Historical Football Kits

 

The Definitive English and Scottish Football Kit Archive

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22 October

Within hours of seeing yesterday's piece about Swansea Town, HFK Elf Tony Sealey got in touch to confirm that the Swans wore white shorts at Vetch Field when they played Spurs in March 1931 and again in March 1932. We can now confirm that the black shorts worn in the team photograph posted yesterday were therefore not part of their regular playing strip. I am still looking for corroboration for the period 1932-1936.

west ham v aston villa january 1931Lee Gauntlett has sent me a cutting that describes Aston Villa wearing jerseys that were "white with blue hoops" against West Ham United on 6 February 1932. The photograph of the corresponding match in January 1931 (a 5-5 thriller) shows Villa in similar tops but with a claret band.

(Photograph West Ham United FC)

arsenal v astone villa april 1933Taken in April 1933 when Villa visited the Arsenal, this image shows the same jerseys that were worn in 1930-31. Because the quality of both images is poor, it is very hard to make out the light blue bands but after enhancing both pictures with my graphics software I was just able to make them out. It's my opinion that these jerseys were worn throughout 1930-33 and that the journalist quoted above just missed out (or his sub-editor removed) a reference to the claret band.

While we're on the subject of Aston Vila, Richard Henman recalls watching them in a League Cup match at Exeter City in August 1977 wearing a mash up of blue shirts with yellow trim, light blue shorts and socks. Apparently Villa had brought their white and blue away strip not realising that the Grecians had changed to all motherwell 1978-79 striped collarwhite that season. Should have checked their Rothman's. You can watch footage of the match here on the BFI website.

In 1978 Motherwell organised a competition for younger supporters to design their strip for the 1978-motherwell 1978-79 plain collar79 season. The winning design, produced by Admiral, featured a large flappy collar with claret and white stripes. In September these were replaced by shirts with plain collars but with the team heading towards relegation, the new design was dropped and the shirts from the previous season were reintroduced in February. This did not improve their fortunes and 'Well went down at the end of the season.

(Photographs and background provided by Willie Kay.)

21 October - Historical Miscellany

swansea town afc 1931-32Some time ago Gordon Hulmes sent me this photograph of Swansea Town taken in 1931-32 when his grandfather played for the team. The players are wearing black shorts but as it was not taken on a match day we cannot be certain that this was their regular strip. This led me to revisit to the excellent swans100 website where I found a lot of new material that fills in a many gaps in the record. While I now have strong evidence that the Swans wore black shorts in the early 1950s, there is a gap between 1929 and 1937 so I have not been able to corroborate this entry. I would really appreciate help from the HFK Elves on this one!

Nick from the splendid upthemaggies website has been in touch to confirm that Notts County were still refered to as "the chocolate and light blues" in the local press during 1889-90. The royal blue shorts worn at Preston North End (reported in the Athletic News 3 March 1890) are therefore an anomoly. There was no reason for County to change their colours (Preston wore white by this time) so I can only speculate that the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway mislaid their kit hamper en route forcing the team to borrow a set of kit on arrival.

Thanks to Graham Burton, I've added a passage in the Barnsley section explaining the origin of the name of their ground, Oakwell. Workington 1974-75 crest corrected. Berwick Rangers (1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-94 dates and detailing amended). Stockport County (1964-65 crest added).

20 October - International Update

harry kane september 2020I've added England's new strips to the archive. Here we have Harry Kane expressing a degree of disappointment as his team lost 1-0 to Denmark and had two players sent off last month. I have just one thing to say to the people at Nike and the FA who decided to introduce a blue change strip - Belo Horizonte 29 June 1950.

Northern Ireland wore an all-white strip against Austria earlier this month.

Week Ending 17 October - 2020-21 Update

EFL Former Members: Aldershot Town (shorts/socks confirmed), Barnet*, Yeovil Town, Boston United, Hartlepool United, Kidderminster Harriers, Torquay United, York City.

SPFL Update: Alloa Athletic, Annan Athletic, Arbroath, Brechin City, Edinburgh City*, Forfar Athletic, Greenock Morton, Peterhead*, Stenhousemuir*.

Former SPFL Members: Berwick Rangers (sponsorship added).

*Unchanged.

And that, aside from one or two sponsorship details still to be announced, wraps it up for the 2020-21 season. Next week I'll resume work on historical material.

Week Ending 3 October

macclesfield town 1969-70Earlier this month Macclesfield Town were wound up in the Insolvency & Companies Court. The club's owner, Amar Alkadi had asked for a further eight-week adjournment but Judge Sebastian Prentis declined, noting that the case had already been adjourned 12 times since it was started in January 2019. Alkadi had been given "ample time" to pay off the club's creditors, he said. In the interim, the club was penalised 17 points by the EFL for repeated late payment of their players and failing to fulfill two of their fixtures.

It is a scandal that the EFL and the FA continue allow incompetant, greedy and predatory owners to drive clubs into the ground. What makes this even more appalling is that the EFL has been sitting on proposals to tighten up their Owners' and Directors' Test since July 2018. After Bury were expelled from the EFL in August 2019 I wrote "it is only a matter of time before history repeats itself."

The photograph shows the Silkmen in happier times, 1969-70, when the team went on to win the FA Trophy.

blackburn rovers 1902-03Tony Sealey found this photograph of the 1902-03 Blackburn Rovers team in The Sunday Pictorial (3 November 1929). This nicely fills a gap in the record for the early 20th century. While the shirts look plain white, this is an illusion caused by our old nemesis, orthographic film stock.

(Cutting from the National Newspaper Archive.)

Dundee (2019-20 shorts corrected): Stockport County (1991-92, 1992-93, 1998-99 detailing added/altered): Crawley Town (1996-97 added): Bury (1956-58 crest added): Nottingham Forest (1947-48 added): New Brighton (1924-28 corrected, 1927-38 socks amended): Bolton Wanderers (2002 anniversary kit stripes amended): Millwall (1975-77 warm & cold weather shirts now presented, authentic 1994 crest added): Cheltenham Town (1993-95 added): Gillingham (1980-81 collar corrected): Crawley Town (1998-99 shorts/socks confirmed): Salford City (1997-98 added): Burnley (2000-01, 2001-02 drop-sleeve detail added):

Week Ending 26 September - 2020-21 Update

Scottish Championship: Raith Rovers, Dunfermline Athletic, Heart of Midlothian, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Queen of the South.

Scottish League One: Falkirk, Clyde, Cove Rangers, Dumbarton, Airdrieonians, East Fife, Montrose*, Partick Thistle.

Scottish League Two: Stranraer, Elgin City, Cowdenbeath, Albion Rovers, Queen's Park, Stirling Albion*.

Former Members: Berwick Rangers, East Stirlingshire.

*Unchanged.

Historical Miscellany

west bromwich albiion 1884-85Bernard Gallagher recently sent me this early photograph of West Bromwich Albion. This appeared in a report on the FA Cup Final replay in the Blackburn Standard on April 10 1886 but since the match was played on that day, it cannot be of the team that appeared in the replay. The process of developing a photographic plate and preparing it for reproduction in a newspaper could not have been completed in just a few hours. In fact it is an archive photograph dating from 5 September 1885 when Albion still wore cardinal red and light blue jerseys. They changed to navy and white stripes shortly afterwards. I originally found this in The A-Z of West Bromwich Albion (Tony Matthews 1996).

That was in the early days of HFK, before we had an army of research elves and when I could not afford to buy many books. At the time my work took me around the country so I contrived to have time to call in on libraries and book shops around the UK. On a trip to HMP Reading, for example, I was able to track down a copy of the Official History of Reading FC 1871-2003 in WH Smith.

I remember studying Tony Matthews' book in the Birmingham branch of Waterstones when a young shop assistant approached me and politely but firmly explained that I was welcome to browse the stock but sitting down with books and making notes was not allowed and perhaps I would like to leave.

Elgin City (1933-1914 knickers corrected, hooped 1909-10 kit removed - this was a change kit in yellow and black - gaps in the record 1969-76 now filled): Gillingham (2013-14 correct manufacturer's logo applied): Bradford City (1962-port vale 1913-1463): Accrington Stanley (1990-91, 1991-92 shorts & socks now confirmed).

Port Vale (1909-10, 1912-14 trim altered, 1929-30, 1934-36, December 1979 added, 1965-66 shirt trim added, 1981-82, 1982-83 sponsor altered). (Material and photograph sourced from onevalefan.co.uk)

Scotland 1905

england v scotland 1905Greger Lindberg found an interesting item in the Scottish Referee (24 March 1905). An unnamed sportswear manufacturer wrote, "As showing the superior quality of our football jerseys, we have again been favoured with instructions from the Scottish Football Association to supply jerseys for the great international matches - Scotland v England (primrose and pink), Scotland v Ireland (marone [sic]), Scotland v Wales (royal blue)." The photograph shows the match against England.

(Photograph FIFA. Press cutting the British Newspaper Archive.)

Week Ending 19 September - 2020-21 Update

League Two: Salford City.

That wraps it up for the Premier League and EFL apart from some former members. I'll tackle those once the SPFL section is complete.

Scottish Premiership: Hibernian, Kilmarnock, Livingston, Motherwell, Rangers, Ross County, St Johnstone, St Mirren.

Scottish Championship: Ayr United, Dundee.

Week Ending 12 September - 2020-21 Update

Premier League: Southampton (new sponsor added), Tottenham Hotspur (socks updated), Fulham.

Championship: Bristol City, Blackburn Rovers, Brentford, Swansea City, Queen's Parek Rangers.

League One: Hull City, Fleetwood Town, AFC Wimbledon (socks confirmed), Lincoln City, Bristol Rovers (socks updated), Charlton Athletic, Doncaster Rovers (socks confirmed), Gillingham*, Wigan Athletic.

League Two: Morecambe, Harrogate Town, Forest Green Rovers*, Crawley Town (socks confirmed), Exeter City, Leyton Orient, Newport County, Stevenage (shorts & socks confirmed).

Former Members: Stockport County, Wrexham (socks confirmed).

Scottish Premiership: Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee United, Hamilton Academical.

*Unchanged.

Week Ending 29 August - More on the New Boys

Harrogate Town (1964-65, 1998-99 added, 1977-78 socks corrected).

The Barrow section has had a major update with with eight new graphics, stockings 1920-31 altered and missing detailing added to numerous graphics.

2020-21 Update

Premier League: Leeds United.

Championship: Luton Town, Preston North End, Cardiff City, Coventry City.

League One: Portsmouth, Milton Keynes, AFC Wimbledon, Oxford United.

League Two: Southend United.

Former members: Notts County.

Week Ending 22 August - Harrogate Town Update

harrogate afc 1919-20With the help of Sam Walsh and Phil Harrison I have been able to add no fewer than 27 new graphics to the Harrogate Town section and added detailing to several more. Our kit history now extends back to the formation of the original Harrogate AFC in 1919, pictured left.

(Photograph Phil Harrison)

 

2020-21 Update

Premier League: Burnley.

Championship: Huddersfield Town, Birmingham City, Stoke City, Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Reading, Millwall (shorts detailing corrected), Sheffield Wednesday.

League One: Peterborough United, Swindon Town, Shrewsbury Town, Rochdale.

League Two: Crawley Town, Port Vale.

Former members: Wrexham.

15 August - 2020-21 Update

harrogate town 1956-57My congratulations go to Harrogate Town who recently won promotion to League Two via the play-offs and whose recent kit record is now available on HFK. Pictured here is the Sulphurites team from 1956-57, currently the only confirmed strip we have prior to 1985 but I hope to rectify this shortly.

(Photograph Phil Harrison Official Club Historian.)

Premier League: Everton (socks corrected).

Championship: Wycombe Wanderers, Norwich City, Watford.

League Two: Stevenage, Barrow.

11 August - 2020-21 Update

Premier League: Aston Villa, Crystal Palace.

Championship: Barnsley.

League One: Burton Albion.

Former members: Dagenham & Redbridge.

7 August - 2020-21 Update

Premier League: West Ham United.

League One: Sunderland, Ipswich Town.

League Two: Bolton Wanderers, Oldham Athletic, Scunthorpe United, Walsall.

6 August - 2020-21 Update

The 2020-21 Premier League/EFL gallery is now open.

Premier League: Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffield United, West Bromwich Albion, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton.

Championship: Rotherham United.

League One: Doncaster Rovers, Plymouth Argyle.

League Two: Grimsby Town, Cheltenham Town (shorts/socks confirmed), Tranmere Rovers.

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