There have been numerous incidences of shirt sponsors influencing the colour schemes of club kits but none perhaps as blatant and eye-catching as the Eddie Stobart sponsored Carlisle United away kit from 1995-97. The Stobart Group (as the company is now known), a road haulage/distribution/warehousing company who had moved to Carlisle in 1976, actually commenced the shirt deal in 1995 and it was obviously decided to start the relationship with a bang. Therefore the Carlisle side appeared in change jerseys (manufactured by the little known Red Fox company) that mirrored the iconic livery of the Eddie Stobart trucks. It was a genius, although controversial move, as toys and collectables branded with the Stobart Group’s instantly recognisable corporate palette of green, red and amber (with a healthy dash of white) were massively popular at the time – ensuring massive publicity and exposure for the club who were then newly promoted to Division 2. A brave initiative highlighting the close bond between a world famous company and its local team – or a financial sell-out that destroys the integrity and heritage of the club? Opinion will always be divided athough it should be noted that The Stobart Group’s sponsorship of Carlisle continues to this day.
Worn in: The 95–96 relegation season…and the 96–97 promotion season! Plus, the dramatic 96–97 Auto Windscreens Trophy Final penalty shoot-out win over Colchester United.
Worn by: Rory Delap, Matt Jansen and Lee Peacock.