Welsh Premier League
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25 May - 2018 World Cup Update
The last missing strips for Iran, Senegal and Morocco have been added and the Tunisia 1st strip has been updated.
I'll be opening the 2018-19 English and Scottish Club Sections next week. In the meantime West Ham United's new strip has been added.
17 May - The Origin of Striped Shirts
I am grateful to Boy of the Terrace who tweeted this cutting yesterday (click the image to view an enlarged version). Taken from a local newspaper published in 1887, the article describes a novel machine invented by the Rothwell Hosiery Company of Bolton that allowed stripes to be knitted into fabric in any direction. Previously looms could only produce stripes that ran across the cloth which explains why the early "striped" jerseys had horizontal bands. It was possible to produce vertical stripes only by cutting this material "against the grain" and sewing the sections together making them more expensive and less elastic.
The introduction of the new loom led directly to an increase in the popularity of vertically striped shirts which, it was thought, exaggerated the height of the players and this style became identified with Association Football. Horizontal stripes ("hoops") continued to be worn in Rugby Football because they seem to make players appear more bulky.
It would be nice to report that this innovation allowed the directors of the company to make a fortune but the story does not have a happy ending. By 1892 the Rothwell Hosiery Company was in serious financial trouble and in August 1895 two of its directors, William Rothwell and William Entwhistle were found guilty of fraud, having published misleading accounts in an attempt to attract new investment. They were sentenced to 18 and 9 months hard labour respectively.
World Cup 2018
I have added the Denmark strips. Iran and Morocco are witholding details of their new strips to reduce the threat of counterfeiters flooding the market with forgeries. I understand that Iran will unveil their new strip this weekend when they play Uzbekistan.
15 May - Crystal Palace in the Early Sixties
Of all the clubs that have played in the top levels of English football, few have a more colourful and varied kit history than Crystal Palace. One of the most confusing periods in their history was between 1962 and 1964 when they had no fewer than five first choice strips in two seasons.
At the start of 1962-63, Palace wore the same strip as they had the previous season, an iconic design (left) first introduced in 1959 (and long overdue for a revival as a change or third strip). This was replaced part way through the season by white shirts with claret/blue V necks, claret shorts and light blue socks. The shirts were a hold over from earlier in the decade (the version shown here is from around 1957) and had first appeared in 1955. This was the first time that anyone had worn claret shorts as far as I know.
This strip was carried over into 1963-64 before royal blue shorts were adopted at some stage. Later they wore all-white and in the final weeks of the season they switched to their "lucky" amber change shirts.
Quite why the club was allowed to play so fast and loose with the Fooball League's regulations on registered playing strips is a mystery but it seemed to do the trick. They are seen here celebrating promotion to Division Two wearing their lucky outfit.
Other Material Added Today
1 May - 2018-19 Season
Once again it's the time of year that brings the first of the new season's kits peeping shyly though the exhausted topsoil that is the closing weeks of the current season. I'll be opening the 2018-19 Season Galleries once the last promotion/relegation issues have been settled later this month but in the meantime some new arrivals will appear in the club sections. First to show are Celtic, Queen of the South, Luton Town, Tranmere Rovers, Everton, Wrexham , Liverpool.
Our good chums at 3Retro.com are offering 10% off everything in their online store until the end of the World Cup. You can use the Buy From links throughout the site to access individual shirts or click on the banner on this page to visit their store. Enter the code 3RETRO10 at the check out to claim your discount.
West Ham United wore their new Adidas shirts for the first three months of the 1983-84 season without sponsorship. The deal with the club's first ever shirt sponsor, AVCO Trust, was launched in November 1983.
2017-18 Update: I've added Southampton's one-off strip worn last month at St James' Park, slightly amended Tottenham Hotspur's third kit, added the Cyrille Regis memorial shirt worn by West Bromwich Albion in February and added Port Vale's third strip.
17 April - International Update
Thanks to Aled Williams I've been able to add all the variant strips worn by Wales between 1982 and the present.
Graham Brack has confirmed that Scotland wore navy shirts when they met Italy in May 1931 and France in 1932. I have also established that they wore traditional navy tops in Paris against France in May 1930 (left). This means that Scotland did not need a change kit after Ireland changed from blue to green shirts in 1931 until international football was suspended in 1939. (Updated 18 April.)
(Photograph courtesy of soccernostalgia.blogsport.)
1934 World Cup: Thanks to the persistance of André Conceição e Silva an article has turned up on the Portuguese version of the Vavel International Sports Website about the history of the Netherlands' national team. This includes the following descripton of the Dutch colours for the match against Switzerland in this tournament.
Fato curioso é que, apesar de se consagrar como a Laranja Mecânica em 1974, nesse jogo a Holanda vestia um uniforme primordialmente azul (camisas e calções.
It is a curious fact that, although (the team) was consecrated (sic) as The Clockwork Orange in 1974, in this game the Netherlands wore a mainly blue uniform (shirts and shorts).
No contemporary source is given and the photographic evidence indicates a contrast between the colour of the shrts and the knickers so I have assumed deep blue shirts and navy shorts. This matter remans open.
2018 World Cup Update: Panama (1st, 2nd added) and several other kit graphics updated with additional details and fonts.
2018 World Cup Update: Egypt (2nd added), Serbia (1st added), Australia (1st, 2nd added), Croatia (2nd corrected).
27 March - International Update
2018 World Cup additions: Korea Republic (1st, 2nd), Serbia (2nd), Saudi Arabia (1st, 2nd), Switzerland (2nd), Uruguay (2nd), Senegal (1st), Costa Rica (1st), France (1st updated).
This intriguing item was tweeted by @HeartsMuseum recently and at first I thought it might have been an unrecorded Scotland change strip. The jersey belonged to Charlie Thomson of Heart of Midlothian and the crest indicates it is from Scotland's game against Ireland in 1907. However, Scotland wore the pink and yellow colours of Earl Roseberry at this time and there would have been no need for them to change against Ireland, who wore blue. My conclusion is that Thomson removed the crest from his international jersey and had it sewn onto his maroon club top.
I have now established that Scotland needed a change kit just once between 1960 and 1962 (possibly 1965). This was worn against Hungary in June 1960. The uncorroborated white strip I had posted has been removed.
MLS 2018: Chicago Fire (1st), Houston Dynamo (1st), New York City FC (2nd), Toronto FC (2nd), San Jose Earthquakes (2nd) kits are all now confirmed. Our retail partner has taken delivery of new stock and all the latest MLS replica and authentic shirts are now available through the Buy Now links on our MLS page or by visiting the Kitbag Store.
13 March - 2018 World Cup Update
I've added Tunisia and Poland's kits and Japan's change kit to the World Cup 2018 section. The Germany, Spain, Argentina, Mexico second kit graphics have been updated with new details now confirmed.
9 March - World Cup Update
2018: Russia, Peru, Brazil, Sweden, Belgium change kits added.
2010: Argentina wore long sleeves in two matches in the knock out stage.
1994: USA's change kit socks have been corrected.
1986: The font on the front of Canada's shirts is now correct.
1982: The Brazil kit now has the manufacturer's logo correctly placed on the leftsleeve.
1974: Sweden wore long sleeved shirts against Yugoslavia.
8 March - MLS Update
MLS kicks off this weekend and the last few remaining jerseys have been released, although some detailing remains to be confirmed for shorts and socks. Houston Dynamo (2nd), Los Angeles FC (1st, 2nd) and Orlando City (2nd) have been added.
I'm very pleased to announce that we have a new retail partner in 3Retro whose range of replica shirts may be familiar to enthusiasts under the Score Draw brand. Their range is now available for visitors by clicking on the small "Buy Now" buttons throughout the site.
Bristol Rovers (1964-65, 1965-66 stripes adjusted), Carlisle United (1982-84 corrected), Swansea Town (1969-70 added), Aston Villa (in the 1983-84 season the team wore unsponsored shirts until February 1984).
16 February - Current Season Update
9 February - 2018 World Cup Update
The 2018 Major League Soccer section is now open.
I've spent some more time examining Grandad's Football Blog and discovered that West Bromwich Albion wore two different shirts in the 1964-65 and 1965-66 seasons. On the left is their 1963-64 strip with short, striped sleeves. This made several appearances over the following two seasons, after the iconic long sleeved version, with white sleeves (right), was introduced in 1964-65. The most likely explanation is that the short sleeved tops were worn in warm weather. Between 15 September and 10 November 1965, however, the short sleeved shirt made at least five appearances while the long sleeve version was worn three times, which rather undermines this theory.
This fine Walsall strip was worn in 1965-66 and was replaced the following season with a version featuring a crest on the shirt rather than the lettering. These are now presented in the correct order. The Saddlers' 1958-59, 1961-62 and 1962-63 strips have been added.
In 2008 Robin Hardman reported watching his team, Oldham Athletic, wearing blue shirts with white sleeves back in 1958-59. This is the first photographic evidence I have found of this outfit.
Richard Meier has been in touch with some interesting insights into the Leeds United badge fiasco. He writes, "I believe I was actually one of the 10,000 fans who took part in the "consultation" but the problem is they did not tell people upfront, explicitly, that they were "consulting" for a new badge. Everyone with half a brain cell knows they would be bringing out a new badge for our centenary in 2019 ...but the survey was not about the badge. It asked abut what connections people had for the club, what the club colours and shirt meant to them, mentioned the badge in passing, Elland road, our past players and managers, the matchday experience etc etc, all in general terms. Nothing specific about the badge which was sneaky and a mistake.
The results were probably then passed to Siobhan at Perfect Curve* where her staff of airhead Ideation Architects and Viral Concept Designers came up the farcical Gaviscon rebrand.
Richard and many other fans are calling on the club to drop their plans and come up with a shortlist of possible designs for genuine supporters to vote on.
*If you're not familiar with the BBC2 comedy W1A please ignore this sentence.
(Photograph courtesy of the BBC.)
Grandad's Football Blog
I'm spending some time exploring Grandad's Football Blog where Tony Hutton documents scores of matches from 1946 to 1980. Thanks to his records I have been able to add detailing and additional dates to some English club sections. My thanks to Tony Sealey for alerting me to this site.
Aston Villa (1955-56 jersey amended), Newcastle United (1955-56 change shirts were plain white), Walsall (1949-57 socks corrected), Burnley (1951-55 collars corrected), Luton Town (1947-53, 1953-55 socks amended).
On the left is the Burnley team from 1952-53.
In the history of ill-conceived make-overs, Leeds United's proposed centenary badge is right up there with Consignia and New Coke. The club claims 10,000 people were consulted about the design although it might appear none of them was a Leeds supporter. The design is supposed to represent "The Leeds Salute" but not a few have pointed out a resemblance to a leading antacid product.
The response on social media has been almost entirely hostile although one brave soul tweeted, "I quite like it."
At the time of writing 71,000 people had signed on online petition to stop the club from implementing the design leading officials to announce that there would be a rethink.
I am grateful to Steve Martyniuk for sharing some of the detailed research that went into his latest book on the history of Crystal Palace. Following on from the club's formation in 1905 the club minute book records a resolution that the team's colours would be Cardinal Red and Blue. Steve has established that these were the terms used in all official documents until 1937 and argues convincingly that the team's jerseys were a brighter shade than the claret and blue of Aston Villa, Burnley and others.
The first time that true claret and blue shirts appeared was in the 1949-50 season when they replaced the plain white shirts that had been adopted before the war.
To order copies of Steve's book visit, The Origin of Crystal Palace FC Volume 2.
(Photographs courtesy of Crystal Palace FC.)
23 January - Scottish Miscellany
Stewart Murray has discovered that during 1972-73, Celtic changed just four times and on each occasion, they wore a different strip. On the left they are seen in all-yellow against Hibernian while on the right they are playing Dumbarton wearing a green and white strip.
Neil Wilson has confirmed that Kilmarnock switched from hoops to stripes in the 1962-63 season. The red socks previously shown on the site with the striped tops were an alternative worn against teams in white stockings.
Our old friend Alick Milne has provided details of the missing Edinburgh City kits (1986-88, 1988-90, 2000-01). Shown here is the 1987-88 team.
Rangers (August 2001 added).
The socks worn by England against West Germany in October 1982 are now correct.
Tony Sealey has shared some more of his recent research into Tottenham Hotspur strips (1889-90, 1945-46, 1947-48 warm weather kit, 1960-61 floodlights kit added). Several change strips have also been updated or added (1904-05, 1908, 1909-11, 1911-12, 1931 FA Cup).
Aston Villa (1987-88 change kit added).
Here's a footnote to yesterday's item about Arsenal sent in by Stephen Kelly. It turns out that the Gunners did modify their "home" kit when they visited Fenerbahce in the 2013-14 Champions' League.
I've updated the Tottenham Hotspur change kit section with help from Tony Sealey. Between 1927 and 1947 the team normally wore broad navy and white hoops with their usual shorts and socks when colours clashed but they also turned out in several alternatives against teams in white tops.
Alasdair Gibbs-Barton has suggested that the painting of a Bolton Wanderers player featured yesterday might be based on the wonderful striped shirts worn in 1885-86 seen here.
On New Year's day 1938 Liverpool wore red and white hooped tops at Anfield against Chelsea. It seems they were trying out a new set of tops that had been bought ahead of an FA Cup tie with Crystal Palace to resolve a colour clash. In the FA Cup at that time both teams had to change when colours clashed but when their change shirts also clashed, at least one side had to buy or borrow another set of tops. (Photograph courtesy of The Unofficial Liverpool Club Museum.)
16 January - 2017-18 Update
Arsenal's decision to wear red shorts and socks for their match at West Bromwich Abion on New Year's Eve caused a lot of comment. Normally I don't record such variants but I've made an exception here as this is the first time in nearly 40 years that the team have altered their classic "home" strip. Odd really - there was no suggestion of a clash in their previous meeting but apparently the Gunners were worried that "in the heat of the moment" their players might not be able to tell the legs of their team mates from those of their opponents.
Tony Sealey spotted this on ITV recently. Dating from around 1880, it is thought to be one of the earliest examples of a collectible football card. It portrays a Bolton Wanderers player but I have no record of the team wearing anything like this and rather suspect the artist was resorting to his imagination. On the other hand, if anyone has a reliable contemporary source that can corroborate the image, I would love to hear from you.