The Dutch Lion Crest

I was always fascinated by the cool design of the lion crest on the 70’s and 80’s Holland shirts. Simply epic! At that time, Holland shirts were never available commercially. Either you could buy a template orange Adidas shirt, but without any lion crest or there were no name replica shirts with a similar lion crest printed on, but not like the original one. In one sports shop I once spotted a Holland shirt made by a no name manufacturer, but miraculously with that original shaped lion crest on it.

But as I was looking for an original Adidas shirt, I bought one with my hard earned pocket money and went to the other shop to ask if I could sign off that lion crest from the replica shirt. As you can imagine, the shop holder wasn’t very amused, but he couldn’t refuse the wish of a 10 year old boy which I was back then and handed the shirt out for me. As fast as I could I traced the lion – just before the grumpy shop holder tore the shirt away again. Then, i began to transfer the drawing on a cloth material and cutted it off – manually! Finally, my mother ironed it on my Adidas template shirt, and so I had «my» own Holland shirt at the end! How proud I was! Well, years later, I gave it away to the old clothes collection! This was the end of the story – until I fould a real original matchworn Holland shirt 25 years later! The story started again, and in the meantime, I luckily found even several ones of these shirts!

World Cup 1974
World Cup 1978

In the internet, there are lots of replica and fake Holland shirts oft he 70’s and 80’s – with that lion crest. But looking carefully at it, you recognize quite well that they are not the original ones. Many shirts are even declared as „official“ or „matchworn“, but if you see the lion crest, it’s just ridiculous. Some of them are really made very, very badly! Just have a look at the «Horror Picture Show»!

There were also some retro shirts with beautifully embroidered lion crests like these two examples!

History of the dutch lion crest

1974 - 1979
1980 - 1985
1986 - 1996
1997 - 2014
2014 - today