Historical Football Kits

 

Luton Town

Formed 1885

Elected to Division Two 1897. Resigned 1900

Founder members of Division Three 1920. Relegated to The Conference 2009.

Kit History

luton town 1885

1885 a m

1888? b

Corroboration needed
luton town 1881-1892

1889-1892 l

luton town 1889-1894

1892-1896 b l m

luton town 1896

1896-1898 l

Arrangement of stripes varied
luton town 1898-99

1898-1899 l m

Arrangement of stripes varied

1899-1901 b l

1901-1906 b l

1906-1907 l

luton town 1909-10

1907-1910 b t l

luton town fc 1910-15 kit

1910-1915 b l

luton town 1919-20 kit

1919-1920 l

1920-circa 1932 b l

1932-1933 l

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luton town 1933-34

1933-1934 l

1934-1935 l

luton town 1935

1935-1936 f l t

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1936-1939 l t

Previous kit worn 31 Aug v Walsall
luton town 1939 kit

1939-1940 l t

1946-1947 l t

1947-1953 c d f l

Black socks + white tops worn at least once

1953-1955 l v

Long sleeved shirt with collar used at least once

1955-1956 f l

Aug-Dec 1956 l

Jan 57-March 58 l

Long sleeves worn early 1957-58

April 1958 l

Aug-Dec 1958

Jan-April 1959 c e f g l

1959-1962 l

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1962-1963 l

luton fc 1963 kit

1962-1964 alt l

Worn in cold weather & early 63-64
luton town 1964 kit

late 1963-1964 j l

luton town fc 1964

1964-1965 j

White stockings also worn
luton town 1965 white kit

1965-1966 alt l

Worn at least once at home

1965-1970 c l

1970-1972 c f h l

1972-1973 p

buy luton town 1973 shirt

1973-1974 e l

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Admiral
buy luton town 1974 shirt

1974-1976 c e l r

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Admiral
luton town 1976-78

1976-1978 l

Admiral

1978-1979 l r

Adidas

1979-Feb1980 d

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Adidas
buy luton town march 1980

March-April 1980 d j l

Adidas

1980-1981 o

Adidas

1981-1982 f k l

Adidas

1982-1983 f

Adidas

1983-1984 f

Adidas

1984-1987 c f

Adidas

1987-1988 l

Adidas

1988-Jan 1989 f l t

Adidas
LUTON TOWN 1988-89

Feb-May 1989 t

Older version also used
Umbro

1989-1990 f m

Umbro

1990-1991 f m

Umbro

1991-1992 a m t

DMF
luton town 1992

1992-1993 t

DMF

1993-1994 a f m

Hatter

1994-1995 a m o t

Pony

1995-1997 f m

Pony

1997-1999 a f m

Olympic Sport

1999-2000 f n o

Olympic Sport

2000-2001 f m

Xara

2001-2003 f

Xara

2003-2005 f

Diadora

2005-2007 i t

Puma

2007-2008 i q

Unknown
Luton Town august 2008

August 2008 l

Carbrini
luton town 2008-09 home kit carbrini

Aug 2008-2009 l

Carbrini
luton town 2009-10 home kit

2009-2011 i

Carbrini
luton town 2010 125th anniversary kit

2010 Special i l

see notes
Carbrini
luton town fc 2011-12 home kit

2011-2013 i

Fila
luton town fc 2013-14 home kit

2013-2014 i

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Background

At a meeting at Luton Town Hall on April 11 1885 it was resolved to merge The Wanderers (a local side and not the FA Cup Winners based in Battersea) with Excelsior FC and the new outfit would be called Luton Town FC. Their first playing kit would be "navy blue and pink for both shirts and caps." There are no records about how these colours were arranged but it is generally accepted that the shirts were halved.

luton town crest 1892A little later they adopted "cochineal red" jerseys and photographs reveal that a curious eight-pointed star adorned these shirts from 1892.

In 1890 Luton became the first southern club to adopt professionalism. Four years later, luton town crest 1896in 1894, Luton, became founder members of the Southern League and in 1896 rather splendid irregularly striped shirts were adopted. These were adorned with a crest comprising the club's initials intertwined. (A similar design appeared in 1899.)

In 1897 Luton were elected to the Second Division of the Football League at the expense of Burton Wanderers. At the time the majority of members were in the north and midlands and Luton struggled to meet their travel costs so after only three seasons, having finished in 17th place, rather than face re-election they resigned and rejoined the Southern League.

In 1901 Luton adopted light blue, navy and white as their colours.

In 1920 Luton rejoined the Football League when the Southern League First Division was incorporated as Division Three. At the time their first choice of colours was still light blue with a change kit of black and white luton town crest 1933stripes. A directive from the Football League required teams to travel with a set of white shirts in addition so, rather than carry the costs of having three sets of kit, Luton adopted plain white shirts as their first choice.

luton town crest 1935Luton was famous for producing straw boaters, giving rise to the club's nickname of "The Hatters" (originally, the "Straw Plaiters"). This inspired the new crest, introduced in 1933: this was modified for the rather unusual shirts worn in 1935-36 and a third version appeared between 1936 and 1947. After finishing as runners-up in 1936 Luton won the championship of Division Three (South) in 1937.

luton town crest 1936After the Second World War the Hatter crest was retired and instead the club adopted a simplified version of the Luton coat of arms although this did not appear on the team's shirts until the 1959 FA Cup final. Luton consolidated in Division Two and thanks to a progressive youth policy, built a side that pushed for promotion in luton town crest 1959 fa cup final1953 and 1954 before a tight race in 1955 saw them finish as runners-up for a place in Division One. Having finished eighth in 1958, Luton reached the FA Cup final in 1959 where they lost to a Nottingham Forest side reduced to ten men.

The decline that followed was dramatic and saw Luton plunge all the way down to the Fourth Division by 1965.

luton town crest 1970Faced with an indifferent public and with no money to invest in new players, the future seemed bleak but their canny manager, Allan Brown, used free transfers to bolster the team and in 1968 they won the Fourth Division title and began a long climb back to the top. New money was brought in when Reggie Burr and Tony Hunt, owners of the giant insurance company Vehicle & General joined the board. Brown was controversially sacked after applying for another management job and was replaced by Alec Stock who guided the club back to Division Two in 1970. The Luton coat of arms made a brief appearance in the 1970-71 season.

The money dried up when Vehicle & General collapsed in March 1970 and suddenly the club was forced to sell luton town crest 1973players to balance the books. Among those released was Malcolm MacDonald, sold for what was then the huge sum of £180,000 to Newcastle. Stock resigned at the end of the season but despite all these misfortunes, Luton won promotion to Division One in 1974, having made a radical change of strip to orange shirts and navy shorts. A modern crest was designed in 1973 but did not appear on the pitch until the following season. Over time the shirts would return to be predominantly white but the orange motif remains.

Many considered that promotion had come too quickly and that the club lacked the resources to remain at the top. They were proved right and the Hatters were relegated the following season. In 1978 David Pleat, the reserve team coach, was appointed manager and he set about building an attacking side that, in 1982 won the Second Division title with considerable flair. Goals flew in at both ends as Luton took on the First Division and only a last minute winner at Manchester City in the final game of the 1982-83 season saved them from relegation. The pictures of an ecstatic Pleat skipping around Maine Road in his naff suit remain one of the enduring images of the period.

Over the next few years, Luton consolidated and were among the first clubs to install an artificial playing surface in 1985. These proved unpopular and grass was restored to Kenilworth Road in 1991. Also controversial was the decision to ban away supporters from Luton’s home matches. Amid considerable acrimony, Pleat left in 1986 to manage Spurs. His replacement, John Moore, who had played for Luton in the Fourth Division, took the luton town crest 1987team to seventh place in 1987, their highest ever position, but he resigned at the end of the season because he disliked holding such a high profile job.

The traditional crest was reinstated in 1987 embellished with the club's name in full.

In April 1988, after the team had been beaten in the FA Cup semi-final, an army of supporters made the short trip to Wembley to witness a dramatic Littlewood’s League Cup final against Arsenal. Having trailed 1-2, the Luton keeper saved a penalty and the team stormed back to win 3-2. Luton had won their first major trophy. They reached the final again the following season but their run of success was coming to an end and in luton town crest 19941992 they were relegated.

In 1994 the crest was redesigned and became known as "the rainbow badge" for obvious reasons. A straw hat replaced the extended arm at the top of the shield and the traditional nickname was added.

In 1999 the club returned to their traditional white shirts and black shorts (albeit with orange trim) but was once again in long term decline and by 2001 they had dropped all the way down to Nationwide Division Three (the old Fourth Division). Remarkably, history appeared to be repeating itself as the Hatters clambered their way back up and in 2005 they had reached luton town crest 2005The Championship (originally Division Two).

To mark this achievement a simplified crest was introduced with black rather than navy lettering.

Unfortunately, Luton went into free fall and in 2008 they were relegated to League Two, the lowest level of the Football League, going into administration that spring. The club's difficulties were compounded during the close season: they were penalised 20 points for failing to reach a CVA (Company Voluntary Agreement) with their creditors as required by Football League luton town crest 2008regulations. A further ten points were deducted when they were found guilty by the FA of breaking the rules on payments to players' agents. Because of the uncertainty over their future, they did not negotiate a kit deal until August and started the season wearing retro shirts commemorating their 1988 Littlewood's Cup win.

A poll of supporters led to a return to the white, navy and orange colour palette associated with happier times and the crest was slightly modified with the addition of the year of the club's formation. The team were unable to overcome the severe disadvantage of a 30 point penalty.

Inevitably the Hatters were relegated to the Conference in 2009 but supporters took consolation from a victorious trip to Wembley to win the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. The debacle raised serious questions over the Football League's policy of penalising clubs for breaching financial rules when those responsible for the infractions had already left (taking considerable profits with them), leaving the new board and the supporters to suffer the consequences.

luton town crest 125th anniversaryTo mark what supporters and management alike hope would be a fresh start, Luton switched to orange shirts and white shorts for their first season in the Blue Square Conference while white shirts and navy shorts were retained as a change strip.

To mark their 125th anniversary, the club commissioned a special edition kit based on their original colours: this was worn three times, against Great Marlow in July 2010 in a replay of their first ever match, against Altrincham in the opening match of the season and against Bath City at the end of October. The shirts featured a special commemorative badge consisting of the town's coat of arms rendered in full for the first time.

The retro theme was maintained in 2011 with the re-creation of Luton's iconic late-Seventies outfit.

You are welcome to Contact Me with corrections and additions.

Sources

Modern crests are the property of Luton Town FC.