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24 May: I shall try to clear some of the historical material in the HFK mail dungeon before we launch the new season galleries.
Ross County (1996-97 added): Cardiff City (1969 crest added): Rangers (1973-74 change added; 1969-72 striped shirts now identified as third choice): York City (1987-88 detailed corrected): Bristol City (1971-72 removed - now confirmed this strip was worn in pre-season photoshoot and never worn otherwise): 2002 World Cup (Nigeria kit v Argentina updated).
Watch out for an important announcement over the bank holiday weekend.
15 May: Following on from yesterday's Garibaldi Red story, I've been in touch again with Mark Andrews and I think we have now nailed the story that Arsenal originally wore dark red shirts as being untrue. One of Arsenal's founders, Fred Beardsley also played for Nottingham Forest and is reported to have proposed that Arsenal adopt the same colours. Early Football League records consistently describe Arsenal's colours as "red and white" (teams like Stoke who did wear dark red were registered as "claret and white.") Furthermore, painted images, such as this attractive silk, are consistent in showing bright red tops.
13 May: I have been, quite rightly, taken to task for failing to mention in my little homily to the success of our Welsh teams, that Swansea City won the League Cup and Wrexham won the FA Trophy this season. Mae'n ddrwg gen i!
Our FA Cup section has been updated after Saturday's final.
Darrin Foss has sent us some fascinating press cuttings from the 1880s and 1890s, which consistently describe Nottingham Forest's shirts as "bright red." We know the original colours chosen by the club were inspired by the Camicie Rosse worn by the Italian patriot army led by Giusseppe Garibaldi (shown here in a very early Forest strip - I may have got that wrong).
Photographs suggest Forest's early shirts were a very dark shade. This new evidence convinces me that the photos are misleading, due to the limitations of the emulsions used at the time and documented by HFK late last year.
When the teams were at work the sight was a most pleasing one, the bright red jerseys of the Foresters, and light blue colours of their opponents (Glasgow Rangers) looking exceedingly pretty, surrounded...by a sombre looking cordon of spectators in which was a fair sprinking of ladies. During the first half...the English rules were strictly adhered to....but in the second half the allowance for "off-side" was waived, and the game accordingly proceeded more merrily...
Darren's material includes Nottingham Forest (1868-1930 graphics revised): Walsall Swifts (1884-90 added): Middlesbrough (white shirts confirmed to 1891): Middlesbrough Ironopolis (Jan 1891-1894 colours now confirmed): Scotland (1873, 1875): Wales (1877 crest now confirmed) and the fact that in 1875 the England players wore their club strips in the match with Scotland.
10 May: HFK is very pleased that league football is returning to Newport 25 years after the original club went into liquidation. A new section (Newport County ) is now available. As usual, we welcome all contributions that fill in the gaps in our records and add detailing where we have not been able to confirm the design of shorts and socks.
Let's not forget also that Cardiff City will be playing in the Premier League next season and our fine rugby team won the Six Nations.
Just thought I'd mention it.
(Photo courtesy of Newport County official website.)
7 May: Burton Albion (2012-13 play-offs strips added.)
The FA WSL 2013 section is now open.
9 April: Wigan Athletic (1934-35 updated - two graphics): the kit worn by Colombia against the Soviet Union in the 1962 World Cup has been amended with information given to Julio Lopez by Efrain Sanchez who was in goal in that match and is alive today.
Thanks to Tony Sealey the Tottenham Hotspur Home and Away sections have been updated with additional details from the 1950s. Tony has also discovered this Bury v Spurs programme from September 1932 that gives the visitor's colours as Sky Blue Shirts and Blue Knickers. It is possible that the photograph on the right, thought to be from 1930-31, shows these unusual shirts.
1 April: Riccardo Bertani adds a postcript to the Liverpool-in-stripes story with this photograph taken with the Genoa team on a tour of Italy in 1922.
Links to newly available replica shirts have been added to Rochdale, Southport, Newcastle United, Port Vale, Airdrieonians, Plymouth Argyle, Hartlepool United, Darlington, Queen of the South, Chesterfield, Berwick Rangers and Rotherham United.
31 March: The future of the excellent unitedkits website, which records the history of Manchester United's kits in considerable detail, is currently under threat after being hit by a demand from a sports photography agency for over £400 for publishing allegedly copyright photographs that provide supporting evidence for their kit graphics. HFK has also had a run in with this agency in the past and we deplore their aggressive, bullying approach. A message from unitedkits is now posted on the Manchester United pages and we invite HFK visitors to support the site by making a donation to their appeal fund.
Last month we asserted that Liverpool have never worn striped shirts as a change kit (See 6 February entry). This, it turns out is incorrect. Research published by Jeff Gaydish proves that between 1911 and 1918 the regular pre-season trial matches were recorded as "Reds v Stripes," implying that striped shirts may have been Liverpool's alternative during this period. Stripes were certainly worn in two Football League matches, at Arsenal in September 1911 (left) and at Aston Villa in 1919. (Jeff has identified the photograph on the right as the team that played Villa and not South Shields as I had previously thought.)
A troubling detail is that it was the home team that was required to change when colours clashed at the time so some further research is needed. In the meantime I am tucking into a large slice of humble pie topped with sheepish custard.
Kjell Hanssen has found a press cutting that confirms that Dundee switched from white to navy tops in 1902, not 1903 as we had previously believed.
The 1970 World Cup section narrative has been expanded thanks to Steve Monaghan.
I would not normally post details of League Cup final kits but Leeds United's 1968 winning variant is worth a place on historical grounds, this being the club's first major honour. Wigan Athletic (1973-74 added).
29 March: Thanks to additional information from Bob Wray, several South Shields graphics have been updated.
I think we have now got to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the striped shirts worn by Arsenal's Harry Storer and Caesar Jenkyns (right) in the mid 1890s (see March 1 entry). Although the official club history mentions red and blue stripes being worn in 1894-95, Mark Andrews has found no evidence of this in press reports. Furthermore all the team photographs of the period show the team in dark red tops, like this one from 1894. Shakey has confirmed that Jenkyns is not wearing a Wales international shirt but Andrews has found a report that Arsenal wore stripes in 1892 againt Nottingham Forest a month before they adopted white shirts as their regular change option. It seems likely that the striped shirts lay forgotten but were pulled out around 1895 for the photographs. They have now been moved to the Arsenal Change Kits section.
Dundee (2012-13 third added).
24 March: Wales 2013 (alternate kit worn v Scotland added): The South Shields archive has been updated with additional material provided by Bob Wray, Secretary of the South Shields FC Supporters Club.
20 March: Queen of the South (crest history expanded).
19 March: Simon Monks has forwarded details of hullcitykits.co.uk where we have learned that Hull City's shirts worn during the 1935-36 season were ultramarine. A local firm, Reckitt's were the leading manufacturer of ultramarine pigment so the dye was readily available. Furthermore, we learn that the new owner of the club planned to introduce orange, blue and white colours immediately after the Second World War but was unable to source the kit because of rationing so pale blue shirts were worn instead. The proposed colours did appear on club programmes throughout 1946-47.
With help from Paul Briers I have updated the Brentford crest history and added this unrecorded kit from 1893-94. I had assumed the crest was that of the Middlesex FA (only seven players are wearing it) but Paul supplied a sufficiently good image to make out that the letter in the lower part of the shield is a "C" (as in BFC).
13 March: Last month HFK was contacted by Brian and CiliaTaylor about some jerseys inherited from their grandfather, Alex Troup who won five caps for Scotland between 1920 and 1926. At some stage the crests had been removed from the shirts so they could be washed and never reattached. After a little detective work we have been able to reunite each badge with the appropriate shirt. In the process, we discovered that in the 1920 and 1921 Home Internationals, Scotland wore grandad collars and established that the winged collars with contrasting inner placquet were introduced in 1922. We were also identify a sixth jersey in lighter blue as an Everton top: Alex played for the Toffees between 1922 and 1929.
It is generally accepted that Don Revie introduced Leeds United's famous all-white strip but new research published in Leeds United: A Complete Record (Jarred & MacDonald 2012) sheds new light. They have learned that under the management of Jack Taylor, Leeds turned out at Elland Road in their white change shirts in September 1960 and continued to wear this strip until the end of the season, reverting to their blue/gold tops when colours clashed. The photograph here shows George Meek leading out the team in white. We thank Richard Meir for this information.
Tonight we are raising a glass of best Burton bitter to thank father and son team, Dan and Rob Bower who have painstakingly reconstructed Burton Albion's kit and crest history for HFK. The team group here is from 1951-52, the club's second season and their first in stripes. Thanks to Rob and Dan, our records are now just about complete so Cheers!
8 March: The MLS 2013 section is now open.
1 March: On the left is a well know picture is of the splendidly monikered Caesar Jenkyns who played for Woolwich Arsenal (1895-96) while on the right is Harry Storer Snr who kept goal for Arsenal around the same time. These images are the source for the striped Arsenal shirt I had catalogued for 1895-96. I have now heard from Mark Andrews, co-author of Woolwich Arsenal FC 1893-1915 who tells me that in the course of his research, he found no mention of the team wearing stripes that season. Indeed, further research by yours truly has turned up team photos showing the players wearing the familiar deep red shirts. Jenkyns played once for Wales in 1892 and the cap he is wearing suggests this may well be his international strip so I am investigating the possibility. Storer played once for a Football League XI and it is possible he is wearing a shirt from that game.
Our good friend from St Petersburg, Pavel Shalaev, has discovered more treasure for us in the form of South Shields FC - The Early Years, which has helped us fill out our sketchy history of the club in its formative years. There are some fine team photographs here, such as this one from 1908-09.
Tottenham Hotspur (1933 FA Cup change amended): Ipswich Town (some revision to dates and warm/cold weather kits 1967-74): Crawley Town (1995 crest confirmed): Sunderland (colour version of 1937 crest added): Darlington (2002-03 crest added): Hereford United (1981-82 amended): Burton Albion (1988-89 shorts detailing added): Bradford City (shirt previously catalogued as 1976-77 alt now correctly identified).
6 February: This photograph from 1919-20, submitted by Pavel Shalaev, shows the broad stripes typical of the period and would be unremarkable if it were not of Liverpool, whom we believe have never worn stripes. After a little research, it turns out that the Reds met South Shields in the FA Cup that season and, under the rules of that competition, both teams would have had to change shirts clashed. If, as seems likely, South Shields change shirts were white then the teams would have played in borrowed shirts.
5 February 2012-13 additions: Bradford City (League Cup Final kit added), Bury (3rd), Accrington Stanley (3rd), Coventry City (FA Cup 3rd Round), Leyton Orient (FA Cup kits), Swindon Town (FA Cup kit), Blackburn Rovers (two one-off sponsored kits added), Queen of the South (A socks amended), Kilmarnock (A shorts updated).
22 January: From our mail bag we know that among HFK's regular devotees are football shirt collectors, Subbuteo enthusiasts, professional kit designers, football historians and colourists. We can now add to the list Marty Strutt, a free-lance Illustrator/Fine Artist with a quirky style of naive realism reminiscent of Lowry. Among Marty's recent commissions is this painting of Accrington Stanley's last match in the Football League in 1962, one of several that he has painted using HFK as a reference source. You can view Marty's work on his website, Marty's Art, and if you decide to commission your own piece, do mention my name.
11 January: Today's gold star goes to Pavel Shalaev who runs www.liverpool-shirt from his home in St Petersburg and has made a number of valuable contributions. Pavel has discovered details of Liverpool's first red and white kit adopted in 1896 and the change strip acquired at the same time (left). Furthermore, Pavel found this photograph (right) of the team wearing black and white stripes before a charity match in 1912. We have known about this for a while but this is the first image that has come to light that shows the unusual design. It turns out this is a combined Liverpool/Everton XI so does not belong in the club archive but it is well worth a place here.
Crawley Town (1985-86 added): Tottenham Hotspur (1933 kit worn at Luton added): Walsall Town Swifts (1888-92 graphic removed - the source photos turned out to be of West Bromwich Albion wrongly captioned): Burnley (2008-09 correct crest applied): Brentford (2004-05 crests added).
Historical material: Raith Rovers (1945-46, 1947-49, 1976-77 added; 1975-76 corrected; 1995-97 collar detailing added): Charlton Athletic (1933-35, 1935-36 added; 1935-36 crest added): Carlisle United (1905-06, 1906-07, 1947-50, 1955-56 added): Ipswich Town (1975-77 Umbro logos and warm weather variant added): Burton Albion (1981-82, 1988-89, 1989-90 added; 1978-80 revised): Gillingham (1983-84 pre-shirt sponsor added): Hartlepool United (2000-02 branding added).
I had thought this photograph was of Shaddongate AFC but new information suggests it is in fact their successor, Carlisle United taken in 1905-06 when they were in the Second Division of the Lancashire Combination.
8 January: Back again! We're very sorry that once again we have been unable to update the site for the last five weeks. This is because our ISP, TalkTalk, has made a hash of upgrading our broadband connection and we have been without any internet access since 5 December. Despite numerous promises and several appointments being made and confirmed, TalkTalk have yet to despatch an engineer to resolve the problem and are on notice that we will cancel our contract and switch to another ISP. In the meantime we have found a temporary solution using the mobile phone network that allows us to resume limited updating. We'll start with the Euros and World Cups.
In the 1930 World Cup, Brazil and Bolivia lined up in their usual white shirts, which is what our graphic was based on. We have learned that Bolivia borrowed a set of tops from the hosts, Uruguay, for the game itself (photo left). The Romania graphics have been revised.
More World Cup updates: