Blackburn Rovers 2011-12 Kits Review

Posted by John Devlin

blackburn-h-11-12Its always tough to reinvent the Blackburn home kit due to its highly distinctive and traditional halved shirt. But for many designers the more strict the limitations, the more inventive their design outcomes can be. In my view Umbro¬† have hit the jackpot with this Rovers home kit that harks back to the late 70s/80s style of strip complete with bold red V-neck and cuffs and red turnover on the socks. Its about time sportswear companies stopped beating about the bush and integrated red fully back into the Blackburn palette and this bold gesture does the trick perfectly. The rest of the shirt is pretty simple – the only other elements of note are the additional stitched panels on each sleeve where they join the main body – presumably these are to aid movement if Umbro’s reasonings behind some of their recent England strips are anything to go by – and the fact that the shirt has reverted to alternating sleeve colours as opposed to last season’s sleeves that matched the colour of their respective halves.

Pre-season the Blackburn kits were sponsored by Venkys – a chicken meat processing company and the club’s new owners. However by the time the season kicked off their brand had been replaced by logo of young people’s charity The Princes’ Trust with Blackburn donating their shirt sponsorship this season to the organisation. Although its all for a good cause, unfortunately I would venture that the logo itself doesn’t really work on the Rovers shirt as it is barely legible at times and could probably do with a tweak here and there so that people could actually see who the club are supporting on their jerseys.

blackburn-a-11-12Away from home the club have returned to a yellow change strip and crafted it into a really smart outfit. The shirt features black sleeves and a new minimalist neck design that’s cropped up on a few Umbro jerseys this year. The shirt also features the additional sleeve panels that were included on the home jersey. Although I love the kit I think a pity that the side wore red as their main colour last season as a red away kit would have complemented the reintroduction of the colour on the home outfit well (although presumably the red kit will be retained as third colour this season should the need arise). Still, I think the Blackburn kits, while nothing stunning, are another set of good, functional outfits.


22 Responses to “Blackburn Rovers 2011-12 Kits Review”

  1. john b Says:

    Best home kit in the premier league this season,superb,agree about the sponsor though!!

  2. Nick Says:

    Big fan of the home, love the red trim to match the numbering. I was, and remain a big fan of the 96-98 strip, in which the sleeves matched the halved pattern of the body, but I’m a particular fan of how this season’s strip has the colours of the body reversed in positioning on the rear of the shirt.

    This strip deserves a two-year lifespan.

    My only gripe lies not with the shirt, but in the spoiling of it by the insistence of Rovers’ players in wearing the short-sleeved version with those long-sleeved undergarments. I’m sounding like a broken record here, but can we not ban these unless covered by a long-sleeved shirt?!

  3. Nick Says:

    I love the away because to me it seems like a really innovative use of two quite commonly used away colours, although I do remember Rovers wearing similar colours in 03-04.

    I realise the collar has cropped up on a number of other designs this season, but I think it works very well with the rest of the shirt.

  4. Russ Says:

    I love the yellow n black. It reminds me of my 1st ever shirt with mcewans as the sponsor if i remember rightly

  5. John Devlin Says:

    Great comments – Nick, totally agree about the long sleeved shirts and the base layer garments. The other thing that its irritating me more and more are white/light coloured boots. I’m not sure when the powers that be will realise that they are spoiling the overall impression of kits and I would imagine causing some degree of colour confusion. Black boots ensured the integrity of the kit and colours remained clear.

  6. Steve Gamlin Says:

    Taking the undergarmet argument/boot colour a bit further what about the enormous amount of taping that players are sporting these days – a lot of socks socks look half white. In other sports ankle taping goes under the sock not over it. I also notice that some payers socks cut off the foot piece (Nani ) all together. Time for the league to act I think.

  7. Nick Says:

    I might be wrong though John, but have I noticed more black boots creeping back into usage?! It’s funny though, because it doesn’t seem that long ago that it was inconceivable that even a Premier League centre half would wear white boots – now they do in League 2!

    My other gripe is those players that cut the bottom of the socks, and wear their own white socks/tape – what is that about? Is it for any reason, or is because Ronaldo started doing it?!

  8. Nick Says:

    I should mention that I’m almost certain that the Rovers home strip is my favourite of this season’s strips, alongside Norwich’s home kit. Both brilliant.

  9. John Devlin Says:

    Good point re the taping Steve. The whole socking taping craze started when players began to have special fittings for their boots during the production stage. They would wear their own preferred type of sock (I’m guessing a bit like a base layer, with special moisture wicking properties). The bespoke boots are made so precisely that when players wore their strip the boots wouldn’t fit properly over the regular team socks. So began the trend of cutting off the foot of the socks, wearing their own preferred sock and simply taping the hose of the team socks to their own sock foot. I believe Ronaldo was one of the first to do this.

  10. Denis Hurley Says:

    Of course now it’s started a craze among schoolboys to wear white ankle socks over their own team socks!

  11. Mark Jessop Says:

    I blame Terry Cooper for the White boots, I remember him turning out for Leeds in a pair in about ’74. About two weeks later Alan Ball started wearing them. Can anyone remember any earlier instance?

    Nice Blackburn kits by the way. Reminiscent of the Spall kits from the mid to late 80’s other than them having all White sleeves.

  12. Nick Says:

    How sad does it looks when you see even lower-league players falling for the tape craze?!

    It seems a bit strange given that most big manufacturers design socks so that they are extra comfortable and protective – adidas and Umbro are particularly good at this, not sure about Nike.

  13. Denis Hurley Says:

    BTW – I reckon Arsenal must have a ban on the baselayers as you never see them, good to see them maintaining the tradition where all players have the same

  14. Nick Says:

    Denis – Arsenal have a tradition whereby the captain decides whether the team will wear short or long-sleeves before each game.
    In my view it’s a wonderful tradition that not only makes the team look smart but promotes, even on a small level, team unity. I only wish other teams (my team!) would follow suit!

  15. Andrew Rockall Says:

    I think these are the best set of Home & Away kits in the prem this season, could only be bettered if the away kit was Red and Black .

  16. Andrew Says:

    When the sponsorship deal was unveiled, the Prince’s Trust logo looked dark red and legible but on the matchday shirt it looks washed out and pink.

  17. Iain Says:

    Lets not get me started on coloured boots, check out some of the boot websites around the web and you will find me front and centre railing about how bad boots are these days, and what makes it worse is when players almost deliberately wear boots that clash horrendously with their team kit. Apparently they have no clue of what a giant prat they look like. Black boots all the way. I have even gone so far as to ban non-black from the team i coach, such is my loathing for them!
    Umbro still seems to be leading the pack when it comes to marrying tradition and technology together in their kits. I am hoping they can pick up a few more top-flight sides in the future!

  18. john b Says:

    Ban coloured boots(you cant beat puma kings or adidas world cup)
    Ban sock tape…and socks pulled over knees!!! take note john terry.
    Undergarments only allowed under long sleeve shirts.

  19. Andrew Rockall Says:

    Surely it’s only a matter of time before players shirts actually are those clingy undershirts? Like Kappa’s Kombat range

  20. Nick Says:

    John B – I am in complete agreement!

  21. ciaran Says:

    Dont like any of these kits compared to last years solid efforts.the red doesnt blend well with the blue and white on the home kit.away jersey nothing to write home about either.

    bad kits to go with what could potentially be a very bad season.

  22. Tim Says:

    Anyone notice how Blackburn have come to regard their yellow and black away kit as lucky? They picked up 3 draws from four games in it while losing all their away games played in home colours. They seem to have realised this as they turned up in yellow at Anfield and grabbed a point before going to Old Trafford in it and coming away with all three. They picked up another point in it at Everton last weekend too.

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