Welsh Premier League
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22 February - International Updates
Wales 1884. In an interview (date unknown) Joe Wiliams (Oswestry Town) recalled being given a white shirt with a crest featuring a Welsh dragon surrounded by the words FA of Wales Cymru am Byth before the match against England. England are thought to have worn their usual white shirts so it is a mystery how anyone told the teams apart. This had occurred earlier in the decade and Wales resorted to draping a red scarf over their tops but in 1883 they had adopted cardinal and red halves to, presumably, avoid clashes. Quite why they went back to white shirts is perplexing.
Other Historical Material
Tucked away in this photograph of Middlesbrough from 1884-85 submitted by Jonathon Auty are two nuggets of purest gold. While most of the team are wearing plain white shirts, two players have natty collars and cuffs with polka dots. This is the first photographic evidence we have for this unique outfit. We can also see that there is a crest which, according to a newspaper report from 1886 is the town coat of arms.
After the First World War Bury spent three seasons in red and white hoops before returning to more familiar plain white tops and navy knickers. This is the first phorographic evidence I've seen of this rare outfit and was submitted by Simon Monks. Remarkably, although it was taken at the start of the 1920-21 season the committee have not seen fit to provide the players with new kit so they are here lining up in navy knicks that are completely washed out. Poor lambs.
Jonathon has also provided photographic evidence that confirms Middlesbrough Ironopolis wore dark knickers with their maroon and green tops.
Long-time contributer George Chilvers (@Garswoodlatic) has come across a couple of cuttings in the Liverpool Echo from April 1950 concerning the Kit Liverpool wore in the FA Cup final against Arsenal. As we know the competition rules of the time required both teams to change when colours clashed. Liverpool planned to wear their regular white and black change strip which included their normal red and white hooped socks but the FA insisted that these had to be changed too. Liverpool had planned to wear their cup final strip at Portsmouth a week before the final so when they arrived in the morning, an official was despatched to a sports outfitters to buy a set of blue and white socks. Imagine the uproar today if the team turned out in anything blue! As usual, George has weaved his magic to colourise a contemporary photograph so we can see what the kit looked like in action.
On the right is a photograph of Southport taken between the wars and contributed by Stephen Paramore. Stephen's grandfather, Jack Brunt is second from the right in the front row. Although the image is not dated, Brunt only played twice for the 'Port in October and December 1928 so we can identify the season.
Connah's Quay Nomads have been wearing sponsored shirts since the beginning of November.
In December I received a large file from Robin Horton which he had compiled from Charles Alcock's Football Annuals from 1873 to 1881 containing the colours of almost 400 clubs. I've combined this information with material from Mike Bradbury's books, Lost Teams of the Midlands and Lost Teams of the North, photographs on the Welsh Football Data Archive and Brian McColls enormous Scottish Football Historical Archive to create a new, greatly expanded Eminent Victorians section.
The Football Annuals provided details of early colours for a number of clubs that later joined the Football League and these have been added to the club sections. Accrington (1878-80), Ardwick (1887), Bolton Wanderers (1879-1882), Bootle (1888), Burton Swifts (1880), Chester Rovers (1881), Chesterfield (1881), Doncaster Rovers (1881), Middlesbrough (1879), Newcastle East End (1887), Stoke (1873), Wrexham (1879).
16 January - 2018-19 Updates
Our old chum, David King, has submitted a lot of material that allows me to add some detailing to the EPL/EFL kits for the current season. Walsall (1st, 2nd panels), AFC Wimbledon (3rd socks), Everton (1st socks), Colchester United (3rd shorts), Crewe Alexandra (2nd cuffs), Charlton Athletic (1st side panels), Fleetwood Town (2nd cuffs/shorts), Port Vale (1st, 2nd socks), Stevenage (2nd shorts), Northampton Town (2nd strip is always worn with yellow shorts/socks rather than red), Yeovil Town (2nd cuffs), Carlisle United (1st socks), Notts County (1st, 2nd socks), Luton Town (charity strip), Liverpool (1st, 2nd, 3rd side trim), Cardiff City (3rd corrected), Huddersfield Town (3rd socks), Aston Villa (1st, 2nd, 3rd shorts), Hull City (3rd shorts),
When Newcastle travelled to West Bromwich Albion in January 1938 for an FA Cup Third Round tie, both sides had to change in accordance with the rules of the time. As the Geordie's change kit was identical to that of the home team, they borrowed a set of blue shirts and white knickers for the occasion.
Queen's Park Rangers (1937-38, March 1949 added), Notts County (March 1934. 1952-53, 1954-55, 1956-57 amended), Nelson (1924-27 added), West Bromwich Albion (1884-85 & 1886 FA Cup final kits corrected).
We have become used to teams turning out in all sorts of variants to their registered kit to avoid clashes of shorts and, in particular socks, to make life easier for match officials. This season the trend has gone to far with teams turning out in change and third kits even when there is no clash, as Portsmouth did when visting Norwich City. This is a cynical attempt to promote sales of replica shirts which everyone at HFK Towers thinks is deplorable.
Visiting teams first began to change shorts and/or socks when these in the 1970s. Prior to that the only concern was that the shirts had to be different, which makes this picture of Southampton playing Liverpool in August 1960 rather unusual as the visitors are wearing their "home" shorts with their white alternative shirts and socks.
On the left is a previously unrecorded Aston Villa change kit from 1956-57 posted on Twitter by @MemorabiliaMal.
6 January - Happy New Year!
The HFK Elves have been busy over the festive period and I think we have now pinned down the date that Chelsea switched from maroon to red change shirts to 1933-34.