Historical Football Kits

 

Reading

Formed 1871

Founder member of Division Three 1920

Kit History

1871-1872 a q

reading 1878-79

1878-1879 q

1879-1891

1891-1893 a q

1894-1898 a n

Centreing of stripes varied
reading fc 1898-99

1898-1899 q

reading 1903-04

1900-1904 m o

1904-1906 e l m

reading 1906-08

1906-1908 m

Other collars also appeared
reading 1909-10

1908-1910 l m

Other collars also appeared
reading fc 1910-11

1910-1911 o

Other collars also appeared
reading fc 1911-12

1911-1912 o

Centreing of stripes varied

1912-1914 a m

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reading 1914-15

1914-1915 m

1920-1924 a

reading 1924-25

1924-1925 m

1925-1926 a m

reading 1926-27

1926-1927 m

1927-1929 a

1929-1934 a m

1934-1938 a q

1938-1939 a f

October 1941 f

Feb1942-1944 f l

1946-1947 a f

1947-1948 a

1948-1953 a

1953-1954 a

1954-1955 a

1955-1957 a

1957-1958 a

1958-1959 a

1959-1963 a

1963-1965 a

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reading fc 1965-66

1965-1966 p

1966-1969 a

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1969-1974 a k

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1974-1976 a

Umbro

1976-1977 j

Bukta

1977-1978 a

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Bukta

1978-1979 a h j

Bukta

1979-1981 a h j

reading 1981-82

1981-1982 a g h

reading 1982-83

mid 1982-1983 a g h

Umbro

1983-1984 a

Patrick

1984-1985 j

Patrick

1985-1987 a h

Patrick

1987-1989 a h

Matchwinner

1989-1990 h

Matchwinner

1990-1991 b h

Matchwinner

1991-1992 d

Brooks
reading 1992-93

1992-1993 a

Pelada
reading 1993-94

1993-1994 a

Pelada

1994-1995 b

Pelada

1995-1996 b i

Mizuno

1996-1998 b

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Mizuno

1998-1999 b

Mizuno

1999-2001 a

Kit@

2001-2003 b

Kit@

2003-2004 c

Puma

2004-2005 c

Puma

2005-2006 c

Puma

2006-2008 c

Puma
reading 2008-09 home kit

2008-2009 c

Puma
reading 2009-10

2009-2010 c

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Puma
reading fc 2010-11 home kit

2010-2011 c

Puma
reading fc 2011-12 home kit

2011-2012 c

Puma
reading fc 2012-13 home kit

2012-2013 c

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Puma
reading fc 2013-14 home kit

2013-2014 c

Puma
reading fc 2014-15 1st kit

2014-2015 c

 

Background

reading fc 1871-72The meeting that led to the formation of Reading FC was held in the Bridge Street Rooms under the chairmanship of one JE Sydenham, who became the club's first Honorary Secretary. Their first colours were navy and white hooped jerseys.

The club competed in the FA Cup from 1878 onwards and became founder members of the Southern League in 1894. A year later Reading FC turned professional.

The team adopted navy and white stripes around 1890 (although plain white shirts were adopted briefly in 1898) and in the seasons leading up to the First World War, a mixture of collars was evident and the stripes were centred in both white and navy, giving teams a rather motley appearance, although this was far from unusual at the time.

Reading's career in the Southern League was undistinguished but they did win the Second Division in 1911 and held on to their place until the outbreak of the First World War. As a result, Reading were one of the clubs chosen en bloc to form the new Third Division of the Football League in 1920. In 1926 the team won the Third Division (South) championship and took their place in Division Two. The following season they reached the FA Cup semi-final, losing to Cardiff City who went on to win the competition. Reading's glory was, however, short lived and in 1931 they were relegated.

The old dark blue and white stripes were replaced by royal blue and white hoops immediately before the Second World War, with the broader hoops that were to become associated with the club first appearing in 1948.

For 27 years Reading would languish in Division Three (South). When the regional divisions were scrapped in 1958, Reading were placed in Division Three and remained there until being relegated to Division reading fc crest 1953Four in 1971. Plain white shirts were adopted for a while in the 1950s, initially in the shiny artificial fabric that enjoyed a brief vogue at the time. Reading's first recorded crest worn appeared on these shirts - a simple letter reading fc crest 1965"R" on a shield, worn just for one season.

An all sky-blue strip appeared in 1965, in imitation of Coventry City. The pre-season photograph shows some of the players wearing new crest but it is unclear if this appeared during the season.

In 1969 manager Jack Mansell ordered a return to the traditional blue and white hoops but in 1971, the club's centenary season, the "Royals" were relegated to Division Four. In 1976 they won promotion only to drop reading fc crest 1981back again the following seasons. In 1979, Reading won the Fourth Division championship for the first time.

In 1981 a new crest appeared that featured three elm trees, a reference to Reading's Elm Park ground. This was dropped when the Royals adopted a new colour scheme in 1983.

The season of 1982-83 almost saw Reading go out of business. Relegated back to Division Four and facing a financial crisis, plans were made to sell off Elm Park and merge the club with Robert Maxwell's Oxford United to form a new club to be known as Thames Valley Royals. These threats were warded off and with former player, reading fc crest 1987Roger Smee installed as chairman, a new manager and new colours of sky blue, dark blue, yellow and white, the Royals won promotion in 1984. Two seasons later, in 1986, the club won the Third Division title and returned to Division Two after an absence of 55 years. A new crest, a simple presentation of the colours of the time, was adopted in 1987.

Once again the club's success was short lived and after two seasons Reading were relegated. In 1990, the club was bought by John Madejski who injected a new sense of ambition. The hooped shirts were restored in 1992, partly due to pressure from supporters and in 1994 the "Biscuitmen" (a rather whimsical reference to one of the town's traditional industries) won promotion to Nationwide Division One (formerly Division Two) and then a place in the play-offs in 1995 after finishing in second place. Because of reading fc crest 1996the reduction in the size of the Premier League, only two promotion places were available: in any other season Reading would have won automatic promotion to the top flight.

Between 1996 and 1998, the old elm crest was revived. The significance was twofold: 1996 marked the centenary of Reading's Elm Park while 1998-99 would be the season that they would move into a new home.

reading fc crest 1998In 1998 Reading were relegated to Nationwide Division Two, a misfortune offset by the move into the brand new Madejski Stadium in 1999. This fresh start was marked by the introduction of a brand new club badge that featured the club's iconic blue and white hoops, a crown representing Berkshire's status (Windsor Castle is in the county which is often referred to as "Royal Berkshire") and the Maiwand Lion, a prominent local landmark.

In 2002, the club returned to Nationwide Division One and the following season once again qualified for the play offs. Steady consolidation was rewarded when, in 2006, the club ran away with the Coca Cola Championship title to take their place in the Premiership, the first time Reading had played in the top level. They stayed in the top level for two seasons but on the final day of the 2007-08 season they were relegated on goal difference.

After consolidating in the second tier, Reading were promoted back to the Premier League in 2012 but came straight back down again, the blow being softened by raised parachute payments worth £60m over four years.

You are welcome to Contact Me with corrections and additions.

Sources

Modern crests are the property of Reading FC. Team photograph courtesy of The Biscuitmen.