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15 January - Huddersfield Town (Again)

hudersfield town april 1912In the course of my update of the Huddersfield Town section earlier this week, I dropped the April 1912 graphic because I was unable to find the source. After consulting with Roger Pashby, I found the email (which dates from ten years ago!) in which he sent me the photographs shown here. The tops are clearly the team's change strip and the fact that they are worn in home matches is not in itself significant. At the time the "senior" club retained their first choice strip when colours clashed and it was not until 1921 that the Football League introduced the rule requiring visiting teams to change.

What is significant is that the image on the right is from the match against Hull City on 9 April 1912. There is no reason for Huddersfield to change out of their normal white shirts for this game but it came over the Easter period at the end of a sequence of four matches in five days. In fact the teams had met the previous day at Boothferry Park and it seems likely that there was no time to get their white shirts washed and dry in time after they returned to Huddersfield.

(Credit: Leeds Road: Home of my Dream (Ian Thomas 1994) retrieved from The Huddersfield Town Collection).

coventry city january 1962Jim Brown has sent me evidence that Coventry City adopted the white strips with contrasting blue sleeves in November 1961. The photograph shows them wearing this unusual outfit at Notts County in January 1962. It is well documented that they also had an all-white strip with V necks and short sleeves in 1961-62 which I believe was worn in the warmer months.

Rotherham United (1949-51, 1951-52 detailing updated).

13 January - Boston United

boston united 1959-60I'm grateful to Christian James who has sent me a collection of photographs to improve the Boston United section. (1957-58 socks corrected, 1965-66, 1970-71 added, 1973-77 socks corrected, 1980-81 added, 1981-82 collar corrected, 1978-80 sponsorship added, 1983-84 & 1985-86 added, 1986-87 & 1987-88 sponsor corrected, 1990-91 detailing added, 2000-01 shorts corrected.) Pictured is the 1959-60 team.

12 January - Huddersfield Town Major Update

huddersfield town afc 1913-14An enduring puzzle that goes back to the very beginning of HFK has been how to interpret early photographs of Huddersfield Town, such as this example from 1913-14. The stripes appear to be quite pale and initially I thought they must have been light blue although the few contemporary records I was able to find consistently described their huddersfield town fixture card 1909-10colours as "blue and white." Once the role of the orthographic film stock, widely used at the time was understood (it makes blues look pale and reds/yellows dark), I revised my graphics to show conventional mid-blue.

Recently Roger Pashby, who runs the outstanding Huddersfield Town Collection website, sent me a photograph of this 1909-10 fixture card, the season that the club dropped their original red jerseys and it clearly states that the new colours would be "light blue and white."

Armed with this information I have re-examined the photographic record and concluded that the club wore a shade that was intermediate between pale "Cambridge Blue" and conventional mid or royal blue. I believe they switched to mid blue and white shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, although I can't be certain about this.

As a result I have completely overhauled the Huddersfield Town section that includes alterations and additional detailing to graphics up to 1962.

(Credits: Huddersfield Town Collection)

11 January - Scottish Clubs Update

st mirren v airdrieonians 1955-56Aberdeen (1954-55 added), East Fife (1953-55 detailing corrected, 1955-56added), Heart of Midlothian (1954-55 alternative kit added), Dundee (1954-55 added, 1955-56 detailing added), Airdrieonians (1954-55 early season kit added), Raith Rovers (1954-55 corrected), Clyde (1954-55 corrected - the kit with a crest was worn only in the Scottish Cup final, 1955-56 warm weather kit added), St Johnstone (1954-55 shorts detailing adjusted), Dunfermline Athletic (1954-55 corrected, 1955-57 kits now designated for warm or cold weather), Rangers (1937-50 change kit corrected), St Mirren (detailing adjusted).

dundee v ranger 30 december 1950Pictured are the matches between St Mirren and Aidrieonians in 1955-56 (top left) and Dundee v Rangers (lower right) at Dens Park on 30 December 1950. In Scotland it was the home team that changed when colours clashed which is why Dundee are wearing white shirts so it is not clear why the visitors have also changed into their unusual alternative tops.

6 January

Euro 1984: Yugoslavia (trim adjusted on all strips).

FIFA World Cup 1998: Yugoslavia (1998 red trim added).

Lincoln City (1989-90 detailing added). Tony Sealey has unravelled the confusing sequence of kits worn by Wimbledon between 1972 and 1975.

5 January

bradford city 1938-39My thanks to Michael Gluck for this photograph, which shows that Bradford City adopted these smart broad striped shirts in 1938-39, earlier than I had previously thought.

The Lancashire Evening Post (16 May 1906) reported that the directors of Grimsby Town had decided to grimsby town 1907-08change the team's colours to "white jerseys, with a bright red collar and waistband, black knickers, and black stockings, with red tops." This colourised photograph, taken the following season (1907-08) provides a good view of this curious collar but there is no sign of a waistband. We think this was a misprint for "wristband."

(Credit: British Newspaper Archive retrieved by Dave Wherry)

Arsenal (1919-20 socks revised), Bootle (1892-93 added), Burton Wanderers (1896-97 added), Lincoln City (1896-97 confirmed as dark red and white).

4 January 2021

arsenal march 1933In July 2013, drawing on the research of Mark Andrews and Andy Kelly I published the story of how Herbert Chapman first created the iconic Arsenal shirt in 1933 by ordering a set of sleeveless Viyela jumpers to be worn over the top of their white change shirts. You can read the full story on the History of Arsenal Blog.

Last month Tony Sealey alerted me to the fact that in the new edition of The Arsenal Shirt (Simon Shakeshaft & James Elkin 2020) a slightly different narrative emerges. According to reports in the Nottingham Evening Post and the Daily Mirror (4 March arsenal v liverpool 19331933) Arsenal were expected to wear the jumper and shirt combination against Liverpool at Highbury that afternoon. The cutting on the right (Nottingham Journal 6 March 1933) confirms the team wore their new colours that afternoon but the photograph (above left) from the Sunday Pictorial (5 March 1933) clearly shows Alex James and David Jack wearing conventional flannel shirts.

According to The Arsenal Story (Tom Whittaker 1957), the jumper and shirt combination proved troublesome in the wash and was rejected in favour of a more conventional solution. The club had been given permission to nottingham evening post 4 march 1933change their colours on 21 February and I assume the experimental tops were tried out in training and found wanting so conventional red and white flannel shirts were ordered to replace them. I've been able to confirm that in the two matches played after permission for the change was granted, the Gunners wore their plain red tops so we can certain that the new colours were indeed introduced on 4 March.

What remains puzzling, however, is that the Nottingham Evening Post (4 March 1933) reported that Chapman contacted Hollins & Co to place a rush order for the Viyella jumpers the day before the Liverpool game.

(Credits: The British Newspaper Archives)

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