Sunday, 14 July 2013

New Kits for '83/'84

A new football season is almost upon us once again, but as the world fawns and coos at the sight of kits being launched for 2013/14, let's go back 30 years to see what English football fans had to look forward to in 1983/84...

As Canon make history by becoming the first sponsors of the Football League, many First Division teams have a wide range of new kit designs ready to burst onto the scene during the coming season. First of all, Arsenal's much disliked green-and-navy-blue away kit has been ditched, the Highbury club returning to a familiar yellow and blue combination. The kit is made by Umbro and features pale yellow shadow stripes and navy blue shorts with red trim.

Aston Villa, meanwhile have two new kits for home and away, manufactured by Le Coq Sportif. Gone are Villa's traditional light blue sleeves and white shorts - they're replaced by two light blue side panels on the shirt and claret shorts. The away kit is now all white and the shirt features thin claret and warm yellow horizontal stripes.

Birmingham City have added a third kit to their range. In addition to the blue and white home strip and the reversed away strip, Patrick have applied the same styling to an all red version. Twenty-five miles due east, Coventry City have finally abandoned their infamous 'Talbot' kits (along with the alternatives to be worn on TV only) having formed a new partnership with Umbro. The new home and away outfits have two-tone shadow stripes flanked by dark blue pinstripes, the home version being in sky blue as usual while yellow is now Coventry's away colour rather than red. Tallon replace Talbot as the club's main shirt sponsor.

Heading away from Umbro are Everton. They've teamed up with Le Coq Sportif for the coming season and have three kits all using the same design as that employed for Aston Villa's home outfit. Featuring a triangular inset below the neck and a pair of double stripes on the socks, Everton have elected for grey and blue away kit and a more familiar yellow and blue colour scheme on their third kit.

Leicester City and Notts County have not only both switched to Admiral as their new kit manufacturer but have also chosen near identical away kits. The home and away outfits for both clubs use the same 'double pinstripe' motif but it's the dark green and amber versions that Leicester and Notts County will wear for away games. The only difference between the two is in the socks - Leicester's will be green, County's will be amber.

At home, Leicester retain their familiar blue shirts and white shorts, but Notts County fans are in for a surprise. For the first time in 30 years, the black and white stripes have been replaced with a predominantly white shirt - something that will no doubt prove controversial among County's die hard supporters.

Less controversial are the new QPR home and away kits for this season. At Loftus Road, Rangers continue to wear their famous blue and white hoops, but the new Adidas shirts now have a subtle red horizontal pinstripe dividing the two colours. Away from home, QPR welcome some matching hooped shirts in red and black but without the pinstripes. Guinness also now featured as QPRs first shirt sponsors.

Like Notts County, Stoke City may also be expecting a few letters of complaint as they, too, have done away with their traditional stripes. Umbro's new home shirts for The Potters have a white body and red sleeves with red pinstripes replacing the old thick red stripes on the chest. For away games, Stoke have a new two-tone blue strip that follows the same template as their home equivalent.

Sunderland, however, have returned to their roots after two years wearing a controversial kit of their own. Le Coq Sportif's 'double pinstripe' kits lasted two years but have now been replaced with a set of three provided by American sportswear company Nike. This is Nike's first official contract with an English team and Sunderland fans will be pleased with their decision to reinstate the thick red and white stripes for home matches. Away from home, the Roker Park club can choose between a sky blue kit with dark blue sleeves and horizontal pinstripes or a pale yellow outfit with navy blue trim.

Finally to West Ham where Adidas have added a white collar, white cuffs and a sky blue horizontal band to the home shirt, while The Hammers' white away shirt now includes sky blue pinstripes. Both shirts have a simple badge of crossed hammers instead of the original club crest and local company Avco Trust now appear as West Ham's first shirt sponsors.

We look forward to seeing them all during the coming season.

1 comment:

  1. Admiral 33 years ahead of the times there with Notts County's away kit, a Vapouresque switch of sock colour!