January 1892 A
24 January 1931
8 January 1938
10 April 1976
Aug-Dec 2011 A
Jan-May 2012 A
Aug-Dec 2011 3rd
Jan-May 2012 3rd
Newcastle's famous black and white striped shirts were originally the team's change strip. According to Darrin Foss, the team was scheduled to travel to Nottingham to play Forest in January 1892 and there was a dispute over which team should change (both wore red shirts at the time). An appeal to the Secretary of the FA, CW Alcock resulted in an instruction that, as the senior club, Forest should play in their usual red so United borrowed a set of broad striped shirts from Notts County. United's reserves also wore black and white stripes (in a more conventional pattern) and these seem to have been used as a change strip until 1894 when they became the first choice. After this old shirts in red and later light blue (the former colours of East End) were pressed into service before plain white shirts were adopted in 1900.
Immediately before the First World War a black chevron was added to the white jerseys, an iconic style that was used until the late 1920s (or later - there is a large gap in our records).
In January 1951, Newcastle lent a set of "home" shirts to Sunderland, who were due to play Southampton in the FA Cup, which required both clubs to change in the event of a clash (both teams had white alternative tops so Southampton borrowed a set of amber shirts from the Hampshire Regiment FC).
In November 1957 Newcastle played a number of mid-week friendly games under improvised floodlights mounted on telegraph poles including a 3-1 defeat against Gwardia Warsaw. The reflective white strip with a bold black band was badly received and quickly retired. Within six months massive steel pylons were erected and proper floodlights installed.
In the late 1960s the team started to wear all-red with a dark-blue strip in reserve.
In 1974 Newcastle, along with many other clubs, adopted a replica of the Brazilian national team's famous gold, green and light blue kit, worn inexplicably with orange stockings during 1975-76. The theme was simplified to yellow and green in 1976, with blue replacing the green trim in 1980. Between 1983 and 1988 the team turned out in fashionable silver grey, following which green and yellow made its return.
From 1993 the club experimented with increasingly audacious designs starting with an all-blue outfit with an irregular white streaked pattern paired with a green third kit with navy candy stripes. When Adidas were awarded the kit supply contract in 1993, they designed a fine retro outfit in dark red and navy inspired by a strip worn by Newcastle West End in 1881. Although Newcastle usually retained their home kits for two seasons new away kits were unveiled every season ensuring that Toon fans were never short of a reason to spend their cash.
The 1997-98 offering was one of the most interesting designs, consisting of dark blue and olive green with orange trimmings. The 1999 all-white kit featured panels in "teal", one of many novel colours introduced around this time, and was used just once. 2001 brought a blue-grey strip with Adidas' trademark triple stripe trim.
Designers have been encouraged to give their imagination free reign in the new millennium.
- With acknowledgement to John Devlin's True Colours Vol 1 (ISBN 0 7136 7389 3)
- A = Away (change) kit
- 3rd = Third choice kit