Historical Football Kits

 

Historical Football Kits Updates 2008

Contributions from visitors as well as my own continuing research mean that new material is being added to the archive all the time. Here is a month by month summary of additions, corrections and updates to the site.

29 December: Rangers (2000-02 3rd 2003-04 3rd, 2004-05 3rd added): Newcastle United (1973-74 A, 1977-79 A, 1979-80 3rd added): Chelsea (1990-91 A variant, 1931 FA Cup change kit added): Millwall (1948-49 early added).

We've also added a few more variants for current season's kits: (Shrewsbury Town A, Southampton A, Reading A & 3rd).

26 December: HFK understands that Manchester United recently won FIFA's ludicrous World Club manchester nited 1919-20Championship. It is interesting to reflect on United's humble origins, illustrated by this photograph from the 1919-20 season, showing the team wearing badly faded shirts, which had originally been the same shade as their stockings. In those days clubs of modest means struggled to buy more than one set of kits each season, a far cry from the multi-million sponsorship deals available to elite clubs today. Which reminds me of a conversation I recently had with officials at East Stirlingshire FC who had hoped to reintroduce their iconic narrow hooped shirts this season but could not find a supplier willing to produce the small numbers required. Shame.

West Ham United (1960-63 amended): Motherwell (1973-74 alternate, 1979-82 amended - the latter was universally disliked by 'Well supporters because it was yellow rather than traditional amber): Dundee United (1984-87 corrected, 2003-04 manufacturer's logo added): Arsenal change kits (1930-31, 1933-34, 1938-39, 1947-53, 1960-61 added: FA Cup change kits identified for 1936 and 1953). Peterborough United (1982-83, 1998-99, 2001-02, 2007-08 details corrected): Chelsea (1970 FA Cup Final replay missing stocking trim added): Rangers (1995-96 3rd, 1999-2000 3rd, 2000-02 3rd added): Manchester United (1919-20 amended).

23 December: It's a while since we heard from Alick Milne, whose extensive research covers every club in Scotland and without which HFK's Scottish would be considerably smaller. Today we present another extensive contribution: Gretna (1974-75, 1975-81, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1985-87, 1987-88 added; 1988-91, 1991-92 detail added). Annan Athletic (1974-76, 1976-77, 1977-78, 1978-81, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1984-85, 1986-87 x 2, 1987-89, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-95 added). Rangers away kits (1888-89, 1913-15, 1915-16, 1916-18, 1930-34 3rd, 1934-37, 1954-56, 1967-68 alternate, 1968-69, 1968-69 3rd added; 1911-12, 1920-21, 1921-23, 1923-32, 1933-34, 1934-1937 detailing added). St Mirren (1975-76, 1976-78 amended).

20 December: Some time ago Alan Brennan sent me this intriguing print, taken from the Illustrated Sporting newton heath v wolves nov 1893and Dramatic News dated November 18, 1893 and showing a match between Newton Heath and Wolves. As HFK had no record of the Heathens wearing stripes, we contacted Paul Nagel, who is something of an expert on the club. He writes: In trying to find a definitive answer I have come up with quite a bit of information, none of which relates directly to 1893/94 unfortunately. However there is circumstantial evidence. A team photo from 1898 (late1897/98 or early 1898/99): from Back Page United pp18-19. Reproduction is not good but the players are wearing a striped shirt, dark shorts.  I dimly recall reading somewhere (and several years ago) that NH played in green and gold striped shirts, blue pants, green socks with a blue band at the top but I can’t  find any documentary evidence to prove this.  Certainly the two photos prove NH wore a striped shirt in the early 1890’s and late 1890’s (although they could have been different colours of course). The dire financial situation of the club at the time would perhaps rule out money for frequent changes of kits (the old green and gold halves were used as a change strip when the red and white quarters were introduced in 1892/93).  Also the club seemed reluctant to sever colour ties with the LYR even after their break away from the railway Co. (the green shirts with gold trim of 1894-96).  A good argument for green/gold stripes as a change kit 1893-1898 and possibly to 1902 perhaps?

(Manchester United: 1893-94 H added: away kits added - 1894-c1900, 1962-63, 1965-66 European Cup kit (version 2), 1966-67, 1968-71 3rd, 1976-77 Euro change kit: numerous tweaks to dates and detailing between 1960 and 2000).

13Paul also sheds light on Charlie Roberts' blue top featured earlier this month. I can find no evidence of United playing in that shirt. However I have found a photo of Roberts playing in a United v Newcastle game for the benefit of the Players Union (at Newcastle on 29/4/1908). Although in b/w it does look remarkably like the shirt from the photo from the museum.  It can be argued whether or not this was a Manchester United vs Newcastle fixture, or simply a Players Union Benefit involving two sets of players who happened to come from the two clubs.

A clutch of obscure modern Chelsea kits have been added, courtesy of John Timon (1965-67 3rd, 1972 variant home kits, 1977-78 A variant, 1980-81 3rd, 1990-91 3rd). Dick Waite has sent in some well referenced material on Arsenal that has helped pin down many home kit dates and unveiled a missing outfit (1964-65 added). Motherwell (1951-52, 1975-76 added). Tottenham Hotspur (1975-76 A added; 1986-87 3rd corrected). Dundee United (1983-84, 1984-7 collar detail added).

hull city v gatesheadThis picture shows Hull City v Gateshead in an FA Cup tie supposedly from 1965-66. The problem is that I know Hull wore plain amber shirts with black shorts that season and, as far as I know they wore their wonderful banana kit the previous season. I suspect the picture has been wrongly captioned but if you can shed any light, get in touch.

A little bird has told HFK that Burnley will play next season in a replica of their 1959-60 kit.

Coventry City plan to wear an all-chocolate outfit against Watford in their last game of the season to mark their 125th anniversary. The colour was inspired by the Admiral outfit worn in the late 70s, a kit that is regularly voted among the top five worst kits of all time and which has acquired iconic status. A provisional version of the anniversary kit is on the current Championship gallery and I have added the original kit to Room 101 along with (by popular demand) Arsenal's "bruised banana" outfit. Coventry have also launched a poll to decide next season's kit.

Aberdeen (2008-09 A corrected; 1967-68 added; 1990-92 embossed pattern added, 1997-98 badge amended.) Crystal Palace (1955-57 stockings corrected); Birmingham City (1985-86 shoulder trim corrected); Leyton Orient (1987-88 shorts corrected).

19 December: I heartily recommend this clip on YouTube, an attempt at reinventing the football strip from German TV in the 70s. No further comment is necessary.

The Stenhousemuir, Stirling Albion, Stranraer, Third Lanark, Thistle and Vale of Leven galleries have been updated. This completes our graphic upgrade programme.

117 December: I really like this Umbro advertisement from 1939, sent in by Paul Heasman from footballnotmuggybonehead.com. The secret, according to the copy, is the three elasticated bands in the waist that ensure "everything stays in place" while a "fricshunfree" pad is installed in what is coyly described as the "fork" to reduce uncomfortable chafing of players' personal equipment. Also of interest is that the shorts are available only in navy, black or white. I am convinced that shorts in other colours did not become available until the late 1950s.

I've tweaked the shade of blue on a number of Aston Villa kits from the 1980s and added one variation (1986-87) thanks to research by Christopher Worrall. Alec Hitchman has sent me a copy of the crest worn by Preston North End for the first few months of the 1975-76 season, now added. Southport (1954-57 stockings now correct).

Some variations on current season kits have been added: (Brighton all-white kit used at Shrewsbury in the Johnstone Paint Trophy), Norwich City (variant on away kit used at Watford earlier this month), Grimsby Town (3rd kit), Bournemouth (alternate kit now has red socks).

The St Johnstone and St Mirren galleries have been upgraded.

st bernards fc 1895 scottish cup winners15 December: More Scottish galleries have been upgraded: Queen's Park, Renton, Ross County, Royal Albert, Solway Star and St Bernard's (now includes 3rd Edinburgh Rifle Volunteers). I had a most enjoyable conversation this evening with George H Park, who has spent a lifetime researching St Bernard's FC and has just published St Bernards Football Club or When the Well Ran Dry. George lives adjacent to the site of the old "Gymmie", where the senior team used to play before they came to grief in 1943. Once Edinburgh's third team, St Bernards won the Scottish Cup in 1895 (pictured). Their name was revived in 1949 when a youth team was formed which thrives to this day.

cheltenham town 1996-97 shirt13 December: Brendan Lewis has kindly sent us this fondly remembered piece of nonsense from his personal collection, a Cheltenham Town shirt from the mid 90s. The Robins (note the motif in dark red in the middle of the shirt) won promotion to the Conference wearing this shirt but returned to more traditional stripes the following season.

Travelling Bristol City supporters, anxious to colour co-ordinate with their team, can now consult their club's website to find out what the team will be wearing in their next away game. Officials are cracking down on even the most minor of colour clashes so as well as first, second and third choice kits, alternate shorts and socks for each set are increasingly being used. HFK is recording these as far as we can but please note that we generally do not include variations where elements of one kit are matched with those of another. So, for example, Wolves' all-old gold alternate strip is included but the combination of black shirts and gold shorts worn recently at Watford is not. In this vein, two additional Brighton kits have been added (2008-09 H & A variants).

Queen of the South gallery upgraded.

12 December: According to Seagulls - The Story of Brighton & Hove Albion by Tim Carder and Roger Harris (1993), brighton united 1898Brighton & Hove Albion wore "fisherman's blue" shirts in 1901. Although I have not seen the book, I am told that a photograph suggests these first shirts were pale but appear much darker in 1903-04. The only reference I have been able to find to "fisherman's blue" suggests that it is a shade of navy blue - is it possible the pale shirts in the 1901-02 picture are very faded navy? To complicate matters, in John Vinnicombe's book, Albion - An Illustrated History (1978) the author states that the team's colours were changed from green to blue and white striped shirts but gives no references or dates. If you can help us unravel this particular puzzle, please get in touch. (Additions to the Brighton gallery, courtesy of Christopher Worrall - 1955-56, 1977-78, 1978-79, 1979-80. The last three show minor variations only.)

The photograph, courtesy of the endlessly fascinating Spartacus Schoolnet site, is of Brighton United, a club that folded in 1900. Some of the former members and players went on to form Brighton & Hove Rangers, who became the modern Albion in 1901. Is it possible that the dark shirts worn by this side are the green tops Vinnicombe is referring to?

West Ham United have unveiled their new sponsored shirts. Their junior and academy sides will wear the logo of the Bobby Moore Cancer Research Fund. A number of new third kits and home variants have been added: Wolverhampton Wanderers (2008-09 all-gold alternate), Barnet (2008-09 third kit), Sheffield United (alternate home kit added), Cardiff City (new 2008-09 third kit added), Newcastle United (2003-04 third kit added), Blackpool (all-tangerine alternate 2008-09 kit added).

Fulham (1898-99 added): Port Glasgow Athletic gallery upgraded.

Everton 1958 change kit bobby collins11 December: This week marks something of a milestone for HFK, when we received our one millionth visit since we launched in June 2006.

Simon Monks has been at it again, filling in gaps in our records for Everton (1912-13 H, 1928-29 A, 1957-58 A, 1958-61 A, 1962-63 A added. The 1958-61 kit has a blue and black band across the chest, shown here worn by Bobby Collins in April 1959. (Click on the image to see Everton in action at Chelsea wearing this kit the following season.) In addition Simon provides some more Spurs change kits (1921-22 A, 1936-37 A, 1959-60 A).

Several contributors have helped us fill in a gap in Manchester United's change kit record: we now know the club wore blue shirts during the 1950s, switching to white in 1957-58. (circa1950 A, circa1952 A, 1956-57 A, 1976-78 3rd added). We also have a few additions to the Arsenal change kit gallery (circa1935-36 A, circa1950 A, 1956-57 A added; 2002-03 3rd shorts amended).

11Other updates: Motherwell (1974-76 socks corrected): AFC Bournemouth (2008-09 all-red variant on their home kit added): Aldershot Town (new third kit added): Chelsea (1954-55 H collar detail corrected; 1959-60 A added): Sheffield United (1992-94 missing sponsorship restored): Liverpool (1973-74, 1974-75, 1975-76 added - these are identical apart from variations in the Umbro branding).

If you're old enough to remember the "Super Leeds" team of the early 1970s, you may recall that during the 1972-73 season, the players could choose shirts with traditional crew necks, V necks or the new wing collars. These variations (now shown on the Leeds United gallery) did not appear on the pre-season team photographs, when everyone wore the new style collars. Players could also opt for long or short sleeved shirts, so no fewer than six differently styled shirts could appear on the pitch in any one game.

5 December: Several visitors have contacted HFK to point out that the stockings worn by Cardiff City last weekend were in fact a sort of navy colour rather than the mulberry of their change kit.

12Notes regarding a set of updates for the Manchester United away kits gallery posted recently mysteriously went missing so here they are again: (circa 1905, 1960-61, 1965-66, 1971-72 3rd, 1994-96, 1957 European Cup kit added). The photograph is of a plain blue shirt worn by Charlie Roberts sometime around the beginning of the 20th century which I've provisionally dated from around 1905. Thanks to Tim Ashmore.

The note on some Chelsea away kit updates also went missing: (1986-87, c1970-72).

partick thistle c1910Having spent six years living in or near to Glasgow, I have a soft spot for Partick Thistle, whose gallery has now been upgraded. The Jags' distinctive yellow, red and black colours are unmistakeable, especially when matched with white shorts. This colour scheme was created in January 1935, prior to which teams had worn navy blue, white and red apart from the early years of the 20th century when gold and black followed by claret and blue were preferred. The ptfc.net site that I found so helpful to my original research is no longer available but the kit history section, from which this 1910 picture is taken, is still available and well worth a visit.

Peebles Rovers' gallery has also been upgraded.

3 December: In the early days of association football, before coloured shirts became commonplace, players often wore distinctive headgear and coloured sashes to distinguish their team from the opposition. Dave Muir, former editor of The Baggies club newspaper has written to HFK with this interesting quotation from an interview with Harry Bell, one of the founder members of West Bromwich Strollers, describing the team's first playing kit. (It was) maroon stockings and white jerseys with a blue sash and we wore Tam O'Shanter hats!

More from Christopher Worrall today. Watford (1974-76 missing details added): Middlesbrough (1971-72 added): Brighton (1946-47, 1957-58 warm and cold weather kits, 1959-60, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1968-69, 1969-70, late 1976-77 added; 1972-73, 1974-75, 1977-80, 1983-84 detailing amended): Hull City (1980-82 added).

Luke Conboy spotted that in the South Wales derby played last Sunday, Cardiff wore blue shorts with mulberry stockings from their change kit. Perhaps someone forgot to pack the blue ones. Other updates: Dumbarton (1985-86 amended, 1986-87, 1987-88 added): Darlington (1995-96 stockings corrected): Arsenal (1968-69 navy away kit added): Chelsea (one-off kit used in the 1966 FA Cup semi-final added - thanks to Andrew Bartlett for these last two): Kidderminster Harriers (early 1970s added): Aston Villa (1974-75 home kit, rare 1984-85 away kit added): Montrose (1992-33 added).

2 December: The Tottenham Hotspur away kit gallery has now been added. This completes our current away kits project. There are some significant gaps in our away kit records so do get in touch if you can help. Further details are posted on the Current Research Projects page along with information about our next project.

cardiff city 1925I have decided to put the Scottish graphic upgrade programme on one side for the moment in order to focus on the enormous number of additions and corrections currently sitting in our in-box.

Let's start with a submission from Simon Monks, who responded to the item published on 17 November regarding Cardiff City's kit. Colin Price originally wrote to tell HFK that the colour of the Bluebird's current kit is based on a swatch taken from an original shirt worn in the 1927 FA Cup Final. Simon has assembled some convincing photographic evidence that indicates Cardiff wore pale blue shirts during this period including this intriguing photograph of Barry Wake taken in 1925.

Simon also provides evidence that Manchester City wore white cuffs on their maroon shirts worn in the 1933 FA Cup final. This was the first time that numbers were worn on players' shirts and furthermore, because of a clash of colours, the teams tossed a coin for the choice of maroon or white tops. City chose maroon, which became their change colour of choice until the 1970s. A photograph of this historic event is now included in our Brief History of Football Kits section.

Luton Town (2008-09 new version of change kit added); Aston Villa (change kits - 1946-56 added, 1956-62 dates amended, 1985-87 & 1987-89 corrected); Oldham Athletic (2008-2009 H & A kits corrected); Bolton Wanderers (January 1976 badge now rendered in navy blue rather than red); Newcastle United (1990-91 sponsorship details amended). Everton (1999-2000, 2005-06 away kits detailing corrected and a piece of trvivia added concerning the club's 1984 FA Cup Final kit); the unpleasant all-orange kit worn by Manchester City at Schalke this week has been added; Chelsea (1963-64 away kit described as their "Sweden strip" in the programme from their FA Cup tie at Swindon); Falkirk (1907-08 added); Hamilton Academicals (1907-08 added); Kilmarnock (1907-08 added); Motherwell (1900-1908 dates amended); Arsenal (1997-98 away kit corrected).

Steve Browne continues to research early Admiral kits for HFK, revealing that Leeds United wore an Umbro branded kit in 1973-74 until December 1973 when Admiral took over. A similar situation arises at York City who switched from Umbro to Admiral in February 1976. Queen's Park Rangers (1974-january 1975 dates amended); Port Vale (1974-76 shorts detailing corrected); Norwich City (1977-79 Admiral logos added to stockings).

Christopher Worrall has turned up a picture of Tommy Docherty and Dave Sexton wearing West Ham kit in the early 1960s with vertically striped stocking tops. Get in touch if you can corroborate that this kit was ever worn in matches. Chris has also turned up the following: Brighton & Hove Albion (1906-07 collar corrected, 1908-10, 1910-20, 1921-22, 1922-25, 1925-26 added, 1926-33 collar amended).

 

28 November: We now have away kit pages for Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle United and rangers 1877Rangers. This provides a perfect excuse to reproduce a fine photograph of the 1877 team wearing white shirts borrowed from the rowing club that several of the founder members belonged to, perhaps the earliest example of a change kit.

The second oldest record we have come across was when Aston Villa visited Heart of Midlothian in 1881 and borrowed a set of navy blue and white jerseys because their shirts clashed with Hearts' maroon. HFK's records do not include Villa's home kit for this period so get in touch if you can fill in this particular gap.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who has written to HFK with feedback on the new away kit galleries and with new material, currently queued up in our inbox. Your input is truly inspirational and is what motivates us to continue to develop the site.

25 November: Away kit sections have been added for Aston Villa, Celtic and Chelsea.

24 November: Earlier this year, HFK was commissioned by Vision Sports Publishing to produce graphics for the new editions in the Football Miscellany series. These pocket size volumes are available to HFK visitors at a substantial discount via the links on the Arsenal, Aston Villa, Celtic, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur pages. Part of the package includes away kits, which will now be published (for these ten clubs only) on HFK, starting with Arsenal.

Crystal Palace (2008-09 stockings corrected); Burnley (2008-09 away alternate kit added); Manchester City (1895-96 added); Rotherham Town (1894-96 now corroborated).

Ian Raffel has spotted that Bristol Rovers wore their special edition third kit at the weekend against Swindon. The black and yellow outfit is a re-creation of the strip worn 125 years ago when the club was formed as Black Arabs FC.

22 November: Scottish galleries upgraded: Johnstone (not to be confused with St Johnstone), Kilmarnock, King's Park, Leith Athletic, Linthouse, Livingston (includes Ferranti Thistle and Meadowbank Thistle), Lochgelly United (now includes Lochgelly Athletic and Fifeshire Hibernian), Mid-Annandale, Montrose, Motherwell (now includes Glencairn and Alpha).

18 November: BBC Radio Four's File on Four programme broadcast an excellent documentary yesterday looking into the finances of professional football clubs in England. You can listen to the programme on BBC's iPlayer.

The Inverness Caledonian Thistle (includes Caledonian and Inverness Thistle) gallery has been upgraded.

17 November: Liverpool FC were first formed in 1892 by the owner of Anfield, John Houlding. They replaced the liverpool fc 1897-98previous tenants, Everton, who had quit after a row over the rent, and played in blue and white shirts left behind by the Everton club. The exact date that Liverpool switched to the municipal red and white colours that became associated with the club was unclear but now football historian Kjell Hanssen has been in touch and filled in the gap. Kjell has checked back copies of the Liverpool Mercury between 1892 and 1896 and established that the switch happened at the beginning of the 1896-97 season. Today's photograph shows Liverpool the following season with the Lancashire Combination and Burton Charity Cups, possibly their first trophies.

Leicester City (1990-96 sponsor's logo is now correct); Queen's Park Rangers (1990-91 sponsor's logo corrected, 1993-94 early season sponsor's logo added); Bristol City (2008-09 one-off third kit variant added); Huddersfield Town (2008-09 all-gold away kit added); Stoke City (2008-09 alternative home kit added, 2005-06 collar corrected); West Ham (squad numbers added to current shirts); Partick Thistle (1994-95, 1996-97 stocking details corrected); Southend United (2008-09 third kit shorts corrected); Crystal Palace (February 1967 added); Shrewsbury Town (2008-09 shorts detailing added).

cardiff city 1927 fa cup finalColin Price, a Bluebirds fan of 40 years standing has sent us this fascinating item: the colour of City's kit this season is actually taken from the 1927 (FA Cup winning) season.  As it's the last year at Ninian Park, the club/Joma, took a swatch from the original kit in the Boardroom. I am now trying to establish if this colour was worn only for the FA Cup final itself (see left) or was Cardiff's regular choice for league games.

The Helensburgh and Hibernian galleries have been upgraded.

9 November: Poppies were worn this weekend on the shirts of teams throughout the UK in salute to those who have poppylost their lives or suffered injury in the service of their country.

The Falkirk, Forfar Athletic, Galston, Greenock Morton, Gretna, Hamilton Academical and Heart of Midlothian galleries have been upgraded.

6 November: Steve Browne has been researching the arrival of Admiral, the kit manufacturer that revolutionised glossop fc 1914design in the mid seventies and led the way in the creation of a market for replica kits. Thanks to Steve we've been able to add some more details to the archive. Barnsley (1978-79 added); Bolton Wanderers (January 1976 added); Carlisle United (1978-80 collar corrected); Grimsby Town (1977-79 dates amended); Manchester United (1975-Feb 1976 added). Steve's research reveals that the Admiral logo did not appear on United's shirts until March 1976: previously it was worn only on the shorts.

Other updates: Scunthorpe United (2008-09 away kit collar corrected); Manchester United (2008-09 Champions League kit and all-white away kit added); Halifax Town (1970-71 deleted, 1972-73, 1973-74 now in correct sequence); Watford (1950 added); Leyton Orient (1947-48 added); Crewe Alexandra (1931-1937 dates extended); Glossop (1910-15 dates extended.) Today's picture is a rare image of the Glossop team from 1914-15, wearing their white shirts with a purple V. The club failed re-election at the end of the season. Newport County (1912-13 added - they seem to have worn three distinctive shirts in this, their first season.)

4 November: The twelve Scottish Premier League teams will wear poppies on their shirts this coming weekend to heartsmark Remembrance Sunday according to the Daily Record. Last season Hearts wore a special commemorative shirt in the corresponding weekend, featuring the names of the seven Hearts players who lost their lives duing the First World War. Clubs in the English Premier and Football leagues also wore poppies on their tops last November.

Matt writes with a slightly different account of Lincoln's 1994-95 shirts: Regarding the Lincoln kits mentioned on the main page. It's right that they only had numbers on the shorts but there were no players names (almost certain it said RED IMPS on the back of the shirts). The reason they only ever wore 1-11 was because we didn't have squad numbers in the bottom division until the 1999-2000 season.

The Guardian reports that former Gretna owner, Brooks Mileson, died yesterday in Cumberland Infirmary. Mileson bankrolled Gretna's astonishing rise from the English Unibond League to the Scottish Premier. The club collapsed earlier this year after Mileson withdrew funding and was confined to his home due to ill health. HFK extends condolences to Mileson's family.

The East Fife, East Stirlingshire, Edinburgh City and Elgin City galleries have been upgraded.

31 October: Dave Peatey has been in touch again with some missing Wycombe Wanderers kits: (1965-66, 1971-72, wycombe wanderers 1898-99 team1980-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1984-85 added). Our photograph today shows the Chairboys team of 1898-99 in their original halved shirts of Cambridge and Oxford blue. The familiar quarters appeared around 1930, were dropped between 1968 or 1969 and finally restored in 1990.

Jon Jones writes with this oddity concerning Lincoln City's kit from 1994-95. The backs of the shirts carried the player’s name but bizarrely no number, whilst the shorts carried a large white number both on the front and back in a similar manner to Celtic. No matter who was playing the outfield players still wore numbers 2-11 on the pitch but each player wore their own shirt with their name on it. Even more strangely, goalkeepers had squad numbers on the back of the shirt (hence their regular starting keeper wore number 13!).

Numbers were added to the back of the shirt during the course of the season, not sure what date exactly nor if this was a rule enforced by the FA or the Football League, but I certainly recall Lincoln played Crystal Palace in the third round of the FA Cup in January 1995 in a green and purple away kit with purple numbers hastily applied, but still with numbers on the shorts!

Coventry City (2008-09 away sponsor corrected), Annan Athletic (1985-86, 1986-87 added), Bury (1903- FA Cup Final kit corrected),

Dundee, Dundee United, Dundee Wanderers (now including Strathmore), Dunfermline Athletic, Dykehead upgraded.

27 October: We're very pleased to announce that, in response to demand, we are now able to offer limited advertising space on HFK. For details please visit our Advertising page.

sunderlandAlisdair Gibbs-Barton noted that Newcastle matched last season's white third choice shorts with their home shirts for the game at Sunderland over the weekend. Quite why they would do this rather than wear their away or third kits, both of which would have been perfectly suitable, is a mystery. (Picture courtesy of Sunderland FC - click the image to visit their gallery of the game.)

Christmas is approaching and visitors have been busy spotting new third and alternate kits launched in good time for those looking for a present for the fan who already has this season's home and away shirts. Southend United (3rd kit added), Exeter City (3rd kit added), Barnsley (3rd kit added), Tottenham Hotspur (Euro kit added). We also have a few more variations clocked by vigilant fans: Manchester United (alternate away kit added).Crewe Alexandra (alternate away kit added), Huddersfield Town (alternate away kit added).

The Cowdenbeath, Cowlairs, Dumbarton (now including Dumbarton Athletic) and Dumbarton Harp galleries have been upgraded.

21 October: Peterborough United (2008-09 H & 3rd socks corrected); Milton Keynes Dons (2008-09 3rd added); Fulham (2008-09 3rd added).

Clyde and Clydebank (original) upgraded.

wycombe wanderers 1992 shirt20 October: One of the challenges of researching kits for HFK is interpreting colours from old photographs. Often we can refer to written sources to back up our interpretation, which is exactly what we were able to do with the early Watford photographs we've been working with recently. You might think that modern colour photography would have resolved the problem but not so. Lighting conditions, exposure times and all manner of technological thingies mean that two images the same item can appear quite different according to conditions. Which brings me to today's images, sent in by Dave Peatey. A fan of Wycombe Wanderers, Dave wrote in last week asserting that the Chairboys had changed the colours in their kits from traditional Cambridge and Oxford blue to a more modern sky blue and navy in 1994. When wycombe wanderers 1994 shirtpressed for evidence, Dave sent in (among a host of other material now posted) these two photos of shirts from his personal collection. The photographs are taken in an identical location with the same camera and lighting conditions and very clearly show the change. Rarely do we deal with such incontrovertible evidence.

Tranmere Rovers (1993-95, 1997-99, 2004-05 detailing amended); Scunthorpe United (new 2008-09 3rd kit variant added); Berwick Rangers (2008-09 away kit detailing added).

19 October: We've been very fortunate over the last few weeks to have had access to a number west herts fcofearly photographs of Watford. The icing on the cake was a set from the collection at the Watford Museum sent in by Sarah Priestley, the museum's Heritage Officer. These have added a considerable amount of detail and confirmed the one remaining uncorroborated strip in our archive. (1890-93, 1910-11, 1919-20, 1922-23 added; 1914-19 and 1928-34 detailing added). Today's picture is from the collection sent in earlier by Wayne Godfrey: the charmingly bucolic scene shows the team in relaxed mood before their first game at the Cassio Ground wearing olive green and red shirts. Their new landlord had made it a condition that the team change its name from Watford Rovers to West Herts although players and supporters continued to use the old name until 1898, when they became Watford FC.

We also have a mixed bag of Scottish updates: Peterhead (1976-79 added), Elgin City (1976-78 added), Albion Rovers (1911-12 added), Ferranti Thistle (January 1960, 1960-65, January 1968 confirmed and detailed), Ross County (1987, 1993-94 added).

17 October: More Scottish upgrades: Berwick Rangers, Bo'ness, Brechin City, Broxburn United (now includes all the clubs that preceded the formation of United in 1912), Cambuslang and Clackmannan.

16 October: Using material sent in by Wayne Godfrey, we have been able to confirm details of Watford's early strips (1888-89, 1893-97, 1898, 1903-04 amended). Wayne runs the Hornet History site, which concentrates on the club's post-war career.

Some additions to the 2008-09 collection have been made: Rangers (new 3rd kit added), Leeds United (stocking details added), Colchester United (3rd kit added), Cambridge United (new sponsor added).

Abercorn (1910-11 amended).

15 October: On 9 October we posted a picture of what we thought was an early Sheffield FC team sheffield fc 1890but which turned out to be a London XI from 1865. Today I heard from Guy Higton, Sheffield's Commercial Manager, who tells us that the club are also aware of this mistake and have removed the image from their own site. Guy has sent us this splendid picture of the team dated 1890 showing the players in their red and black halved shirts. (Click the image to see the full photograph - you know the drill by now.) Note the variety of headgear and the representative badges sewn onto several players' shirts, signifying they had been capped for the county.

The upgrade of the Scottish section is proceeding - the Armadale, Arthurlie, Ayr United, Bathgate and Beith pages have all been updated. Additional information that was not available when the Scottish section was first set up is now being added along with rare archive photographs. Many of the names involved here are unfamiliar and belong to clubs that have long ago been lost but there are some fascinating stories (not to mention some odd kits) in this section and I do urge you to take a look.

14 October: Aldershot Town (1998-99 added - some details still needed): Walsall arbroath 1885(1903-09 added):Tranmere Rovers (1980-81 collar corrected): Wycombe Wanderers (1987-88, 1988-90, 1990-92, 1999-2001 details amended): Ross County (mid 70s added): Cardiff City (1991-92,1992-93, 1994-95 missing details added).

Arbroath gallery upgraded. The featured photograph today shows the 1885 team that beat Bon Accord 36-0, still a world record. Their unfortunate opponents on that day were in fact a cricket team who had received their invitation to play in the Scottish FA Cup by mistake. Arbroath are known as the "Red Lichties" after the red lights (lichts in Scots) hoisted on the fishing fleet's masts when they were returning to port to signal the womenfolk to fire up the smokers ready for the catch.

13 October: Huddersfield Town have introduced a limited edition shirt in pink and white, with huddersfieldproceeds going to the Huddersfield HRI Breast Cancer Care Fund. The 88 shirts put on sale sold out within 7 hours and the club is now considering producing another batch.

Blackpool have secured a shirt sponsorship deal with Carbrini Sportswear who replace the club's previous sponsor, Floors-2-Go, who went bankrupt immediately before the season opened. This new brand of JD Sports now appears on the shirts of five English clubs as well as those of Dundee United in Scotland.

Current away kits for several Scottish clubs have been added: Albion Rovers, Berwick Rangers, Stenhousemuir, Alloa Athletic, Livingston. We now have complete records of both home and away kits for 2008-09.

The Airdrie United, Airdrieonians, Albion Rovers and Alloa Athletic galleries have been upgraded.

10 October: Peter Ferrette has been in touch to tell me that yesterday's picture, widely published as being of Sheffield FC is in fact a group of London-based players from 1865. Note that several players are wearing the crest of the City of London on their shirts, indicating that they have represented the London FA. Furthermore, the bearded gent seated on the left appears to be the illustrious Lord Kinnaird, joint founder and later President of the FA. Kinnaird habitually wore trousers rather than knickers when he played.

The indefatigable Simon Monks has been at it again, uncovering various obscure old kits for HFK. His latest contribution includes West Bromwich Albion (1905-06, 1956-57 added, 1960-64 amended, various dates amended): Chesterfield (1946-47 collar corrected): Chester (1932-33 stocking details corrected). The jewel in the crown is a set of rare photographs of Welsh side Aberdare Athletic, which allow me to add three kits (circa 1910, 1923 and 1927) and correct the 1898-1900 entry.

The Abercorn and Aberdeen galleries have been upgraded.

9 October: Today's picture is the earliest known photograph of Sheffield FC, the oldest football club in london XI 1865the world. The players are wearing a motley collection of headgear, knickers and trousers (click on the thumbnail to see the full image). This was probably taken before the introduction of uniform shirts. Players would wear whatever they had to hand. In this instance several members of the Sheffield team are wearing cricket-whites) and opposing teams would be distinguished by coloured hats and/or scarves. In 1879 Birmingham Association's appearance in the FA Cup prompted this newspaper report (from Tony Onslow's book The Lost Cup sent in by Rob Horton).

In football it is a most essential point that the members of one team should be clearly distinguished from those of the other.  The only way this can be effected is for each club to have a distinct uniform as the diversity of dress displayed yesterday not only confused the members of the team, but the spectators were quite unable to say whether a man belonged to one team or the other.

Clubs were prohibited from buying players' kit so these were bought by the team members individually and as a result there was considerable variation between individual items. A close examination of a Victorian team photograph will typically reveal different collars, varying stripes and alternating halves or quarters.

york city 1935-36The Wigan Athletic, Wigan Borough, Workington, Wrexham and York City galleries have been upgraded. Our second photo is of the York team in 1935-36 when they wore a unique combination of chocolate and cream stripes, a deliberate evocation of the city's main industry, the manufacture of chocolate. The entire Football League archive has now been upgraded and I have started work on the Scottish section.

The vogue for one-off commemorative kits is threatening to get out of hand. Norwich City have announced that the team will wear replicas of the strip worn in 1958-59 in their FA Cup third round tie on 3 January. This marks the fiftieth anniversary of a cup run that took them to the semi-finals.

Charlton Athletic (1967-68, 1968-70 kits now in correct sequence); Partick Thistle (2008-09 sponsor's details updated).

7 October: My thanks to Robert Heys, Chief Executive of Accrington Stanley for providing accurate versions of the club's 2008-09 shirt sponsor.

The photograph featured on 2 October has prompted some interesting responses. The general consensus is that the featured team is not Walsall FC but most likely an American soccer team. Steve Barnes offers the following: No date is suggested but it looks like it could be the 1920's. It certainly does look like an American team as you suggest and I believe soccer was very popular in the US at that time. According to  http://www.sover.net/~spectrum/  a team from Worcester Massachusetts toured the West Midlands in the late 1920's and played matches at Kidderminster, Stourbridge and Evesham amongst others. Perhaps Patrick's great grandfather made a guest appearance for them. It's a bit of a long shot but it seems feasible. The "W" logo certainly supports this theory.

There is also an interesting thread on the Saddler's independent site started by HFK's good friend, Neil Morris.

The West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United galleries have been upgraded. Chelsea (1959-60 stocking detail amended). East Stirlingshire (2008-09 kits now correct).

mystery kit october 20082 October: Patrick Anderson recently sent me today's photo (click on the thumbnail to see the full picture) to see if we could find out anything about it. Patrick's great grandfather, Samuel Southall, is one of the players shown and he believes the team might be Walsall. I have my doubts and Neil Morris, HFK's expert on the club does not recognise the picture. Points of interest include the style of dress of the five gents in suits, which looks American rather than British to me. Another thing to notice is the styling of the players' shirts, which include a serifed "W," reminiscent of American College Football. In fact, that's where I would have left it if it were not for the soccer ball in the foreground. If you can add anything, please let me know.

The Torquay United, Tranmere Rovers and Walsall galleries have been upgraded. Wycombe Wanderers (2008-09 3rd kit added).

28 September: Today's photograph features the Stoke team of 1906-07 wearing the claret shirts of the period. stoke fc 1906-07 Stoke's familiar red and white stripes first appeared in 1883 and were worn when the club became founder members of the Football League in 1888. Stoke were replaced by Sunderland in 1890 but regained their place after one season in the Football Alliance. The Football League now required clubs to register their colours and stipulated that no two teams could play in the same designs. As Sunderland were already playing in red and white stripes, Stoke were forced to adopt an alternative but continued to play in red and white stripes in friendly and FA Cup games. In 1897 they adopted claret shirts and continued to wear these until 1908 when the club resigned from the Football League and was wound up. A new limited company was immediately formed and entered first teams in both the Southern League (wearing red and blue) and the Birmingham & District League (wearing red and white). When Stoke returned to the Football League in 1915, they registered their colours as red and white. Because competition was then suspended for the duration of the Great War, they did not play their first fixture until 1919. Stoke's outfit has remained substantially unchanged ever since apart from three seasons (1983-86) when red shorts replaced their traditional white ones.

The Stockport County, Stoke City, Swansea City and Thames galleries have been upgraded.

I will shortly begin upgrading our Scottish section and would be grateful for old team photographs to include in team pages - the older the better. Please review my current research projects page before responding.

26 September: The Guardian today reports that a number of shirt sponsorship deals with Premiership clubs are at risk because of the global financial crisis. Insurance giant AIG, who sponsor Manchester United's shirts, have been rescued by the US taxpayer but JJB Sports, who sponsor Wigan Athletic have announced they may be unable to continue trading if a wrangle with their bank is not resolved. Shares in KCom, parent company of Hull City's sponsor, Karoo, fell by 13% yesterday and have almost halved since Hull gained promotion. Read more...

25 September: Everton have launched a special limited edition pink shirt. This will not be worn in any matches but funds raised from sales will go to Breast Cancer Research, the NSPCC and the Everton in the Community charity. Advance orders are now being taken for delivery in November.

Shrewsbury Town (1947-48, 1955-57, 1957-58, 1980-81 added and gallery upgraded); Southend United, Southport and Stalybridge Celtic galleries upgraded. Millwall (badges amended 1956-1965). QPR (badges 1975-1981 amended). AFC Bournemouth (2008-09 third kit added).

stirling ablion v alloa athletic 13 september 200824 September: An article on the history of Stirling Albion's kits by HFK was featured in the club programme for their home match with Alloa Athletic on 13 September. The article has also been posted prominently on the club's official website.

Berwick Rangers (2008-09 home kit added). This completes our collection of home kits for the current season although we still need some Scottish away kits.

Here's an interesting contribution from Andrew Bartlett: I am writing  to make an observation on the Aston Villa kit for 85-87, manufactured by Henson, in which there is a significant difference between the long and short sleeved version of the shirts. In the short sleeve version the light blue stripes, trimmed with white, extend across the chest and down the sleeves to the cuffs, but in the long sleeve version the sleeves are plain - see this reference photo of Gary Shaw. I think it is a very rare case of a major difference between versions of the same shirt, and in many matches players mixed the designs by wearing both long and shirt sleeved shirts. I believe that the design difference was echoed in the Villa away kit of the time, which was all yellow with claret chest and sleeve bands.

I do recall that in the Spurs Pony kit of 95-97 some players often wore long sleeved shirts that did not have the Pony pattern down the sleeves, while players wearing short sleeves did have the pattern. I suspect that this might have been down to incompetence/poor quality control by the manufacturer rather than being a design feature.

HFK is interested in other examples of significant differences between long and short sleeved shirts so get in touch if you have a contribution.

My thanks to Evan Ardron from New Zealand who discovered the Reading FC History site. The fine collection of early team photographs here as allowed HFK to add seven variations on the navy and white kits worn by Reading prior to World War Two.

20 September: Following the collapse of travel company XL, a group of West Ham supporters have launched a campaign to persuade the board to adopt the Bobby Moore Charity Fund for the rest of the season. HFK wishes to support this campaign and we urge visitors to sign the on-line petition.

motherwell euro squad 2008Motherwell turned out for their first European tie in thirteen years in Nancy without a sponsor's logo on their shirts last Thursday. This is due to a ban on advertising gambling as well as tobacco and alcohol in France. Last September the founders of BWin, Manfred Bonder and Norbert Teufelburger were arrested at a press conference organised to launch a shirt sponsorship deal with AC Monaco. Subsequently the French football authorities banned shirt sponsorship by on-line gambling concerns, forcing Toulouse and Nantes to drop their deals with 888 and Gamebookers respectively.

In Romania FC Timisoara have been docked six points and forced to change their violet and white playing strip in a prolonged dispute with Claudio Zambon who owns the original Politehnica Timisoara club - the current club was set up after Zambon moved his club to the outskirts of Bucarest. The decision has provoked mass street protests by thousands of supporters calling for the decision to be reversed and an enquiry into alleged corruption in the Romanian Football Federation.

As you know, HFK is dedicated to bringing you the most detailed and comprehensive archive of English and Scottish kits possible. With this in mind, HFK has been consulting with Simon Monks and Tonino Ciuffini on the vital question of whether the vertical stripe on Luton Town's groundbreaking 1973-74 shirt was black or navy blue. The issue has been settled by James Garley, who runs the independent Lutonfc.com site in favour of navy blue. James, incidentally helped design the club's current kit.

The Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday galleries have been upgraded.

 

4 November: The twelve Scottish Premier League teams will wear poppies on their shirts this coming weekend to xmark Remembrance Sunday according to the Daily Record. Last season Hearts wore a special commemorative shirt in the corresponding weekend, featuring the names of the seven Hearts players who lost their lives duing the First World War. Clubs in the English Premier and Football leagues also wore poppies on their tops last November.

Matt writes with a slightly different account of Lincoln's 1994-95 shirts: Regarding the Lincoln kits mentioned on the main page. It's right that they only had numbers on the shorts but there were no players names (almost certain it said RED IMPS on the back of the shirts). The reason they only ever wore 1-11 was because we didn't have squad numbers in the bottom division until the 1999-2000 season.

The Guardian reports that former Gretna owner, Brooks Mileson, died yesterday in Cumberland Infirmary. Mileson bankrolled Gretna's astonishing rise from the English Unibond League to the Scottish Premier. The club collapsed earlier this year after Mileson withdrew funding and was confined to his home due to ill health. HFK extends condolences to Mileson's family.

The East Fife, East Stirlingshire, Edinburgh City and Elgin City galleries have been upgraded.

31 October: Dave Peatey has been in touch again with some missing Wycombe Wanderers kits: (1965-66, 1971-72, wycombe wanderers 1898-99 team1980-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1984-85 added). Our photograph today shows the Chairboys team of 1898-99 in their original halved shirts of Cambridge and Oxford blue. The familiar quarters appeared around 1930, were dropped between 1968 or 1969 and finally restored in 1990.

Jon Jones writes with this oddity concerning Lincoln City's kit from 1994-95. The backs of the shirts carried the player’s name but bizarrely no number, whilst the shorts carried a large white number both on the front and back in a similar manner to Celtic. No matter who was playing the outfield players still wore numbers 2-11 on the pitch but each player wore their own shirt with their name on it. Even more strangely, goalkeepers had squad numbers on the back of the shirt (hence their regular starting keeper wore number 13!).

Numbers were added to the back of the shirt during the course of the season, not sure what date exactly nor if this was a rule enforced by the FA or the Football League, but I certainly recall Lincoln played Crystal Palace in the third round of the FA Cup in January 1995 in a green and purple away kit with purple numbers hastily applied, but still with numbers on the shorts!

Coventry City (2008-09 away sponsor corrected), Annan Athletic (1985-86, 1986-87 added), Bury (1903- FA Cup Final kit corrected),

Dundee, Dundee United, Dundee Wanderers (now including Strathmore), Dunfermline Athletic, Dykehead upgraded.

27 October: We're very pleased to announce that, in response to demand, we are now able to offer limited advertising space on HFK. For details please visit our Advertising page.

xAlisdair Gibbs-Barton noted that Newcastle matched last season's white third choice shorts with their home shirts for the game at Sunderland over the weekend. Quite why they would do this rather than wear their away or third kits, both of which would have been perfectly suitable, is a mystery. (Picture courtesy of Sunderland FC - click the image to visit their gallery of the game.)

Christmas is approaching and visitors have been busy spotting new third and alternate kits launched in good time for those looking for a present for the fan who already has this season's home and away shirts. Southend United (3rd kit added), Exeter City (3rd kit added), Barnsley (3rd kit added), Tottenham Hotspur (Euro kit added). We also have a few more variations clocked by vigilant fans: Manchester United (alternate away kit added).Crewe Alexandra (alternate away kit added), Huddersfield Town (alternate away kit added).

The Cowdenbeath, Cowlairs, Dumbarton (now including Dumbarton Athletic) and Dumbarton Harp galleries have been upgraded.

21 October: Peterborough United (2008-09 H & 3rd socks corrected); Milton Keynes Dons (2008-09 3rd added); Fulham (2008-09 3rd added).

Clyde and Clydebank (original) upgraded.

wycombe wanderers 1992 shirt20 October: One of the challenges of researching kits for HFK is interpreting colours from old photographs. Often we can refer to written sources to back up our interpretation, which is exactly what we were able to do with the early Watford photographs we've been working with recently. You might think that modern colour photography would have resolved the problem but not so. Lighting conditions, exposure times and all manner of technological thingies mean that two images the same item can appear quite different according to conditions. Which brings me to today's images, sent in by Dave Peatey. A fan of Wycombe Wanderers, Dave wrote in last week asserting that the Chairboys had changed the colours in their kits from traditional Cambridge and Oxford blue to a more modern sky blue and navy in 1994. When wycombe wanderers 1994 shirtpressed for evidence, Dave sent in (among a host of other material now posted) these two photos of shirts from his personal collection. The photographs are taken in an identical location with the same camera and lighting conditions and very clearly show the change. Rarely do we deal with such incontrovertible evidence.

Tranmere Rovers (1993-95, 1997-99, 2004-05 detailing amended); Scunthorpe United (new 2008-09 3rd kit variant added); Berwick Rangers (2008-09 away kit detailing added).

19 October: We've been very fortunate over the last few weeks to have had access to a number west herts fcofearly photographs of Watford. The icing on the cake was a set from the collection at the Watford Museum sent in by Sarah Priestley, the museum's Heritage Officer. These have added a considerable amount of detail and confirmed the one remaining uncorroborated strip in our archive. (1890-93, 1910-11, 1919-20, 1922-23 added; 1914-19 and 1928-34 detailing added). Today's picture is from the collection sent in earlier by Wayne Godfrey: the charmingly bucolic scene shows the team in relaxed mood before their first game at the Cassio Ground wearing olive green and red shirts. Their new landlord had made it a condition that the team change its name from Watford Rovers to West Herts although players and supporters continued to use the old name until 1898, when they became Watford FC.

We also have a mixed bag of Scottish updates: Peterhead (1976-79 added), Elgin City (1976-78 added), Albion Rovers (1911-12 added), Ferranti Thistle (January 1960, 1960-65, January 1968 confirmed and detailed), Ross County (1987, 1993-94 added).

17 October: More Scottish upgrades: Berwick Rangers, Bo'ness, Brechin City, Broxburn United (now includes all the clubs that preceded the formation of United in 1912), Cambuslang and Clackmannan.

16 October: Using material sent in by Wayne Godfrey, we have been able to confirm details of Watford's early strips (1888-89, 1893-97, 1898, 1903-04 amended). Wayne runs the Hornet History site, which concentrates on the club's post-war career.

Some additions to the 2008-09 collection have been made: Rangers (new 3rd kit added), Leeds United (stocking details added), Colchester United (3rd kit added), Cambridge United (new sponsor added).

Abercorn (1910-11 amended).

15 October: On 9 October we posted a picture of what we thought was an early Sheffield FC team sheffield fc 1890but which turned out to be a London XI from 1865. Today I heard from Guy Higton, Sheffield's Commercial Manager, who tells us that the club are also aware of this mistake and have removed the image from their own site. Guy has sent us this splendid picture of the team dated 1890 showing the players in their red and black halved shirts. (Click the image to see the full photograph - you know the drill by now.) Note the variety of headgear and the representative badges sewn onto several players' shirts, signifying they had been capped for the county.

The upgrade of the Scottish section is proceeding - the Armadale, Arthurlie, Ayr United, Bathgate and Beith pages have all been updated. Additional information that was not available when the Scottish section was first set up is now being added along with rare archive photographs. Many of the names involved here are unfamiliar and belong to clubs that have long ago been lost but there are some fascinating stories (not to mention some odd kits) in this section and I do urge you to take a look.

14 October: Aldershot Town (1998-99 added - some details still needed): Walsall arbroath 1885(1903-09 added):Tranmere Rovers (1980-81 collar corrected): Wycombe Wanderers (1987-88, 1988-90, 1990-92, 1999-2001 details amended): Ross County (mid 70s added): Cardiff City (1991-92,1992-93, 1994-95 missing details added).

Arbroath gallery upgraded. The featured photograph today shows the 1885 team that beat Bon Accord 36-0, still a world record. Their unfortunate opponents on that day were in fact a cricket team who had received their invitation to play in the Scottish FA Cup by mistake. Arbroath are known as the "Red Lichties" after the red lights (lichts in Scots) hoisted on the fishing fleet's masts when they were returning to port to signal the womenfolk to fire up the smokers ready for the catch.

13 October: Huddersfield Town have introduced a limited edition shirt in pink and white, with xproceeds going to the Huddersfield HRI Breast Cancer Care Fund. The 88 shirts put on sale sold out within 7 hours and the club is now considering producing another batch.

Blackpool have secured a shirt sponsorship deal with Carbrini Sportswear who replace the club's previous sponsor, Floors-2-Go, who went bankrupt immediately before the season opened. This new brand of JD Sports now appears on the shirts of five English clubs as well as those of Dundee United in Scotland.

Current away kits for several Scottish clubs have been added: Albion Rovers, Berwick Rangers, Stenhousemuir, Alloa Athletic, Livingston. We now have complete records of both home and away kits for 2008-09.

The Airdrie United, Airdrieonians, Albion Rovers and Alloa Athletic galleries have been upgraded.

10 October: Peter Ferrette has been in touch to tell me that yesterday's picture, widely published as being of Sheffield FC is in fact a group of London-based players from 1865. Note that several players are wearing the crest of the City of London on their shirts, indicating that they have represented the London FA. Furthermore, the bearded gent seated on the left appears to be the illustrious Lord Kinnaird, joint founder and later President of the FA. Kinnaird habitually wore trousers rather than knickers when he played.

The indefatigable Simon Monks has been at it again, uncovering various obscure old kits for HFK. His latest contribution includes West Bromwich Albion (1905-06, 1956-57 added, 1960-64 amended, various dates amended): Chesterfield (1946-47 collar corrected): Chester (1932-33 stocking details corrected). The jewel in the crown is a set of rare photographs of Welsh side Aberdare Athletic, which allow me to add three kits (circa 1910, 1923 and 1927) and correct the 1898-1900 entry.

The Abercorn and Aberdeen galleries have been upgraded.

9 October: Today's picture is the earliest known photograph of Sheffield FC, the oldest football club in london XI 1865the world. The players are wearing a motley collection of headgear, knickers and trousers (click on the thumbnail to see the full image). This was probably taken before the introduction of uniform shirts. Players would wear whatever they had to hand. In this instance several members of the Sheffield team are wearing cricket-whites) and opposing teams would be distinguished by coloured hats and/or scarves. In 1879 Birmingham Association's appearance in the FA Cup prompted this newspaper report (from Tony Onslow's book The Lost Cup sent in by Rob Horton).

In football it is a most essential point that the members of one team should be clearly distinguished from those of the other.  The only way this can be effected is for each club to have a distinct uniform as the diversity of dress displayed yesterday not only confused the members of the team, but the spectators were quite unable to say whether a man belonged to one team or the other.

Clubs were prohibited from buying players' kit so these were bought by the team members individually and as a result there was considerable variation between individual items. A close examination of a Victorian team photograph will typically reveal different collars, varying stripes and alternating halves or quarters.

york city 1935-36The Wigan Athletic, Wigan Borough, Workington, Wrexham and York City galleries have been upgraded. Our second photo is of the York team in 1935-36 when they wore a unique combination of chocolate and cream stripes, a deliberate evocation of the city's main industry, the manufacture of chocolate. The entire Football League archive has now been upgraded and I have started work on the Scottish section.

The vogue for one-off commemorative kits is threatening to get out of hand. Norwich City have announced that the team will wear replicas of the strip worn in 1958-59 in their FA Cup third round tie on 3 January. This marks the fiftieth anniversary of a cup run that took them to the semi-finals.

Charlton Athletic (1967-68, 1968-70 kits now in correct sequence); Partick Thistle (2008-09 sponsor's details updated).

7 October: My thanks to Robert Heys, Chief Executive of Accrington Stanley for providing accurate versions of the club's 2008-09 shirt sponsor.

The photograph featured on 2 October has prompted some interesting responses. The general consensus is that the featured team is not Walsall FC but most likely an American soccer team. Steve Barnes offers the following: No date is suggested but it looks like it could be the 1920's. It certainly does look like an American team as you suggest and I believe soccer was very popular in the US at that time. According to  http://www.sover.net/~spectrum/  a team from Worcester Massachusetts toured the West Midlands in the late 1920's and played matches at Kidderminster, Stourbridge and Evesham amongst others. Perhaps Patrick's great grandfather made a guest appearance for them. It's a bit of a long shot but it seems feasible. The "W" logo certainly supports this theory.

There is also an interesting thread on the Saddler's independent site started by HFK's good friend, Neil Morris.

The West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United galleries have been upgraded. Chelsea (1959-60 stocking detail amended). East Stirlingshire (2008-09 kits now correct).

mystery kit october 20082 October: Patrick Anderson recently sent me today's photo (click on the thumbnail to see the full picture) to see if we could find out anything about it. Patrick's great grandfather, Samuel Southall, is one of the players shown and he believes the team might be Walsall. I have my doubts and Neil Morris, HFK's expert on the club does not recognise the picture. Points of interest include the style of dress of the five gents in suits, which looks American rather than British to me. Another thing to notice is the styling of the players' shirts, which include a serifed "W," reminiscent of American College Football. In fact, that's where I would have left it if it were not for the soccer ball in the foreground. If you can add anything, please let me know.

The Torquay United, Tranmere Rovers and Walsall galleries have been upgraded. Wycombe Wanderers (2008-09 3rd kit added).

28 September: Today's photograph features the Stoke team of 1906-07 wearing the claret shirts of the period. stoke fc 1906-07 Stoke's familiar red and white stripes first appeared in 1883 and were worn when the club became founder members of the Football League in 1888. Stoke were replaced by Sunderland in 1890 but regained their place after one season in the Football Alliance. The Football League now required clubs to register their colours and stipulated that no two teams could play in the same designs. As Sunderland were already playing in red and white stripes, Stoke were forced to adopt an alternative but continued to play in red and white stripes in friendly and FA Cup games. In 1897 they adopted claret shirts and continued to wear these until 1908 when the club resigned from the Football League and was wound up. A new limited company was immediately formed and entered first teams in both the Southern League (wearing red and blue) and the Birmingham & District League (wearing red and white). When Stoke returned to the Football League in 1915, they registered their colours as red and white. Because competition was then suspended for the duration of the Great War, they did not play their first fixture until 1919. Stoke's outfit has remained substantially unchanged ever since apart from three seasons (1983-86) when red shorts replaced their traditional white ones.

The Stockport County, Stoke City, Swansea City and Thames galleries have been upgraded.

I will shortly begin upgrading our Scottish section and would be grateful for old team photographs to include in team pages - the older the better. Please review my current research projects page before responding.

26 September: The Guardian today reports that a number of shirt sponsorship deals with Premiership clubs are at risk because of the global financial crisis. Insurance giant AIG, who sponsor Manchester United's shirts, have been rescued by the US taxpayer but JJB Sports, who sponsor Wigan Athletic have announced they may be unable to continue trading if a wrangle with their bank is not resolved. Shares in KCom, parent company of Hull City's sponsor, Karoo, fell by 13% yesterday and have almost halved since Hull gained promotion. Read more...

25 September: Everton have launched a special limited edition pink shirt. This will not be worn in any matches but funds raised from sales will go to Breast Cancer Research, the NSPCC and the Everton in the Community charity. Advance orders are now being taken for delivery in November.

Shrewsbury Town (1947-48, 1955-57, 1957-58, 1980-81 added and gallery upgraded); Southend United, Southport and Stalybridge Celtic galleries upgraded. Millwall (badges amended 1956-1965). QPR (badges 1975-1981 amended). AFC Bournemouth (2008-09 third kit added).

stirling ablion v alloa athletic 13 september 200824 September: An article on the history of Stirling Albion's kits by HFK was featured in the club programme for their home match with Alloa Athletic on 13 September. The article has also been posted prominently on the club's official website.

Berwick Rangers (2008-09 home kit added). This completes our collection of home kits for the current season although we still need some Scottish away kits.

Here's an interesting contribution from Andrew Bartlett: I am writing  to make an observation on the Aston Villa kit for 85-87, manufactured by Henson, in which there is a significant difference between the long and short sleeved version of the shirts. In the short sleeve version the light blue stripes, trimmed with white, extend across the chest and down the sleeves to the cuffs, but in the long sleeve version the sleeves are plain - see this reference photo of Gary Shaw. I think it is a very rare case of a major difference between versions of the same shirt, and in many matches players mixed the designs by wearing both long and shirt sleeved shirts. I believe that the design difference was echoed in the Villa away kit of the time, which was all yellow with claret chest and sleeve bands.

I do recall that in the Spurs Pony kit of 95-97 some players often wore long sleeved shirts that did not have the Pony pattern down the sleeves, while players wearing short sleeves did have the pattern. I suspect that this might have been down to incompetence/poor quality control by the manufacturer rather than being a design feature.

HFK is interested in other examples of significant differences between long and short sleeved shirts so get in touch if you have a contribution.

My thanks to Evan Ardron from New Zealand who discovered the Reading FC History site. The fine collection of early team photographs here as allowed HFK to add seven variations on the navy and white kits worn by Reading prior to World War Two.

20 September: Following the collapse of travel company XL, a group of West Ham supporters have launched a campaign to persuade the board to adopt the Bobby Moore Charity Fund for the rest of the season. HFK wishes to support this campaign and we urge visitors to sign the on-line petition.

motherwell euro squad 2008Motherwell turned out for their first European tie in thirteen years in Nancy without a sponsor's logo on their shirts last Thursday. This is due to a ban on advertising gambling as well as tobacco and alcohol in France. Last September the founders of BWin, Manfred Bonder and Norbert Teufelburger were arrested at a press conference organised to launch a shirt sponsorship deal with AC Monaco. Subsequently the French football authorities banned shirt sponsorship by on-line gambling concerns, forcing Toulouse and Nantes to drop their deals with 888 and Gamebookers respectively.

In Romania FC Timisoara have been docked six points and forced to change their violet and white playing strip in a prolonged dispute with Claudio Zambon who owns the original Politehnica Timisoara club - the current club was set up after Zambon moved his club to the outskirts of Bucarest. The decision has provoked mass street protests by thousands of supporters calling for the decision to be reversed and an enquiry into alleged corruption in the Romanian Football Federation.

As you know, HFK is dedicated to bringing you the most detailed and comprehensive archive of English and Scottish kits possible. With this in mind, HFK has been consulting with Simon Monks and Tonino Ciuffini on the vital question of whether the vertical stripe on Luton Town's groundbreaking 1973-74 shirt was black or navy blue. The issue has been settled by James Garley, who runs the independent Lutonfc.com site in favour of navy blue. James, incidentally helped design the club's current kit.

The Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday galleries have been upgraded.

 

19 September: I am grateful to Mark Alton for providing five missing kits for the Kidderminster Harriers gallery (1977-78, 1978-80, 1980-81, 1981-2, 1982-83) and three for Cheltenham Town (1979-80, 1980-81, 1981-83). The Rushden & Diamonds gallery has been upgraded.

17 September: Wycombe Wanderers (1898-99, 1919-20, 1985-86, circa 1967 added); Maidstone United (1955-56, 1973-75 added), AFC Bournemouth (2008-09 away kit added). The QPR, Reading Rochdale, Rotherham Town and Rotherham United galleries have been upgraded.

15 September: HFK is delighted to announce the marriage of Matt Moor to Melanie, which took place on Saturday. The happy couple are now enjoying an extended honeymoon in the USA.

newcastle v hull september 2008Paul Elliott wrote in last week wondering what the Hull City would wear for their fixture against Newcastle in Saturday. The problem they have is that both their normal shorts and their alternative ones in "flint grey" clash with Newcastle's. Paul wonderered how, when clubs are exploiting the market through the creation of spurious third kits, Hull failed to realise that they would really need one. Newcastle, on the other hand, have alternate shorts and socks that can be worn with any of their three outfits and were able to lend the visitors a set of white shorts and stockings for the occasion. (Photo courtesy of the official Hull City website.)

Following the collapse of travel company XL, West Ham appeared in unsponsored shirts at the weekend against West Brom. HFK believes this is the first time in the Premiership that two teams have played each other without sponsorship aside from last season's Munich commemorative derby in Manchester when both teams wore kits specially commissioned for the occasion. (Thanks to John Lovett for this excellent piece of trivia).

We have been featuring this mystery Everton shirt from time to time since June and now, thanks to Steve Flanagan and David France, HFK can reveal that this was indeed the club's official third kit between 1986 and 1989 but was never used in a competitive match with the possible exception of the Mercantile Trophy held at Wembley in 1988.

Additional information provided by Richard Banyard allows us to add some more information to the Swindon Town gallery (1928-29, 1923-24 added; 1937-39, 1983-84, 2002-03 corrected).

Hamilton Academical (2008-09 away added); Wycombe Wanderers (2008-09 missing detailing added); Luton Town (2008-09 kits corrected).

11 September: Grimsby Town (1935-36, 1936-37 added, 1938-39 corrected); Northampton Town (1935-36 added); Old Accrington Stanley (1965-66 added); Modern Accrington Stanley (2008-09 away added, 1977-78 corrected); Ayr United (2008-09 away added); Greenock Morton (2008-09 third added).

7 September: Wolves (1982-83 added), Chester City (1962-64, 2008-09 corrected), Cardiff City (1991-92, 2008-09 away added), Ross County (2008-09 away added), Tranmere Rovers (2008-09 away stockings now confirmed),

6 September: 15 years ago we lived a stone's throw away from the County Ground in Northampton, a three-sided ground rented from the county cricket club with a wooden stand that was demolished for safety reasons after the disaster at Bradford in 1985. It was, without question, the worst ground in England. Ever since I have followed the Cobbler's progress with interest and am delighted to have received some new material from Colin Russell that is now posted on the Northampton Town gallery (1905-06, 1930-31, 1947-48, 1950-51, 1960-61, 1973-74 added: various dates amended).

wimbledon 19195 September: Simon Monks let me know about the excellent Memories of the Dons website. With help from webmaster Dave Hambly and his associates, I have been able to comprehensively update the Wimbledon gallery. Among the treasures uncovered is this image of the team immediately after the First World War. Two questions remain unanswered - what were the colours of the shirts (I've assumed light blue) and why was the capital "W" banned by the Athenian League authorities? If you know the answer - get in touch.

One of Rangers' nicknames was, at least until the First World War, "The Light Blues" and I have always considered this to be misleading. In Scotland "light blue" was generally used to describe what I would consider to be "mid-blue" while "blue" was used to describe "navy blue." Furthermore, Scottish journalists often confused "navy-blue" and "black." Confusing? I should say so. Rangers' historian has stepped in to confirm that 'Gers did in fact wear light blue (as in "sky blue") shirts until 1921 when the shade we now associate with the club was introduced for the first time.

Macclesfield Town (1999-2000 manufacturer's logo added), Grimsby Town (1933-34, 1946-47 added, 1935-36, 1957-58 corrected), Bristol Rovers (1952-54 quarters reversed), Yeovil Town (1965-66 added),

4 September: With considerable help from Richard Banyard, who runs Swindon Town FC.co.uk I have upgraded the Swindon Town gallery, adding two missings kits (1960-61, 1973-74) and correcting various detailing errors.

The missing 1983-84 kit has been added to the Bristol Rovers gallery and detailing on several kits corrected (1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1987-88).

nottingham forest 1935-363 September: I've been re-examining some photographs of Nottingham Forest in the first half of the 20th century and come to the conclusion that they probably wore dark red shirts rather than the more commonplace bright red until the outbreak of the Second World War. Their first ever colours were recorded as "Garibaldi Red," a rich, dark shade associated with the Italian national hero. A set of these shirts was donated to Woolwich Arsenal in 1886 and were worn by the Londoners until 1934 (the inspiration behind the "redcurrant" shirts worn by the Gunners in 2005-06). I had assumed that Forest had dropped the dark red sometime after the turn of the century but this photograph among others suggests I was wrong.

The badges on all Raith Rovers' kits up until 1955 are now correct and I've upgraded the gallery. Ross County (1958-59 added), Stirling Albion (1957-58, 1958-59 added), St Mirren (1950-51, 1954-55, 1957-58 added), Cowdenbeath (1954-55 added), Hamilton Academicals (1954-55 added), Hartlepool United (1935-36 added), Millwall (1895-96 added), Brighton (1935-36), Grimsby Town (1935-36), Wolves (1892-93 added), Blackburn Rovers (1904-05 amended).

manchester united 1958 fa cup final shirt2 September: Tim Ashmore has sent in this photograph of a Manchester United shirt from the 1958 FA Cup Final from his personal collection. The point of interest is the label (click on the image to see the detail) which is embroidered with the legend "Styled by Matt Busby." This is an early example of product endorsement but the degree to which Busby was actually involved in the design is unclear. Tim also advances the theory that the hooped shirts adopted in March 1934 were borrowed from Wigan RLFC when United were in dire financial straits.

Ross County (1996 added). Alick Milne, who has made a superlative contribution to this site, has discovered one of his missing notebooks covering Scottish clubs in the 1950s as well as Peterhead's more recent kits: Peterhead (1947-48, 1984-85, 1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90 added; 1977-79 corrected): Airdrieonians (1951-52, 1952-53 added), Clyde (1952-53 added), Dumbarton (1957-58 added), Dunfermline Athletic (1953-57, 1956-57 alternate, 1958-59 added), East Fife (1950-51, 1952-53, 1953-54 added), Falkirk (1956-57 added), Leith Athletic (1950-51 added), Montrose (1952-53, 1954-55 added), Motherwell (1949-51 stockings corrected), Queen's Park (1952-53 added),

There are only a handful of kits needed to complete the 2008-09 galleries, mostly Scottish. A list is on the updated Current Research Projects page in case you want to keep an eye out for them.

1 September: 2008-09 updates - AFC Bournemouth (A), Hartlepool United (A), East Stirlingshire (H&A), Livingston (H).

It's always a pleasure to hear from those who have expert knowledge of one of the smaller clubs so I was very pleased to hear from John Taylor recently. John has been instrumental in getting a number of Chesterfield's replica shirts made and designed the club's 2002-03 kit. John has provided some corrections and detailed graphics of badges worn by the club between 1946 and 2003, He also contacted the club's historian, Stuart Basson, on behalf of HFK regarding the green and white striped shirt recorded for 1903-06. Stuart's advice is that the only record of this strip is in a wildly innaccurate article in the 1905 Book of Football: the offending item has now been removed

plymouth-argyle 196830 August: The Plymouth Argyle gallery has been upgraded, giving me the chance to post this picture (courtesy of Greens on Screen) of the Argyle side from 1968-69 wearing, what is for me, the most elegant kit to have graced the Football League. A radical departure from the club's tradition of wearing green shirts and white shorts, this kit was worn between 1964 and 1971, with an predominantly green version being first choice from 1966-68. Argyle have the distinction of having worn green, a supposedly unlucky colour in the superstitious circles of English football since the formation of the original Argyle club in 1886. By coincidence, their West Country rivals, Yeovil Town, also wear green.

A couple of new third kits were unveiled this weekend. Derby County will be impersonating Coventry City, Portsmouth will be wearing all-black, just like almost everyone else while Sheffield Wednesday will use last season's orange and blue change kit plastered with Lotto logos as their third choice.

29 August: Time to tackle the many corrections and additions sitting in my in-box. Doncaster Rovers (2006-07 amended - Steven Holmes, our Donny expert, explains that the club's shirt sponsor, Streetwise Sports, a brand owned by Carlotti, went bankrupt so the parent company took over as sponsor while the Streetwise name was retained in the maker's logo.) QPR (1990-91 sponsor's logo corrected). Barnsley (1995-96 detailing amended). Greenock Morton (1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-91, 1995-96, 1997-2000, 2001-03 detailing corrected or added). Peterborough United (1978-79 corrected). Wolves (late 1985 added). Swindon Town (1962-64, 1964-65 correct badges applied). Accrington Stanley (1977-78 sponsor added).

Every once in a while Gerry Wolstenholme, the acknowledged expert on the history of Blackpool lets slip another tantalising item in the club's colourful early history (1901 added).

port vale 1995-96 shirt?Alasdair Thorburn has sent me this photograph of a Port Vale shirt that I have provisionally dated as being from the 1995-96 season. Typical of the bizarre designs of the mid-nineties, this is certainly authentic and I would be grateful for confirmation of the dates, sponsorship, shorts and stocking details so if you can help, please get in touch.

It turns out that the commemorative halved shirts adopted by Raith Rovers this season are not modelled on the club's original strip after all. I have been copied in to this correspondence between Raith's commercial manager and John Litster, who runs a comprehensive football programme site for collectors: As I explained to you before, (the halved shirt) was not the club's first ever kit. Before that, and afterwards, they wore blue jerseys. The only distinction of the kit is that it was the first to be photographed, and there was reference to this occasion in a contemporary newspaper report (which is included in the forthcoming book). The kit was first worn in 1887, not 1883. In answer to David Moor's question, the colour was mid-blue, as the photograph taken by R. Milliken in 1887 shows a clear distinction between the shade of the jerseys, and those of their shorts, and the jackets of the two gentlemen not in playing kit. I note also that the mid-blue is on the right hand side of the jersey in 1887, and the navy blue is on the left hand side of the 2008 version.

charlton european cup 1968

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Manchester United's historic European Cup win at Wembley in 1968. To mark the occasion the club has issued a commemorative kit that will be used as a third kit in domestic competition and as a change strip in the Champions' League.

We have quite a few amendments to the Bristol Rovers gallery today: (2008-09 anniversary kit added, 1980-81 added, 1986-87 & 1987-88 sponsorship amended, 1988-90 amended, 1993-95 & 1995-96 dates corrected, 1997-98 collar detail corrected, 1999-2000 corrected, 2000-01 added, 2001-03 & 2005-06 amended.)

28 August: 2008-09 updates - Luton Town's new kits have arrived, Newcastle United (A variant), Blackpool (H alternate), Mansfield Town (H), Rushden & Diamonds (H), Hamilton Academical (H&A), Queen of the South (UEFA Cup strip), Airdrie United (H&A), Annan Athletic (H&A), Brechin City (A), Montrose (H,A&3rd), Stirling Albion (A), St Johnstone (A).

Everton mystery shirtBack in June we featured this mysterious Everton away shirt from the late 1980s, of which no official records appear to exist. A number of people have, however, written in with theories and at least three recall seeing one of their mates wearing it or, as in Paul Henshaw's case, used to own one. Paul suggests the shirt might have been worn during the Football League Centenary Tournament held in 1988, which is as plausible as anything I've heard.

27 August: HFK is back after a short summer break. I'll complete the 2008-09 entries over the next few days starting with Colchester United (A), Crewe Alexandra (A), MK Dons (A), Derby County (A), Brentford (A amended), Dagenham & Redbridge (A), Chester City (H), Exeter City (H), Sunderland (3rd), Nottingham Forest (A & 3rd), QPR (H amended, H alternate, A, 3rd alternate), Oldham Athletic (new sponsor added), Manchester City (3rd), Everton (3rd).

12 August: David Dobberson, who describes himself as a lifelong Luton fan sent me this interesting snippet yesterday. The kit Luton wore against Port Vale for the first match of the season ... is, in fact, the kit that a 'Luton Legends' team wore on 13th May 2008 against an Arsenal Pro-Celebrity team to commemorate Luton's 1988 Littlewoods Cup Final victory over the Gunners.  The kit is a close reproduction of the one worn in 1988 (with sponsors Bedford), but, presumably, Luton were unable to get the original Adidas outfit, so there are only two stripes, and there is a commemorative badge where the Adidas trademark would have been.  The shorts and socks were not the ones worn for the 'Legends' match, but are just unmarked, plain ones.

2008-09 updates - Rotherham United (A amended), Exeter City (A), Dagenham & Redbridge (H), Chester City (A), Accrington Stanley (H).

The English 2008-09 galleries are now very nearly complete so I'm going to concentrate on Scotland for a while. Alloa Athletic (H), Albion Rovers (H), Brechin City (H), Cowdenbeath (H&A), Forfar Athletic (H,A,3rd), Queen's Park (H&A), St Johnstone (H&A), Stenhousemuir (H).

11 August: 2008-09 updates - Doncaster Rovers (3rd), Luton Town (H), Notts County (alternate change), Swindon Town (sponsors added), Wycombe Wanderers (H), Wrexham (H), West Ham United (H amended, 3rd).

Other updates: Coventry City (1981-83 alternate).

10 August: 2008-09 updates - Rangers (A), Raith Rovers (A amended), Dundee (H amended), Stirling Albion (H), Notts County (A), Cardiff City (H), Colchester United (H), Stockport County (HA&3rd), Aldershot Town (H&A), Lincoln City (HA3rd), Bristol City (3rd).

9 August: 2008-09 updates - Barnsley (A), Southend United (A), Rochdale (details amended), Chesterfield (A), Sheffield United (new sponsor added), Stranraer (H&A), Newcastle United (3rd), Kidderminster Harriers (H), York City, Carlisle United (A&3rd), Northampton Town (H amended), Bolton Wanderers (A) and Fulham (A).

partick thistle 20087 August: 2008-09 updates - How about this stunning new away kit from Partick Thistle? Launched on 4 August, the shirt has already sold out in the club shop (picture courtesy of Partick Thistle Pressbox.) Rotherham United (H&A), Rochdale (details amended), Bradford City (H), Darlington (H&A), Notts County (H).

5 August: 2008-09 updates - Brighton (H amended, A added), Port Vale (H&A), West Bromwich Albion (H&A), Chelsea (3rd), Blackburn Rovers (H), Liverpool (3rd), Leeds United (shirts sponsor added), Everton (A), QPR (H&3rd), Hereford United (H), Crewe Alexandra (H).

4 August: We're back! We apologise for the apparent lack of activity on the site over the last fortnight and appreciate all the mail we received expressing concern. I can confirm that we have not been forced to stop work, fallen seriously ill or been abducted by aliens. Unfortunately my PC threw a hissy fit and then downed tools completely two weeks ago. After a period of intensive care and a stiff talking to by HFK's PC pixie, we are up and running once again.

peterborough united 1934 shirtDelayed by the hiatus was the upgrade of the Peterborough United gallery, a perfect excuse to show you this rare early Peterbrough shirt in green and white, worn by Jack Smith who played for the Posh in the 1930s and featured on the excellent history section of the club's website. Peterborough have adopted green for their third choice kit this season.

Richard Worth wrote to us while we were away wondering why so many clubs have opted for dark away kits this season. My own view is that this is a fashion fad that will pass once the next new idea comes along. Black kits were, of course, not permitted before the formation of the English Premier League as they clashed with the referee's kit but since 1995, referees have worn a variety of shirts enabling clubs to cash in on the lucrative replica kits market by selling, what were then, novel black outfits. Having said that, all black (or obsidian, flint, dark navy and whatever else we're expected to call them) do look dramatic in promotional photographs and are thought to appear intimidating on the pitch. Whether they will look quite so good on a murky December evening from the stands at Rochdale is of course another matter.

The break has given me the chance to reflect on on the enormity of the task we face in continuing to upgrade the English and Scottish galleries while keeping up with posting the new season's kits. We are also considering future projects, such as galleries of the home nations' kits and a possible Irish club section. To achieve this in some sort of realistic time frame, we will need help with the current upgrade programme, so if you are interested in getting involved and have some experience of using graphics software (preferably Fireworks or perhaps Photoshop) please drop me a line. If there is sufficient interest we'll look into providing a graphics "kit" for contributors to use.

Meanwhile, my inbox is bulging with contributions covering new kits for 2008-09 so I'll be working my way through these and posting the results over the next week or so.

raith rovers 125th anniversary kit22 July: 2008-09 additions: Shrewsbury Town (H&A), Bournemouth (H), Gillingham (H&A), Oxford United (H),Brighton (H), Blackburn Rovers (A&3rd), Raith Rovers (H&A), Ross County (H).

Our photograph today shows Raith Rovers attractive new kit, designed by Puma to mark the club's 125th anniversary. It is based on the club's original outfit from 1883.

21 July: 2008-09 additions: Arbroath (H&A), Ayr United (H), Dumbarton (H&A), Elgin City (H,A&3rd), Swansea City (A), Wigan Athletic (A), West Ham United (H), Torquay United (H).

Josh Petch has sent me details of the special edition top worn by Norwich City against Colchester last season. The shirt featured the names of season ticket holders woven into the fabric and is now shown in the 2007-08 season gallery. The shirts were auctioned off over a fortnight following the game "as worn" - which is to say, unwashed. Eeeuuww.

20 July: The Yeovil Town gallery has been upgraded and the missing 1998-99 kit added.

2008-09 additions: Coventry City (A), Middlesbrough (A).

16 July: The Oldham Athletic gallery has been upgraded. 2008-09 additions: Celtic (H), Rochdale (A).

15 July: If you happen to be in the north-west of England over the next six weeks the Accrington Stanley accrington stanley - the club that wouldn't dieSupporters' Club is mounting an exhibition called The Club That Wouldn't Die at the Accrington Library. The programme includes workshops and activities suitable for both children and adults. HFK is pleased to have contributed graphics of the club's kits for the display. Download a full list and schedule of the workshops taking place.

2008-09 additions: MK Dons (H).

Cambridge United (1960-61, 1990-91 early season added: kits between 1985 and 1991 were in yellow rather than amber and have been corrected).

The Nottingham Forest and Notts County galleries have been upgraded.

14 July: Cardiff City (badge amended on kits 1983-85): Dagenham & Redbridge (1995-96 added): Brighton (1985-86 alternate kit added; 1989-91 detailing added): Hull City (badge amended 1999-2000, 2000-01).

2008-09 additions: Sheffield Wednesday (H), Brighton (3rd), Barnet (H&A), Bristol Rovers (H&A),

13 July: Rangers have launched their new home kit for 2008-09 in a blaze of publicity worthy of a Julian and Sandy sketch from the 1960s BBC Radio classic, Round the Horne. Under the banner "Stripped for Success" we have Ibrox star, Lee McCulloch camping it up in the new kit "anatomically cut to emphasise the athleticism of the modern player." As Sandy might have put it, 'Ere Mr 'Orne, we've got yer actual twill mesh body fabric, yer trilogy back panel and yer zonal body map mesh design. A bona strip for 'omie games.

12 July: Normally we only provide links to other websites when we have sourced information from them, but we are hartlepools united 1908making an exception for two that will be of interest to our visitors. Fanfoot is a French language site with a graphic collection of French club and national team kits going back to pre-war. Asociación Argentina de Coleccionistas de Camisetas de Fútbol is a not-for-profit collective based in Argentina that publishes collections from round the world.

To mark the club's centenary, Hartlepool United have reverted to their original white shirts for this season. The photograph shows the team as it was in 1908. Other 2008-09 additions: Reading (H&A), Bolton Wanderers (H), Nottingham Forest (H), Leeds United (H,A,3rd), East Fife (H&A).

Ian Raffel writes to let us know that Annan Athletic have permission from the SFL to start next seaon wearing their old kits. New strips have been ordered and for the first time, replicas will be available but because they were elected only last week, the order will not be ready in time for the big kick-off in Scotland.

7 July: Annan Athletic have been elected to the vacancy in the Scottish Third Division created by the resignation of Gretna last month. The bookmakers' favourite, Spartans FC from Edinburgh were surprisingly eliminated on the first ballot. The somewhat arbitrary process has led to renewed calls for the introduction of a pyramid structure in Scotland.

This is the second time that the town of Annan has had a club in the SFL, Solway Star having appeared in the original ill-fated Third Division 1923-26. Curiously Annan Athletic share their black and gold stripes with Solway Star, Mid-Annandale (who played in nearby Lockerbie) and Annan RFC. I am curious to know why gold and black is so popular in Dumfries & Galloway. HFK is now researching Annan's historical kits and any information is welcome.

2008-09 additions: Tranmere Rovers (A), Leicester City (A), Hearts (H), Hull City (H), Aston Villa (H&A).

John Lovett, writing about yesterday's varying halved shirts worn by Norwich suggests the reason teams who wore halved shirts didn't always match long ago was because the team would buy six white shirts and six blue shirts and get the players wives, mothers or girlfriends to cut them in half and stitch them back together.

6 July: 2008-09 kits added - Derby County (H), Arsenal (A).

norwich city 1905The Newport County, Northampton Town, Northwich Victoria and Norwich City galleries have been upgraded. Today's picture, taken from Gary Enderby's book in the Images of Sport series, shows Norwich in the blue and white shirts they wore until yellow and green was adopted in 1907. The breeding of canaries was an important cottage industry at the time and supporters had taken to calling the team "The Canaries" so the committee decided to adopt suitable colours to match. A point of interest in the picture is that some shirts are blue on the right hand side and others are white. This was a common feature of halved and quartered shirts at the time, presumably because they were manufactured in small batches rather than being mass-produced and varied between batches that were bought at different times.

4 July: I have been taken to task by Les Motherby of www.ambernectar.org after I asserted that folk in 'Ull would rather see their team wearing plain amber shirts than stripes. Les Writes,

hull city 1992"I strongly disagree with this; yes a few superstitious types claim stripes are unlucky (ignoring that our striped 2004-05 kit was worn during a promotion campaign) but in my experience most prefer stripes as it's more identifiable as Hull City whereas plain shirts make us look like Wolverhampton... I sit on the Fans Liaison Committee at Hull City, a fans panel that meets with the club's chairman each month and whenever we are asked to represent supporter opinion on home shirts, it is overwhemingly weighted in favour in striped shirts favour...The forum on my Hull City site has featured many posts in favour of wearing stripes in our first Premiership campaign."

Can't argue with that. Just to remind ourselves of Hull's kit heritage, today's photograph shows their infamous 1992 kit.

2 July: I've upgraded the Millwall page and added their new kits added to the 2008-09 season galleries. The Nelson, New Brighton and New Brighton Tower galleries have also been upgraded.

middlesbrough ironopolis 18921 July: An interview with Dave Moor, founder of HFK, is today featured on EPL Talk, an independent website devoted to the English Premier League.

The Middlesbrough and Middlesbrough Ironopolis galleries have been upgraded. Ironopolis were formed by dissident members when the original Boro' refused to embrace professionalism in 1889. The "Nops" carried all before them and are pictured with the Northern League champions trophy, which they won three times in a row before being admitted to the Football League in 1893. They outstretched themselves financially and were wound up after one season in Division Two. I believe the team wore dark navy or possibly black when the photograph was taken but have not been able to confirm this.

Dagenham & Redbridge (1992-93 added): Macclesfield Town (1992-93 added): Yeovil Town (1998-2000 corrected).

29 June: 2008-09 additions - Manchester City (H&A), Walsall (shirt sponsorship confirmed), Chesterfield (H), Greenock Morton (H&A). I have updated the Wycombe Wanderers gallery (1946-47, 1986-87 added: various details amended and graphics upgraded).

More on the elusive Everton shirt (below): John Lovett wonders if the shirt might have been a one-off for a game at Wimbledon between 1986 and 1988. At the time the Dons wore blue and yellow shirts and John speculates that Everton's yellow change shirts might have been deemed too similar so an alternative was knocked out. The design of the sponsor's logo and badge certainly place it around that time. David King agrees that the style places the shirt around 1987-1989.

everton mystery shirt26 June: The mystery Everton shirt, featured here on 1 June, has attracted some interesting responses. Evan Ardon writes, "I seem to remember a picture in Shoot magazine in 1992 or 1993 when Kenny Sansom first signed for Everton. It was of him wearing that shirt in a game (or very very similar!). This was 3-4 years after that shirt would have been in existance and I remember
being confused about it at the time.

"The only difference was that the Everton Badge was the same as the 1992 kit, with a blue background, rather than the one in the pic. But, it was obviously a much older shirt as it had the pre 1992 lower case umbro badge (when in that season the strips had the uppercase umbro). I am sure that it is the same shirt (except for the change in Everton badge) as the one in your pic.
"

Steve Flanagan, an expert on Everton's history, adds, "I can't find any record of Everton wearing such a kit at any point.  They did have a white third kit (which was worn at least once away to Aston Villa) in the 1991-92 season, but it is not the same as the kit in your photo (i.e. no blue outlined diamonds whilst the cuffs and collar where different). It does look to be around the mid to late 80's as the NEC logo is the small one as opposed to the larger version and then the updated rounded version in the 90's."

Four missing Cardiff City kits have been added - identical except for different shirt sponsors (1983-84, 1984-85).

2008-09 additions: Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

merthyr town afc 1925-2624 June: At the risk of seeming sentimental, I must confess that the history and kits of those clubs that were lost a long time ago are of greater interest to me than what the overpaid galacticos will be wearing (and their employers will be pressing us to shell out forty quid for) come August , so I make no apology for devoting more time to Merthyr Town. Philip Sweet's excellent history of the club charts the rise, decline and fall of the Green & Reds in the context of the economic conditions that existed in the mining and steel industries that collapsed after the First World War. Aberdare Athletic and Ashington are clubs from similar communities that perished as the industries that supported them fell into decline in the same period. Today's photograph, which is borrowed from the Old Merthyr Tydfil site and also appears in Philip's book shows the team of 1925-26. The club had just been re-elected to the Football League and, to mark a new start, had adopted striped shirts. In 1930 they applied for re-election for the third time and failed. Four years later the club was wound up.

23 June: My grateful thanks to everyone who has contributed research to the away kits project. The material has now been sent to the publishers and this particular project is now closed.

Our priority is now with new additions to the 2008-09 galleries and contributions continue to flow in. Latest additions: Manchester United (A), Liverpool (A), Newcastle United (A), Sheffield Wednesday (A), Northampton Town (H), Southampton (A), Huddersfield Town (A) and Ipswich Town (H&A).

Alternate kits worn by Poland, Italy and the Netherlands have been added to the Euro 2008 gallery.

Merthyr Town 191916 June: The Manchester City and Merthyr Town galleries have been upgraded. In the course of reviewing material for the long extinct Welsh club, I stumbled across the rather fine Old Merthyr Tydfil site which has a small section on Pennydarren Park, the ground where Merthyr Town played and home to the modern Merthyr Tydfil FC, and a nice collection of photographs of both teams. Today's picture, borrowed from the site, is of the Merthyr Town team immediately after the First World War. Although it is hard to make out, the players wore red shirts with a green V at this time.

15 June: 2008-09 additions: Preston North End (A), Dundee United (H&A). The Macclesfield Town gallery has been upgraded (2005-06 corrected).

13 June: In order to comply with UEFA regulations, a number of variations on registered kits are appearing at Euro 2008. We are posting these in our Euro 2008 gallery.

Latest additions to the 2008-09 galleries: Chelsea (A), Aberdeen (H&A), Oldham Athletic (H&A), Northampton Town (A), Yeovil Town (A), Bradford City (A), Dunfermline Athletic (H&A), Motherwell (H&A) and Peterborough United (H,A&3rd).

12 June: lincoln city circa 1885The Lincoln City gallery has been upgraded. Today's photograph, taken from the official Lincoln City website's history section, showes the team in 1885 wearing red and white striped shirts. Several distinctly different patterns are apparent, something that was not unusual in an era when equipment was bought from local gents' outfitters and individual items often varied from one delivery to the next.. The gent in the bowler is not, by the way, a disgruntled supporter leaving early.

Tranmere Hatman reports back on a recent visit to the Rovers' club shop: Tranmere are retaining their home kit along with the gold away kit from 2007-08 (but) the black away kit is being replaced. As yet they're not releasing details (the girl in the shop knows what colour it is but isn't telling - the little minx). Other 2008-09 additions: Huddersfield Town's centenary kit, Middlesbrough (H), West Ham United (A), Barnsley (H), Hull City (H), Hibernian (H).

11 June: Additions to the 2008-09 galleries: Wigan Athletic (H), Southampton (H), Scunthorpe United, Coventry City (H), Grimsby Town, Sunderland (A), Hartlepool United (3rd), Fulham (H), Macclesfield Town, Watford, Walsall, Partick Thistle (H), Hibernian (A). Several Scunthorpe United kits have had detailing modified (1983-85, 1987-89,1989-90, 1992-94).

8 June: The Leyton Orient gallery has been upgraded. More 2008-09 kits have been posted: Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Burnley (away), Brentford (away kit corrected), Charlton Athletic, Clyde and Queen of the South.

3 June: leeds united 1920-21I'm grateful to Simon Monks who, in his latest contribution, pointed me towards the rather good ozwhitelufc site devoted to the history of Leeds United. There is a comprehensive collection of old team photographs available, which has allowed me to add a number of variations to the kits worn between 1920 and 1960 but do be warned that the photos are very slow to load. Today's photo shows the first Leeds United team from 1920-21 wearing their original blue and white stripes. The burly gentleman in the suit is J Hilton-Crowther who, as chairman of Huddersfield Town, had earlier made an unsuccessful attempt to merge Huddersfield with the new Leeds club.

I have upgraded the Loughborough gallery.

Latest additions for 2008-09: Rochdale, Fulham, Hearts (away) and Celtic (away).

1 Juneeverton 1987 mystery kit: Some time ago Jon Jones sent me this intriguing image of an Everton change shirt from around 1987. The problem is that there is no record of these shirts ever being worn although Jon recalls that a mate owned one. If you can shed any light on this, please get in touch.

The decision by the Scottish Football League to force Gretna to play in the Third Division next season should a buyer be found has proved to be the final nail in the coffin of the stricken club. Scotland on Sunday today reports that the rescue bid by football agent Scott Hume, has been dropped and it is expected that Gretna's adminstrators, whose bill for overseeing this sad process is reported to be over £250,000, will liquidate the club next week. Four clubs, Spartans, Annan Athletic, Preston Athletic and Cove Rangers are believed to be preparing to apply for the vacancy.

Updates today include: Gretna (1999-2000 added): Clydebank (1983-84 added): Halifax Town (1994-95 added and dates for various late 1990s kits adjusted), Exeter City (1982-86 manufacturer's details added): Charlton Athletic (1945-46 added): Huddersfield Town (1930 FA Cup Final kit corrected): Sheffield Wednesday (1935 FA Cup Final kit corrected): Portsmouth (1934 FA Cup Final corrected).

My grateful thanks to everyone who has submitted information about new kits for the 2008-09 season. Keep them coming!

27 May: With the remaining promotion and relegation issues in England settled over the weekend, HFK today launches the new season galleries for 2008-09. Following last seasons popular format, we present teams' home kits arranged by divisions as well as separate galleries with home, away and third kits for the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two. At present these are mostly empty and that's where you come in. Over the summer we would like our visitors to let us know when new kits are released and send us the details (a link or photo) so we can post the kits on the site.

Until the future of Gretna FC is decided we will delay posting the new Scottish season galleries as their fate will determine who will play in which division next season.

Queens of the south25 May: Despite a remarkable come back, Queen of the South were narrowly beaten in yesterday's SFA Cup final by Rangers. The Doonhamers wore a special commemorative kit for the occasion, now added to the Scottish 2007-08 gallery. Picture courtesy of BBC Sport.

Ralph Pomeroy continues to offer up some delicious items on our menu of the Football League's more recent members. Today we offer Wycombe Wanderers (1989-90 added), Boston United (1977-78 added, 1982-83 corrected), Dagenham & Redbridge (1996-97 added), Scarborough (1974-75 added), Yeovil Town (1996-97 detailing added: the extraordinary 1997-98 kit has been updated thanks to Fabrizio Taddei). Aldershot Town (1993-94, 1996-97, 1999-2000 added).

Ralph's recipe for the New Shots 1999-2000 kit is as follows:

Copy Scunthorpe 96-7 shirt    Royal Blue for the claret Red for the sky

Add Scunthorpe  2001-3 collar in white with red infill bit 

Stir for a while

Add Charters white italic, PEUGOT in smaller type but straight capitals

Round club badge beneath collar   

Bring to the boil add white shorts and Red socks picture is hard to make out but I think a matching thin blue stripe runs down the centre of the sleeves from the seam

Wish my scanner worked really

Ralph

west brom 1886 fa cup final24 May: We have a flurry of FA Cup related material today. Simon Monks has been rifling his collection again and sent in corrections for the Blackburn Olympic v Old Etonians final (1883), West Bromwich Albion (1886 - see picture left for the West Brom team in their cardinal red and light blue change kit of the time), Sheffield Wednesday (1890), Aston Villa (1892) and Luton Town (1959). Meanwhile another stalwart supporter of HFK, Chris Worrall has sent in details of Huddersfield's kit worn in the 1928 final.

Ralph Pomeroy has also been busy on our behalf, working through his extensive programme collection for details of kits worn by the Football League's newer members before they joined. Cheltenham Town (1985-86 added), Boston United (1983-85 added), Maidstone United (1983-84 corrected), Kidderminster Harriers (1983-84, 1989-90 added), Yeovil Town (1994-95 added), Macclesfield Town (1993-94 added, 1987-89 corrected). More of Ralphs research follows shortly.

 

john terry in tears22 May : According to the Daily Mail Chelsea players were reluctant to wear their new kit in last night's dramatic UEFA Champions League final having failed to win in it against Bolton in their last Premier League game. The kits worn by Chelsea and Manchester United have been added to the 2007-08 Premier League gallery.

The Doncaster Rovers gallery has had a thorough overhaul, thanks to Donny expert, Chris Worrall. Owing to the large amount of new material available, I have upgraded the Morecambe and Scunthorpe United galleries out of sequence.

Missing kits have been added for Charlton Athletic (1962-63, 1963-64), Hartlepool United (1981-82), Darlington (1982-83), Clapton Orient (1933-34), Huddersfield Town (1946-47) and Northampton Town (1907-08).

Brighton's one off kit, worn in their final league game against Swansea to mark the end of the club's long running sponsorship deal with Skint records has been added. A slight modification to Blackpool's change kit is now recorded.

Portsmouth

17 May : A closely contested match today saw Portsmouth narrowly beat Cardiff City at Wembley to win the FA Cup for the first time since 1939. The kits worn for the occasion are now on display in the FA Cup gallery. (Picture courtesy of the BBC)

I was very pleased to hear from Fabrizio Taddei, Export Manager for Errea, the Italian sportswear company that, in my opinion, provides some of the most interesting and original designs available. Fabrizio confirms that the company prefers to design individual kits in consultation with clubs rather than work to standard templates as the big companies do. Fabrizio has sent in sketches that have enabled me to add detailing to Aldershot Town's kits and accurately depict the extraordinary Scarborough kit from 1997-98.

A number of graphic files seem to been corrupted due to problems with our old computer and/or the process of copying these over to our new one. We are currently tracking down these damaged files and replacing them from back up versions so there is no need to write in.

16 May : There has been something of a hiatus since the coal-fired PC we were using to update the site expired last week. We've now taken delivery of a spangly new computer replete with gigabytes, terabytes and, for all I know, trilobytes.

Sadly, we must record the passing of Halifax Town FC. The Shaymen were formed in 1911 and were founder members of the old Third Division (North). In recent years they have been playing in the National Conference and, despite incurring a ten-point penalty for entering administration in March, they managed to avoid relegation. The revelation that they owed the Inland Revenue over £800,000 in unpaid tax scuppered all hopes of a buy out by the consortiium that had been meeting the club's running costs. My thanks to Matthew Pearson for letting me have some missing details of the Shaymen's kits between 1984 and 2006.

Phil Martin has resolved my question about the Preston NE kit dating from 1869, several years before the club was formed. It turns out that the source I used has incorrectly captioned the photograph, which is in fact of the Harrow School team. Preston's 1974-75 kit has been corrected.

Other updates: Aberdeen (1975-96 added: 1997-98 detailing corrected). Rangers (1987-90 corrected: the kit worn in this week's UEFA Cup Final has been added to this season's gallery.) East Stirlingshire (1992-95 detailing added). Sunderland (2008-09 added), Leeds United (1983-84 corrected), Carlisle United (2000-02 correct manufacturer applied), Sheffield United (1936 FA Cup final kit, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-73 corrected), Sunderland (1937-38 corrected), Blackpool (more accurate badges applied 1948-1968), Bolton Wanderers (1953 FA Cup final badge details corrected), Manchester City (1955 FA Cup final badge corrected), Spurs (1967 FA Cup final badge corrected). Aston Villa ("Champions of Europe" added to the 1982-83 kit, embroidered above the badge.)

6 May: We welcome Aldershot Town to the Football League and to HFK - it is one of the challenges of running this site to research old kits of newly promoted clubs. A gallery for the new Shots has been added but kits between 1992 and 2003 are missing - contact me if you can fill in some gaps. Come to that there are large gaps in our records for many newly promoted clubs - see Current Research Projects for details.

My sincere thanks to all our contributors who have provided details of Rangers change kits. The change kits project is now almost complete although some gaps remain. See Current Research Projects for details.

East Stirlingshire (1990-91 added - detailing needed): Albion Rovers (1985-87 corrected).

2 May : Speaking of things we're getting on with here's a list of recent updates and corrections submitted by visitors.rangers 1877-78 kit

Partick Thistle (1987-88 corrected). Motherwell, Falkirk (2008-09 added), Celtic (detailing corrected 1980-82, 1987-89). Ipswich (2007-08 third kit corrected): Bristol City (2007-08 third kit added), Southampton (1976 FA Cup Final kit corrected), Plymouth Argyle, (manufacturer's details added 1982-87), Yeovil Town (1976-77 added), Rochdale (the 1907 shirt is now available from Toffs), Sheffield United (badge details corrected 1981-87 and 1995-96), Barnet (1986-88, 1988-90, 1990-91, 1995-96,1998-99, 2002-03 corrected), Tranmere Rovers (1980-81 corrected), Wimbledon (1988-89 added).

Congratulations to Rangers on their achievement in reaching the UEFA Cup final last night. Their gallery has now been upgraded and today's photograph shows the team as it was 130 years ago in 1877-78.

Current Research Projects.

28 April : Euro 2008We're not short of things to be getting on with at HFK at the moment, what with the various European domestic leagues heading into the final stretch of another season and many clubs already releasing previews of next season's kits. In between all of that however there is the small matter of a major international football tournament taking place in Austria and Switzerland. So in preparation for that we've put together our first international kit gallery for Euro 2008.

24 April : Celtic circa 1890I have upgraded the Celtic gallery with material submitted by Jon Alexander, Alexander Perkin and gleaned from the excellent Kerrydale Street Wiki, which has a superlative collection of photographs that include the first ever Celtic team in their green trimmed white shirts as well as a selection team pictures in the club's early vertically striped shirts (see left). It was not until 1903 that the famous hooped tops appeared.

Until the late 1970s, Celtic rarely changed their kit, preferring to play in their hooped tops even when there was a colour clash. The demands of television broadcasters, UEFA regulations, and the lure of the replica kit market have long since changed the club's attitude. Most of the rare early change kits have now been recorded and will be published later this year. For details of remaining gaps please see Current Research Projects.

19 April: The Tottenham Hotspur gallery has been upgraded.

As usual, whenever I appeal for information, I am overwhelmed by the contributions that immediately flood in. My thanks to everyone who has responded to my request for details of pre-1980 change kits of Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle, Spurs, Celtic and Rangers. I still have some gaps so, if you think you can help, please check out my Current Research Projects.

18 April : Peter Moor has sent in a couple of photographs of Birmingham taken shortly before the First birmingham 1911World War and featuring the bold "V" that adorned their tops until 1927. This suggests that they were adopted rather earlier than I had previously believed.

17 April : Newcastle United gallery upgraded. With Cardiff City reaching their first FA Cup Final since 1927, I thought it would be timely to clear up the matter of their early kits. Photographs from the period 1908-1930 suggest that the shade of blue worn was considerably paler than the familiar royal blue but are not conclusive. I contacted Ceri Stennet, Media Officer for the FA of Wales and collecter of Cardiff City memorabilia, including an original 1927 FA Cup final shirt. Ceri confirms that the Bluebirds did in fact wear royal blue in their early days. I have corrected the Cardiff gallery.

HFK13 April : HFK extends warmest congratulations to Queen of the South who yesterday beat SPL side Aberdeen 4-3 at Hampden in a match that the Guardian compares to Cleopatra's entry to Rome for spectacle. To mark the Dumfries' sides' first appearance in the SFA Scottish Cup semi-final for 58 years, Queen of the South produced a special commemorative shirt for the occasion, proudly shown off here by the club's chairman, David Rae. Now added to the 2007-08 Scottish First Division gallery.

Manchester United 1921-22 added.

9 April : The Liverpool gallery has been upgraded and in the process, a considerable number of missing kits HFKfrom the period 1900-1960 have been added, sourced from the excellent LFC History site, Their superb collection of team photographs includes today's picture, which shows the players in 1892-93, the year of Liverpool's formation, wearing the light blue and white shirts that Everton had left behind when they quit Anfield at the end of the previous season. It was not until 1894 that Liverpool adopted their familiar red and white colours.

The question posed on 4 April about Birmingham's 1931 FA Cup final kit has been definitively answered by Alan Watton, who points out that an original shirt is on display at the Football Museum in Preston, and the indefatigable Simon Monks. Simon quotes the match report from the Daily Express, Monday April 27th 1931, "The crowd looked more like a boat race crowd than a mass of football enthusiasts because both sides wore blue and so all the favours worn were blue and white."

My thanks to everyone who has responded to my request for information about the pre-1980 change kits of certain clubs. Details are on the Current Research Projects page.

4 April: HFKOn 14 March we noted that Stockport County played in at least one home game wearing gold andblack in January 1958 and theorised that this was a "lucky" change kit, temporarily adopted for home games. Today we publish a photograph of County playing Luton in the FA Cup a fortnight earlier. As was customary when there was a colour clash in the FA Cup, both teams have changed. Stockport are in the gold and black and unexpectedly won by 3-0. A lucky kit indeed.

Barrow (1969-70 added). Barnsley (1946-47 added).

Derek Shelley has written to suggest that Birmingham wore red shirts in the 1931 FA Cup against West Bromwich Albion (see photo left). Do let me know if you can confirm this.

birmingham Luton Town (1932-34, 1934-35, 1946-47, 1947-48 added: 1920-32, 1948-53 corrected) - all from Simon Monks.

28 March: Spare a thought for Simon Monks, a serial contributor to HFK who knows moreHHK about Luton Town than is healthy. He writes, rather worryingly, that under "extreme pressure" to tidy his study over Easter he discovered a set of Soccer Bubble Gum Cards from 1956-57. The information has been forwarded to HFK and allows us to confirm new dates for previously published kits for Rotherham, Wolves, Chelsea, Fulham, Spurs, Liverpool, Stoke, Derby, Chesterfield and Hull City. New material includes Grimsby Town (1956-57 added) and Doncaster Rovers (1956-57 corrected). HFK does not condone the use of coercive methods for research.

Which brings us to today's photograph, a scruffy image from Simon's collection of the 1956-57 Doncaster Rovers team that features Charlie Williams. Older visitors will recognise Charlie as a fine stand-up comedian of the old school who sadly left us in September 2006.

In other news, Gerry Wolstenholme, Blackpool FC's historian, has provided information about the club's 1903 kit and clarified various dates. There is still a lot of work to be done on Blackpool's early kits and contributions are welcome.

Clapton Orient (1932-33 added). St Johnstone (text updated).

26 March: Alex Howells has sent me this photograph of Manchester United with the FA Cup in 1948. This HFKshows the team wearing the royal blue and white kit they used for the final and is evidence that the stockings matched the shirts and were not black and white, as I previously believed.

Swansea City (2007-08 third kit added): Tranmere Rovers (2007-08 third kit corrected). Aston Villa (1947-48 added).

HFK has been commissioned to provide graphics for a series of books to be published later this year. As a result we are currently researching away (change) kits for a number of clubs and would appreciate some help from our regular visitors. Details are here in the Current Research Projects article.

21 March: We've moved the whole HFK site to a brand new host today. It's all gone (suspiciously) smoothly and it means we'll be putting some new features on the site in the coming months.

14 March: Paul Barnes, who is something of an expert of Preston North End, has been in touch with new preston north end 1870 kitinformation about the club's kits between 1975 and 1993. This material, together with some new kits I have come across covering the Fifties and early Sixties, has now been added and the club's gallery upgraded. Todays photograph comes from the collection of the Association of Football Historians, and is particularly intriguing because it dates from 1869-70, which is nine years before the first known game of football played by the club and eleven years before the committee voted to adopt association rules. Furthermore, the players are wearing vertically striped shirts, which were exceedingly unusual at the time. Do contact me if you can shed any light on this curiosity.

Fulham (1966-67 added). York City (1982-83 added).

Two clubs have announced this week that they will enter financial administration. Gretna, who have struggled in the Scottish Premier League this season, face collapse after their chairman and benefactor, Brooks Mileson was forced to step down for health reasons. Meanwhile the consortium planning to take over Halifax Town has announced that they will enter administration rather than face a petition for a winding-up order brought by former chairman Raymond Moreland who is owed £9,450 by the club. HFK offers best wishes to the officials and supporters of both clubs and hopes that these serious steps will ensure their long-term survival.

stockport county 1958 kitThis interesting snippet is from a Stockport County v Halifax Town programme dated 18 January 1958 for a Division Three (North) fixture. If you click on the thumbnail image and look closely, you will see that Stockport, playing at home, are turning out in gold and black. I rather suspect that this was the club's change kit at the time and may have been adopted temporarily as a "lucky" strip. Crystal Palace did something similar in 1963-64. Let me know if you have any information about this oddity please.

13 March: I have upgraded the Mansfield Town gallery and added some missing detail and a number of kits thanks to Paul Taylor & Martin Shaw's latest book in the Images of Sport series. Wigan Athletic (1972-73 added): Southampton (1989-90 stockings corrected). Derby County's 2007- third kit has been added.

11 March: Aston Villa's third kit has been added to the 2007-08 Premier League gallery. Today's leeds city 1913-14 kitpicture features the Leeds City team from 1913-14 in one of their distinctive navy and old gold shirts. City are the only club ever to have been expelled from the Football League. The modern Leeds United were formed on the day that City's assets were sold off in October 1919.

The Kidderminster and Leeds City galleries have been upgraded.

10 March: Came across a great clip on YouTube showing footage from a 1920-21 Scottish Qualifying Cup match between Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline Athletic.

9 March: The Ipswich Town gallery has been upgraded and, thanks to the fine collecton of team photographs HFKon Pride of Anglia, I have been able to reconstruct the club's kit history during their amateur period up to 1936 in some detail. Minor variations from the period 1936-1963 are now also recorded and a hitherto missing kit from 1964-65 added. My thanks to Ralph Morris, Pride of Anglia's webmaster for his assistance and for providing the team picture from 1902 shown here.

The Huddersfield and Hull City galleries have been upgraded: no endangered species were harmed in the course of recreating Hull's infamous tiger-print shirts (1992-1995).

The Blackburn Rovers 1995-96 kit has been added: this differs from the previous season's kit only inasmuch as "Premier League Winners 1994-95" was embroidered below the badge and you will need eagle eyes to spot the difference. nevertheless, no detail is too trivial when it comes to these matters. Peterborough United (2007-08 away kit corrected). Gillingham (2001-02, 2002-03 detailing added). Maidstone United (1984-85 added, 1986-87 stockings corrected).

My thanks to Mark Holland who has sent in details of missing kit suppliers for a number of clubs in the north-west of England.

5 March: The Hereford United gallery has been updated. Richard Webb has written to explain that between 1980 and 1982, the Bulls turned out in navy rather than the more familiar black shorts. He speculates that the club bought up several sets of Tottenham kits cheaply when the Admiral sportswear company went into liquidation. In 1982 Hereford returned to their traditional outfit.

24 April : Celtic circa 1890I have upgraded the Celtic gallery with material submitted by Jon Alexander, Alexander Perkin and gleaned from the excellent Kerrydale Street Wiki, which has a superlative collection of photographs that include the first ever Celtic team in their green trimmed white shirts as well as a selection team pictures in the club's early vertically striped shirts (see left). It was not until 1903 that the famous hooped tops appeared.

Until the late 1970s, Celtic rarely changed their kit, preferring to play in their hooped tops even when there was a colour clash. The demands of television broadcasters, UEFA regulations, and the lure of the replica kit market have long since changed the club's attitude. Most of the rare early change kits have now been recorded and will be published later this year. For details of remaining gaps please see Current Research Projects.

19 April: The Tottenham Hotspur gallery has been upgraded.

As usual, whenever I appeal for information, I am overwhelmed by the contributions that immediately flood in. My thanks to everyone who has responded to my request for details of pre-1980 change kits of Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle, Spurs, Celtic and Rangers. I still have some gaps so, if you think you can help, please check out my Current Research Projects.

18 April : Peter Moor has sent in a couple of photographs of Birmingham taken shortly before the First HFKWorld War and featuring the bold "V" that adorned their tops until 1927. This suggests that they were adopted rather earlier than I had previously believed.

17 April : Newcastle United gallery upgraded. With Cardiff City reaching their first FA Cup Final since 1927, I thought it would be timely to clear up the matter of their early kits. Photographs from the period 1908-1930 suggest that the shade of blue worn was considerably paler than the familiar royal blue but are not conclusive. I contacted Ceri Stennet, Media Officer for the FA of Wales and collecter of Cardiff City memorabilia, including an original 1927 FA Cup final shirt. Ceri confirms that the Bluebirds did in fact wear royal blue in their early days. I have corrected the Cardiff gallery.

HFK13 April : HFK extends warmest congratulations to Queen of the South who yesterday beat SPL side Aberdeen 4-3 at Hampden in a match that the Guardian compares to Cleopatra's entry to Rome for spectacle. To mark the Dumfries' sides' first appearance in the SFA Scottish Cup semi-final for 58 years, Queen of the South produced a special commemorative shirt for the occasion, proudly shown off here by the club's chairman, David Rae. Now added to the 2007-08 Scottish First Division gallery.

Manchester United 1921-22 added.

9 April : The Liverpool gallery has been upgraded and in the process, a considerable number of missing kits HFKfrom the period 1900-1960 have been added, sourced from the excellent LFC History site, Their superb collection of team photographs includes today's picture, which shows the players in 1892-93, the year of Liverpool's formation, wearing the light blue and white shirts that Everton had left behind when they quit Anfield at the end of the previous season. It was not until 1894 that Liverpool adopted their familiar red and white colours.

The question posed on 4 April about Birmingham's 1931 FA Cup final kit has been definitively answered by Alan Watton, who points out that an original shirt is on display at the Football Museum in Preston, and the indefatigable Simon Monks. Simon quotes the match report from the Daily Express, Monday April 27th 1931, "The crowd looked more like a boat race crowd than a mass of football enthusiasts because both sides wore blue and so all the favours worn were blue and white."

My thanks to everyone who has responded to my request for information about the pre-1980 change kits of certain clubs. Details are on the Current Research Projects page.

4 April: HFKOn 14 March we noted that Stockport County played in at least one home game wearing gold andblack in January 1958 and theorised that this was a "lucky" change kit, temporarily adopted for home games. Today we publish a photograph of County playing Luton in the FA Cup a fortnight earlier. As was customary when there was a colour clash in the FA Cup, both teams have changed. Stockport are in the gold and black and unexpectedly won by 3-0. A lucky kit indeed.

Barrow (1969-70 added). Barnsley (1946-47 added).

Derek Shelley has written to suggest that Birmingham wore red shirts in the 1931 FA Cup against West Bromwich Albion (see photo left). Do let me know if you can confirm this.

HFK Luton Town (1932-34, 1934-35, 1946-47, 1947-48 added: 1920-32, 1948-53 corrected) - all from Simon Monks.

28 March: Spare a thought for Simon Monks, a serial contributor to HFK who knows moreHFK about Luton Town than is healthy. He writes, rather worryingly, that under "extreme pressure" to tidy his study over Easter he discovered a set of Soccer Bubble Gum Cards from 1956-57. The information has been forwarded to HFK and allows us to confirm new dates for previously published kits for Rotherham, Wolves, Chelsea, Fulham, Spurs, Liverpool, Stoke, Derby, Chesterfield and Hull City. New material includes Grimsby Town (1956-57 added) and Doncaster Rovers (1956-57 corrected). HFK does not condone the use of coercive methods for research.

Which brings us to today's photograph, a scruffy image from Simon's collection of the 1956-57 Doncaster Rovers team that features Charlie Williams. Older visitors will recognise Charlie as a fine stand-up comedian of the old school who sadly left us in September 2006.

In other news, Gerry Wolstenholme, Blackpool FC's historian, has provided information about the club's 1903 kit and clarified various dates. There is still a lot of work to be done on Blackpool's early kits and contributions are welcome.

Clapton Orient (1932-33 added). St Johnstone (text updated).

26 March: Alex Howells has sent me this photograph of Manchester United with the FA Cup in 1948. This HFKshows the team wearing the royal blue and white kit they used for the final and is evidence that the stockings matched the shirts and were not black and white, as I previously believed.

Swansea City (2007-08 third kit added): Tranmere Rovers (2007-08 third kit corrected). Aston Villa (1947-48 added).

HFK has been commissioned to provide graphics for a series of books to be published later this year. As a result we are currently researching away (change) kits for a number of clubs and would appreciate some help from our regular visitors. Details are here in the Current Research Projects article.

21 March: We've moved the whole HFK site to a brand new host today. It's all gone (suspiciously) smoothly and it means we'll be putting some new features on the site in the coming months.

14 March: Paul Barnes, who is something of an expert of Preston North End, has been in touch with new preston north end 1870 kitinformation about the club's kits between 1975 and 1993. This material, together with some new kits I have come across covering the Fifties and early Sixties, has now been added and the club's gallery upgraded. Todays photograph comes from the collection of the Association of Football Historians, and is particularly intriguing because it dates from 1869-70, which is nine years before the first known game of football played by the club and eleven years before the committee voted to adopt association rules. Furthermore, the players are wearing vertically striped shirts, which were exceedingly unusual at the time. Do contact me if you can shed any light on this curiosity.

Fulham (1966-67 added). York City (1982-83 added).

Two clubs have announced this week that they will enter financial administration. Gretna, who have struggled in the Scottish Premier League this season, face collapse after their chairman and benefactor, Brooks Mileson was forced to step down for health reasons. Meanwhile the consortium planning to take over Halifax Town has announced that they will enter administration rather than face a petition for a winding-up order brought by former chairman Raymond Moreland who is owed £9,450 by the club. HFK offers best wishes to the officials and supporters of both clubs and hopes that these serious steps will ensure their long-term survival.

stockport county 1958 kitThis interesting snippet is from a Stockport County v Halifax Town programme dated 18 January 1958 for a Division Three (North) fixture. If you click on the thumbnail image and look closely, you will see that Stockport, playing at home, are turning out in gold and black. I rather suspect that this was the club's change kit at the time and may have been adopted temporarily as a "lucky" strip. Crystal Palace did something similar in 1963-64. Let me know if you have any information about this oddity please.

13 March: I have upgraded the Mansfield Town gallery and added some missing detail and a number of kits thanks to Paul Taylor & Martin Shaw's latest book in the Images of Sport series. Wigan Athletic (1972-73 added): Southampton (1989-90 stockings corrected). Derby County's 2007- third kit has been added.

11 March: Aston Villa's third kit has been added to the 2007-08 Premier League gallery. Today's leeds city 1913-14 kitpicture features the Leeds City team from 1913-14 in one of their distinctive navy and old gold shirts. City are the only club ever to have been expelled from the Football League. The modern Leeds United were formed on the day that City's assets were sold off in October 1919.

The Kidderminster and Leeds City galleries have been upgraded.

10 March: Came across a great clip on YouTube showing footage from a 1920-21 Scottish Qualifying Cup match between Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline Athletic.

9 March: The Ipswich Town gallery has been upgraded and, thanks to the fine collecton of team photographs HFKon Pride of Anglia, I have been able to reconstruct the club's kit history during their amateur period up to 1936 in some detail. Minor variations from the period 1936-1963 are now also recorded and a hitherto missing kit from 1964-65 added. My thanks to Ralph Morris, Pride of Anglia's webmaster for his assistance and for providing the team picture from 1902 shown here.

The Huddersfield and Hull City galleries have been upgraded: no endangered species were harmed in the course of recreating Hull's infamous tiger-print shirts (1992-1995).

The Blackburn Rovers 1995-96 kit has been added: this differs from the previous season's kit only inasmuch as "Premier League Winners 1994-95" was embroidered below the badge and you will need eagle eyes to spot the difference. nevertheless, no detail is too trivial when it comes to these matters. Peterborough United (2007-08 away kit corrected). Gillingham (2001-02, 2002-03 detailing added). Maidstone United (1984-85 added, 1986-87 stockings corrected).

My thanks to Mark Holland who has sent in details of missing kit suppliers for a number of clubs in the north-west of England.

5 March: The Hereford United gallery has been updated. Richard Webb has written to explain that between 1980 and 1982, the Bulls turned out in navy rather than the more familiar black shorts. He speculates that the club bought up several sets of Tottenham kits cheaply when the Admiral sportswear company went into liquidation. In 1982 Hereford returned to their traditional outfit.

 

February 2008

29 February: Richard Franklyn has spoken to Chelsea's official historian, Rick Glanvill, and confirmed that the stockings worn by the Pensioners' first championship winning side in 1955 had a blue band round the top rather than red as shown. This has now been corrected. Scarborough 1999-2000 corrected. Grimsby Town circa 1930 added. Halifax Town 2007-08 added.

The Grimsby, Halifax and Hartlepool United galleries have been upgraded. Today's featured photographs shows the Hartlepools team in 1931-32 wearing their striped tops.

21 February: Today's featured kit, which appears on the jumpers4goalposts site, has an interesting story behind it. Gavin Meaden, a devoted Bournemouth fan and contributor to HFK writes, "That's the 1981-82 season shirt.... We got promoted from Div 4 with one game to go. The final home game that season (v Hereford) was given top billing on The Big Match in the Southern TV region. Shirt sponsorship was banned from being shown in TV. As we were rarely on (TV) we didn't have a separate kit so they simply sewed that white panel over the sponsor's name. Unstitch that white panel and Reg Haynes Toyota will be underneath it."

My thanks to Andrew Bartlett who has submitted a number of additions for the Southampton gallery.

17 February : Simon Monks, an expert on Luton Town, has been researching minor variations in the plain white shirts and black shorts that the Hatters wore in the late 1950s and early 1960s on behalf of HFK. I've incorporated his research and upgraded the Luton gallery.

Simon has also submitted missing kits from the 1960-61 season for Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Portsmouth and Sunderland.

The Gateshead/South Shields, Gillingham and Glossop galleries have been upgraded.

15 February : The Exeter City and Fulham galleries have been updated. Today's photograph shows the exeter city 1907-08 kitExeter team of 1907-08 wearing their green shirts. Green is considered unlucky in the superstitious world of association football and in November 1910 the club adopted the red and white stripes that are familiar today.

Robin Hardman, who has been watching the Latics for over 50 years has sent me details of two missing Oldham Athletic kits from 1957 and 1959.

12 February: I have added the memorial kits worn by Manchester United and City in the Old Trafford derby on Sunday. The kits were worn as tribute to those who died in the Munich air crash 50 years ago and are not available to the public.

The Everton gallery has been upgraded.

8 February: Today's picture, taken from the Ashington FC website is of interest not only because of Ferguson's disturbing haircut but also because the team appear in white shirts with a black V rather than the familiar black and white stripes. I have added this to the Ashington gallery (thanks to Trevor Johnson for pointing it out) although I suspect it may turn out to be a change kit. I have also added a kit from 1898-99 that shows the team in what appear to be red (possibly blue) and black hooped jerseys. Let me know if you can shed any light here.

Cheltenham Town (missing kits from 1940s-1950s, circa1957, circa1965, 1968-69, 1973-74 added). Rochdale (January 1950 added). Doncaster Rovers and Durham City (galleries upgraded).

5 February: I'd be prepared to bet the mortgage that no-one aside from Ralph Nicholson will recognise Gainsborough Trinity 1887 the team featured in today's photograph. This is one of several images sent to me by Ralph that show Gainsborough Trinity in the late 1880s, a decade before they were elected to the Football League. Trinity failed re-election in 1912 when they lost their place to their arch-rivals, Lincoln City. The club continues to play in non-league competition.

Maidstone United (1988-89 added). Stockport County (1989-90 corrected). Derby County (gallery upgraded).

4 February :

The new England away shirt, manufactured by Umbro, was revealed this evening:

3 February : Over the past few weeks, Paul Nagel has been researching the kits of Newton Heath and Manchester United prior to the Second World War. The fruits of his work are now available on the Manchester United gallery and include confirmation of the cherry red and white hooped shirts worn briefly in the 1930s pictured here. Thanks Paul.

Darwen gallery updated and the narrative section substantially re-written. The Darreners, who thrive to this day in non-league competition, were one of the true pioneers of the game who laid the foundations of the revolution that saw the game shift from the former public school and army teams to the new breed of clubs run by middle-class businessmen with working class players and supporters.

 

 

January 2008

31 January : Dagenham & Redbridge upgraded: Darlington (1910-11 added: gallery upgraded).

30 January : Scarborough (1879-85, 1885-90, 1890-94 added: 1894-Scarborough 19291902, 1914-19 dates amended: missing manufacturers' logo added). The picture shows the team from 1929-30 in the claret and blue kit of the time. The club wore an astonishing variety of colours until they settled on red and white in 1961. Although the club was wound up during the summer, Scarborough Athletic were quickly formed and now compete in the North East Counties League wearing the all-red kit ordered from Xara by the old Scarborough FC.

Clyde (1986-87, 1987-88 detailing corrected), Heart of Midlothian (1999-2000 millenium logo added).

Birmingham City (1961-62 added, 1962-63 both kits amended), Burnley (2007-08 anniversary kit corrected), Carlisle United (2005-07 stockings corrected), Manchester United (1932-34 added), Stockport County (2007-08 third kit colour corrected), West Ham United (1900-01 added).

25 January : This picture of Blackpool taken in 1903, sent to me by Shane blackpool 1903Holborne, is rather a puzzler. According to the club's Official History and records from the Association of Football Statisticians, the club wore red and white shirts at this stage. The shirts in this photograph, however are very dark - possibly maroon, navy blue or even black. If you can shed light on this, please get in touch.

Colchester Utd, Coventry City upgraded. Coventry City (1961-62 added), Crewe Alexandra (1971-72 early kit added).

The curious question of Crystal Palace's away kit posed on 10 January seems to have been solved by Andrew Rockall, who has spoken to John Pearce, an assistant referee on the matter. When seen side on, the red/blue flash down the left had side of the kit appears similar to the stripes worn by Southampton, Sheffield United and Stoke so for these matches, officials insisted that Palace wear different shirts. The problem was solved by pressing the team's training tops into service, with the appropriate badges and logos applied in haste.

This is the time of year when clubs start to plan what their kits for next season will look like. Increasingly, the trend is to involve supporters in the process. Middlesbrough, for example, conducted a poll which resulted in overwhelming suppport for the return of the iconic chest band, first introduced by Jack Charlton in 1973. The full story is available on Middlesbrough's official website. The results were announced in the club's match programme on January 12 and featured artwork provided by HFK.

18 January : I have upgraded the Chesterfield gallery and substantially chesterfield town 1892revised the narrative introduction. The picture here is of Walter Bannister, who played for Chesterfield Town when they wore wonderful shirts fashioned from the Union flag. Sadly, Bannister, thought to be the first professional to have played for the club, died after suffering injury in a match against Derby Junction in November 1893. The full story is available on the official Chesterfield website. The Cheltenham Town and Chester City galleries have also been upgraded.

Stockport County (1913-14 corrected).

12 January : On 29 December 2007, Motherwell's captain, "Uncle" Phil MotherwellO'Donnell collapsed during a game with Dundee United and died of heart failure. The club have renamed their main stand in his honour and today the first team will take to the pitch in shirts embroidered with Phil's signature. These will be worn until the end of the season as a tribute to this popular player.

We at HFK extend our deepest sympathy to Phil's family and salute the club and their supporters.

11 January : The photograph presented here is of Oldham Athletic in oldham_athletic-19051905. At this time the club played in red and white shirts and navy knickers - these appear to have faded to dirty grey in the image. This was sent to me from Australia by Shane Holborne whose great grandfather, William (Billy) Rooke is among the players pictured here. Note that the picture seems to have been taken in an alley rather than on the pitch.

Clyde (1986-87 added).

The following galleries have been upgraded: Carlisle United, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea.

10 January : Andrew Rockall has pointed out that Crystal Palace have only worn the official "away" kit once this season, in the FA Cup Third Round last weekend. In League matches they have turned out in plain white tops: if you know why, please let me know. This kit has now been added to the 2007-08 Championship gallery along with Colchester United's third kit.

Carlisle United (1903-04, 1904-05 added).

Following on from the Times article of 13 December, Manchester City have announced that they too will wear a special kit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Munich Tragedy when they play Manchester United next month. You can read the full story on the Manchester Evening News site.

4 January : Accrington Stanley (2006-07 amended). Clyde (1982-84 sponsor's logo added). Manningham and Burnley Rovers added to the Eminent Victorians gallery. Cambridge United gallery upgraded.

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