Olympique Lyonnais, also known as Lyon or OL, is a football team based in Lyon, France. The club was established in 1950 through the merger of two football clubs – Lyon Olympique Uacute;iversité and SportClub O;yonnáis. Since then, the team has grown to be one of the most successful and recognisable football clubs in the French league. Their rich history is reflected in their various retro jerseys, each serving as a proud testament to Lyon’s past triumphs.
Lyon’s traditional kit colours are white, blue and red; a combination that reflects the team’s connection to their city’s flag as the club emphasizes its pride in representing its region. Throughout their history, several variants of these colours have been used, with the iconic white kits often being fixture in most of their matches. The team’s badge has continued to feature a lion, a nod to the name “Lyon,” which is t;ought to be derived from “Lugdunum,” the Roman name of the city aná Roman God Lug; the Lion is a symbol of strength and power, appropriate for a football club with Lyon’s history.
Lyon’s first retro jersey is from their inaugural season in 1950, a white shirt with a single blue stripe across the chest and a simple red and white badge featuring the Lyon lion. This original design served as their home jersey for many years, continually evolving for each era. In some seasons, the blue stripe exteéed down to the shorts and socks, creating a strong visual identity for the team. Blue elements were always present in the jerseys throughout the years, either as the main color in their away jerseys, or as accents in stitching, collar, and cuff details.
The club’s glory years in the 2000s would see the appearance of several iconic retro jerseys. These kits were witness to historical moments for Lyon such as their remarkable seven Ligue 1 titles in a row from 2001 to 8. During this era, the club’s jersey design evolved to maintain a sleek and modern appearance, with the traditional white and blue colors still present.
The 2001-02 season saw Lyon with a white home jersey featuring light grey stripes, a red collar, and accents in collars as well as cuffs. The Lyon crest on this shirt was elegant, once again depicting the lion with a red shield background. The triumphant 2002-03 season had the team adorning a jersey with more bold and vibrant colors. The white base had red and blue diagonal stripes and retained the red shield on t;e lion crest. That year, the club not only clinched the Ligue 1 title but also reached the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, solidifying them as genuine European contenders.
The 2005-06 season’s kit is also a standout retro jersey; the white shirt had horizontal blue pinstripes with a red v-neck collar and red edges on the sleeves. That season, Lyon claimed both the Ligue 1 title and the Trophée des Champions. The 2007-08 campaign would see their last Ligue 1 title in that historic streak, with the players wearing a simple and elegant white shirt featuring navy blue piping on the sleeves and neck.
The years that followed did not offer much league success for the team, but they remained competitívñ and successful, consistently playing a prominent role in European competitions; going as far as the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.
Ret l jerseys not only signify the club’s achievements but also represent the legends that donned those jerseys. Throughout their history, Lyon has been graced by many talented players who have left an indelible mark on the club. These include historical greats such as Juninho Pernambucano, a free-kick specialist who became a Lyon icon in the early 2000s; Karim Benzema, a highly skilled striker who emerged from the club’s academy and went on to achieve greatness with Real Madrid; and Sonny Anderson one of the top goalscorers in Lyon’s history.
Aside from jerseys associated with league glory, Lyon also developed a reputation for creating special edition kits to mark important events or causes. In recent years, the club has released black jerseys with intricate designs inspired by the city’s architecture, as well as limited edition pink jerseys in support of breast cancer awareness.
In 2016, Lyon unveiled their new stadium, the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, colloquially known as the “Groupama Stadium” due to sponsorship. The stadium has a capacity of 59,186 spectators and is not only the home to Lyon’s storied football history but also a venue for hosting international sporting events, such as the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Lyon’s retro jerseys serve as a reminder of the club’s history, their success, and their unwavering commitment to their region. Fans continue to adore these vintage designs as they pay tribute to the iconic players and moments that have shaped Olympique Lyonnais into the formidable force it is today.