Leeds United Third Kit 1970-71

Everyone associates Leeds United today with the colour palette of white, yellow and blue. But back in the 60s and early 70 the club employed a fairly loose mix and match arrangement of kits and colours including a frequently worn (whisper it) red away kit and this all-orange ensemble that made just one outing in the 70-71 season. The one and only appearance of this orange kit saw Leeds well beaten, ensuring that their regular red away outfit was the only change strip preferred from then on that season.

Worn in: A 3-0 defeat to Stoke City at The Victoria Ground in September 1970 – and this was after Leeds had only conceded two goals in the previous seven games.

Worn by: Eddie Gray, Billy Bremner, Norman Hunter.

Thanks to Neil Jeffries who provided the following scanned photo.

69 Replies to “Leeds United Third Kit 1970-71

  1. Did this kit definitely exist? I know it was featured in the ‘Goal’ magazine article about rare kits but I understood subsequently that it was actually the red away kit that appeared orange in a newspaper photo. A definitive answer would be greatly appreciated as this kit and its existence have caused many an argument amongst Leeds fans.

  2. Hello Mark – I wasn’t aware of any controversy about the kit. I’ve now added the scanned photo sent to me as proof by Neil Jeffries, a Leeds kit expert. The kit also featured in the Leeds programme earlier this season. I’ll dig out my copy. Looking at the pic and with my experience with artworking photos for print it doesn’t look like it could be a red kit thats been badly reproduced.

    I’m interested in the Goal magazine article you mentioned – have you got a scan of it?

    1. Hi can anybody please put me in touch with neil jeffries as I have one of these orange leeds shirts for sale many thanks x

  3. Is that from the first issue of the relaunched Goal in 1995 Mark? I had that but it got thrown out, I’d forgotten Leeds were featured in it.
    Off the top of my head, others mentioned were Arsenal’s third from 94-95, the Brimingham ‘German’ flag and a Manchester City yellow kit that was retired after a 4-0 loss to Arsenal

  4. Yes Denis it is from the ’95 Goal magazine and yes John i’ll try and dig it out from among the magazine cornucopia that is my attic, and scan it.

  5. It seemed like a good mag, didn’t last all that long though, I suppose it suffered in that there just wasn’t a market for it and FourFourTwo

  6. I have every issue APART from the 1st one of Goal (which is annoying as my mate had it and threw it out before I could nab it)…it was a great mag and a real shame it folded. four Four Two always seemed rather staid compared to Goal. Does anyone else remember Total Football mag, which was very similar to Goal? I subscribed to that as well as Goal and that too folded, just after the 98 World Cup.

  7. John – no luck with the ‘Goal’ mag unfortunately, i’ve defo still got it as was reading it about 6m ago, but have had a thorough search in the loft as snowed in today. Plenty Shoot, Match, 90 Minutes, Football Today, Merlin & Panini albums, Onze (french) and Don Balon (Spanish) but sadly the Goal for some reason isn’t with them. Sorry!

  8. I remember reading about this very rare Leeds kit a few years ago on some website, it’s definitely not a badly reproduced photo as the usual red away kit featured a white owl badge, not a navy one as illustrated. To think Leeds even had a red away kit is mind-blowing given how the colour is more associated with a certain team they shocked on Sunday. I’m surprised they decided to wear this orange strip instead of digging out a previous change kit which could have been lying around in the stock room.

    Also going from Denis’s comment (no. 4), I remember that rare Man City kit, it was from the 89/90 season. I’m sure if they hadn’t have suffered that 4-0 hiding at Arsenal, the kit would have certainly had been used at Aston Villa later that season. Instead at Villa Park they wore the home shirt with the away shorts and socks, a colour combination that would have had Rob Styles in a bit of bother, and won!

    Oh and I remember Goal, it was a decent mag from what I can remember. Shame it disappeared.

  9. No worries Mark – thanks for looking. I’ve got loads of football mags in the loft that I need to sort through.

    Hello Jon – I agree, the whole concept of a red Leeds kit does seem strange now doesn’t it? Derby had a similar problem when they tried to introduce a red and black away kit in the late 80s. Red of course too close to Forest! I featured the Man City yellow kit in True Colours 1.

  10. I couldn’t imagine seeing Leeds wearing anything other than yellow or blue for an away kit now, though when watching a few old video clips on YouTube recently even some of the Leeds fans commenting on there couldn’t believe they had a red away kit in the early 70’s.

    I remember that Derby away kit curiosity very well, the kit catalogues in the build-up to the 89/90 season had the red and black striped shirts. Instead of that we all saw the grey and black stripes, combined with red shorts and socks, a kit that often gets featured in worst kit polls and apparently referred to by some radio commentator as the “Moulin Rouge tarts outfit”.

  11. Leeds actually played in three different away red kits in the sixties and seventies.A plain red shirt ,then a white owl badge and the a white LUFC script version.red socks only were worn with the white kit as were red shorts with the white shirt and socks.I have proof of all.I do not know or believe the orange version ? I am looking for a colour photo of the yellow shirt with blue owl badge however.
    Anyone help ?
    I am aware of six blue variant shirts used in the sixties .

  12. No one remembers the orange kit but in the European cup semi final versus Celtic in April 1970 we did lend Celtic orange socks to avoid a clash.Revie offered a choice of blue or orange which is not really a choice for them? Some versions state that he offered red or blue but orange were the ones worn.I was there but as it is now forty years ago, i would like a colour photo to keep.

    Anyone help ?

  13. In the link you’ve posted from Keith, John; (Jan.9, 2010 at 9:51pm), a section of the website is an article taken from Tom Brogan, http://stateofthegame.co.uk, in which mention is made of:

    “There was a conundrum for Celtic before the kick-off. As both teams normally wore white stockings the away team would have to change. Though Celtic claimed they thought Leeds had agreed to do so. This meant that Celtic did not have an adequate replacement with them, but never fear Leeds stepped in to offer them an alternative. They could wear blue or red.

    “Well wear the red stockings,” said Jock Stein, sensing a little bit of gamesmanship from Leeds. “Under their floodlights, they”ll show up more orange than red and our supporters will think that we?re wearing the colours of the Irish tricolour. That’ll please them.” ”

    So, were they orange or red, in the absence of contemporary colour photos, I think this could run…….

  14. Anybody seen a colour photo/pic/print of the Leeds v Celtic game 1 4 1970 ? I have tried posting on the Celtic site with no luck.Anecdotal advice from the Celts suggests orange but as Steve says this could run ? Worrying that lots of people are driving around confused between orange and red ? Explains a lot ?
    My anorak is red or is it ……………….


  15. Neil Jeffries (Leeds kit expert!) has this to add:
    Leeds played Celtic at Elland Road in the European Cup semi first leg on April 1, 1970. The orange kit was worn at the Victoria Ground on September 12, 1970. It seems unlikely to me that we would have let someone else wear it before we did – unless it took us several months to pluck up the courage! Looking at the black-and-white photos in Leeds United The Complete European Record (Breedon, 2003) I would have said Celtic wore yellow socks, not the red that Stein (allegedly) spoke of.

    Don’t know if that clears things up?! My guess is that Leeds wore red as confirmed by Steve, perhaps then the fact that they looked orange gave the club the idea for the following season?

  16. John,
    The only definitive on this will be a colour photo ? Even the most ardent of Leeds fans forget we wore red a lot of times between 1968 and 1973 covering six seasons.See you tube “Leeds in r*d “for examples ? These games i have proof of
    Chelsea away
    Crysal Palace away

  17. John,
    Got so excited there i submitted the answer before finishing !
    Standard Liege

    All away games in red and then there was a yellow shirt available in both the owl badge version and the LUFC one
    Why orange was needed is a real mystery ?
    A man with your contacts MUST be able to get the colour photo proof of both the kit and the Celtic socks.Should it cost you, i will pay so you are not out of pocket !
    I wonder if Neill has any links to Leeds blue shirts in the sixties ?


  18. Hi Denis,
    No it is the first game at Elland Road which seems to have been covered in just black and white ? Leeds definately wore red socks at Celtic ( Hampden Park was used to increase the attendance level ! ).There are several colour sources on that game however.

  19. Hi LK (I presume you’re the LeedsBhoy who asked about the red/orange socks on a Celtic forum?!), I realise it’s the game at Elland Rd we’re talking about, I was just pointing out that the red socks Leeds wore at Hampden (mea culpa saying Parkhead!) were clearly red, and presumably the same ones Celtic would have worn?

  20. Hi Denis,
    Yes ,that is me ! I guess i have exhausted all options now and the info is lost in time ? I am beginning to think the red socks may have been used by both away teams ? The best answer i have had is from the Celtic board in that the colour was rustic autumn by Dior ! I actually went to both games and the Hampden tie was a fantastic atmosphere for a nine year old in a crowd of 130,000 plus I just wanted the information so it could be shared and logged on sites like True Colours and Historical kits for future reference.
    I think John deserves a lot of credit for this site alone ?

  21. I was at the victoria ground in sept 1970, we definately played in an all tangerine kit. i saw it with my own eyes. After the game, Don Revie had the kit burned!!!

  22. We did play at Stoke in an all ORANGE kit and got a right hammering that day. Seem to remember some of lads used the shirts for training quite a bit after that, but don’t remember us ever wearing them in a game after.

    We also had an all green kit in the kit room with a goalkeeper shirt of Sky Blue, it was to be used in Europe(don’t know why). We never ever wore it and i don’t know what happened to it.

    Hope this helps.


  23. With regards to the Blue Leeds shirt; I remember recieving a birthday card with Jack Charlton on. It was a blue shirt with white owl and yellow shorts and socks. With regards to the Celtic V Leeds game at Elland Road, I have only seen black and white footage and took it that Celtic wore green socks, the socks seemed as dark as the hoops on the shirt, so i don’t think they wore yellow socks that night, but would be interesting to know what they wore.

  24. Celtic used our tangerine socks i think, their kit was too much white. I remember a few away matches in the mid sixties where we played in blue shirts, gold shorts, not yellow, and white socks with two narrow blue stripes with gold inbetween on the fold over. Mind you, if sniffer had worn that kit when he joined, the socks would have been white, i think you always rolled em over, right sniffer??

  25. I do remember the socks changing episode at the Celtic game.

    We were getting changed and someone came in with some Blue Socks and said we would have to wear them as there was a clash. The Gaffer said why can’t that lot change and told us to carry on getting ready.

    When we went out Celtic had some Orange socks on, they obviously didn’t fancy the blue ones.

  26. I’ve seen video footage of the Leeds v Celtic game and the socks were definitely orange.
    The red kit was, as LeedsKits says, worn in a variety of ways. All red; red white red; white red white and of course, white shirts and shorts with red socks as in the 1970 FA Cup final at Wembley.
    I also remember a Cup game against Derby at the Baseball Ground in 1973 where, due to some odd law about kit clashes, Leeds wore their red, away kit and Derby wore all blue. Link here: http://www.ozwhitelufc.net.au/17-03-1973%20Derby%20County%20v%20LUFC.htm

  27. Leeds wore the orange socks at Cardiff City in the FA Cup tie in 1972. As shown in the Glory Years video.

    Either that, or I am colour blind!

  28. You’re right Rothko about the odd law on kit clashes.

    In the FA Cup there used to be a rule which stated if there was a colour clash, then BOTH teams had to change. In the event that both teams had change strips which also clashed, it often resulted in one-off third kits, or, going back further in time, teams actually BORROWING a set of kits from a local rival, just to comply with the rules. I remember reading about the time Aston Villa had to borrow a set of kits from Birmingham City for an FA Cup match in the 1950’s. Could you imagine that happening today?

    You would have thought common sense would have been applied and that the away team would have changed, as is the case today, rather than having to go through the hassle of borrowing a kit from another team. Indeed in some FA Cup finals the rule wasn’t applied, such as Arsenal deciding to wear yellow in 1971.

    Anyhow the rule seemed to be quietly dropped some time in the mid-80’s, with the away team changing kit, and for the semi-finals and final, a coin toss to decide on who wears the home colours.

  29. Only re-reading this topic ages after it was first posted, have to say it’s amazing that Allan Clarke contributed – definitely something you should use in publicising the site John!

  30. I love the idea of both teams changing in the event of a clash. they should still do it for semi finals and final only. 79 semi utd in white and Liverpool in yellow a great example.

  31. I wonder how many other unused gems (such as the unused green 3rd kit referred to by Mr Clarke, above) have been lost to the midsts of time? I’m particularly interested in whether Arsenal did in fact have a pale blue third shirt (with white sleeves) on the stocks in 84/85 and a darker blue in 88-90.

    And what of Liverpool’s white keeper shirt in 88/89? Unused in ANY game, i think – yet there is a player issue version in circulation signed by the squad.

  32. A rumour I heard about the 88-90 one. A shirt was knocked up not dissimilar to the Man Utd third from the same era, albeit darker blue. The one from 84/85 – one of the Arsenal shirt collectors has a pale blue one (sponsorless) from that season. unsure whether it’s genuine. will post a link when i’m back on a computer.

  33. The white Liverpool keepers’ shirt from 88/89 was different to 86/87 – Candy sponsor and different collar. Again, i’ll post a link.

  34. The Liverpool white keeper top is simply baffling. In an era where superfluous kits were minimal (post-‘teamwear’ but pre-marketing driven exploitation of supporters), it is beyond curious.

  35. Yeah, I love that white Liverpool gk shirt. I must have known Grobbelaar wore a yellow top against Celtic but at the time must not have been so into kits that it registered. It had a black number with all the other details red but I can’t find a decent picture.

  36. On that 88-89 Liverpool GK shirt, the arm patch with the three stripes on is from the away kit, with silver between the stripes!

  37. Hello All,

    I can indeed tell you all about that Arsenal 1984-85 blue 3rd shirt. First of all, it’s a fake! If you look at the cannon that has been embroidered on it, it’s the wrong shape. Then there’s the unusual combination of the embroidered cannon and the Umbro logo being a felt transfer; Umbro has produced a few of these shirts over the years (I have a real one from 84-85 in fact), but they’re really rare.

    So, anyway, how do I know it’s a fake? Well, I bought that very shirt on ebay a few years ago from somebody who had a set of 10 or 11 of them. There was no cannon on it at the time. I later sold the shirt on ebay, and jokingly said something like this in my listing: “it’s just like the shirts Arsenal wore in 84-85, so you could embroider a cannon on it and tell everyone it’s a rare prototype”. It turns out the buyer (ebay user via2venezzia from Florida as I recall) did just that, and it was back on ebay within a couple of weeks complete with the newly embroidered cannon. A collector in Canada bought it, and he sold it on to Greg, the current owner, who has it listed in his “prototypes and fakes” section. I have a picture of the same shirt in its cannon-less state should anyone wants to see it.

    I guess I should apologise for having started all of this nonsense with that flippant comment on ebay; I never knew how much confusion / excitement it would cause. Sadly, it’s not the only case of a rare Arsenal 3rd shirt having been created in somebody’s kitchen either.

    And can I just say how splendid it is to see Allan Clarke posting on here, even if he did score that headed goal in the 1972 FA Cup Final (in which Arsenal had the Umbro diamond on their GK shirt and their shorts for the very first time if I am not mistaken). Marvellous! Perhaps John can use his magical powers to get some former Arsenal players to post on here, and maybe locate some of those bizarre “holy grail” Arsenal shirts from the early 1980s.

  38. Great story Peter, very interesting. As I’ve mentioned before my all-time favourite Arsenal shirt was the one worn in the defeat to Valencia in the 1980 European Cup-Winners Cup Final. One is on display in one of the entrances to The Emirates. Anyone got a picture? As for Allan Clarke, a busy man in the ’60’s and ’70s – match winning performances for Leeds United as well as being front-man for excellent Lancashire band ‘The Hollies’……..

  39. Ah, The Hollies. Bus stop, Jennifer Eccles, Look through any window, small boys in the park… Didn’t Alan go on to be Minister of Defence and publish some diaries too?

    So, anyway, here’s a not very good picture of the 1980 ECWC Final shirt that Arsenal wore: https://picasaweb.google.com/101654138655214982302/ArsenalShirtsAwayAnd3rdShirts#5626515640863529602
    And yes, it is a truly splendid shirt. It’s made of polyester, which was very odd at the time.

    And as for those “holy grail” shirts, well, it has to be the red and blue one Arsenal wore against Aberdeen in 1983, along with the blue, red and white GK jerseys from the same year, and the long-sleeved green and blue 82-83 away shirt with the JVC logo on it. I’m also after a 1987 League Cup Final shirt to complete my set, should anyone know of one being available. Thanks in advance for any help with these.

  40. Good Luck with those shirts Peter.. they would have been only player issues so finding one now would be a treasure.

  41. that aberdeen match was to commenorate the boys brigade 100 years . Not sure if they designed the shirts or not ??

  42. 34. Bob the Gob

    Those socks Leeds wore at Cardiff in 1972 were yellow. Leeds started wearing yellow at away matches that year and also wore all yellow in the semi final against Birmingham. You can clearly see it in the Glory Years video.

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