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Latest News & Updates

1 September - Hull City 1904-05

hull city 1904-05 white shirtsOnce again I'm pleased to present some more clever detective work, this time by Nicholas Turner. It has long been believed that Hull City started out wearing white shirts, an assertion based on two contemporary team photographs. Nicholas has proved that one of these is from a benefit game that did not involve the Tigers at all and established that the second image, shown on the left was taken before a match with Bradford City. A press report hull city 1904-05 team groupconfirms that "City turned out in white shirts the Bradford shirts being very similar in (sic) those of the home team."

In fact, the Hull Daily Mail, announcing the formation of the team (24 August 1904) reported, "The Hull City team, we are informed, have decided to play in amber and black vertically striped shirts." A team photograph (right) taken before their first ever gameagainst Notts County is not terribly hull city v notts county 1904helpful but a wonderful clip from the British Film Institute shows clearly that the Citizens (as they were then known) did indeed wear stripes. We should not be surprised that the team photograph fails to reveal this detail given what we now know about some of the film stock in use at the time (see item on Wolves 26 August below).

You can read the full article on the Hull City Kits website.

More Historical Updates

A rare team 1896-97 photograph of Liverpool published on the Unofficial Liverpool FC Museum's Facebook page shows the team wearing black knickers but press reports on their first match of that season state they wore white "pants." The kit looks pristine in the photograph so presumably it was taken pre-season and the knickers subsequently changed from black to white.

Newcastle United (1930-31 socks confirmed): Northampton Town (1991-92 crest modified, 1997-98 centenary crest added): Sheffield Wednesday (1977-84 detailing updated).

28 August - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Manchester United (3rd).

Championship: Blackburn Rovers (2nd shirt sponsorship updated), Brighton & Hove Albion (1st 2nd 3rd detailing corrected).

League Two: Exeter City (2nd socks updated), Yeovil Town (1st socks updated).

SPFL Championship: St Mirren (2nd). This completes the SPFL section.

27 August - Luton Town Early Years

luton town 1892Anyone with an interest in Luton Town will enjoy Brian Webb's The Straw Plaiters website. Brian has done extensive research into the club minute books and local press reports covering the period from their formation in 1885 through to 1894 and the results make absorbing reading. In particular Brian has uncovered very detailed evidence of Luton's earliest colours. His latest post is an interesting discussion of the possible meaning behind the unusual eight-pointed star worn on the team's shirts between 1892 and 1896 (left).

With information provided by Matthew Reynolds I have also updated Luton's recent crest history.

26 August - Wolves in White

wolves v birmingham november 1905Some time ago Stuart Davies sent me this rare action photograph of Wolves playing Birmingham on November 18 1905. Wolves are in the white shirts and although it was the rule that the home team changed when colours clashed at the time, there seems no reason for a change here as the visitors are in their normal mid-blue shirts and white knickers. A fellow club historian thought that the team did play in white around this time but could not confirm this.

wolves 1908-09 team groupI had a look at Geoff Allman's volume in the Images of Sport series where there are several team photographs taken between 1896 and 1911 all with the team in white. However, the Football League handbooks of this period consistently record Wolves' colours as old gold and black and there is plenty of phorographic evidence to support this. Furthermore the caption on this 1908-09 photograph states the team's colours are old gold and black (click thumbnail right to see the whole image).

We know that Wolves' shade of old gold was dark, almost brown, and furthermore that much of the film stock used at the time was insensitive to yellow light. I suspect that the photographers had the players wear white because their normal kit would not show up against the dark background. This still leaves the question of why the team wore white against their Black Country rivals in 1905. All I can think of is that as the light barnet 1931-32 team groupfaded on a late November afternoon, Wolves' normal kit disappeared into the murk so they may on occasion have worn white so the players could still be seen towards the end of the match.

Historical Updates

Barnet (1931-36 added - photo left): Barnsley (1997-98 crest positioned correctly): Doncaster Rovers (2014-15 sleeves corrected): Brechin City (1995-96 detailing updated): Montrose (1973-74, 1984-85 detailing corrected; 1997-98 shirt trim corrected; crest history added): Dundee (now established that the team wore black and not dark blue knickers 1896-1901): Yeovil Town (1973-74 added): Sunderland (1988-81, 1994-96 sponsorship modified; 1977 crest corrected): Plymouth Argyle (now confirmed that Argyle dropped their green/black striped shirts for green/white ones in November 1974).

25 August - Romania in the 1930s Follow Up

ss conte verde 1930Our old friend Franc Forjan has been in touch to point out that the Yugoslavian team travelled to Uruguay on the MS Florida from Marseille to Montevideo so the players seated in the photographs must be from somewhere else. I have amended the 22 August entry accordingly.

The SS Conte Verde did stop at Rio de Janeiro to pick up the Brazilian squad but the mystery players are certainly not wearing Brazilian shirts nor do I think the tops belong to any of the clubs that provided players. Any ideas?

Evandro Bettancourt has been in touch in support of our new interpretation of Romania's colours. You may want to visit his blog where he has his own graphic record of the World Cup.

2015-16 Update

Premier League: West Ham United (3rd), Chelsea (3rd).

League One: Fleetwood Town (2nd*), Port Vale (2nd*).

League Two: York City (2nd shirt trim corrected).

SPFL Championship: Raith Rovers (3rd).

22 August - Romania in the 1930s Revisited

romania 1930 world cupLet's start with new evidence on a long-standing puzzle, namely what colours did the Romanian team wear in the 1930s? I had settled on blue shirts and romania v peru 1930 fifa world cupyellow shorts suggested by this photograph (left) before the match with Uruguay in the 1930 World Cup. Greger Lindberg has challenged this, correctly stating that there is no evidence that yellow shorts were available at this time and suggesting that the variations apparent in different matches (right) are due to the peculiarities of the film stock used at the time (something Greger was instrumental in ss conte verde 1930 world cup teamsdiscovering).

Recently Esteban Catalán submitted three photographs taken on board the SS Conte Verde (left) that allows us to compare and contrast the kit worn by the four European sides on the long voyage to Montevideo. From this we can see that Romania's shirts are the same tone as those of Belgium and we know these were red (click the image to see the full group). By way of contrast, the French team's mid blue shirts appear pale, conclusive evidence that Romania wore red tops and not blue. We can explain the variations in the colour of their shorts if we consider that much of the film stock in use at the time was insensitive to blue light (which is why the French shirts seem so light.)

romania v cuba 1938 world cupSeated at the front are ten players evidently romania v cuba 1938 world cup cine clipwearing dark (ie red) tops. Their identity is a mystery.

If we assume that Romania wore red shirts throughout the 1930s, we can explain why Czechoslovakia changed into white shirts when they met in the 1934 competition.

When Romania played Cuba in 1938, photographs (left) suggest they wore pale shorts but cine film from the same match (right) show conclusively that they were in fact mid-blue.

 

Other Historical Material

ireland team 1893This photograph, submitted by Roy Cathcart, is of the Irish international team that played Wales in April 1893, wearing the pale shade of St Patrick's blue that was their signature colour until the First World War. Note that the players are wearing a mixture of white, navy and black knickers as well as varied socks. Like the (English) FA, the Irish FA supplied the team's shirts but players had to bring their own knickers scotland roseberry shirt circa 1900and socks.

This shirt (right) was sold at auction in 2002 and was worn by Nick Smith (Rangers) for Scotland against Ireland in 1899, 1900 or 1901. Although badly faded, the colours of Lord Roseberry are evident, arranged as vertical stripes rather than the familiar hoops. I have provisionally dated this as being from 1899 in which case it would have been a change shirt. Thanks to William Mackie for this item.

Northern Ireland borrowed a set of socks from Hungary when the teams met in Budapest in October 1988.

AFC Bournemouth (2001-02 added; 1987-88, 1998-99 detailing amended): Coventry City (1883 [left], 1914-15, 1927-28, 1936-37 added; 1907-09, 1996-97 socks corrected):

19 August 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Manchester United (Champions League kit).

NIFL Premiership: Ballymena United (2nd), Carrick Rangers (1st 2nd), Cliftonville (2nd*), Coleraine (1st* 2nd*), Dungannon Swifts (1st 2nd), Glenavon (2nd), Glentoran (2nd), Linfield (sponsor added), Warrenpoint Town (1st* 2nd*). This complete the NIFL section.

17 August

Welsh Premier League: Aberystwyth Town (1st* 2nd), Bala Town (1st), Bangor City (1st 2nd), Carmarthen Town (1st 2nd), Gap Connah's Quay Nomads (1st 2nd), Haverfordwest County (1st 2nd), MBi Llandudno (1st 2nd), Newtown (1st 2nd), Port Talbot Town (2nd), Rhyl (1st 2nd). This completes the WPL section.

15 August - 2015-16 Update

rangers unofficial shirt 2015Rangers Supporters' Trust has set up a partnership to produce a range of unofficial shirts for fans who wish to support their club while protesting against the current arrangement that sees Sports Direct take the bulk of the profits from merchandising. Profits are used to increase supporters' shareholding in the club. Read more and order your shirt...

SPFL Premier League: Celtic (3rd shorts & socks confirmed, kit worn in Iceland added), St Johnstone (1st detailing added).

SPFL Championship: Alloa Athletic (2nd), Greenock Morton (1st shorts updated).

SPFL League One: Brechin City (2nd), Cowdenbeath (1st), Forfar Athletic (1st*). Airdrieonians are wearing last season's Puma strips pending delivery of their new sets.

SPFL League Two: Elgin City (1st 2nd), East Fife 1st socks amended, 2nd added), Annan Athletic (1st* 2nd*), Stirling Albion (1st 2nd), Queen's Park (1st* 2nd*), East Stirlingshire (2nd*), Arbroath (1st 2nd*), Berwick Rangers (1st).

*Unchanged

Only three clubs have yet to reveal their change strips and these will be added to the 2015-16 season galleries as soon as they are available. We can also expect a rash of third and charity strips and I will, as usual, add these as they appear. I have to thank the very many contributors who have submitted details of new kits over the summer: your contributions are vital to HFK. Thank you.

I shall update the Welsh and Irish Premier League sections next before turning to the mass of fascinating historical material currently sitting in HFK Towers' email annex.

14 August - 2015-16 Update

League One: Doncaster Rovers (2nd).

League Two: Hartlepool United (2nd kit sponsorship confirmed).

Former members: Cheltenham Town, Kidderminster Harriers, Stockport County.

13 August - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur (3rd), Leicester City (3rd), Arsenal (3rd), Manchester United (2nd).

Championship: Reading (2nd), Fulham (sponsorship confirmed).

League One: Shrewsbury Town (3rd).

League Two: Accrington Stanley (sponsorship changed), Portsmouth (3rd), Exeter City (1st & 3rd socks updated), Newport County (1st).

9 August - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Everton (3rd).

Championship: Hull City (2nd).

League One: Blackpool (2nd and sponsorship added). Peterborough United (2nd).

League Two: Oxford United (2nd), Luton Town (1st 2nd 3rd).

3 August - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Newcastle United (2nd).

Championship: Fulham (1st 2nd 3rd*), Bristol City (2nd).

League One: Sheffield United (2nd).

League Two: Leyton Orient (1st 2nd 3rd).

*Unchanged.

2 August - 2015-16 Update

alternative blackpool fc shirt 2015-16The Toon Army are not alone in donning unofficial replica shirts as a protest against their club's ownership. Seasiders' fans also have an alternative, supported by the Blackpool Supporters Trust as part of their campaign to buy the club from the Oyston family. The current chairman, Karl Oyston, is at the centre of fans' deep disatisfaction and was recently handed a £40,000 fine and ordered to complete an FA educational programme or be banned from all footballing activity after an exyended exchange of offensive and abusive text messages with a supporter. Read more & order...

Premier League: Manchester United (1st).

Championship: Huddersfield Town (1st).

League Two: Yeovil Town (2nd), Notts County (1st 2nd 3rd), Annan Athletic (1st*).

*Unchanged.

29 July - 2015-16 Update

newcastle united alternative fans shirt 2015Now here's an interesting development. A group of Newcastle supporters yesterday launched "The Magpie Shirt," an alternative to the official club merchandise. According to their website, The Magpie brand allows fans to represent their club with pride. Without unethical loan shark sponsorship ....all products are sold at cost price, hitting Sports Direct and Mike Ashley in the pocket to signal that we demand a club that tries. Initial stock sold out within two hours but more shirts are on order. Read more & order...

Premier League: Watford (2nd).

Championship: Ipswich Town (3rd), Derby County (2nd), Queen's Park Rangers (special), Bolton Wanderers (2nd), Leeds United (2nd).

League Two: Cambridge United (2nd).

28 July - 2015-16 Update

SPFL Premier League: Partick Thistle (2nd), Kilmarnock (2nd), Hamilton Academical (1st 2nd).

SPFL Championship: Dumbarton (1st sponsorship confirmed, 2nd).

SPFL League Two: East Fife (1st), Berwick Rangers (2nd).

NIFL Premiership: Ballinamallard United (1st* 2nd).

26 July - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: AFC Bournemouth (3rd), Manchester City (2nd).

Championship: Blackburn Rovers (2nd), Brentford (1st shorts detailing added).

League One: Doncaster Rovers (1st), Rochdale (detailing on shorts/socks updated), Walsall (2nd).

League Two: Mansfield Town (2nd), Northampton Town (1st 2nd 3rd*), Bristol Rovers (1st 2nd), Oxford United (1st).

24 July - 2015-2016 Update

Premier League: Chelsea (2nd), Norwich City (3rd).

Championship: Birmingham City (2nd), Burnley (2nd).

League One: Southend United (1st 2nd), Burton Albion (2nd*).

League Two: Barnet (1st 2nd).

18 July

wrder bremen 1989-90 shirt Several teams have adopted the Puma Swerve shirt as an alternative strip for the coming season prompting Glyn Jefferson to wonder where he had seen it before. After a fortuna dusseldorf 1976little digging he found this top worn by Werder Bremen as far back as 1989-90. It appears that far from being a new design, Swerve dates back 25 years. Incidentally, the very popular Puma Pitch design is similar to the very first kits that Puma supplied to European clubs in the mid 1970s with the characteristic formstripe feature, worn here by Fortuna Düsseldorf in 1976.

(Photograph courtesy of Classic Football Shirts.)

2015-16 Update

Premier League: Sunderland (2nd).

League Two: Exeter City (3rd).

SPFL Premier League: St Johnstone (2nd).

NIFL Premiership: Ballymena United (2nd*)

17 July - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Leicester City (2nd), Tottenham Hotspur (2nd), Chelsea (1st).

Championship: Preston North End (2nd), Cardiff City (2nd), Nottingham Forest (2nd).

League One: Colchester United (1st 2nd).

League Two: AFC Wimbledon (3rd), Yeovil Town (1st).

SPFL Premier League: Inverness Caledonian Thistle (1st 2nd)

SPFL Championship: Queen of the South (sponsorship confirmed), Rangers (3rd).

15 July - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Norwich City (2nd), Arsenal (2nd socks updated), AFC Bournemouth (2nd), West Ham United (2nd).

Historical Material

preston north end 1937-38 team in change kitFeatured in this photograph sent in by Dean Beresford is the great Bill Shankly in an unfamiliar strip. This is in fact from his time with Preston North End who wore navy and white hooped jerseys when a change was needed. This is the side that reached the FA Cup final in 1937. Note the very modern looking crew necks which were very unusual in this period. Click on the image to view the entire team - Dean's grandfather, Joe Beresford, is seated on the right.

Sunderland (1994-96, 1996-97 logos and sponsorship tweaked): Liverpool (1956-58 cold weather kit added): Huddersfield Town (Roger Pashby has confirmed warm and cold weather kits for 1970-71): Yeovil Town (1972-73 added): Rangers (2000-01 change kit detailing improved): Sunderland (2012-13 Foundation of Light kit added): Manchester City (1971-72 correct badge applied).

14 July - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: AFC Bournemouth (1st), Everton (2nd).

Championship: Hull City (1st), Birmingham City (1st).

League One: Blackpool (1st).

League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge (2nd*).

Former members: Boston United, Lincoln City, Macclesfield Town.

SPFL Premier League: Dundee (2nd).

SPFL Championship: Alloa Athletic (sponsorship added), Hibernian (2nd).

SPFL League Two: East Stirlingshire (1st*).

NIFL Premiership: Portadown (1st 2nd).

Welsh Premier League: Bala Town (2nd Europa League 1st & 2nd), Airbus UK Broughton (1st* 2nd), Newtown (Europa League 1st), The New Saints (1st 2nd), Port Talbot Town (1st).

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