Aston Villa v West Ham

Posted by John Devlin


Another kit clash issue arose yesterday at Villa Park when referee Rob Styles forced Aston Villa to wear their all white Nike third shirt against West Ham as he believed the Hammers all light blue Umbro away strip would clash with Villa’s home outfit. Villa boss Martin O’Neill was not happy.

I couldn’t really understand the problem when I first heard the story but on looking again at West Ham’s away kit the ref may just have a point. When you consider the large flashes of claret across the chest and the huge claret sponsors logo (designed of course to obliterate that of the now defunct XL Holidays there is certainly an argument that this may provide a visbility problem against Villa’s claret and blue.

To make matters even more interesting in the first half Villa’s shirts were without sponsors/player names but in the second half they were!

Perhaps now the likely trend for simpler kits has come at the right time?

Thanks to David Privett for the tip.

23 Responses to “Aston Villa v West Ham”

  1. amir Says:

    Why the unsponsored kit in the first half? Old replica kits? Reserve euro kit from last season(thus not allowed old gambling sponsor)?
    Surely it takes longer than a half to apply the sponsor’s logo, the players numbers I can imagine. Can anyone comment on this?

  2. amir Says:

    Aston Villa causing you more problems then, John. First there was the shorts issue and now this.
    Cannot remember the last time I saw a team play in their 3rd kit at home, if ever.

  3. Andy Burton Says:

    Why not ask West Ham to wear Villa’s white shirts (without sponsors/names?) to allow Villa to wear their home kit? This has happened before years ago – I can remember Palace playing at Sheffield United’s complete away kit back in the late 70’s! Grimsby also wore Palace’s away shirt (Red/Blue Stripes) with black shorts/red socks in 76-77. Mind you I still think it was a typical piece of Rob Styles eccentricity!

  4. Jon Says:

    After watching MOTD last night I had a feeling that there would be a blog on this matter and I was right!

    I was rather surprised as to why Rob Styles requested Villa wore different shirts when I saw it. I would have had no problem distinguishing the two teams but I’d guess linesmen probably wouldn’t hence the change.

    Still, it is surprising this has happened given the earlier incident this season between Newcastle and Hull and a number of incidents in League Two which referees did give the go-ahead despite the obvious visibility problem!

    Anyway I think the theory behind Villa wearing unsponsored, nameless shirts in the first half was that the kit man had to quickly get a set of third shirts from the stock room and get the numbers ironed on to be able to start the match. Then whilst the first half was taking place they could locate more sets of shirts from stock with the sponsor logo and prepare them for the second half, complete with names on the back.

    The shirts look like ones produced for European competition, as the backs didn’t have pinstripes (blame pedantic anti-stripe campaigners at UEFA for that!). They have worn the white shirt already this season, at CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Cup, but they had UEFA Cup standard fonts on them, and I think according to Premier League regulations they had to put the Premier League fonts and sleeve patches on them.

    Come to think of it, if this was going to pose a problem how come West Ham didn’t wear last season’s white away kit, but with their new sponsor logo over the top of the old XL logo?

  5. Ian Says:

    Haha! I knew this would be up here! It is amazing to think that West Ham, who have a virtually identical home kit to Villa could clash on such an issue, especially as West Ham have a white third shirt. I assume they didn’t take it with them.

    That said, I assumed this was down to the sleeves more than anything else. Would it be difficult to judge a close handball in the box with both teams wearing sky blue arms? Surely the abount of claret in the Hammers’ shirts is minimal, it’s no more complicated than the old two claret hoops classic.

  6. john Says:

    i remember in 1986 man city playing spurs and city had to wear there red/black striped away kit rather than sky/white/sky as spurs wore white/sky/white that day.

  7. Ian Says:

    I remember Chelsea playing in Coventry’s away kit once.

  8. Denis Hurley Says:

    In 1990-91, City also had to change at home to Spurs, them wearing maroon and Spurs in yellow, but that’s because it was foggy.

    Fulham had to change at home to Newcastle in 03-04 and Newcastle did so against Wednesday in 93-94, when Wednesday brough white with black pinstripes.

    Chelsea forgot away kits at Highfield Road two years out of three – in 96-97 they wore the red and black checkerboard kit but in 98-99 put names and numbers on their yellow training kit

  9. Chris Varney Says:

    Remember when SWFC played away at Newcastle in early 90’s and with the Owls away kit been all black with yellow pin strips decided to have a third strip. Which was white with black pin stips!

    Newcastle had to play in all blue.

  10. Jon Says:

    I remember that Man City and Spurs incident, I was baffled as to why City took to the field in their away kit, even in fog sky blue doesn’t look anything like yellow.

    Ironically Man City turned up at Aston Villa in the 89/90 season wearing their usual sky blue shirts, but were paired with claret shorts and socks from their away kit due to a shorts/socks clash. Villa’s kit was the Hummel strip of which the current kit bears a canny resemblance… but the game went ahead without any problems, well, Villa might have had a problem with the result – they lost!

    Come to think of it, Villa wore a sky blue away kit at West Ham in the 97/98 season which, funnily enough, featured a claret and white horizontal band, albeit below the sponsor rather than high up the chest area. That also went ahead, despite Villa also having a white third kit in the kit hamper.

    I remember that Chelsea incident at Coventry, apparently rumour has it they didn’t take their yellow away kit because they felt that the huge amount of sky blue and royal blue on the front would have caused a problem, so they took the home kit instead, which the referee wasn’t happy with!

  11. Andrew Rockall Says:

    As a referee myself I can assure you it was entirely down to the sleeves on both sets of shirts being the same colour. Handballs would have been hellish to sort out!

    I was suprised that West Ham didn’t bring their white third kit which they have worn once already this season, and again that they weren’t made to wear the Villa 3rd shirts

    Jon – Spurs away kit that year was Pale Blue and the City home shirst was so pale in the sun it looked almost white.

    Lastly did anyone see the referee in the Derby game wearing the yellow kit? Odd I thought as Derby were in their all yellow flouro kit.

  12. John Devlin Says:

    I’m glad I disappoint you all by writing about this!! Andy, you’re suggestion is obvious and makes a lot of sense (and I know this has happened before) but maybe wearing a completely different brand/sponsors logo etc causes too many problems nowadays. Plus West Ham could argue that the did adequately prepare for the game with their away strip.

    Jon, I think your reasoning behind the 2 different sets of strips is probably right and yes, West Ham do have their white away from last season that I assumed was their third for this.

    I certainly don’t remember there ever being much of a problem between Villa and West Ham away kit clashes but I guess the current Hammers away does have the claret chest flashes that might through a spanner in the works.

  13. John Devlin Says:

    Thanks Andrew – its great that you can bring a ref’s perspective to the debate. Another thing thats just crossed my mind, what about Chelsea’s fluro orange goalie kit? On telly at least that clashed with Liverpool’s red the other night.

  14. amir Says:

    Good point Andrew about the Palace-Derby game. Noticed it, but never clicked that the ref and Derby’s kit were very similar.
    Re: Chelsea goalie kit. Its not as bad in person and goalies should use long sleeves so you would probably see a bare arm vs a clothed arm at this time of year.

  15. Jon Says:

    Sorry Andrew I was referring to the Man City v Spurs match from the 90/91 season that Denis was talking about, Spurs turned up in yellow but Man City wore their maroon away kit.

    I’m a little bit too young to remember the incident in 1986 though I know Spurs’ sky blue away kit at the time did look very bright under floodlights!

  16. john Says:

    spurs wore an all white kit for the 86/87 season but wore sky blue shorts from there away kit to avoid a clash with citys white was all too much for the referee though!!

  17. John Devlin Says:

    Thanks Amir – I had a feeling the Chelsea goalie top wouldn’t look so ‘red’ in the flesh.

  18. Andy Burton Says:

    I was at Palace/Derby game and the fluoro kit is SO bright it didnt seem to clash with Ref in normal lighting conditions

  19. Andrew Rockall Says:

    I reckon Cech’s shirt is exaggerated on TV which probably is why it has never been changed in a match, even when Chelski are being reffed by the overly officious Rob Styles!

    Re Flouro kits, in the Eighties wasn’t there a move away from them due to Stewards and Police becomeing less visable in a crowd. I thought Sheffield United dropped their away shirt because of this.

  20. john Says:

    i read a story about the sheff utd shirt too,that shirt sold by the bucket load judging by the amount of fans who wore it.

  21. Chris Varney Says:

    I still have my flourescent yellow Sheff. Utd shirt. It was worn from 89/90 and 90/91 season and was changed after the normal 2 year cycle.

    I can remember some complaints re. the stewards but other clubs ( Barca, Chelsea) have had them recently and United has another in 98 and last year.

    The Leicester away match in 1990 promotion season was a sea of flouescent yellow or lime green as it was called at the time.

  22. John Devlin Says:

    I also remember the lime green kit being very popular. It was difficult to photograph well though if memory serves. I’ve seen some pics where it looks distinctly yellow.

  23. Jon Says:

    Never mind lime green, when Derby revealed their current away kit it was officially described as slime green! Someone at Pride Park must be having a laugh!

    Chelsea’s away kit from last season seems to have given other clubs the fluorescent away kit bug – as well as Derby, the likes of Everton, Wigan have brought out fluorescent yellow or lime green or whatever you wish to call it, and Oldham Athletic, not content with a fluorescent yellow kit also wore a glow in the dark shocking pink kit for charity against Leeds live on TV!

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