New Zealand Football Championship Kits

Posted by John Devlin

My interest in New Zealand football has been documented elsewhere on the site but I’ve also recently finished a set of home kit illustrations for all eight teams who play in the domestic New Zealand Football Championship.

Its odd that some of the templates used are a good few years old (Youngheart Manawatu and Hawkes Bay United) and yet some (Waitekere United) are back up to date. There’s also a fair mix of manufacturers: Umbro (2), Nike, Lotto (4) and a brand I’m not familiar with, Suno. The shirts and shorts feature multi sponsorship and the NZFL sleeve patch. Many of the shirts also feature the logos of various trust organisations that in accordance with NZ government legislation help fund sport in the country.


Huddersfield Town Charity Kit 2009-10

Posted by John Devlin

huddersfield-town-c-09-10There’s been loads of special charity shirts worn by clubs in the past few years. I’ve referred to a few of the higher profile ones in my recent article for the Umbro blog site.

But this worthwhile trend is also prevalent in the lower leagues. One of the most recent examples is this fine Huddersfield Town kit worn in their January 2010 home clash with Southend United. The club replaced their traditional blue and white stripes for the red and yellow colour scheme of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to whom the Terriers have generously donated their standard home sponsorship package for the next three seasons. Its all part of the ‘Keep It Up’ campaign designed to raise the £7,200 a day needed to keep the lifesaving air ambulance service in operation.

The Mitre outfit followed the same design of the home and also included a red and yellow version of the Town badge. As with all similar kits special permission had to be sought from the Football League to wear the kit. Replica versions (all for the cause) are available from the club shop.

Worn in: The 2–1 win over Southend United
Worn by: Robbie Williams, Jordan Rhodes and Antony Kay.

To read more about the appeal and to lend support visit

Thanks to Mark Jessop for the suggestion.

Southend United Home Kit 1985-86

Posted by John Devlin

southend-h-85-86At first glance this kit may seem nothing out of the ordinary but there is an interesting story behind it.

In the mid-80s (the height of the British football downturn) Southend were facing an uncertain future. The side had spent the previous season sponsorless after a lack of interest from local firms. Another campaign in Division 4 without the valuable income a shirt sponsor brings was a real crisis for the club. In stepped local construction firm Laing and a deal was put together. The only problem was that Laing’s corporate colour was yellow and it was requested that this branding be somehow incorporated into the Southend kit.

Desperate times cause for desperate measures and despite the club’s 80-year history of various combinations of blue and white kits they switched to blue and yellow to allow the deal with Laing to be sealed and bring vital revenue into the club coffers. Interestingly the club badge and logo of kit manufacturers Elite were placed on either side of the Laing logo on the yellow horizontal band – presumably to indicate the unity between club and its commercial partners.

Yellow remained a crucial part of Southend’s home kit for another 10 years before the blue and white colour scheme so engrained in the club’s past returned.

Worn in: A cracking 5–1 win over (relatively) local rivals Orient and consecutive 3–1 victories over Mansfield and Hereford.
Worn by: Steve Phillips, Glenn Pennyfather and Roy McDonough.

Manchester City Third Kit 1972-73

Posted by John Devlin

manchester-city-3-72-73This kit could be considered a myth-buster on two counts; firstly it proves that third kits were as common decades ago as they are now (most of us know that anyway of course) but secondly it shows that the recent trend for sporting away colours that are the same (albeit in a different shade) as the home kit is also not a modern day invention. City’s famous pale blue strip has often caused problems when featuring against teams wearing white as it can be just too light to always provide adequate colour differentiation. Therefore, back in the early 70s when the club favoured a white away kit (also with sash) a clash occured when playing away at teams with white jerseys; hence the need for this royal blue third kit. Clearly influenced by their flamboyant manager Malcolm Allison (who also introduced the sash at Palace when he managed them some years later)  this smart, and pretty rare, kit also features player numbers on the sleeves – a short lived 70s trend.

Worn in: A great 3-2 win at Spurs with goals by Marsh and Lee (2).
Worn by: Rodney Marsh, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee.

Thanks to Jon Jones for the suggestion.

09-10 Away Kits – Its Black and White

Posted by John Devlin

I’ve been working on the 09-10 kits for the site and although I’ve already mentioned the overload of black/dark navy away kits this season I hadn’t realised quite how many sides are also using white as a change colour – meaning that virtually every away kit in the Premiership is either black/dark navy or white.

Take a look.

Out of the first 14 teams alphabetically, only Fulham and Hull avoid the mono look for their change kits (and of course Fulham play in white as first choice anyway and have their fairly dark midnight blue away kit). Of course there is Everton’s purple third and Villa’s blue third but other than that its black and white throughout.

Are we getting to a situation reminiscent of the early days of football where one team always played in white when there was a clash of colours – or is it just a trend? Hope its the latter – but it makes for a pretty dull colour palette this season.

New article for Umbro blog

Posted by John Devlin

Umbro have just posted a new article I wrote for them entitled ‘Kits with a Conscience’ that looks at the different ways football shirts are now being used to support charities and forge links with the community.

You can read it here

New Kit Cupboard article posted

Posted by John Devlin

Read it here: France Home Kit 1980-82

France Home Kit 1980-82

Posted by John Devlin

france-h-80-82For me, this is one of the classic kits of all time. Adidas were certainly enjoying a golden age in the early 80s – especially on the continent – with designs that just don’t seem to have aged. This French home kit had so many really nice features; the non-contrasting collar (adorned with pinstripes), the plunging 70s white inset neck, the dainty adidas logo (minus text) and the low-slung FFF badge. Add to that the standard French tricolore three-stripe trim and you’ve got a real gem of a shirt. The design was worn up until the 1982 World Cup finals when the inset neck was then removed (presumably to keep the players cooler in the Spanish heat), but sadly the overall panache of the design lost something with this change. The only mystery for me looking back is why the socks only had two stripes instead of three?

Worn in: The successful 1982 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Worn by: Michel Platini, Dominique Rocheteau, Jean-Francois Larios.

Two recommended sites

Posted by John Devlin

There’s nothing better than reading about a club’s kit history according to its supporters. Although I (and others around the web) do my best to document past strips as best we can, to get opinions and memories from fans who live and breathe their team and attend matches week in week out adds a little extra.

I can wholeheartedly recommend the following two sites that have kept me highly entertained in the past few weeks:
Put together by Manchester United fans Paul Nagel and Tim Ashmore this site is simply brilliant! It features a very detailed record of every kit worn by Man Utd since their formation including all variants and anomalies that cropped up along the way (often on a match by match basis). Beautifully illustrated the site is very easy to use and presents the reams of information in an excellent way. If you’re a United fan or just a kits anorak you will spend many happy hours on this site.
This Hull City fansite has been put together by Tigers devotee Les Motherby who clearly knows his kits as there’s a section where reviews a range of past Hull outfits. Irreverant and sometimes tongue in cheek the reviews give an interesting fan’s perspective on a club with more than their fair share of ‘challenging’ strips.

New Kit Cupboard article added

Posted by John Devlin

Read it here:

« Previous Entries