News & Updates Archie 2022
What a pleasure and a privilege it was to watch yesterday's truly epic World Cup final. It is hard not to agree with commentators and journalists who described the final as the greatest in living memory if not of all time.
There were many memorable moments during the match but also in the interminable wait between the final whistle and the presentation of the trophy. I particularly enjoyed watching French president Emmanuel Macron repeatedly clutching Kylian Mbappe while bellowing motivational encouragement in his ear. Mbappe's body language suggested that he hadn't voted for Macron and just wanted to be left alone.
I also enjoyed how Emi Martinez, Argentina's goalkeeper and player of mind games, utiiised his Golden Glove trophy as a phallus. The Emir looks on with an expression that suggests this is not why his country spent £200 billion to bring the World Cup to Qatar.
My favourite image was when Lionel Messi paused to kiss the World Cup trophy after collecting his Golden Ball trophy. Surely he was at this moment, the happiest person on the planet.
Photo Credits: (The Hindu Business Line, Sportsmax.tv, Hannah McKay/Reuters, Tom Jenkins/The Guardian)
My coverage of the 2022 World Cup is now complete.
It was widely reported in the UK press that the reason the Spanish team have been playing in all-red is that they were instructed to do so by FIFA, a decision that apparently infuriated their technical sponsor, Adidas. Our Hungarian Elf, Dávid Koczó, recently alerted me to a remark made by a Hungarian commentator during Spain's match against Costa Rica indicating that the decision to play in all-red was made by their Head Coach, Luis Enrique. This appears to be confirmed by an article on www.sport.es that states (in translation) that the change was made for two reasons. The first is that FIFA's advice is that teams should wear a single colour (which is not true) and the second is that Luis Enrique said, "We are The Red. I asked the sports director if it could be managed and we will play in all-red."
I have begun the match-by-match coverage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Hibernian (1985-86, 1986-87 detailing added), Montrose (1984-86 revised), Aberdeen (1984-85, 1985-86 logos added to socks), Dundee United (1985-87 detailing added), Clydebank (1985-86 branding & detailing added), Falkirk (1985-86, 1986-87 pinstripes redrawn), St Mirren (1972-73 details revised), Rangers (1956-57 European Cup kits added).
Following the recent release of their new kits, Cameroon have been added to the 2022 FIFA World Cup section. Match-by-match will be posted next week.
The story about Admiral providing playing kit to Leicester City between 1972 and 1976 (see 8 November below) turns out to be more complicated than I thought. The indefatigable Tony Sealey contacted Andy Wells, author of Get Shirty, who explained that his research suggested that the white shirts worn in 1972-73 were made in the Cook & Hurst (Admiral) factory in Wigston and had Bukta labels. The blue shirts adopted the following season and worn unti 1976 were also made by Cook & Hurst but had the Admiral label inside the collar. The junior size replicas shown in the advertisement on the right were made by Cook & Hurst and had Admiral branding.
Meanwhile I was in touch with Rob from Leicester City Match Worn Shirts. He confirmed that he has six player shirts in his collection from the 1972-76 period and they all have Bukta branding. He also had a junior replica in the collection with an Admiral label.
In my view Rob's shirts provide us with primary evidence while Andy's research, gleaned from interviews concerning a minor detail of production that took place almost 45 years after the event is less reliable.
My conclusion is that Admiral's seamstresses did indeed make up some if not all of the shirts for the club under a subcontract with Bukta. Admiral CEO Bert Patrick took the opportunity to add Leicester City replicas in junior sizes to Admiral's Authenticolours range.
The photograph is of the 1973-74 side.
I've been looking through the excellent Everton Chronicles website, a truly comprehensive archive of press coverage going back to 1879. As a result I've been able to make the following additions to the Everton section: 1883-86 shirts now confirmed to be light blue and white, 1923-24, 1933-34, 1934-35 (3 kits) added; 1929-30, 1930-31 corrected.
The following changes have been made to the Everton Change kits section: 1894-1900, 1920-21, 1923-24, 1932-33, January 1933, 1961-62 cold weather 3rd, 1962-66 warm weather 3rd added: 1929-30, 1930-31, 1931-32 corrected.
The photograph is of the 1929-30 team wearing jerseys with unusual white facings. The team cut quite a dash in this outfit but after being relegated it was quietly dropped. Incidentally, I had been led to believe these jerseys were light blue but the press articles on Everton Chronicles make no mention of any change of colour.
I have known for a while that Admiral Sports began selling replica football kits in junior sizes in the early 1970s. The Authenticolours range were made from cheap nylon and advertised heavily in Shoot magazine in order to target football mad kids. These replicas did not include club crests nor was there any visible branding.
What I did not know was that Admiral were also supplying football kit to several prominent Football League clubs at the time. The company, which was based in Wigston just outside the important textile centre of Leicester had been helping the big two sportswear suppliers, Bukta and Umbro, fulfill their order books. In 1972 the owner, Bert Patrick, decided to cut out the middlemen and supply clubs directly. Early adopters included West Bromwich Albion and, appropriately enough, Leicester City. Newcastle United wore Admiral in 1973-74. These strips did not include visible branding.
In 1973 Patrick came up with the idea of redesigning club kits and using the 1968 Design Copyright Act to protect these new designs so that Admiral could exclusively market replicas. A chance meeting with Leeds United manager Don Revie later that year led to the first copyright deal and the birth of what would become a multi-billion pound global replica kit market.
I strongly recommend Get Shirty: The Rise & Fall of Admiral Sportswear (Andy Wells 2022). Based on the TV documentary of the same name that Andy Wells made some years ago, this book includes research that couldn't be included in the original film. An entertaining and informative read.
3 November According to The Threads of History (Anthony Vickers 2022), prior to their first ever match in February 1877 the Middlesbrough players dyed their cricket gear dark blue and played in these colours until the 1878-79 season when they adopted proper football jerseys. Referrring to this book and his own research, Tony Sealey has submitted information that allows me to revise Middlesbrough's kit history between 1961 and 1966. The photograph above is of the 1964-65 team wearing a modern version of the epaulettes that were Boro's signature look in the inter-war period (right).
(Photo credits: public domain)
Crawley Town (1920-21,1949-50 added, 1953-54 revised.) The photograph is of the 1920-21 team. Note the mixture of light and dark knickers as well as the variety of socks, typical of a modest amateur club.
(Photo credit: ctfchistory.co.uk)
Thanks to Tony Sealey I can confirm that Newcastle United wore three different shirts in 1973-74: two were by Admiral and one by Bukta with very minor differences between them.
Scottish club updates: Heart of Midlothian (1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86 trim adjusted), Cowdenbeath (1983-84 corrected), Hibernian (1983-84, 1984-85 corrected, 1 January 1985 one-off kit added), Partick Thistle (1983-84 stripes added to sleeves), Forfar Athletic (1980-91 branding removed), Brechin City (1984-85 detailing added), Dumbarton (December 1984-May 85 added, Aberdeen (1984-85, 1985-86 redrawn), Rangers (unsponsored shirts worn August-September 1984 added, 1984-85 change kit added).
World Cup 2022 Additions: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea.
World Cup 2022 Additions: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland.
The Yugoslavia team that took part in the first World Cup in 1930 was made up entirely of Serbian players. A dispute had broken out between the Croatian Football Subassociation and the Yugoslav Football Association following the latter deciding to relocate its headquarters from Zagreb to Belgrade. The Croatian Subassociation boycotted the national team, preventing players from member clubs joining the squad for the World Cup.
(Photo credit: Primer Campeonato Mundial de Football 1930)
World Cup 2022 Additions: Morocco, Croatia.
World Cup 2022 Additions: Germany, Japan, Belgium, Canada.
The addition of a broad black vertical stripe to Germany's first choice shirts appears to be a reference to the strip worn in the nation's first ever official international in 1908 against Switzerland.
(Photo credit: FIFA Museum)
I had hoped that by this stage I would be in a position to launch my completed World Cup 2022 section but a bout of Covid-19 has set me back by ten days. Rather than delay things even more I've decided to launch the new section as a work-in-progress and will be adding the missing kit graphics between now and the end of the month.
There's no need to send me details of the missing kits as I have access to everything I need but, as ever, corrections and missing detailing are always welcome.
Please don't be alarmed at the lack of recent updates. I'm currently working on a project that will be launched later this month after which updates wil resume.
I received this photograph of Camelon from Alan McCabe recently. The viilage club set the world record for the largest away win when they beat Redding United 17-0 in the Scottish FA Cup in September 1887. The trophy is probably the Stirlingshire Cup, which they won in 1885. Rotherham Town (1890-91 added).
This has put me in the mood to make some more entries on the Eminent Victorians Scotland section: Kirkintilloch Harp, Ladyburn, Lanark, Laurieston, Lenzie.
Photo credit: Camelon Juniors FC)
Today I'm making a start on dealing with all the contributions that came in while I was working on the new season updates.
Boston United (1935-36), Wigan Athletic (1978-80, 1980-81, 1981-82 amended), West Bromwich Albion (1986 crest revised), Hartlepool United (1984-85 late season socks corrected), Blackburn Rovers (Jan-May 2022 new sponsor added), Dagenham & Redbridge (dates between 1992 & 1999 revised).
FIFA World Cup 1934: This photograph is of the Hungarian national team before their match against Egypt and shows the team wearing their famous dark red jerseys and what appear to be matching shorts. As we now know, however, appearances can be misleading, especially when the effects of orthographic film stock, which was still used widely in Europe at the time, are taken into account. I was very pleased, therefore, to hear from Gergely Marosi, a Hungarian sports journalist and author of an article on the history of the national team's kits down the years. Gergely tells me that none of the contemporary reports he has found make any mention of red shorts. However, he has uncovered a report from Nemzeti Sport (25 May 1934) that lists the kit that the team took to the World Cup, namely:
"24 red shirts with the national coat of arms, 24 white shirts with red-white-green stripes, 2 goalkeeper jerseys (1 green, 1 blue), 2 goalkeeper sweaters, 30 white shorts, 30 black shorts, 15 pairs green socks, 15 pairs black socks."
The iconic white change shirt with red and green bands first appeared in 1924 against Italy and was worn against Egypt in the Olympic Games later that year. Egypt won that match 3-0 so it is not surprising that the Hungarians decided to play in their dark red jerseys when the sides met in 1934, wearing their black change shorts to achieve more contrast.
This prompted me to look again at the colours of the Czechoslovak team, which I had as dark red and white, based on contemporary photographs. However, when we look at this picture of the Czech side (in white tops) playing Switzerland it is very noticeable how dark the red shirts of the Swiss appear. My conclusion is that this is the curse of orthographic film at work again and that Czechoslovakia wore conventional red shirts at the time.
Gergely also informed me that the red band on Hungary's white change strip was a conventional shade to mirror the colours of the Hungarian flag rather than the dark red of the first choice jerseys.
This concludes the 2022-23 club update.
Elgin City are yet another club with an anniversary to celebrate this season: they were formed in 1893 and will be 125 years old next year. According to the official club website they "have tried to mimic the very first kit the City wore back in the 1890s." Unfortunately, when we compare the modern effort with the original it appears that Joma have rather missed their target with stripes that are too narrow and shorts and socks that are the wrong colour. Nevertheless it's quite striking and has sold out already.
Today I am inducting Bonnyrigg Rose into the SPFL section. This tiny club only switched from junior to senior status four years ago and have risen rapidly from the East of Scotland League to win the League Two play-off and replace Cowdenbeath in the SPFL. There is not a lot known about the history of the club, aside from the fact that a young Sean Connery made a few appearances for them in the early 50s, but I've managed to pull together what I could find. The kit history is very sketchy and I hope the HFK Elves will help to fill in some of the gaps.
Disruption to global supply chains has affected trade in a wide range of goods, the result of economic dislocation caused by Covid-19, a shortage of shipping containers and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Although most clubs have been able to secure supplies for their teams, replica kits for their fans have yet to be delivered in many cases. Airdrieonians, however, are still waiting for their player-issue kit which is why they have been turning out in unfamiliar stripes this season. Their bespoke shirts are apparently on the way.
(Photo credit: The Daily Record)
Caley Thistle usually wear strking and original strips and this season is no exception. The words printed into the blue front panel are, "Oh Inverness is wonderful," from a song sung by supporters, bless 'em.
Partick Thistle also like to wear something distinctive and this season they have gone full-on retro, with a re-creation of their classic strip from the late 50s and early 60s. IMHO the broad yellow and red hoops matched with white shorts were one of the most iconic among Scottish clubs and I thought it was a great shame that they were dropped in the 70s in favour of something "more modern."
The rise of Cove Rangers since they won the right to play in the SPFL has been little short of amazing. Champions of League Two on a points-per-game basis in their first season, which was cut short by Covid-19, they lost out in the Championship play-offs a year later. Last season they won the League One title with seven points to spare and now make their debut in the Championship. What better way to celebrate the club's centenary? They have made the best of being restricted to standard Adidas templates by adding gold applications and a special crest to their strip this season.
(Photo credit: Cove Rangers FC)
Motherwell's signature strip of amber shirts with a broad claret band is one of the most recognisable and iconic there is but every so often, they like to ring the changes. This season, after rummaging through the dressing-up-box they've asked Macron to re-create the strip they wore 40 years ago. The Patrick designed original was usually worn with amber shorts but towards the end of 1983-84, claret shorts became first choice, a definite impovement. Bradford City, who were facing bankruptcy in 1983-84, got hold of some surplus stock from Patrick and wore the same outfit.
(Photo credit: @MotherwellFC)
It may be a very long time since Celtic won anything outside of Scotland but in terms of support and global recognition, they remain an elite club, capable of shifting replica shirts by the container load. That's why Adidas are prepared to provide bespoke kits each season but therein lies a challenge. There's only so much you can do with The Bhoys' iconic green and white hoops without offending their army of supporters. The answer lies in delving into the kit history to find something that can be revived, which in this case is the 1987-89 centenary kit which was the first one to have a tonal pattern printed into the green hoops. The effect is agreeable, I think, but there is a question mark over introducing grey as an accent colour.
In recent weeks I have been reading in the news quite a lot about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with a mounting sense of bafflement. These appear to be unique digital things (videos, music, animations...) that exist in the blockchain, whatever that is. Like cryptocurrencies, NFTs have attracted speculators keen to exploit the growing value of something that is essentially worthless. The good people of Crawley can now enjoy their own NFT in the form of the Chromie Squiggle that adorns the front of Crawley Town's shirts this season.
(Photo credit: Crawley Town FC.)
We've seen shirts with architectural features sublimated into the fabric before and I am not a fan. I'm not convinced that what supporters want are abstract representations of the roof girders from the main stand of their home ground. This latest effort from Ipswich Town is a good example of what a lazy FE College lecturer would give as an assignment to a naive bunch of first year students on a creative arts course on a Friday afternoon. You hand out cheap digital cameras and tell the class to go and photograph interesting buildings which they can make into nice collages on Monday that can be screen printed onto T shirts. Meanwhile our lecturer is off to the pub where the third years are already gathered.
(Photo credit: Ipswich Town FC.)
The new Sheffield United strip shown here has a rather interesting back story. It is the product of a deal struck between Errea and United World, which is a consultancy based in Geneva that offers a range of services to sports enterprises across the world including five football clubs, Al Hilal United, Beerschot, LB Chateauroux, Kerala United and the Blades. Under the new arrangement, Errea will provide bespoke kits to United World clubs.
The Sheffield United strip, which was created by the club, illustrates just how good modern design can be. Based on the landmark Admiral kits of the Seventies, which introduced black edging to the stripes for the first time, this version eschews all the frills and fripperies we have seen lately in favour of clean, classic lines and minimal detailing.
(Photo credit: Sheffield United FC)
All the club pages that have been updated with the latest 2022-23 kits have now had their links to Classic Football Shirts restored. As the latest graphics are added to the remaining Premier League and EFL clubs I will repair the broken links on all remaining pages and remove redundant ones..
While updating the site yesterday I discovered that all the deep-links to the Classic Football Shirts online store had broken. This can happen when changes are made to the retailer's website without taking into account the impact on their own Affiliate Marketing programmes. Since Classic Football Shirts is by far the most popular destination for HFK visitors I am prioritising repairing the broken links, starting with all the club pages that have been updated with 2022-23 kit graphics. Once that is complete, I shall progressively repair each page as the new graphics are added.
My apologies for the inconvenience. You can access the store using the link on the right of this page.
(Photo credit: BBC)
Street maps seem to be a thing this season. Yesterday we encountered one on the new Bristol Rovers shirt (although it is only visible close to) and Fleetwood Town's change shirt also features a map (this kit is not on HFK). Today I can reveal Burton Albion's contribution to this latest sub-genre. The spooky thing is that these designs have come from three separate manufacturers, Macron, Hummel and Tag. Is there a secret cabal of designers surreptitiously sharing plans without the knowledge of their bosses? Are MI5 involved? We need to be told!
Bristol Rovers have worn quartered shirts since 1931, aside from a period in the 60s and early 70s when the design was considered old fashioned. For the modern designer, coming up with something new and interesting is tricky. Given everything else that has to be accommodated on the shirt (crest, sponsors, names & numbers, manufacturer's logo, competition patches) things can quickly get messy. In recent years the best Rovers' kits have been those that took a minimalist approach but Macron's recent contributions have ignored this principle. The repeated Macron logos on the shoulders and shorts that have been a feature of recent kits is just too much clutter.
Embossed into the fabric of the new shirt is a street map of Bristol with the crest placed on Purdown, where the club first played. During dull passages of play fans will be observed in the stands closely examining each others' replica tops to show where they were born, went to school and had their first snog. And the strap line the marketeers have come up with reads, "Never Forget Your Routes..."
Give me strength.
(Photo credit: Bristol Rovers FC)
When new kits are launched they are often accompanied by some trite marketing-speak about how the design was inspired by this or honours the spirit of that. The new Reading kit has a rather more serious story behind it. The muticoloured bands on the sleeves were created in 2018 by Professor Ed Hawkins of Reading University. Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year relative to the average temperature over the entire period. Shades of blue represent cooler than average years while reds indicate hotter than average. The bands on this shirt track the entire 151-year history of the club and show graphically how temperatures have increased over the period.
(Photo credit: Reading Chronicle)
This season marks Burnley's 140th anniversary so naturally a rummage through the back catalogue is very much in order. The problem is that retro versions of the really significant shirts from their past have already been done and the very earliest strips are now so obscure that no-one would associate them with the club. (It was not until 1910 that claret and blue was adopted.) It's also desirable to pick a shirt associated with some sort of success so we arrive at a remake of the 1991-92 championship winning shirt. Of course that was the Fourth Division championship you understand. There are people who admire 90s football shirts: these people are deluded and must be shunned.
(Photo credit: Football Shirt Culture)
When clubs want a kit that's rather more distinctive than those provided by the big three, the Italian company Errea is one of those they can turn to. Even modest clubs can afford to commission a bespoke kit such as this one for Hartlepool United. Much as I have admired Errea's designs over the years for their flair and individuality, it has to be said that sometimes they go over the top. The basic concept here is fine - broad stripes look good but offsetting them spoils the balance. The red accents jar a little and the mesh side panels don't match the rest of the shirt (they do look better on the pitch) but the final touch is embossed into the blue stripes. Harts no less.
(Photo credit: Hartlepool United FC/Errea)
There have been some very attractive designs among the new releases in the Premier League and EFL so far and, as you would expect, I heartily approve of the trend for retro inspired strips. That said, there have been some shockers and into this category, so far leading the field by a country mile, is this horror show from AFC Bournemouth, which marks their return to the Premier League. Whatever its merits, it has provoked a storm on social media, which is probably the point.
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE! Immediately after writing the last paragraph I turned to the next club on today's list, Crystal Palace, and found something even worse. Several of the elves have had to go for little lie down while others are laughing hysterically in the corner and refusing to come out. Evidently these guys are also finding it hard to take this whole new shirt thing seriously.
Incidentally, the club crest has been modified by adding the date 1861, despite the fact that Mark Metcalf and Clive Nicholson have comprehensively demolished the theory advanced by Peter Manning that the modern club is linked to the original Crystal Palace FC.
Over last few seasons the Danish sportswear provider Hummel has been making serious inroads into the UK replica shirt market. Their pitch is to offer to recreate popular kits from the past, discretely adding their own branding and modern flourishes. The newNorthampton Town kit, introduced for their 125th anniversary this season, is a good example. The original version, worn in 1986-88, became a firm favourite with fans not least because under Graham Carr (father of TV's Alan) the team won the Fourth Division championship.
(Photo credits: Northampton Town FC)
If you are not among the elite football clubs and you are signed up with Adidas or Nike you can forget about your team walking out in a new bespoke kit each season. Middle and lower ranked clubs have to select their design from the current catalogue and aside from perhaps choosing a collar style or tweaking an accent colour, there is little scope to customise. Puma, however, have been taking a different approach over the past couple of seasons. They also have a limited number of basic designs to choose from but they then offer a wide choice of sublimated patterns that are printed into the fabric so that even if you choose the same template as your rivals in the next town, you can be assured that your shirts will be unique. The new Blackpool shirt (above) illustrates the point. I should like to add that while these subtle patterns may look good, they can be a nightmare to draw.
(Photo credit: Blackpool FC)
One of the trends among the new kits being launched ahead of the 2022-23 season is for designers to present retro-influenced outfits with a modern twist. A good example is the new strip designed by O'Neills for Sutton United. The team had worn quartered shirts in their distinctive chocolate and amber in the 1930s and when these were revived for the club's centenary in 1997-98 they proved so popular that they were retained for eight seasons. Since 2008 Sutton have played in predominently amber strips and O'Neills have managed to combine this theme with the older quarters design to great effect.
(Photo credit: Sutton United FC)
Rather later than usual, I've started work on the club kits for 2022-23, starting with the Premier League and English Football League.
Throughout their history, Charlton Athletic have generally worn red shirts and white shorts. The trimmings may have varied according to prevailing fashion but the basic theme has remained more or less consistent over time. In the mid 1960s, however, the team played in an elegant white strip with a dramatic red shoulder flash. This was registered with the Football League for 1964-65 but Tony Sealey has discovered that it was introduced in December 1963 and worn until the end of the 1963-64 season. To complicate matters, a version with a large flappy collar is evident in pre-season player photographs (right) and was worn at least twice in September and October.
I am speculating here but it seems likely that the white outfit was intended to be the Valiants' change strip and it was given a couple of extra outings in the Autumn. White kits were the coming thing and were proving popular because they showed up well under floodlights, which were still relatively new at the time. The experiment must have been deemed a success because new sets (with crew necks) were commissioned and replaced the older red shirts in December. These early versions lacked the Valiant crest, which was introduced in 1964-65.
Ahead of the World Cup in Qatar later this year, 3Retro have added replicas of the iconic white and red shirts worn by England in the 1970 World Cup. Both shirts have the number 6 on the back to honour the late Bobby Moore who wore it for West Ham United and when he captained the England team.
I understand that the pale blue shirt worn against Czechoslovakia will be added to the catalogue shortly.
Before taking a fortnight's holiday in Poland, I started work on an enormous illustrated file sent to me by Christian James, a detailed history of Boston United's kits from 1933 to 2010, which I've now completed. With this material I've been able to plug some gaps in the record, update the crest history and added a wealth of missing detailing. The photograph is of the 1967-68 side, wearing candy-striped shirts, which were very much in vogue at the time. The team won the West Midlands League and Cup double that season.
I was recently contacted by Cliff Crancher who wanted to point out that the image of West Bromwich Albion's iconic 1972 crest on HFK is wrong. On the left is a cutting from the official club programme, Albion News, from August 1972 that announces the new design. This is rather more angular and abstract than the version that can be found on the internet, which was in fact, created by the designers at Toffs when they manufactured their replica of the 1972-73 Albion shirt. (See right.)
Although it is rather different to the original, Toffs did a remarkably good job in interpreting the material that was available at the time. Even today among the hundreds of photographs to be found online of this famous shirt, I could find just two on which the original detailing could be just about made out.
On 27 August 1994, Celtic wore numbers of the back of their shirts for the first time in domestic competition on the instructions of the Scottish Football League. This came after a referee booked the wromg player having apparently failed to notice the large numerals on both front and back of the team's shorts. Supporters may have been disappointed that the sacred hoops had been desecrated but took some consolation from their team beating Rangers 2-0 at Ibrox that day.
(Photo credit: The Celtic Wiki)
In the 1960s and 1970s Coventry City were at the forefront of innovative kit design. Having adopted a revolutionary all-sky blue strip in 1962 they became the first team to wear Admiral's iconic tram lines design in 1975. In this screen grab, taken from a match with West Ham United on 5 November 1977 we can see another experiment, numbers on the front of the players' shirts. The idea failed to find favour and was dropped a month later.
Tottenham Hotspur (1923-24 change shirt now confirmed as red/white striped rather than plain red). Manchester City added a circular crest to their shirts in October 1970, not August 1971 as previously thought. Everton (January-May 1967 change kit added).
I am grateful to Tony Sealey for providing the material for today's update.
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: Glengowan 1876, Gordon Highlanders 1894, Grangemouth 1886, Greenock Northern 1880, Greenock Southern 1877, Hamilton Harp 1890, Hurlford 1878, Inverness Citadel 1893, Johnstone Harp 1886, Johnstone Rovers 1880, Kelvinbank 1876, Kilbirnie 1874, Kilmarnock Athletic 1877, Kilmarnock Portland 1873, Kilsyth Wanderers 1888, Kilwinning Eglinton 1895.
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: Dunkeld 1879, Duntocher Harp 1888,Dykebar 1887, East End Rovers 1881, East Kilbride 1876, Eastern 1875, Forres Mechanics 1884, Gladstonians 1889, Glasgow University 1883.
(Photo credit: Forres Mechanics The First Hundred Years, Colin G Watson 1984)
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: Cree Rovers 1879, Crieff 1883, Dalmuir Thistle 1892, Dalry 1884, Dean 1874, Dean Park 1879, Denny 1888, Derby 1875, Dumbarton Rock 1882, Dumbarton Union 1891, Dumfries Hibernian 1897, Dunblane 1880, Dunipace 1879.
As soon as I made my comment about the cryptic beastie on the Stirling Albion badge from 1956 (see 27 April below), the HFK Elves scurried off into the darker corners of the interweb to solve the mystery. William Mohiaddeen found a minute of the town council from June 1624 that described the burgh coat of arms as "the wolf upon ane craig." Jim Thomson tells us of a legend dating from the ninth century when a Danish warband attempted a sneak attack on the town. As they approached they disturbed a pack of wolves whose howling alerted the townsfolk who were able to fend off the attackers. The wolf came to be regarded as the protector of the town and features on one of the buildings in the city centre.
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: Caledonia 1885, Caledonian (Aberdeen) 1886, Cambuslang Hibernian 1887, Camelon 1884, Campsie Glen 1878, Campsie Hibernian 1890, Carfin Shamrock 1892, Carrick 1886, Cartha 1890, Catrine 1878, Champfleurie 1888, Chryston 1881, City 1878, Clachnacuddin 1891, Clifton & Strathfillan 1877, Coatbridge 1887, Coupar Angus 1877.
29 April - Scottish Clubs Update
Among the latest batch of material from Ian McConnel is this interesting colourised photograph of Rangers, taken on their tour of Spain in May 1956. This is the first time that the team had worn V neck shirts, which would become a signature feature of their kit from 1957 to 1968. It's also the first time that any kind of crest had appeared on the players' shirts but mercifully, the ugly big "R" was not seen again.
Heart of Midlothian (July-August 1982 added), Motherwell (1982-83 unsponsored kit added), Forfar Athletic (1982-83 logos corrected), Ayr United (1982-83 added), Raith Rovers (1982-83 added), Hamilton Academical (1982-83 sponsor added), Partick Thistle (1981-82, 1982-83 added), Queen of the South (1982-83 added), St Johnstone (1982-83 badge added to shorts), Clydebank (1980-83 trim added to socks), Dunfermline Athletic (1982-83 added), Hibernian (1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84 detailing updated), Brechin City detailing added to 1981-84 shorts).
27 April - Scottish Clubs Update
On the left is a (very) matchworn shirt worn by Rothes when they won the Highland League in 1958-59. Nothing remarkable about that, you might think, except that the initials crudely embroidered into the top of the badge read SAFC. According to Martin Johnston, who submitted this little gem, Rothes chairman, John Enfield, was a close friend of Tam Fergusson, the founder and chairman of Stirling Albion. Several Albion players had turned out for Rothes while doing their national service and their manager was former Albion player, Tommy Martin. It appears that Albion gifted the Morayshire club a set of redundant blue and white change shirts for their championship season.
The photograph also provides details of the crest worn by Stirling Albion in the 1956-57 season although I defy anyone to identify the beastie that forms the centre piece.
(Photo credit: Martin Johnson)
Further updates from Ian McConnel: Kilmarnock (1981-82, 1982-83 detailing updated), Queen's Park (1981-82 collar corrected), Queen of the South (1981-83 shorts & sock detailing added), East Stirlingshire (August-December 1981 added, centenary kit now correctly dated), Hamilton Academical (1981-82 added), Ayr United (1981-82 added), Stenhousemuir (1981-82 corrected).
26 April - Odds & Sods from the Inbox
Chelsea (February 1987 added), Partick Thistle (2021-22 updated), Blackburn Rovers (Feb 1975-76 shorts modified), Stockport County (1962-63 trimmings updated), Wales (1965-67 change corrected, Aug 1971 variant added.)
The photograph is from the European Championship qualifier between Romania and Wales in August 1971 and shows the visitors wearing white socks to avoid clashing with those of the home side.
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: Bathgate Harp 1885, Battlefield 1873, Beith Thistle 1881, Bellshill 1879, Benhar 1880, Benquhat Heatherbell 1887, Blackfriars 1876, Blairgowrie & Rattray 1880, Blairgowrie Our Boys 1891, Bon Accord 1884, Bonhill 1884, Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic 1890, Bridge of Allan 1890, Bridge of Weir 1893, Brora Rangers 1878, Broxburn Shamrock 1881, Brunswick 1877, Burnbank Swifts 1890, Burntisland Thistle 1878, Busby 1873.
Among the photographs of Victorian football teams recently posted on The Straw Plaiters website by Brian Webb is this one of the Macclesfield team of 1889-90 wearing spectacular red, white and blue striped shirts.
This cutting, submitted by Des Hinks, comes from the Alderley & Wilmslow Advertiser (5 November 1886) and is a report on a match between Heaton Norris Rovers and Bradford of Manchester. The home team won 12-0 and are referred to as "the Dark Blues" in the text. Rovers changed their name to Stockport County in 1890.
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: Apsley 1876, Armadale Volunteers 1895, Athole 1879, Auchinleck Boswell 1878, Avondale (Lanarkshire) 1875, Avondale (Stirlingshire) 1882, Ayr Athletic 1889, Barholm Rovers 1894, Barrhead 1874.
(Photo credits: The Straw Plaiters, The British Library)
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: 1st Argyll Rifle Volunteeers 1890, 1st Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers 1875 revised, 1st Renfrewshire Rifle Volunteers 1884 revised, 2nd Ayrshire Rifle Volunteers 1887, 3rd Edinburgh Rifle Volunteers 1875, 5th Kirkcudbrightshire Rifle Volunteers 1879, 6th Galloway Rifle Volunteers, 10th Dumbartonshire Rifle Volunteers 1875, 17th Renfrewshire Rifle Volunteers 1877, 19th Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers 1877, Ailsa 1874, Airdrie 1880 revised, Airdriehill 1879, Glasgow Alexandra Athletic 1874.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Sale 1869, Sandyford 1876, Scunthorpe 1882, Spalding 1874, Stanley 1890, Wellington* 1868, Whitby 1890, Wilton 1890.
Eminent Victorians Midlands Additions: Whittington Moor 1879.
After a short hiatus due to an outbreak of Covid 19 at HFK Towers, normal service can now be resumed, starting with this photograph of the Trinity College Oxford team of 1890. The college archivist has confirmed that the unusual shirts, which I beieve would have been described as "butchers' stripes", were in the college colours of white and dark blue. We believe the severe looking chap in college blazer, cap and muffler, was probably the club captain, a role common in university sports teams to this day.
(Photo credit: The Straw Plaiters)
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Lincoln Ramblers 1885, Lincoln Rangers 1885, Louth & District 1885, Low Moor 1886, Mexborough 1887, Milton* 1862, Minerva* 1878, Northumberland County 1882, Norton* 1871, Ockenden 1877, Oswaldtwistle 1886 revised, Pitsmoor* 1868, Preston Zingari 1884, Rawtenstall 1886, Rising Sun 1881 corrected, Rotherham 1872.
Eminent Victorians Midlands Additions: Lowgates 1885, Matlock Bridge 1886.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Holme 1879, Horncastle Town 1887, Hulme Atheneaum 1868, Hyde 1890, Irwell Springs 1887, Keighley 1882, Keswick 1890, Lincoln 1877 colour corrected, Lindum 1885.
Recent research by Gary James and Dave Day has established that Hulme Athenaeum was the first organised football club in the Manchester area. The flyer (left) announces the opening of the new members' club on Stretford Road in 1860 offering a news reading room, smoking and coffee room and a covered gymnasium. The initiative of Sir William Thackeray Marriott, an ordained deacon and champion of the rights of working people, the club provided opportunities for self improvement in one of the city's most impoverished areas. A football section was formed in 1863 and soon boasted 50 members playing matches every Saturday across Manchester and as far away as Sheffield. Read the full story here.
(Photo credit themanc.com)
Some time ago I published this cutting from Cricket & Football Field (2 January 1886) submitted by Andy Boocock. It is a report on a match between Bolton Wanderers and their local rivals, Great Lever. The writer mentions that Bolton wore "the white, yellow spot costume." At that time Wanderers normally wore red, white and dark blue vertical stripes and I believed Great Lever wore navy jerseys and knickers so there would have been no reason for the home team to change so I assumed they had changed their colours part way through the season, which as not unusual then. However, thanks to the material I have been working through for the Eminent Victorians section, I have discovered that in 1885-86, Great Lever wore red and white stripes which would have clashed so Bolton's bizarre outfit must have been their change kit.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Great Harwood 1885, Great Lever 1882, Grimsby & District 1885, Hartford St John's 1887, Heywood 1884, Heywood Central 1887, Higher Walton 1887.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Earlestown 1884 revised (photo left), Exchange* 1871 revised, Fishwick Ramblers 1884, Fleetwood Rangers 1890, Garrick* 1868, Gateshead Association 1887, Gateshead NER 1890, Gorton Villa 1890, Grantham 1875 revised, 1885 added, Grantham Rovers 1891.
Newcastle East End 1889-91 corrected.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Congleton Rovers 1872 revised, Corbridge 1880 revised, Crewe Britannia 1885, Darlington Grammar School 1880, Darlington St Augustine's 1890, Darwen Foresters 1880 socks corrected, Darwen Hibernians 1885, Darwen Old Wanderers 1885, Davenham 1885, Denton 1890, Dodworth 1880, Dore 1876* cap corrected, Durham County 1890.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Blackburn Livesey United 1879, Blackpool St John's 1885, Blue Star 1882, Bollington 1887, Boston 1887, Bradshaw 1885, Brincliffe 1873 revised*, Burton-on-Trent 1872, Cleckheaton 1883, Cleethorpes Town 1887, Clitheroe 1890, Clitheroe Central 1885, Cloughfold 1879.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: 8th Cheshire Rifles 1873 knickers revised, Alnwick 1879 knickers revised, Artillery & Hallamshire Rifles 1873*, Auckland Town 1886, Bankers 1874*, Christchurch 1879 revised*, Barnard Castle 1874, Barnsley Wanderers 1878, Batley C&FC 1882, Birkenhead 1881, Bishop Auckland Church Institute 1885-86 (photo left), Bishop Auckland 1890, 1891
*Added to Sheffield Association sub-section.
(Photo Credit: Bishop Auckland FC)
Eminent Victorians Midlands Additions: Sawley 1870, Shrewsbury School 1889, Shropshire Wanderers 1875, Sneinton 1885, South Derbyshire 1870, South Notts 1887, Spondon House School 1870, St Andrews Derby 1870 & 1871, St Joseph's College 1885, Talke Rangers 1876, Tibshelf Colliery 1885, Warwick County 1890 revised, Wellingborough Grammer School 1885, Whitchurch 1873 revised, Worksop Town 1891.
Eminent Victorians Midlands Additions: Mansfield 1871, Mellor's Ltd 1885, Newark 1870 revised, Newark Town 1886, Nottingham Foresters 1870, Nottingham (Lace) 1875, Notts Rangers 1887, Notts Town 1871, Notts United Amateurs 1885, Ockbrook & Borrowash Church Union 1870, Oldbury 1890, Royal 1877, Rugeley Athletic 1872 revised, Rushden Wanderers 1887.
Eminent Victorians Midlands Additions: Donington Grammar School 1871, Dronfield 1871, Eckington Works 1890, Greenhalgh & Sons 1885, Jardines 1885, Kimberley Institute 1885, Leamington College 1872 & 1874, Long Eaton Alexandra 1885.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Enfield 1886, Folkestone 1891, Emmanuel College Cambridge 1896 (photo left), Lennox 1883.
(Photo credit: The Straw Plaiters)
I'm grateful to Rev Dr Jonathon Holmes, Keeper of the Records at Queens' College, Cambridge, who has confirmed that the college team shown here from 1900 wore green and white and do so to this day. The cup is the Cambridge University Cuppers trophy, a knock-out competition contested by members of the Cambridge University Asociation Football League (CUAFL). Because of their role in helping to form the Football Associaton, the CUAFL has county status with 57 member clubs and holds a seat on the FA Council.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Queens' College Cambridge 1900.
Eminent Victorians Midlands Additions: Ashby-de-la-Zouch 1875, Babington Rovers 1885, Basford Olympic 1886, Basford Rovers 1885, Beeston 1890, Derby School 1883, Derby St Lukes 1885.
(Photo credit: The Straw Plaiters)
I had planned to take today off but last night Brian Webb sent me this photograph he recently took of a page of the Bedfordshire FA Minute Book 1895-96 and I couldn't resist adding the new material. The hand-written entries confirm the design of Luton Excelsior's shirts and include several additional clubs from the county.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: 2nd Royal Berkshire Regiment 1899, Bedford Queens 1895, Bedford Rovers 1895, Bedford Town 1895, Leighton Cee Spring 1895, Luton Excelsior 1894 revised, Radley College 1882, Somerset Light Infantry 1899 (photograph right), Wymington Star 1895.
(Photo credit: The Straw Plaiters)
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: St Thomas Hospital Association 1881, Stowmarket 1888, Streatham 1889, Sudbury Town 1888, Surbiton Wanderers 1884, Sutton 1875, Sutton School 1880, Sydenham 1870, Thorpe 1884, Tonbridge 1889, Tottenham College 1888, Tunbridge Wells 1890, United London Scottish 1884, Upper Tooting 1887, Uxbridge 1872 revised, Uxbridge Caxtonian 1887, Uxbridge Crescent 1886, Victoria 1885, Walthamstow Club 1868, Waverley 1885, West Kent 1886, Westminster 1887, Westminster Criterion 1890, Westminster School 1883, Weymouth College 1890, Windsor Phoenix Athletic 1887, Witham 1883, Wood Green 1882, Woodbridge 1888, Woodbridge Grammar School 1888, Woodford Wells 1871 cap added, Woodville 1886.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Argyle 1893, Luton Excelsior 1894, Reigate 1865, St John's Bridgwater 1888, St John's College Battersea 1882, St John's College Hurst 1874, St John's College Oxford 1877, St John's School Leatherhead 1886, St Judes 1883, St Mark's College 1884, St Martins Athletics 1886.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Royal Marines (Chatham Division) 1889, Royal Military Academy 1868 & 1887, Royal Military College 1887, Royston 1876, Schorne College 1890, Sevenoaks Grammar School 1882, Sherborne School 1872, South Eastern College 1888, South Park 1868, St Albans Pilgrims 1872 revised, St Bartholomew's Hospital 1882, St George's College 1877, St George's Hospital 1868.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Plymouth Amateur Athletic 1882, Prairie Rangers 1874, Primrose 1884, Putney Association 1974, Queen's School 1880, Radicals 1884, Radley College 1874, Rangers (London) 1880, Rangers (Swindon) 1870, Reigate Priory 1872, Remington 1885, Ringwood Hornets 1882, Rochester 1869 cap added, Romford 1877 cap added.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Old Leysians 1885, Old St Mark's 1886, Old Westminsters 1883, Olympian 1883, Olympic 1878, Olympic Rangers 1882, Oxford County School 1883, Oxford University 1874 (left), Phoenix 1886.
(Photo credit: Oxford University FC.)
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Luton Wanderers 1884, Lyndhurst 1885, Mannamead School 1890, Marlborough 1872 revised, Mars 1876, Martlets 1888, Merriott 1875, Morton Rangers 1881, Newbury & Speenhamland 1874, Newmarket 1888, No Names 1863, North Walsham 1885, Norwich CEYMS 1890, Norwood United 1885, Old Bloxhamists 1884, Old Borlasians 1886, Old Cranleighans 1889.
Lyonsdown (1882-85) & Woodville (1884-85) added to Barnet section.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Highgate Association 1888, Highgate School 1885, Hillside 1874, Hoddesdon 1884, Hounslow 1885, Hungerford 1890, Ipswich Garrison 1889, Ipswich Northgate School 1888, Ipswich Orwell Works 1888, Ipswich Rangers 1888, Ipswich School 1888, Ivanhoe 1885, Keble College Oxford 1879, Kenninghton Wanderers 1890, King's College School Sherborne 1863, Kings Lynn 1882, King's School Rochester 1872, Lancing College 1873, Leys School 1882, London Hospital 1889.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Dulwich 1884, Eagle 1885, Ealing Allegro 1872, East Sheen 1878, East Surrey Wanderers 1884, Eastbourne 1890 revised, Eaton Rovers 1889, Eltham 1884, Emmanuel School 1886, Excelsior Westminster 1883, Felstead School 1880, Foxes 1885, Grange Park 1884, Granta 1884, Great Marlow 1873 revised, Grosvenor 1888, Grove House (1879), Grove Institute 1884, Hadley 1885, Hailsham 1889, Hampstead Heathens 1871, Polytechnic 1889.
The photograph is of the Eastbourne team in 1892 wearing their dark blue and saffron shirts.
Gainsborough Trinity (1885-86, 1890-1892 added).
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Chatham 1887, Chatham Victoria 1888, Chelmsford 1885, Chesham 1883, Christ's College Cambridge 1869, Civil Engineers 1889, Clapton 1878 revised, Clatford Rovers 1887, Corinthians 1882 revised, Dalston Rovers 1883.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Brentwood School 1878, Bridgwater St John's 1887, Brighton Athletic 1887, Brighton College 1875, Brighton Hornets 1884, Brixton 1869, Brixton Rangers 1885, Bungay Chaucer Press 1888, Bury Grammar School 1874, Bury St Edmunds 1886, Bury St Edmunds East Anglian School 1888, Carrow 1885, Chamois 1889, Chartehouse School 1862 & 1885, Clapham Common Club 1868.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: 105th Light Infantry 1877, Acorn 1889, Albert 1875, Albion 1885, All Saints School 1877, Amersham Hall 1890, Andover 1886, Ardingley College 1875, Argus 1883, Beccles Caxton 1888, Beccles College 1888, Beckenham 1888, Bedouins 1869, Bexley 1885, Birkbeck 1885, Blackheath Proprietry School 1868, Bournemouth Dean Park 1891, Bournemouth Rovers 1885, Bradfield College 1882, Braintree 1886 revised, Breamore Green 1875, St Stephen's Westminster 1889.
In 2019 Robin Horton sent me a file containing details of the club colours recorded in Charles Alcock's Football Annuals 1873-1881. This material allowed me to substantially enlarge the Eminent Victorians section of the site. Earlier this week Robin sent me a second file which extends the period under review to 1868-1891. Because of the large number of clubs in the archive (over 750) I shall post new material region-by-region but I'll start with clubs that went on to become members of the Football League and Scottish Football League.
Ashington (1890-91, 1891-92 added), Ayr Academy (1874-75 added), Bolton Wanderers (1883-84 corrected - colours were "scarlet and white" not dark blue and white - see photo left), Bootle (1887-88 added), Burnley (1882-83 & 1886-87 revised, 1884-85, 1891-92 added), Burslem Port Vale (1887-89 added), Burton Wanderers (1886-88 added), Cambuslang (1873-74 added), Helensburgh (section expanded to include three earlier incarnations of the club), Kilmarnock (1874-75 added), Macclesfield (1888-1890 added), Middlesbrough (1885-86 added & timeline 1879-1890 revised), Northwich Victoria (1880-81, 1882-85, 1885-88, 1888-90 added: the 1882-83 team is pictured on the right), Partick Thistle (1876-78), Queen's Park (1870-72, 1872-73 reversable cowls added [!]), Renton (1874-75 added), Shrewsbury Town (1888-91 modified), Small Heath Alliance (now confirmed that the team played in amber and black between 1885 and 1888), South Shore (1885-90 added), Southport (1885-86 now confirmed), Stoke (some changes to time line 1868-1885), Wrexham (1890-91 knickers now confirmed).
(Northwich Victoria photo credit: Manchester Evening News)
Halifax Town (1963-64 added), York City (1964-65 added, 1987-89 shorts & sock detailing now confirmed), Queen of the South (1963-64 cold weather kit added), Queen's Park Rangers (1975-76 & 1976-77 timelines for all variant kits confirmed, February 1977 variant added).
Berwick Rangers (1980-81 detailing revised, crest history updated), St Mirren (1979-81 cuffs corrected), Kilmarnock (March 1981-83 shorts detailing added), Partick Thistle (1980-81 two strips added), St Johnstone (1977-79 shorts trim corrected), Dunfermline Athletic (1977-78, 1978-79 crest and Bukta logo adjusted).
Clydebank (1977-79 corrected, 1979-80 added), Dunfermline Athletic (1979-80 added), Alloa Athletic (1977-81 shorts corrected), Partick Thistle (1979-80 updated), Clyde (1979-80 shorts trim corrected).
Partick Thistle (1978-79 four variants now recorded), St Mirren (1977-79 detailing added), Hibernian (crest added to 1977-79 alternate kit), Forfar Athletic (1977-80 socks corrected), Elgin City (Aug 76-Feb 77 added, Feb 77-78 socks corrected), Montrose (1976-77 detailing added).
3 January - Happy New Year
We start with a photograph of Boscombe FC (now AFC Bournemouth) taken in 1920. The miniscule trophy on display is the MA Hart Page Croft Cup: this competition still exists and is open to the members of the Premier Division of the Bournemouth Hayward Saturday League.
(Photo credit: 101 Manchester City Matchworn Shirts, Mike Mcarthy 2021.)
It is widely known that Brian Clough decided at the start of the 1971-72 season to replace Derby County's traditional black shorts with navy ones to encourage the players to identify with the English national team. (History is silent about what the Scots in the team thought about this.) For the first couple of months of the new season the shirts had contrasting rings at the collar and cuff and I had always assumed these were navy and white to match the new colour scheme but Tony Sealey has uncovered evidence that they were in fact shirts from the previous season, trimmed in black. The photograph shows Alan Hinton's match worn shirts from this period: note the new ram crest, which replaced the old ram's head. These tops were last worn at Chelsea on 18 September before new, plain white jerseys and socks appeared against West Bromwich Albion a week later.