Historical Football Kits

 

Doncaster Rovers

Formed 1879

Elected to Division Two 1901. Failed re-election 1903.

Elected to Division Two 1904. Failed re-election 1905.

Elected to Division Three (North) 1923. Relegated to the Conference 1998.

Promoted from the Conference to Nationwide Division Three 2003.

Kit History

1879 a o

Worn with blue Tam o' Shanters
doncaseter rovers 1883 kit

1883-1884 i

1884-1885 b i s

1885-1886 i

doncaster rovers 1890

1890-1891 o

1895-1897 b

1900-1901 d h

doncaster rovers 1901

1901-1902 o

doncaster rovers 1902

1902-1903 o

doncaster rovers 1904

1904-1905 o

doncaster rovers 1904 kit

1905-1909 d h

doncaster rovers 1910-11

1909-1911 o

doncaster rovers 1911-12 kit

1911-1912 b o

1912-1920 b i

doncaster rovers 1920-21

1920-1921 b o

doncaster rovers 1921

1921-1922 o

1922-1924 b o

doncaster rovers 1924-25 kit

1924-1927 o

1927-1930 b i o

doncaster rovers 1932-33

1930-1932 o

doncaster rovers 1931-32

1931-1932 alt o

alternate kit
doncaster rovers 1932-33

1932-1933 b i

doncaster rovers 1933-35

1933-1935 o

doncaster rovers 1935-36

1935-1936 o

1936-1937 b o

doncaster rovers 1937-38

1937-1938 o

1938-1942 b i o

Doncaster rovers 1942-45

1942-1945 o

doncaster rovers 1945-46

1945-1946 o

doncaster rovers 1944-47

1946-1947 o

buy vintage football shirts at toffs

1947-1948 b i o

buy vintage football shirts at toffs
doncaster rovers 1948

Autumn 1948 o

doncaster rovers 1949-50

Winter 1948-1950 b i o

1950-1951 b o

doncaster rovers 1951-52

1951-1952 o

1952-1953 b o

doncaster rovers 1953

circa March 1953 o

1953-1955 b i o

doncaster rovers 1955-56

1955-1956 p

1956-1957 b o p

1957-1958 b o

doncaster rovers 1958-59 kit

1958-1959 b

1959-1960 b

1960-1961 i o

1961-1962 b

1962-1963 b o

White socks with red turnovers also used

May 1963 e o

Aug-Dec 1963 b o

Dec 1963-1965 b o

buy replica football shirts at HFK
doncaster rovers 1965-66

1965-1966 b

doncaster rovers 1966-67

1966-1967 o

1967-1969 b n

1969-1970 f g

doncaster rovers 1970

1970-Jan 1971 o

doncaster rovers 1971-72

Jan 1971-1972 o

doncaster rovers 1971-72 blue socks

1971-1972 alt o

Occasionally worn at home

1972-1974 f i m n

doncaster rovers 1974-75

1974-1975 o

Doncaster rovers 1974-75

1974-1975 alt o

Occasionally worn at home

1975-1976 b i m o

1976-1977 o

1977-1978 b m o

Umbro

1978-1979 b m o

Sereena

1979-1981 b o

Lynx

1981-1982 i o

Hobott

1982-1983 i o

Hobott

Sept-Dec 1983 b o

No sponsorship in August
doncaster rovers december 1983 1984

Dec 1983-1984 o

Hobott

1984-1987 b o

Spall

1987-1988 b o

Spall

1988-1989 b i o

Spall

1989-1990 b o

Ribero

1990-1991 b i o

Ribero

1991-1992 o

Matchwinner

1992-1993 b o

Matchwinner
doncaster rovers 1993

Aug-Sept 1993 o

Matchwinner

Oct 1993-1994 b

Matchwinner

1994-1995 b o

Matchwinner

1995-1996 k o

Inset sponsorship worn from late December
Patrick

1996-1997 b

Olympic Sports

Aug-Sept 1997 o

Olympic Sports
doncaster rover 1997-98

Aug-Sept 1997 alt o

Olympic Sports

Oct 97-Apr 98 k o

Olympic Sports
Doncaster Rovers May 1998 kit

May 1998 b o

Patrick

Aug 1998 o

Worn in opening match
Prostar

Aug-Sept 1998 o

Doncaster rovers sept 1998 kit

Sept 1998 o q

Asics

Oct '98-May '99 b g o

Viking Leisurewear

1999-2000 l o

Viking Leisurewear

2000-2001 b g j o

Plain white socks worn April-May
Vandanel

2001-2002 g o

Vandanel

2002-2003 g o

Carlotti

2003-2005 c

Stars above crest absent 2003-04
Carlotti

2005-2006 c o

Streetwise Sports

2006-2007 c j o

Carlotti

2007-2008 c

Vandanel
doncaster rovers 2008-09 home kit

2008-2009 r

Vandanel
doncaster rovers 2009

2009-2010 c

Nike
doncaster rovers 2010-11 home kit

2010-2011 c

Nike
doncaster rovers 2011-12 home kit

2011-2012 c

Nike
doncaster rovers fc 2012-13 home kit

2012-2013 c

Avec
doncaster rovers 2013-14 home kit

2013-2014 c

Avec
doncaster rovers 2014-15

2014-2015 c

 

Background

doncaster rovers 1891In 1879 a group of young apprentices from the Great Northern Railway Works in Doncaster organised a football game against the Yorkshire Institute for the Deaf & Dumb, wearing unusual blue jerseys with yellow cross bands and blue Tam o' Shanters with red tassels. They enjoyed themselves so much that they decided to form a club to be known as Doncaster Rovers. According to the Official History the club wore blue and white between 1883 and 1885. After six years of playing wherever they could, the club took up residence on the Intake Ground and adopted scarlet jerseys in 1885-86. In 1888 Rovers entered the FA Cup and were trounced 1-9 at home by Rotherham Town. In 1890 the club became founder members of the Midland Alliance and in 1891 they were elected to the Midlands League. After winning the championship in 1897 and 1899, Rovers were elected to the Second Division of the Football League in 1901, replacing New Brighton Tower. In 1903 Rovers finished sixteen out of eighteen and were forced to apply for re-election. To their dismay, they were voted out in favour of Yorkshire rivals Bradford City.

The club spent the next season in the Midland League and applied for election back to the Football League at the end of the 1903-04 season. They achieved 21 votes, enough to replace Stockport County who only received 11. The season was catastrophic, however, and Rovers finished rock bottom with a mere 8 points. They were voted out once more and although they had a second chance when another ballot was called to fill four vacancies in the expanded Second Division, they finished bottom of the poll. So it was back to the Midlands League and obscurity.doncaster rovers crest 1911

The first "crest" worn by the team appeared in 1911-12 when the club's initials were embroidered onto the centre of the shirt in large lettering.

In August 1914 the club went into liquidation but a new company was formed almost immediately and took over the formers club's fixtures. When professional competition was suspended in 1915, the club closed down and the Intake Ground was taken over by the Army and used as a military depot. In the summer of 1920 Rovers were revived but were without a home ground as the Army were still using their former home. With the help of Doncaster Corporation, a new ground was built and named Belle Vue. Rovers application to the new Third Division (North) in 1921 was not successful but in 1923 the division was expanded and this time Doncaster's application was accepted.

doncaster rovers crest 1948In 1935, now wearing hooped shirts, Rovers were promoted to the Second Division where they lasted two seasons before being relegated. Immediately after the Second World War, the club won the Third Division (North) championship twice (1947, 1950 - they were relegated in 1948) and became established in the middle of the Second Division.doncaster rovers crest 1952

In the 1948-49 season, the team often wore white shirts at home during the autumn while their normal hooped tops were used at other times. The new shirts had "DRFC" embroidered onto a black shield edged in red. In 1950 Rovers adopted white shirts as their official first choice but with the lettering appearing out of a red shield edged in black. This was briefly replaced in 1952-53 with the Doncaster coat of arms.

Successive relegations in 1958 and 1959 took Rovers back down to the Fourth Division doncaster rovers crest 1967and in 1962 they had to apply for re-election. During the late 1960s Rovers twice won the Fourth Division title (1966 and 1969) but were relegated soon afterwards.

The town coat of arms reappeared in 1966 on a red rectangle and then, from 1967 to 1972, on a red disc.

doncaster rovers crest 1975Throughout the 1970s Doncaster were firmly stuck in the lowest division. The familiar viking crest appeared for the first time in 1972 on programme covers and then on players' shirts in 1975. The commonly accepted story behind the new design is that the manager of the time, Maurice Setters, was casting about for a new design when an advertisement for Rover cars caught his eye. Although it has not been doncaster rovers crest 1979 possible to verify this story it seems plausible as Doncaster is not known for having Viking connections (it was in fact a minor Roman garrison town).

In 1979 a smart new crest (without the viking) was designed to go with Rovers' smart new white Sereena strips. This was replaced in 1982 when doncaster rovers crest 1982Hobott took over as the club's kit provider and added green as an accent colour.

During the 1980s Rovers had two spells in the Third Division but in 1988 they were relegated back to Division Four. The viking crest was revived in 1987 and became doncaster rovers crest 1987 firmly established as the supporters' favourite, appearing on the various combinations of red and white worn over the following nine seasons.

Prior to the 1996-97 season, the club had planned to wear the Doncaster borough crest and 2,000 were made up but had to be discarded when the doncaster rovers crest 1996council objected. A club official drew a rough sketch of the Viking badge and the result was the rather poorly designed badge shown here on the left.

During Rover's disastrous 1997-98 campaign the crest only appeared for part of thedoncaster rovers crest 1998 season at the end of which they finished bottom of the League and were relegated to the Conference, the third time they had lost League status. The familiar viking returned in October 1998 picked out in white and with the club's name underneath. This was replaced the following season by a full colour version.

doncaster rovers crest 1999Between 1999 and 2001 the club produced kits under it's own "Viking Leisurewear" brand. The second of these introduced a brand new crest of obscure design. The only link with previous versions was thedoncaster rovers crest 2000 inclusion of the Yorkshire rose.

When Vandanel took over as kit supplier in 2001, they introduced hooped shirts recalling Rovers' pre-war heritage. Furthermore the popular viking crest was reinstated: this was identical to the 1999 doncaster rovers crest 2001version but with "Doncaster Rovers" omitted.

After five seasons in the Conference, Rovers became the first club to gain promotion to the League via the new play-offs, going on to win the Nationwide Division Three title at the first attempt. In May 2008 Doncaster reached the play-off final where they unexpectedly beat Leeds United to earn a place in The Championship, England's second tier. They remained at this level until relegated in 2012. The following season, however, in a thrilling climax to the season, they clinched the League One title with a win at Brentford in their final game.

I am grateful to Christopher Worrall, an authority on Doncaster's history, for his extensive input to this section.

You are welcome to Contact Me with corrections and additions.

Sources

  • (a) Club Colours (Bob Bickerton)
  • (b) Doncaster Rovers FC (Images of Sport: Peter Tuffrey)
  • (c) Doncaster Rovers Official Website
  • (d) Bjorkasen
  • (e) Crewe Alexandra FC (Images of Sport - Harold Finch)
  • (f) Football Cards
  • (g) Alliance to Conference (John Harman 2005)
  • (e) Rob Clark
  • (f) Pete's Picture Palace
  • (g) Football Focus
  • (h) Association of Football Statisticians - provided by Pete Wyatt
  • (i) Donny - The Official History of Doncaster Rovers - provided by Greger Lindberg.
  • (j) Steven Holmes
  • (k) David King
  • (l) Charles Hirst
  • (m) Alick Milne
  • (n) Football League Review
  • (o) Chris Worrall - HFK Research Associate
  • (p) Simon Monks
  • (q) Mark Holland
  • (r) Football Shirt Culture
  • (s) Keith Ellis

Crest history provided by Christopher Worrall with further background on 1996-97 from Wayne Tomlinson. Modern crests are the property of Doncaster Rovers FC.