News & Updates 2013
13 December - World Cup 2014: Netherlands (1st 2nd), Spain (2nd), Colombia (2nd), Cote d'Ivoire (1st 2nd), Germany (2nd), Switzerland (1st), Argentina (2nd) Portugal (1st), Ghana (1st) added.
Official Aston Villa historian, John Lerwill, has confirmed that the team sometimes wore red tops instead of their usual claret/blue jerseys in the Football League between 1901 and 1908. It's not clear why (red tops would not have been suitable as a change kit) but I'm tempted to think they may have been used in warm weather when the thick woolen sweaters usually worn would have been unbearably hot.
7 December: Although we can't compete with the ludicrous razamataz of the official FIFA World Cup draw yesterday, we can announce that our very own FIFA 2014 World Cup section is now open.
Contributions are of course welcome but please remember that we need complete kit details and cannot work from shirt photos alone.
1 December: The problem with the "Buy From" deep links has now been resolved.
Tottenham Hotspur (Aug-Dec 1983 added): Stranraer (1996-97, 1997-99 detailing added): we now have confirmation that Liverpool wore red and white striped shirts when colours clashed between 1913 and 1921: Bury (1995-96 manufacturer corrected): Arsenal (1995-96 socks amended): Manchester City (1994-95 kit & centenary crest added): Oldham Athletic (2006-07 crest added): Southend United (2006-07 crest added): Wrexham (1987-88 crest added): Blackburn Rovers (1960 FA Cup final crest updated): Brechin City (2006-07 centenary crest added): Dundee (2013-4 centenary crest added): Dunfermline Athletic (crest history added): Hull City (1995, 1998 crests added): Middlesbrough (two historical badges added - these never appeared on team shirts but shed light on the evolution of the modern crest).
Our World Cup 2014 section will be launched shortly. As a taster I've posted some corrections submitted by visitors over the past couple of months today. Spain 1982 (Spain socks corrected): South Africa 2010 (France shirt crest corrected; Mexico second strip crest corrected): USA 1994 (Norway v Italy corrected): France 1938 (Cuba crest corrected): Italia 1990 (Netherlands crest corrected): England 1966 (Group 2 - West Germany collar corrected v Argentina; Argentina socks corrected; Group 4 - USSR detailing v North Korea corrected).
18 November: It's come to our notice that most of the "Buy From" links to the Toffs website are no longer working. This is due to changes on the Toffs site that we weren't aware of. I'll be replacing these over the next week to ensure that our visitors can shop happily for retro kits. In the meantime, new links have been added to Campo Retro, who have retro shirts in stock that are not available elsewhere.
The special kit worn by Hartlepool United in the FA Cup last weekend has been added.
14 November: I have a couple of corrections to make today. Greger Lindberg has identified the Stockport County team featured on 3 November as dating from 1968-69. This image shows the team in their new candy stripe shirts adopted in 1970-71. Secondly, I've removed the Wimbledon 1968-69 graphic added in the same update. This has been confirmed to be their change strip.
3 November: Researcher Darrin Foss has suggested that as all the Notts County players in the 1865 match with Sheffield FC also played cricket they most likely wore their whites with the blue caps acquired for the match so I've amended the graphic accordingly.
Former Football League Clubs 2013-14 Additions: Aldershot Town, Barnet, Boston United, Cambridge United, Grimsby Town, Hereford United*, Kidderminster Harriers, Lincoln City, Macclesfield Town, Stockport County (sponsor added).
2 November: Notts County 1865 - not really a strip this one but worn in their first ever game against another club: Newcastle United (first ever change strip from January 1892 added): Lee Gauntlett has discovered evidence of yet another early Aston Villa strip with a large, detachable lion rampant badge.
Accrington Stanley (1984-85 sponsor confirmed): Newport County (1995-96, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2006-07 added and some dates adjusted): Boston United (1970-74 sock detailing revised): Stockport County (1970-71 added - see left): Queens Park Rangers (1959-60 socks corrected): Macclesfield Town (1970 FA Trophy final socks corrected):
27 October: Bradford City (1945-48 socks & dates revised): Boston United (1978 crest added): Morecambe (1983-84, 1990-91, 1992-93 added): Accrington Stanley (1984-85, 2000-01 added): Barnet (1981-82 added): Crawley Town (1987-88, 1997-98 added): Cheltenham Town (1981-82, 1983-84, 1984-85, 1986-87, 1990-91 added): Stevenage Borough (1984-85, 1993-94 added): Yeovil Town (1980-81 added). My thanks go to Michael Gluck for this material.
On the left is the Stevenage team from 1993-94, a reminder of just how awful kits were twenty years ago.
8 October: More historical material today: Jamie Glynn has sent in details of three unrecorded early Fulham kits including this black and white outfit worn between 1889 and 1896. The team was still amateur at the time and the players had to provide their own kit, which explains the variations in the pattern of the shirts.
6 October: We have hit some setbacks with the renovation work on the new HFK Towers but as I have a few hours to spare this evening I thought I should make a start on some of the new historical material sitting in the mail silo.
David Dungar has sent in evidence that in the 1920s Wolverhampton Wanderers wore a much brighter shade of gold than we had previously recorded. Here is four-year-old Jonathan Hodnett wearing the shirt worn by his grandfather in the 1921 FA Cup Final.
Lee Gauntlett has found a reference to Aston Villa wearing maroon jerseys emblazoned with a lion rampant in 1880-81.
I'm pleased to introduce you to Cec Harrison, shown here making his debut for Leith Athletic at the age of 18 in the opening match of 1949-50 against East Stirlingshire, wearing Leith's smart new black shirts with contrasting white sleeves, adopted after they won the Qualifying Cup the previous season. Cec, 83, now lives in Canada. Cec's father was team captain before the Second World War.
Finally I am very grateful to George & Toby Shardlow who have been kind enough to share their extraordinarily detailed research into the early kits of Derby County. Among their finds is this extremely rare image of the team's first colours from 1884 along with contemporary descriptions of the colours. Visit their site at Established 1884.
30 September 2013-14 Updates: Tottenham Hotspur (3rd), Derby County (3rd), Millwall (3rd), Peterborough United (3rd), Chesterfield (3rd), Newport County (3rd), Colchester United (A sponsor corrected), Coventry City (H updated).
10 September: The 2013-14 Premier League section has been updated.
8 September: I have now completed the 2013-14 Scottish Professional Football League update. My thanks go to everyone who has sent in material.
I will be working on a similar, complete update for the English Leagues over the rest of this week.
3 September: Thanks to everyone for your patience. HFK is now installed in the old post office in Blaengarw and, if you've been following us on Twitter, the tree that prevented us from getting a broadband connection has been reduced to firewood. I'm pleased to be able to resume updates tonight although these will be limited while renovation work continues. I'll prioritise 2013-14 kits but do stay tuned as I have a sack load of fascinating historical material in the mail silo and will publish this soon.
I have added competition badges to the SkyBet Football League clubs. It took all day. No, I'm fine. Just need to lie down...
If time allows, I will try to do some Scottish updates this week.
2 August 2013-14 updates: Millwall (H, A), Cardiff City (alternate kits), Peterborough United (A), Oldham Athletic (3rd), Coventry City (H kits), Leicester City (A), Sheffield Wednesday (H), Newcastle United (H), Huddersfield Town (3rd), Cheltenham Town (A), Swindon Town (A socks confirmed), Torquay United (H, A).
While browsing on the interweb I found this fine postcard on oldukphotos of The Strand, in Blaengarw taken in the early 1900s. HFK will be moving into the second house in the terrace (the one with the shop front) a week from today.
30 July 2013-14 Updates: Stockport County (left, wearing Umbro), Sheffield United (H, A), Manchester United (A), Chelsea (3rd), Oxford United (A), Barnsley (A), AFC Bournemouth (new crest), Burton Albion (A shorts detailing corrected), Wycombe Wanderers (A detailing added), Luton Town (shorts detailing added),
(Photo provided by Phil Brennan from Stockport County FC)
29 July: In ten days time HFK Towers will be relocating to a secret location in the depths of the South Wales Valleys. As I write, our crack team of unpaid, under-age interns are carefully dismantling the site ready to be reassembled in our new, underground HQ. Meanwhile our small but dedicated band of domestic servants are packing up the ancestral impedimenta. What this means is that over the next four weeks or so, there will be limited updates to the site while I get myself sorted out but please do keep the material coming in.
I had a very nice mail today from Chris Dolan, Head of PR & Communications at Umbro. He tells me that the company is on track to rebuild its relationship with top flight clubs and players and that we can expect some "significant announcements." In the mean time, HFK urges everyone who is tired of seeing the same templates provided by the big three sportswear providers to lobby their clubs to ensure that Umbro's brand once again graces the top levels of UK football.
2013-14 updates: Birmingham City (A), Portsmouth (A updated), Leeds United (A), Portsmouth (A updated), Southend United (H updated), Luton Town (H), Manchester City (A), Burton Albion (H, A*), Charlton Athletic (A), Notts County (H, A).
21 July 2013-14 updates: The Football League has announced a three-year sponsorship deal with Sky Bet. Oxford United (sponsor added), Portsmouth (A), Wycombe Wanderers (A), Oldham Athletic (A), Colchester United (A), Cheltenham Town (H*).
19 July 2013-14 updates: Norwich City (A), Derby County (A), Blackburn Rovers (A), Bolton Wanderers (A), Walsall (3rd), Watford (A), Rochdale (sponsor updated), St Johnstone (3rd), Stirling Albion (H, A), Dumbarton (H, A)*, Alloa Athletic.
18 July: In the course of their continuing research into the history of Arsenal, Mark Andrews and Andy Kelly have come up with two more remarkable discoveries. The first is an interview with Fred Beardsley, a founder of the club, published in 1933 by the Daily Mirror. In it he describes the team's earliest colours as red shirts, white "three-quarter master pants," black stockings and caps. There are few reliable written sources for the colour of the Gunners' socks until the Football League started to record these in their annual handbooks in the mid 1930s so we have had to rely on interpreting photographs. Other cuttings now uncovered suggest that the team continued to wear mainly black socks right up until Herbert Chapman introduced their iconic new look in March 1933.
Which brings us to Andrews' and Kelly's second discovery, supported by several contemporary newspaper reports. These describe the new Arsenal kit as being made up of a white cricket shirt (used as a change strip at the time) worn with a red sleeveless pullover made specially to Chapman's specifications by Hollins & Company in Nottingham. The idea for the new look was prompted by a conversation between Chapman and a famous cartoonist, Tom Webster. The new outfits were difficult to wash so conventional, flannel shirts were introduced a little later. For more on this extraordinary story, visit The History of Arsenal.
2013-14 updates: West Ham United (H), Carlisle United (H), Bradford City (A), Nottingham Forest (H), Shrewsbury Town (H), Wigan Athletic (H socks confirmed), Southend United (A), West Bromwich Albion (H).
12 July 2013-14 Updates: Montrose (H), Clyde (H, A), Peterhead (H), Queen of the South (sponsor updated), St Johnstone (detailing updated), Hibernian (A), Burnley (A), Arsenal (A socks confirmed), Huddersfield Town (A), Peterborough United (H), Leyton Orient (H), Preston North End (H, A), Bristol Rovers (H, A). More to follow.
8 July 2013-14 Updates: Fulham (H), Oxford United (H), Birmingham City (H), Brentford (A), Oxford United (H), Southend United (H), Scunthorpe United (H), Stoke City (H), Leicester City (H), Chesterfield (H, A), Wrexham (H), Blackburn Rovers (sponsors added), Arsenal (A), Tottenham Hotspur (H, A), Portadown (H, A).
We have had a good response to the question about the West Ham change shirt on the left. According to Knees Up Mother Brown it appeared in 1958 (although crew necks were very rare at that time so I am not convinced) while Simon Monks has found this newspaper cutting of a friendly at Peterborough United in February 1960.
28 June: The 2013-14 Welsh Premier League section is now open.
The 2013-14 NIFL Premiership section (formerly IFA Premiership) is now open for business.
As always, we are grateful to everyone who submits information in the annual drive to record next season's kits. Now that we are on Twitter the rate at which material comes in has accelerated and we will do our best to keep up while not neglecting interesting, historical material. A few points to bear in mind:
- We do not work from leaks.
- We cannot create graphics from just shirt images.
- Credits go to the first contributor to hit our inbox but every contribution is acknowledged.
Over 90% of the material published on HFK comes from contributors. Your submissions are what makes this website the most detailed and authoritative kit history there is.
27 June: Stockport County have announced that they will now wear Umbro strips and, furthermore, the new replica shirts will be available for £34.99, a reduction of £5 compared to the Nike shirts worn last season. Umbro are based in nearby Cheadle and it is good to see their local club supporting them. I fear it will take more than a deal with a Conference club to rebuild but we wish everyone at Umbro all the best.
2013-14 Updates: Rangers (H, A, 3rd), Greenock Morton (A, 3rd), Livingston (H, A), Reading (H, A, 3rd), Everton (H), West Bromwich Albion (A), Colchester United (H), Swansea City (H corrected, A added), Hartlepool United (H).
21 June: It is now clear that the Umbro brand, a sporting institution, is set to disappear from England and Scotland although we believe that several Irish teams will continue to wear Umbro kit. Nike bought Umbro in 2008 for £377m at a time when the Cheshire-based company's designs were hopelessly out of touch with modern trends. Nike's involvement led to a complete rethink of Umbro's design approach that led to the excellent "Tailored" range. Umbro's £20m a year deal with the FA was the jewel in their crown but disappointing performances by the national team led to a decline in replica shirt sales and the deal no was no longer profitable.
Last year Nike sold Umbro to the Iconix Group, a "virtual brand" that owns the rights to Madonna's Material Girl brand as well as that of Jay-Z's Rocawear, for just £140m, writing off their £237m loss against tax. With global profits of £1.76bn in 2013, this is small change. Before the sale, Nike ensured they captured Umbro's most valuable contracts with the FA and Manchester City while allowing the rest of their deals with English clubs to go to the competition. Essentially Nike stripped the brand of value in order to maximise their tax write-off.
HFK deplores these developments and fervently hopes that the management team at Umbro can find a way forward for this historic brand that retains its integrity as part of our football heritage and not another debased brand adorning street fashion as has happened with Bukta.
20 June: Yesterday's item on West Ham's alternate socks produced an immediate response from no fewer than seven HFK contributors. We know know that from around 1967, the Hammers wore claret and blue socks when their white socks clashed with those of opponents. From 1970-71 the plain light blue socks from their change kit were used and both variants occasionally appeared in home matches. We believe this is the first example of alternate socks being worn in Football League matches, a practice that became commonplace in the Seventies. My thanks go to Will Pike for raising the issue.
Although Bristol Rovers generally wore white shorts with the quartered shirts adopted in 1931, the latest evidence shows that black shorts were worn in 1949-50 and 1953-54 (shown right).
Crawley Town (1998-99, 1999-2000 added): Bradford Park Avenue (1919-20, 1945-46, 1951-52 added): Brentford (1949-50 details amended): Bristol Rovers (1949-50, 1953-54, 1954-55 cold weather kit, August 1962, 1965-66, Aug 1966 added).
Today I am going to focus on historical material starting with this image from the cover of Shoot magazine of 16 August 1969. As far as I know West Ham always wore white socks with this strip but perhaps these socks were used because of a colour clash. If you can shed any light on this please Contact Me.
Graham Brack has found a couple of interesting variant kits worn by Sunderland in the mid-1950s which have been added.
I was very pleased to hear from Bob Bickerton recently: Bob is the Godfather of football kit historians and his book, Club Colours (Hamlyn 1998) was the inspiration behind HFK. Bob has supplied details for several missing Crewe Alexandra kits (1898-1965) and clarified a number of dates.
18 June: We now have the answer to mystery of the Umbro/Adidas shirts worn by Australia in the 1974 World Cup, thanks to Shakey. At the time Umbro, who supplied Australia's playing kit, had a distribution deal with Adidas, who supplied boots and balls but now had branched out into textiles. The German company had signed a sponsorship deal with FIFA to underwrite the costs of the 1974 World Cup and would use the exposure to launch their new range of playing kit with the now iconic three-stripe trim. Because of the close relationship between the two companies, Australia's kit was provided by Adidas and carried Umbro branding.
Franc Forjan has pointed out that the Yugoslav team also wore Adidas-made shirts but with branding inside the collar by Kopa, a sportswear company founded by Raymond Kopa of Reims, Real Madrid and France.
In the 1978 World Cup the twins, Rene and Willy van der Kerkhof refused to wear the three-stripe Adidas kit worn by Holland, insisting that they be provided with two-stripe versions as worn by Johan Cruyff in 1974.
This short-lived Dundee strip from 1952, discovered recently by the club's historian, Kenny Ross, while researching his new book, Dundee's Hampden Heroes, has an interesting story attached to it.
13 June 2013-14 Update: Aston Villa (H, A).
Historical updates: Rochdale (1990-91, 1991-92 shorts detailing corrected):
10 June 2013-14 updates: Scotland (kit worn in Croatia added), Republic of Ireland (H) added. Swansea City (H), Rochdale (H, A), Watford (H), Derby County (H), Dundee United (H, A, 3rd), Inverness Caledonian Thistle (A).
7 June 2013-14 Updates: Bolton Wanderers & Everton (new crests added), Queen of the South (H, A), St Johnstone (A), Heart of Midlothian (H), Airdrieonians (A), St Mirren (A, 3rd), Greenock Morton (H*), Hibernian (H), Chelsea (A), Crawley Town (H, A), Bolton Wanderers (H), Plymouth Argyle (H, A), AFC Bournemouth (H, A, 3rd), Bristol City (H, A).
It's always good to put a face to a name so I'd like to introduce you to Pavel Shalaev of St Petersburg from where he runs the Liverpool Shirt website. Pavel has made many important contributions to HFK and has just sent us this photograph in which he models a replica of Liverpool's original 1892 blue/white shirt provided by yours truly.
Here is a real puzzle from the 1974 FIFA World Cup. Like many teams in that tournament Australia wore the new Adidas three-stripe trim. Franc Forjan has now provided photographic evidence that their kits carried the Umbro trademark rather than the Adidas trefoil trademark. Quite how this came about is a mystery but we do know the Socceroos wore Umbro in the qualifiers so perhaps their contract obliged them to have Umbro branding on their kit in the tournament proper.
6 June 2013-14 Updates: It has been an entertaining week: after an outcry from supporters, the Cardiff City management belatedly consulted season ticket holders over the colour of the shorts on their new home kit and the results have now been posted. The new Liverpool away kit, designed by Warrior Sports, has attracted a huge amount of comment, all of it negative.
Other updates for the new season: Manchester United (H), Brighton & Hove Albion (H socks updated; A added), Wycombe Wanderers (H), Middlesbrough (H, A), Leeds United (A*), Gillingham (H), Rotherham United (A).
27 May: The 2013-14 Scottish Season Galleries are now open: as usual we invite contributors to let us know when new kits are released so we can post them. Please note, we need details of the full kit, not just the shirts, and we do not work from leaks.
The English sections have now been posted.
26 May: You can now follow us on Twitter @HistoricalKits or use the button above.
Last night's Champions' League final kits have been posted.
24 May: I shall try to clear some of the historical material in the HFK mail dungeon before we launch the new season galleries.
Ross County (1996-97 added): Cardiff City (1969 crest added): Rangers (1973-74 change added; 1969-72 striped shirts now identified as third choice): York City (1987-88 detaileing corrected): Bristol City (1971-72 removed - now confirmed this strip was only worn in pre-season photoshoo): 2002 World Cup (Nigeria kit v Argentina updated).
15 May: Following on from yesterday's Garibaldi Red story, I've been in touch again with Mark Andrews and I think we have now nailed the story that Arsenal originally wore dark red shirts as being untrue. One of Arsenal's founders, Fred Beardsley also played for Nottingham Forest and is reported to have proposed that Arsenal adopt the same colours. Early Football League records consistently describe Arsenal's colours as "red and white" (teams like Stoke who did wear dark red were registered as "claret and white.") Furthermore, painted images, such as this attractive silk, are consistent in showing bright red tops.
13 May: I have been, quite rightly, taken to task for failing to mention in my little homily to the success of our Welsh teams, that Swansea City won the League Cup and Wrexham won the FA Trophy this season. Mae'n ddrwg gen i!
Our FA Cup section has been updated after Saturday's final.
Darrin Foss has sent us some fascinating press cuttings from the 1880s and 1890s, which consistently describe Nottingham Forest's shirts as "bright red." We know the original colours chosen by the club were inspired by the Camicie Rosse worn by the Italian patriot army led by Giusseppe Garibaldi (shown here in a very early Forest strip - I may have got that wrong).
Photographs suggest Forest's early shirts were a very dark shade. This new evidence convinces me that the photos are misleading, due to the limitations of the emulsions used at the time and documented by HFK late last year.
When the teams were at work the sight was a most pleasing one, the bright red jerseys of the Foresters, and light blue colours of their opponents (Glasgow Rangers) looking exceedingly pretty, surrounded...by a sombre looking cordon of spectators in which was a fair sprinking of ladies. During the first half...the English rules were strictly adhered to....but in the second half the allowance for "off-side" was waived, and the game accordingly proceeded more merrily...
Darren's material includes Nottingham Forest (1868-1930 graphics revised): Walsall Swifts (1884-90 added): Middlesbrough (white shirts confirmed to 1891): Middlesbrough Ironopolis (Jan 1891-1894 colours now confirmed): Scotland (1873, 1875): Wales (1877 crest now confirmed) and the fact that in 1875 the England players wore their club strips in the match with Scotland.
10 May: HFK is very pleased that league football is returning to Newport 25 years after the original club went into liquidation. A new section (Newport County ) is now available. As usual, we welcome all contributions that fill in the gaps in our records and add detailing where we have not been able to confirm the design of shorts and socks.
Let's not forget also that Cardiff City will be playing in the Premier League next season and our fine rugby team won the Six Nations.
Just thought I'd mention it.
(Photo courtesy of Newport County official website.)
The FA WSL 2013 section is now open.
9 April: Wigan Athletic (1934-35 updated - two graphics): the kit worn by Colombia against the Soviet Union in the 1962 World Cup has been amended with information given to Julio Lopez by Efrain Sanchez who was in goal in that match and is alive today.
Thanks to Tony Sealey the Tottenham Hotspur Home and Away sections have been updated with additional details from the 1950s. Tony has also discovered this Bury v Spurs programme from September 1932 that gives the visitor's colours as Sky Blue Shirts and Blue Knickers. It is possible that the photograph on the right, thought to be from 1930-31, shows these unusual shirts.
1 April: Riccardo Bertani adds a postcript to the Liverpool-in-stripes story with this photograph taken with the Genoa team on a tour of Italy in 1922.
Links to newly available replica shirts have been added to Rochdale, Southport, Newcastle United, Port Vale, Airdrieonians, Plymouth Argyle, Hartlepool United, Darlington, Queen of the South, Chesterfield, Berwick Rangers and Rotherham United.
31 March: The future of the excellent unitedkits website, which records the history of Manchester United's kits in considerable detail, is currently under threat after being hit by a demand from a sports photography agency for over £400 for publishing allegedly copyright photographs that provide supporting evidence for their kit graphics. HFK has also had a run in with this agency in the past and we deplore their aggressive, bullying approach. A message from unitedkits is now posted on the Manchester United pages and we invite HFK visitors to support the site by making a donation to their appeal fund.
Last month we asserted that Liverpool have never worn striped shirts as a change kit (See 6 February entry). This, it turns out is incorrect. Research published by Jeff Gaydish proves that between 1911 and 1918 the regular pre-season trial matches were recorded as "Reds v Stripes," implying that striped shirts may have been Liverpool's alternative during this period. Stripes were certainly worn in two Football League matches, at Arsenal in September 1911 (left) and at Aston Villa in 1919. (Jeff has identified the photograph on the right as the team that played Villa and not South Shields as I had previously thought.)
A troubling detail is that it was the home team that was required to change when colours clashed at the time so some further research is needed. In the meantime I am tucking into a large slice of humble pie topped with sheepish custard.
Kjell Hanssen has found a press cutting that confirms that Dundee switched from white to navy tops in 1902, not 1903 as we had previously believed.
The 1970 World Cup section narrative has been expanded thanks to Steve Monaghan.
I would not normally post details of League Cup final kits but Leeds United's 1968 winning variant is worth a place on historical grounds, this being the club's first major honour. Wigan Athletic (1973-74 added).