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Ardwick (Man City) 1890

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Newton H (Man U) 1891

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Southampton 1894

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historical football kits line up 2010The material on this site is copyright © Historical Football Kits, all rights reserved. Club crests and sponsors' logos are the intellectual property of their respective owners. For information about reproducing material and exchanging links please visit Copyright Information.

Latest News & Updates

29 July - 2015-16 Update

newcastle united alternative fans shirt 2015Now here's an interesting development. A group of Newcastle supporters yesterday launched "The Magpie Shirt," an alternative to the official club merchandise. According to their website, The Magpie brand allows fans to represent their club with pride. Without unethical loan shark sponsorship ....all products are sold at cost price, hitting Sports Direct and Mike Ashley in the pocket to signal that we demand a club that tries. Initial stock sold out within two hours but more shirts are on order. Read more...

Premier League: Watford (2nd).

Championship: Ipswich Town (3rd), Derby County (2nd), Queen's Park Rangers (special), Bolton Wanderers (2nd), Leeds United (2nd).

League Two: Cambridge United (2nd).

28 July - 2015-16 Update

SPFL Premier League: Partick Thistle (2nd), Kilmarnock (2nd), Hamilton Academical (1st 2nd).

SPFL Championship: Dumbarton (1st sponsorship confirmed, 2nd).

SPFL League Two: East Fife (1st), Berwick Rangers (2nd).

NIFL Premiership: Ballinamallard United (1st* 2nd).

26 July - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: AFC Bournemouth (3rd), Manchester City (2nd).

Championship: Blackburn Rovers (2nd), Brentford (1st shorts detailing added).

League One: Doncaster Rovers (1st), Rochdale (detailing on shorts/socks updated), Walsall (2nd).

League Two: Mansfield Town (2nd), Northampton Town (1st 2nd 3rd*), Bristol Rovers (1st 2nd), Oxford United (1st).

24 July - 2015-2016 Update

Premier League: Chelsea (2nd), Norwich City (3rd).

Championship: Birmingham City (2nd), Burnley (2nd).

League One: Southend United (1st 2nd), Burton Albion (2nd*).

League Two: Barnet (1st 2nd).

18 July

wrder bremen 1989-90 shirt Several teams have adopted the Puma Swerve shirt as an alternative strip for the coming season prompting Glyn Jefferson to wonder where he had seen it before. After a fortuna dusseldorf 1976little digging he found this top worn by Werder Bremen as far back as 1989-90. It appears that far from being a new design, Swerve dates back 25 years. Incidentally, the very popular Puma Pitch design is similar to the very first kits that Puma supplied to European clubs in the mid 1970s with the characteristic formstripe feature, worn here by Fortuna Düsseldorf in 1976.

(Photograph courtesy of Classic Football Shirts.)

2015-16 Update

Premier League: Sunderland (2nd).

League Two: Exeter City (3rd).

SPFL Premier League: St Johnstone (2nd).

NIFL Premiership: Ballymena United (2nd*)

17 July - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Leicester City (2nd), Tottenham Hotspur (2nd), Chelsea (1st).

Championship: Preston North End (2nd), Cardiff City (2nd), Nottingham Forest (2nd).

League One: Colchester United (1st 2nd).

League Two: AFC Wimbledon (3rd), Yeovil Town (1st).

SPFL Premier League: Inverness Caledonian Thistle (1st 2nd)

SPFL Championship: Queen of the South (sponsorship confirmed), Rangers (3rd).

15 July - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Norwich City (2nd), Arsenal (2nd socks updated), AFC Bournemouth (2nd), West Ham United (2nd).

Historical Material

preston north end 1937-38 team in change kitFeatured in this photograph sent in by Dean Beresford is the great Bill Shankly in an unfamiliar strip. This is in fact from his time with Preston North End who wore navy and white hooped jerseys when a change was needed. This is the side that reached the FA Cup final in 1937. Note the very modern looking crew necks which were very unusual in this period. Click on the image to view the entire team - Dean's grandfather, Joe Beresford, is seated on the right.

Sunderland (1994-96, 1996-97 logos and sponsorship tweaked): Liverpool (1956-58 cold weather kit added): Huddersfield Town (Roger Pashby has confirmed warm and cold weather kits for 1970-71): Yeovil Town (1972-73 added): Rangers (2000-01 change kit detailing improved): Sunderland (2012-13 Foundation of Light kit added): Manchester City (1971-72 correct badge applied).

14 July - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: AFC Bournemouth (1st), Everton (2nd).

Championship: Hull City (1st), Birmingham City (1st).

League One: Blackpool (1st).

League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge (2nd*).

Former members: Boston United, Lincoln City, Macclesfield Town.

SPFL Premier League: Dundee (2nd).

SPFL Championship: Alloa Athletic (sponsorship added), Hibernian (2nd).

SPFL League Two: East Stirlingshire (1st*).

NIFL Premiership: Portadown (1st 2nd).

Welsh Premier League: Bala Town (2nd Europa League 1st & 2nd), Airbus UK Broughton (1st* 2nd), Newtown (Europa League 1st), The New Saints (1st 2nd), Port Talbot Town (1st).

11 July - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Aston Villa (1st 2nd), Crystal Palace (sponsorship added), West Bromwich Albion (2nd sponsorship updated).

Championship: Charlton Athletic (2nd 3rd), Leeds United (1st).

League One: Barnsley (2nd), Scunthorpe United (sponsorship updated), Bury (1st 2nd), Coventry City (2nd).

League Two: Carlisle United (1st 2nd), Mansfield Town (1st), York City (1st 2nd), Hartlepool United (1st).

The missing graphics from the last update have now been fixed.

7 July - 2015-16 Update

Championship: Middlesbrough (2nd socks corrected), Sheffield Wednesday (2nd).

League One: Peterborough United (1st), Scunthorpe United (1st 2nd).

SPFL Championship: Livingston (1st 2nd).

SPFL League One: Peterhead (1st 2nd), Dunfermline Athletic (1st 2nd).

SPFL League Two: Montrose (sponsorship added).

6 July

england 2015 women's world cup bronze medal winnersOur warmest congratulations to England's women's team who overcame Germany, ranked number one in the world, to bring home the bronze medal from the 2015 Women's World Cup. It is a salutory thought that the total salary bill for the entire women's squad is less than £1m a year while the captain of the England men's team, Wayne Rooney, is on £17m. The boys could take some lessons in how to play with passion and commitment from their female counterparts.

(Photograph courtesy of the FA.)

4 July - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Manchester City (1st).

Championship: Middlesbrough (2nd), MK Dons (1st, 2nd, 3rd), Reading (1st), Brighton & Hove Albion (2nd, 3rd).

League One: Chesterfield (1st 2nd).

League Two: Accrington Stanley (1st 2nd*), Dagenham & Redbridge (1st).

SPFL Premier League: Motherwell (1st 2nd).

SPFL League One: Cowdenbeath (2nd), Stenhousemuir (1st 2nd).

SPFL League Two: Montrose (1st 2nd)

Norwich City (2014-15 charity strip added).

2 July

2015 fifa women's world cup posterIt's hard to imagine a more cruel way for England's Lionesses to be eliminated from the Women's World Cup than the freakish own goal in injury time that put Japan through to the final. The team have given everything and can hold their heads up high.

Which brings us to our new feature - the complete kit archive of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup is now open.

As time allows, I will add previous tournaments until we have a complete record from 1991 to the present.

1 July - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Norwich City (1st), West Bromwich Albion (1st).

Championship: Queens Park Rangers (1st, 2nd, 3rd).

League Two: Morecambe (1st, 2nd, 3rd).

SPFL Premier League: Partick Thistle (1st), Heart of Midlothian (2nd corrected).

SPFL League One: Airdrieonians (1st, 2nd).

NIFL Premiership: Linfield (1st*).


29 June - 2015-16 Update

Championship: Huddersfield Town (2nd).

League One: Wigan Athletic (1st. 2nd, 3rd), Coventry City (1st).

NIFL Premiership: Linfield (2nd).

26 June - 2015-16 Update

Championship: Bolton Wanderers (1st), Nottingham Forest (1st).

Former members: Torquay United (1st).

SPFL Premier League: Aberdeen (2nd).

SPFL Championship: Dumbarton entry corrected.

NIFL Premiership: Cliftonville (1st), Ballymena United (1st), Glenavon (1st).

The Welsh Premier League section is now open (but empty!).

The MLS section now has "Buy From" links so that you can purchase American/Canadian replica shirts from one of our affiliate partners.

20 June - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Arsenal (3rd), Newcastle United (3rd), West Ham United (1st), Swansea City (2nd corrected).

Championship: Cardiff City (1st).

SPFL Premier League: Dundee United (2nd), Ross County (1st, 2nd).

SPFL Championship: St Mirren (1st), Dumbarton (1st* 2nd*).

SPFL League Two: Clyde (1st, 2nd, 3rd).

airdrieonians crest 2013You may have missed the extraordinary story behind Airdrieonians new crest so here's the skinny. The club has been forced to sign an irrevocable undertaking to drop its historical crest following the intervention of the Court of the Lord Lyon, which oversees heraldic law in Scotland. According to the Clerk of the Court the badge airdrieonians crest 2015constitutes "an heraldic device" and must be registered. Under a 16th century statute, however, letters or numbers may not be included so the crest cannot be registered and it is illegal to use an unregistered device. Penalties include fines and forfeiture of the offending crest. Historically offenders could be imprisoned, have their goods seized and be subject to Letters of Horning.

The absurdity of the affair notwithstanding, serious issues are raised. The Lord Lyon has form : Kilmarnock (1993), St Mirren (1996) and Highland League team, Formatine United (2012) have all been forced to change traditional crests after intervention from the court and many more clubs could be affected.

The Airdrieonians Supporters' Trust and Supporters Direct Scotland have launched a petition and HFK urges visitors to follow this link to read more about the affair and sign the petition.

Although similar rules apply in England, heraldic law is a civil matter and the High Court of Chivalry has met only once in the last 250 years.

18 June - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: Arsenal (1st, 2nd).

Championship: Burnley (1st), Fulham (2nd*).

SPFL Premier League: Dundee (1st).

SPFL Championship: Alloa Athletic (1st).

SPFL League One: Albion Rovers (1st).

MLS: Sporting Kansas City 1st corrected, Seattle Sounders 3rd added.

IFA Premiership: Now open

13 June - 2015-16 Update

Premier League: West Bromwich Albion (2nd) Sunderland (1st), Swansea City (2nd), Southampton (2nd).

Championship: Preston North End (1st), Derby County (1st), Wolverhampton Wanderers (2nd).

SPFL Premier League: Celtic (2nd, 3rd), St Johnstone (1st).

SPFL Championship: Queen of the South (1st, 2nd, 3rd), Raith Rovers (1st, 2nd*).


10 June - 2015-16 Updates

UEFA Champions League Final added.

Premier League: Swansea City (1st).

Championship: Rotherham United (2nd corrected).

League One: Barnsley (1st), Millwall (1st).

SPFL Championship: Rangers (2nd)

2 June - 2015-16 Update

FA Cup: Saturday's final added.

Premier League: Southampton (1st).

Championship: Rotherham United (2nd, 3rd), Sheffield Wednesday (1st).

League One: Swindon Town (1st, 2nd).

League Two: Exeter City (1st* 2nd*), Plymouth Argyle (2nd), Cambridge United (1st).

SPFL Premier: Kilmarnock (1st).

SPFL Championship: Greenock Morton (1st*, 2nd).

28 May - 2015-16 Update

Championship: Brighton & Hove Albion (1st*).

League One: Oldham Athletic (1st, 2nd).

League Two: Portsmouth (2nd), Stevenage (1st).

SPFL League One: Albion Rovers (2nd), Ayr United (1st, 2nd), Stranraer (1st*, 2nd, 3rd*).


27 May - 2015-16 Season Galleries Now Open

Our eagerly awaited club galleries for the new season are now open. As usual, please e-mail me with details of new kits as they appear: first into the mailbox gets a credit on the site. Please note that I need details of the full kit, not just the shirt, and of course, I do not work from leaked images, so don't send me any.

It is against the law to smoke on these premises.

23 May - 2015-16 Kits

Watford, Crawley Town, Walsall, Everton, Newcastle United, Cardiff City (new crest).

Historical Updates

birth of the saddlersI have been in correspondence with Mike Bradbury, author of The Birth of the Saddlers, over his theory that Walsall Swifts, the working class team that eventually merged with the middle-class Walsall Town to form the modern club, wore an all-maroon kit around 1880. With one or two exceptions, the knickers available at the time were navy, black or white. Mike has, however, established from the catalogue of the only sports outfitter in the town, that they did not sell maroon jerseys although it is documented that the club adopted this colour in 1879. Enquiries at the Walsall Leather Museum have established that the players would have had ready access to coloured dyes used in the tanning industry where they were all employed, including maroon. It therefore seems probable that they dyed their jerseys to make them more distinctive and furthermore they also treated their knickers to create a unique playing strip.

An interesting variant kit worn by Plymouth Argyle in January 1975 added.

19 May - 2015-16 Kits

Hibernian, Dundee United, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle.

Historical Updates

hibernian fc 1876I have replaced the scruffy team photograph on the Hibernian page with this one from 1876, the year the club was grudgingly admitted to the Edinburgh FA, from the excellent Hibernian Historical Trust website. The hooped jerseys are very similar to those adopted by Hearts at the time, even down to the gothic lettering across the chest and probably came from the same gentlemen's outfitter.

Bristol City (crest history updated); Queen's Park Rangers (centenary crest added).

14 May

ross county team group 1949-50I have substantially updated the Ross County page, adding several previously unrecorded kits that fill many of the gaps in the record as well as a crest history. The main source for this new material is the Ross County FC Team Photos website, where you will find a fine collection going back to 1929 when the club was founded. This image is from 1949-50 when the team adopted red and blue hooped jerseys. The familiar navy and white colours did not appear until 1953.

13 May - 2015-16 Kits

Falkirk, Aberdeen, Heart of Midlothian, Bristol City (new version of crest added), Wolverhampton Wanderers, Grimsby Town, Wrexham, Rotherham United, Blackburn Rovers.

Barnsley 2014-15 3rd kit added.

5 May

Before the new season's club kits start flooding in, I'm going to deal with the World Cup updates that have been piling up in the HFK in tray.

romania 1930 world cup teamThe colours worn by the Romanian team throughout the 1930s have long been a bit of a puzzle and I am not convinced that the details furnished to me by the Romanian Football Federation are correct. Our old friend from Brazil, André Conceição e Silva, has sent me two thoughtfully argued emails with supporting photographs suggesting that the team wore blue shirts with yellow collars and knickers. On the left is the team from the 1930 tournament. The apparently white socks are misleading: I believe the players are wearing cavigliere (ankle supports) that were popular in Europe at the time.

1930 - Romania amended.

1934 - Romania amended. Spain crest improved.

1938 - Romania amended.

1954 - West Germany's socks were green not black in their play-off with Turkey. South Korea's shirts had white cuffs.

1958 - Austria crest corrected. Red patch added to the crest of Wales' yellow shirt.

1958 - Austria's change shirts had long sleeves.

1986 - Iraq minor shorts detailing altered.

1994 - Bolivia crest and collar detailing corrected. The flag on Norway's change strip is now correct - the design was different to their first choice strip..

2014 - Uruguay texture added behind crest.

4 May - 2015-16 Kits

Bristol City, Tranmere Rovers, Charlton Athletic, Stoke City, Celtic, Port Vale, Crewe Alexandra, Shrewsbury Town, Sporting Kansas City (3rd).

Bury's 130th anniversary strip has been added.

29 April

Fleetwood Town, Bradford City 2015-16 kits added.

I have revised the Lincoln City graphics 1985-2001 with missing detailing and added several crests.

28 April

wigan athletic 1946-47 team groupResearch by supporters of Wigan Athletic has shed new light on the change of colours that occured after the Second World War. It had been thought that this was forced on the club because they could not source their pre-war red/white halved shirts but this photograph (colourised by our old friend, George Chilvers) shows them wearing quartered shirts in pre-war colours in 1946-47, their last in the Cheshire League. The following season they joined the Lancashire Combination and, according to the programme notes from their opening match against Fleetwood, "Our players will appear in the club's new colours - Blue and White - and their shirts will be numbered according to their positions."

Grimsby Town (first black/white striped shirt now correctly dated to 1910-11; minor tweaks to graphics 1975-85): Wimbledon (1976-77 white strip restored): Crawley Town (1890-1902 knickers now confirmed, 1925-26 added): Celtic (trim added to 1968-69 third strip): Rangers (1997-99, 1999-01 amended; 1999-00 change corrected): Aberdeen (1998-00 socks corrected): Elgin City (1919-26, 1926-28, 1928-31, 1931-34 added; 1934-41 dates revised).

25 April - 2015-16 Kits

Rangers, Rochdale.

15 April

Liverpool and Sheffield United are the first clubs to reveal their 2015-16 kits.

14 April

birth of the saddlersThanks to Mike Bradbury's entertainingly discursive "Birth of the Saddlers" I have been able to substantially update the Walsall section with new graphics and background information on the precursor clubs, Walsall Town and Walsall Swifts in the 19th century.

9 April

chelsea wearing white shorts 1973-74Here's a little coda to the story I ran in January about the variant strip worn by Chelsea 1973-75 and shown here on the chelsea early 70s variant stripleft. HFK's elves discovered that this was worn to avoid a sock clash against Leeds United and others. Management thought that their regular blue shorts would make the kit "too dark" so kitted the team out with white ones. Now Keith Ellis has found this image from a match against West Ham United showing the "dark kit" in action. Examining the image closely, however, I noted that there are no stars on the crest, suggesting this is an earlier iteration of this variant from the period 1968-70. I later found this footage showing Chelsea in an identical strip at Elland Road dumbarton athletic c1885in 1969-70.

This fine photograph, sent in by Jim Jenkinson, shows Dumbarton Athletic, a team that was absorbed by Dumbarton in 1889. Although it is not dated, I believe it to be from between 1885 and 1887 when SFA records tell us the team played in black and white stripes. This term was widely used to describe the one-inch hooped jerseys that were common in Scotland at the time.

Fulham (1902-03 added): Charlton Athletic (1946-47 crest corrected): Wimbledon (1975-77 corrected): Crawley (1890 added): Luton Town (1898-99 added):

3 April

leicester fosse 1890-91 teamThis is Leicester Fosse pictured in 1890-91, the season that leicester fosse 1889-90 teamthey adopted white shirts for the first time. I have enhanced the contrast to show the collar details and I have assumed these were light blue. This is a previously undocumented strip: plain white shirts were used between 1892 and 1899. We have also established that the previous chocolate and blue shirts had an enormous pocket on the left breast.

workington afc 1905-06 teamThis rare photograph is of the original Workington AFC team taken in 1905-06. Formed in 1884, the club was wound up in 1911 due to the financial difficulties involved in running a professional football side on the remote Cumbrian coast, a Rugby League stronghold. It is considered to be the precursor of the modern team which was formed in 1921 and, despite facing the same challenges, still exists.

The original postcard is on sale at Sports Pages.

I have finished replenishing the Buy From links for the Premier/Football League club pages and FA Cup section. Many of the items that are out of stock at Toffs can now be found with our other affiliate partners but I suggest you buy soon as I suspect once these are sold out that will be it. As far as possible I have removed obsolete links and added new ones for items that have come onto the market. I plan to review all Scottish club links shortly.

29 March

The decision by West Bromwich Albion to wear a replica of their 1968 FA Cup final strip to honour the launch of the Jeff Astle Foundation has prompted much favourable comment in social media. Other charity kits added today include Tottenham Hotspur, Bolton Wanderers, Reading and Leyton Orient.

Colorado Rapids (new shirt sponsor added).

Please bear with me as I am currently doing some housekeeping on the site and will resume normal updates soon. In particular, Toffs have drastically reduced their catalogue rendering many of our "Buy From" links obsolete. Some of the out of stock items are now available from other retailers and I am replacing these links.

6 March

mls logo 2015MLS kicks off in North America this weekend with a new logo and two new teams. This has been "MLS Jersey Week" during which all the new kits have been launched with the exception of NewYork City and Orlando City, who revealed their new shirts some time ago. So, ladies and gentlemen, you are now welcome to visit our new MLS 2015 section.

Thangyou vermurch.

5 March - More Crest History Updates

Fulham, Blackpool, Aston Villa, Hull City.

We have Oleg Baranov to thank once again for the research into crests published over the last week.

3 March - More Crest History Updates

West Ham United, Gretna, Aberdeen, St Johnstone, AFC Bournemouth.

Coming soon - MLS 2015.

27 February

frickley museum unkown teamThe good people at Frickley Museum have sent us this photograph to see if we can identify the team, which probably played in West Yorkshire. The style of clothing worn by the officials and the length of the players' knickers place this firmly in the period 1900-1914. The team strip of white shirts and dark knickers was very common and is no help but the crest is intriguing as very few teams wore one at the time. Anyone?

Crest History Updates

Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea.

25 February

billy jennings bolton wanderers 1923 fa cup final shirtThis is the shirt worn by Billy Jennings for Bolton Wanderers in the famous "White Horse FA Cup final" in 1923. Judging by the rust stains, this has spent many years alan morton rangers 1922stored improperly but it has at least survived. Had it been in better condition it would no doubt have fetched more than the £6,000 it was sold for last year. The crest details have allowed me to improve the Bolton graphics 1921-1953.

On the right is Alan Morton of Rangers pictured in March 1922. The point of interest is that he is wearing the iconic black socks with red turnovers which were introduced that season. However, he is also wearing the older style of shirt with a buttoned crew neck. Collared shirts were introduced the following season and remained in use for 40 years.

18 February International Updates

Northern Ireland: new change strip added.

Embossed crest added to 2009-2011 England shorts. Scotland's aertex kits for World Cup 1986 revised.

World Cup

cuba 1938 world cup1934: Brazil, Spain collars corrected.

1938: Cuba socks revised (left).

1954: Austria, Hungary crests improved, Mexico shirt buttons added, Czechoslovakia socks amended.

1958: Austria crest improved. Updated Hungary crest applied.

1962: Hungary crest updated.

1966: Hungary crest updated.

1970: Brazil sock turnovers amended.

1974: Brazil sock turnovers amended.

1978: Hungary crest updated.

1986: Detailing added to Spain's shorts, Scotland kit revised.

1990: Korea Republic shirt trim corrected, texture added to Spain shirts.

2010: Missing shorts numbers added to Portugal v Korea DPR, Uruguay collars amended.

11 February

john mckenna liverpool fc 1904If you think that the current convention of visiting teams changing elements of their strip when there is the slightest suggestion of a clash with those of the home side and that FIFA's football league agm 1904regulations about high levels of contrast are ridiculous, these press cuttings reveal how things might have been. At the 1904 Football League AGM, Liverpool's secretary, John McKenna (left), tabled a motion that would require all teams to play in red shirts or jerseys at home while visitors would wear white tops and dark knickers. The motion was seconded by Sunderland but rejected after some discussion. You might think that McKenna's proposal was tongue in cheek but in football league agm 19061906 he put the motion again with support from Manchester United. Thanks to George Chilvers and Kjell Hanssen for uncovering these dumbarton harp fc 1918-19invaluable cuttings - click on the images to view large versions.

This is a rare photograph of Dumbarton Harp, one of many clubs that sprung from the Irish Catholic community in the late 19th century in Scotland. Taken in 1918-19, Harp were members of the Western League at the time. In 1923 this competition forfar athletic team 1936was incorporated into the Scottish League as the new Third Division but in January 1925 Harp resigned and were disbanded due to financial problems. The Third Division itself was abandoned the following season.

I've reviewed and updated the Forfar Athletic section and added a crest history. On the left is the Forfar team from 1936 wearing their distinctive light and dark blue shirts.

Liverpool's latest charity kit has been added.

Another Chelsea alternate kit has come to light from Feb 1973. Burton Albion (1971-72 modified): Gretna (crest history added).

10 February

billy mccracken 1911 newcastle united fa cup final shirtWest Ham United's new shirt sponsor has been added.

Keith Ellis has found this cigarette card showing Billy McCracken of Newcastle United and Ireland wearing a Newcastle shirt with a crest that looks distinctly different to the one worn in FA Cup finals from 1911 on. It is in fact the old city coat of arms and was worn in the 1910 FA Cup final against Barnsley. It can be glimpsed in this YouTube clip.

Chelsea (slight amendments to 1959-60, 1981-83, 1990-92, 2000-01, 2001-02 change kits): Southampton (1924-36 shirt pocket added).

4 February

falkirk fc 1880 jersey detailThere is quite a lot more on Falkirk's early strips and crests today, thanks to Andrew Hewlett. I now have a team falkirk fc 1909-10 team groupphotograph from 1881-82 (left) that shows the embroidery was worn only by the team captain who, as was customary, is seated in the centre of the front row with the ball at his feet. In 1909 the team dropped their navy tops in favour of a lighter shade of blue (right) and we can now see the new tops sported a crest as well as a contrasting yoke.

jocky simpson falkirk fc 1910On the left is one of Falkirk's first star players, English international Jocky Simpson, in an undated photograph.This shows the lighter blue shirt with a unique collar. Since we know that Simpson signed for Blackburn Rovers in January 1911, we can now place this shirt as being george anderson falkirk fc 1938-39worn in the 1910-11 season.

Finally, on the right is a photograph of George Anderson wearing a brand new shirt with another hitherto unknown crest dated sometime in the 1930s. After a little research I found his obituary that confirms he played for Falkirk for just one season in 1938-39 before the war interrupted his playing career, which gives us the dates we need rather neatly.

(1906-07, 1909-10, 1910-11, 1938-39 added: 1915-20 collar revised: crest history updated.)

2 February

edinburgh city fc 1935-36 team groupQueen of the South (new crest added): Wolverhampton Wanderers (Nov 1986-88 sponsorship adjusted): Arsenal (1905-06 cuffs corrected).

Among Steven Ardath's collection of Scottish Football Cards is this rare falkirk fc 1880 jersey detailphotograph of Edinburgh City. The distinctive socks place this in the 1935-36 season.

Scottish crest histories added: Edinburgh City, Elgin City, Falkirk. The photograph on the right is from the better meddle website and shows a Falkirk player in a typical 1880s jersey with some intriguing embroidery.

27 January

arthur e kennedyA recurring issue when writing about the early history of football clubs is that all too often inaccurate or self-serving contemporary articles written by club officials are accepted as fact and pass into the authorised histories. A good example of this is the origin of the first Arsenal crest perpetuated by Arthur E Kennedy (left), an early vice-chairman of the club. The work of historians prepared to research primary sources such as Mark Andrews and Andy Kelly rather than rely on repetitious secondary accounts is therefore extremely valuable. On their Arsenal History blog they have conclusively proved that the crest was not adopted in 1888 as official histories state but in fact appeared in an article written by Kennedy for the 1904 Book of Football and never appeared in any club handbook or on their stationary gillingham fc programme 1958-59 with "unicorn" badgeprior to its inclusion in the Official History published in 1986. Kelly and Andrewshave also shared new research that allows me to update the Arsenal Change Kits section.

flag of kentAnother example of misleading information is this drawing from the cover of a Gillingham programme from 1958-59 (sent in by Richard Ralph) which suggests the club crest featured a unicorn. Now I'm convinced this is not the case. Examining team photographs and various versions of the Kentish Horse (such as this one from the county's flag) it is clear that the ears and/or mane are often drawn erect giving the appearance from a distance of a unicorn's horn. We can assume that the artist commissioned to design the programme cover was not local as no Man of Kent would make this mistake.

Manchester City (1974-75 Umbro logo added): Chesterfield (1935-37, 1937-38, 1959-62, 1962-64, 2004-05, 2006-07 detailing revised).

24 January

The photograph of Chelsea's Ajax-style shirt prompted Nik Yeomans to sift through his extensive programme collection where he found conclusive evidence that the team wore their regular third strip with the red/green panel and that the top featured on 20 January is a fake. Nik also found an unrecorded change strip from 1963-64.

Current Season Updates

Bolton Wanderers have a new one-off shirt sponsor for today's FA Cup tie with Liverpool. Middlesbrough (3rd added).

20 January

chelsea 1974-75 alternate kitThanks to everyone who contacted us about the mystery Chelsea strip from 1973-75 with various theories. Nik Yeomans has now found the solution in the club's programme notes from February 1974 where we learn that the change was made because both sides normally wore white socks. (Until the early 70s clashes of this sort were not an issue.) The fashion-conscious management thought wearing all-blue with black socks would look "too dark" so white shorts were worn instead (ignoring the fact that now chelsea kit v man city 1974both teams would be in the same shorts). The result was a pleasing reminder of Chelsea's earlier strips and appeared a few times before blue socks were adopted when socks clashed.

I have reinstated Chelsea's Ajax-style change strip after Rodney George confirmed that it was worn just once at Manchester City. This is Steve Kember's match shirt from Richard Boulert's fulham fc circa 1894 team groupcollection (photo courtesy of oldfootballshirts.com).

Current Season Updates

Port Vale (3rd), Southampton (3rd).

Historical Updates

Coventry City (1993-94 socks corrected): Fulham circa 1894 (photo left). A different version of the old Craven Cottage crest has also been found.

10 January

After a meaningful chat with his mum over Christmas, Vincent Tan has chelsea wearing white shorts 1973-74announced that Cardiff City will revert to playing in blue from today, a decision endorsed by the Football League.

Now here is an oddity. On the left is Charlie Cooke playing for Chelsea at Leeds in 1973-74. The team wore the same strip, which resembles their classic 1950s outfit, at Stoke and West Ham in the League and in two league Cup ties against Stoke City in 1974-75. If you know the story behind this unusual variant strip please contact me.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle (2014-15 3rd kit added).

International Updates

Wales 2015 strip added.

germany v austria 1934 world cupWorld Cup 1934: Austria socks corrected. The Wunderteam borrowed a set of light blue shirts from SC Napoli for their game with Germany because both sides usually wore white shirts (photo right).

World Cup 1962: Czechoslovakia sleeves corrected v Hungary.

Word Cup 1970: Belgium socks corrected v El Salvador.

World Cup 1974: Detailing added to Argentina, East Germany and Brazil kits in final group stage.

World Cup 1990: Missing manufacturers' logos added to Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union, United States, Costa Rica kits.

World Cup 1994: Logos added to Saudi Arabia shorts.

World Cup 2010: Texture added to Mexico shirts.

My thanks to André Conceição e Silva for the World Cup updates.

8 January

Sadly, Hereford United became the latest former member of the Football League to be wound up in the High Court on 19 December and their record has now been expunged from the Southern League. A summary of recent events has been added to their club section.

International Updates

wales football shirt 1914Wales: I've had this photograph of an original Wales shirt from 1914 knocking around for a while: note the interesting crest. It is still unclear when Y Ddraig Goch was adopted by the FA of Wales although we do know that the Prince of Wales' feathers adorned the team shirts in their earliest matches.

Scotland: Strip worn against Switzerland in November 1982 added: Euro 96 unused change strip added.

World Cup 1954: England sleeves corrected v Uruguay.

World Cup 1986: Mexico shorts detailing corrected.

World Cup 1990: Spain detailing added to sleeves and shorts: Soviet Union crest corrected on change strip.

World Cup 2010: Mexico sleeves corrected v Uruguay. South Africa shorts trim corrected.

7 January

leeds united 1934-35 team groupWithin hours of posting yesterday's question about the blue/gold halved Leeds United shirt, HFK's elves were at work solving the mystery. Steve Lawrence, Jonathon Auty and Martin Hart identified the player as Bert Sproston who played for Leeds between May 1933 and June 1938, narrowing the possible dates down. Martin then found this team photograph from 1934-35: although the quality is not very good, it is possible wolves 1925-26 team groupto make out that the gold panel is on the left of the shirt. From the following season until this style was dropped in 1948, blue appeared on the left.

Here is another treasure found by Keith Ellis on eBay, a very rare original photograph of Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1925-26. This confirms the unusual single band worn below the collar that was earlier removed from HFK for lack of corroboration. A more elaborate collar was introduced the following season. Note how dark the jerseys appear: the old gold of the period was almost brown but I believe the film stock in use at the time made them appear much darker than they were in fact. (To bid on this item visit HFK's Wolves page and click on the eBay link there.)

Crest updates: Millwall (2014), Birmingham City (1996-97), Swansea City (1979, 1984), Carlisle United (1969), Yeovil Town (1985), Cambridge United 1974, 1983, Newport County (1948), Everton (1920, 1978, 1982 improved, 1985 added), Brighton & Hove Albion (1983 corrected), Chesterfield (1978), Aldershot Town (2014). Thanks to Joe Finnan, Andrew Scott, Chris Worrall, John Taylor and of course Oleg Baranov for their contributions.

6 January 2015

Happy New Year to all our visitors!

blackpool 1931-32 team groupBlackpool 1931-32 now confirmed (left) although we still need details of the socks: Derby County (1973-75 dates leeds united 1930s halved shirtrevised): Cardiff City (Aug-Sept 1994 added): Arsenal (1921 change strip added): Leeds United (1938-39 updated). Leeds adopted gold and blue halved shirts in 1934 and wore them until September 1948. All the images I have been able to corroborate have blue panels on the left so the image on the right is a puzzle. If you can confirm the dates and/or player please contact me.

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