsor. The next design by Le Coq Sportif would eventually carry the Davenports logo.

As a result, there’s a purity about this shirt, it was an age before the foolish modern day notion that a shirt isn’t ‘proper’ unless it has a sponsor across it.

Those were the days when replica shirts were very much marketed at kids. The campaigns were simple, a bunch of smiling kids wearing the new shirt was the go-to advertising approach. Compared to the thousands of pounds and many hours spent on marketing campaigns now, these were much more innocent times.

Now shirts are a multi-million pound business with consumers across all demographics – young and old, from skinny hipsters to gut bucket merchants.

aston villa umbro kit 1981

In recent years, with the availability of original shirts few and far between, primarily due to its age, the only version you could get was the Score Draw retro version, sans Umbro badge. Thankfully, Umbro reintroduced the original shirt recently as part of their increasing Villa retro range, as well as the Umbro badge the shirt’s material will also be familiar to those who had the original shirt back in the day.

In MOMS opinion, it’s certainly a Villa shirt that should grace any Villan’s collection.

Best Player to Wear the Shirt?

Too hard a question to give a definitive answer. Cowans? Mortimer? Morley? Little?

If you held a gun to MOMS’ head, MOMS’ personal favourite would probably have to be Gary Shaw. Certainly he was MOMS main man back in the day. If only he didn’t get that injury…

Best Result in the Shirt

This is a shirt that saw Villa win the League Cup (1977) and the League Title (1980/81), so plenty to chose from over a six-season period.

In terms of a single standout game, you’d probably have to go with a game from Villa’s first season in the Umbro shirt (slightly different Umbro badge), when Villa found themselves 5-1 up at half-time at Villa Park against Bob Paisley’s Liverpool team. This was a Liverpool team that were the reigning champions and would go onto win the league again that season.

Strange to think that all five Villa goals were scored in the North Stand side. If you were in the Holte End that day, it would have almost been enough to make you want to ask for your money back!

Best Deal on Shirt

As of when this was written, your best bet currently for a lower price on the 1980/81 Aston Villa home shirt is on KitBag, with the shirt featuring in its end of season sale (it normally features in their sales). However, you can use the code 3Retro10 to get 10% off at 3Retro or the code MOMS10 on Villa’s Online Shop, all year round.


*The shirts score is a combined tally of design, Villa’s success in it and fan’s rating

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Fan Rating
aston-villa-home-shirt-1980-81-review-and-historyA bonafide classic. A legend amongst Villa shirts.