Crystal Palace Home Kit 1977-80: True Colours Hall of Fame

Posted by John Devlin

crystal-palace-h-77-80It may not have been the first appearance of Crystal Palace’s iconic sashed kit design but this Admiral incarnation, fondly remembered by the Palace faithful, is arguably the greatest. The sash first appeared in The Eagles’ kit cupboard in the 1975-76 season with flamboyant and kit-savvy boss Malcolm Allison the instigator. It became first choice home kit the following year (replacing the club’s Barca-like red and blue stripes) and when Admiral took over kit duties in 1977 they updated the design with bold red taping featuring, of course, multiple Admiral logos, and an elegantly trimmed V-neck and cuffs. It was a strong and confident design – perfectly suited for Terry Venables’ up and coming young Palace side.

Worn by: Gerry Francis, Mike Flanaghan, George Graham.
Worn in: The glorious 2-0 win over Burnley in the last game of the 1978-79 season that clinched the Division 2 crown and sealed promotion to the First Division for “The Team of the Eighties”.


35 Responses to “Crystal Palace Home Kit 1977-80: True Colours Hall of Fame”

  1. Andrew Rockall Says:

    A cracking choice, my personal favourite was the adidas version but a real iconic strip.

  2. Denis Hurley Says:

    What are people’s views on whether this should always be Palace’s home kit? I know that it does appear from time to time but red and blue stripes are seen as their ‘standard’ colours aren’t they?

    Also, it’s a pity that this kit was never paired with a Monaco-stlye blue-and-red away, i.e. the white parts ‘filled in’ to match the sash

  3. ned Says:

    It’s certainly the kit most fans would associate with Palace and should always form part of their range. I do wonder if memories of it have been soured by wearing a version in the 9-0 defeat at Anfield.

  4. Steve gamlin Says:

    A great kit, I was always an adidas fan growing up and agree with Andrew on this, but has any club changed their home colours more often than Palace?

  5. Andy Burton Says:

    I think Palace are synonymous with red and blue stripes now – the last time the sash was used for the home shirt was 2008-09 which was the 30th anniversary of the championship winning season of 1978-79.
    In what respect do you mean changing Steve? Many clubs change their home design every season now. Since 1973-74 Palace have simply had either Red/Blue stripes (with mainly red or blue shorts/socks) or the sash.

  6. john b Says:

    An iconic Palace kit…vince hilaire,team of the 80’s etc.

  7. Andrew Rockall Says:

    Andy what are your feelings about the promenance of blue over red on the current kit? I’m not feeling it and prefer all red with blue stripes on the shirt.

  8. Stuart Bateman Says:

    I was surprised how little Palace have worn white at home. It felt like more often than they had. Must be the frequency of the white away shirt that confuses me

  9. Andy Burton Says:

    Sadly it seems the norm now that striped shirts have to have a solid background, would that have been better in red for this season;s shirts? im not sure. I think the blue shorts and socks (which was the original red and blue palace kit) goes quite well but i think these would have been better with last years kit

  10. Andrew Rockall Says:

    It just makes me think they want to look more like Barca with the emphasis on Blue throughout the kit

  11. EricGeneric Says:

    @Andrew Rockall

    I’m not sure about the “wanting to look more like Barca” thing.

    Since Nike came, they had, for 09-10, blue shorts and blue socks. In 10-11, they had red shorts and red socks. And, this season, 11-12, they have blue shorts and blue socks.

    From the looks of things, if they are still with Nike, I bet next season they have red shorts and red socks. It seems that they are just switching them each season, possibly to just give the kit a fresh look. Maybe it’s the old “problem with teams in stripes” thing that the shirts from the current Nike era haven’t really changed that much, as there isn’t a whole lot really you can do with stripes, especially as I think Crystal Palace have to rely on templates.

    So, the kit looks more different from the previous season’s to your average fan, and maybe it will stop the whole “it looks the same as last season’s kit! What a rip off!” malarkey that you get from the average football fan sometimes.

    Plus, you can do switch from blue to red to blue to red with Palace as they have changed they shorts and socks so much over the past few years, and don’t really have a “set” choice – like, for instance, Chelsea have to be blue shorts and white socks.

    I don’t know, maybe I’m reading too much into it.

    By the way, funnily enough, I became a football fan during the 1996-97 season and most associate Crystal Palace with red and blue stripes, with white shorts and socks, as they wore that during that season, and was retained for 97-98. It was a great looking strip too.

    Although, as I found out in True Colours 2, it was a controversial choice going with white shorts and socks. Which, in a way, I find odd, considering how all white with the red and blue sash (as pointed out in this blog) is loved by Crystal Palace fans. You’d have thought the fans would have no problem with such a favourite colour of the clubs history being used for the shorts and socks.

    I mean, it’s just like the two favourite kits being merged into one, which I thought the fans would like.

  12. EricGeneric Says:

    Sorry to go off topic, but does anyone know why Marseille have been wearing a black kit in their last few matches?

    I thought they had a white home kit, light blue away kit, and orange third kit.

    Where on earth has this black kit come from?

    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/marseilles-french-midfielder-mathieu-valbuena-runs-with-the-news-photo/136699536

  13. Denis Hurley Says:

    The Marseille shop describes it as a “fans shirt”, not sure what that means http://boutique.om.net/en_nv_fiche__Marseille-official-replica-fans-shirt-630487.html

  14. EricGeneric Says:

    Oh right, thanks, Denis.

    Marseille seem very liberal in their approach to kits, what with this black kit, and their goalkeeper often wearing the outfield kits.

    Actually, is it just Marseille, or the French leagues in general?

  15. Denis Hurley Says:

    French teams for some reason treat the Champions League as a chance to wear a third kit rather than showcase their normal colours.

    Re goalkeepers wearing outfield shirts, Mickael Landreau of Nantes used to do it too, not sure how prevalent it is otherwise.

  16. EricGeneric Says:

    Steve Mandana, the current Marseille goalkeeper, often wears the Marseille outfield kit.

    Here he is in the (outfield) orange third kit – http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/marseilles-french-goalkeeper-steve-mandana-and-senegalese-news-photo/135466491

  17. Denis Hurley Says:

    Julio Cesar is wearing the Inter away shirt in the Milan derby

  18. EricGeneric Says:

    Maybe it’s more common than I realised, Denis.

    Also, it seems Paul Robinson wore the Tottenham third kit, during 07/08.

    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/young-pyo-lee-of-tottenham-in-action-during-the-carling-cup-news-photo/78544803

    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/paul-robinson-goalkeeper-of-spurs-shouts-intructions-during-news-photo/78084657

  19. EricGeneric Says:

    Just watching El Clasico on Sky+…

    Pinto, the Barcelona goalkeeper, wearing grey against Real Madrid, is a bad choice. Nike’s grey goalkeeper kit this season is so “light” it shouldn’t be worn against teams in white. Infact, it just looks like a white kit that has been washed too much!

    Pinto could have just worn the dark green goalkeeper kit, which is officially the first choice.

  20. Ronan Smith Says:

    Also noticed this season that Hennessy in goal for Wolves is wearing an all yellow kit, a clash with the ‘old gold’ I would have thought. I remember being at Highbury several years ago and the ref forcing David Seaman to change his black top because it clashed with Sheffield United’s away top which I believe was navy.

  21. EricGeneric Says:

    Yeah, I’ve noticed that too, Ronan. A poor choice from Burrda, for Wolves.

    It reminds of when Arsenal used to pair a yellow goalkeeper kit with the gold away kit they had in 01/02.

    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/referee-mike-riley-is-surrounded-by-sunderland-after-an-news-photo/1059713

  22. Denis Hurley Says:

    That happened in 2002-03 as well Eric, when Seaman made that save against Sheff Utd he was wearing a yellow and navy kit while the outfielders had the gold on.

    Away to Liverpool that season, Arsenal wore the navy away while Seaman was in black and grey :/

  23. EricGeneric Says:

    Oh yeah, I’d forgot about that one Denis.

    It’s just silly really.

    In 01/02, Arsenal also had a grey, and a light blue goalkeeper kit that they could have used for that match with Sunderland.

    And in 02/03, for the Sheffield United cup game, they had a black goalkeeper kit that they could have used.

    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/david-seaman-of-arsenal-looks-dejected-after-bolton-score-news-photo/1424948

    It’s madness! You wonder what the kit men are thinking sometimes.

    Also, I can’t remember exactly which seasons it was, but for years Arsenal seemed to have an orange goalkeeper kit, that they used with their home kit. Ridiculous!

  24. Denis Hurley Says:

    1996-97, 97-98 and 98-99 orange was the second-choice away goalkeeper shirt with yellow the main one, this was when Arsenal didn’t have template GK shirts.

    Incidentally, the 96-97 kits were the same as used in 95-96 but with different colours, in 95-96 the first choice was black with purple sleeve designs while the second was black and green. Almost inevitably, the black one was worn with the navy away kit!

  25. EricGeneric Says:

    The match officials decided to wear blue in the Liverpool vs Man United match, when of course, United had to wear their blue and black away kit.

    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/referee-mike-halsey-shows-rafael-da-silva-of-manchester-news-photo/137836979

    Couldn’t they have just worn the yellow shirt?

  26. Ronan Smith Says:

    That’s a real clash you’ve spotted there Eric. As far back as the mid-sixties Arsenal (and Spurs I believe) had to stop wearing navy blue shirts as their away kit as it clashed with the officials!

  27. Andy Burton Says:

    Getting back to Palace – apparently next years kits have been chosen and are ‘typical Palace’ according to the owners. No info on manufacturers or designs yet though

  28. EricGeneric Says:

    Are Palace leaving Nike, Andy?

    It’s been three seasons, and I think these teamwear deals usually last three years, don’t they? Well, the similar deal Fulham had with Nike a few seasons ago, lasted for three years.

    By the way, on the subject of goalkeepers wearing outfield kits, last night, Iker Cassilas wore the red Real Madrid third kit for the match with Zaragoza.

    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/real-madrids-goalkeeper-and-captain-iker-casillas-reacts-news-photo/137844211

    I think it was because Madrid only have a black, and a yellow goalkeeper kits this season – and Zaragoza wore their yellow and black striped away kit.

  29. ciaran Says:

    #27 – Admiral maybe?

  30. EricGeneric Says:

    I was just looking at some Crystal Palace kits, from the past few seasons, and it really hit me that the numbering and lettering that they use for Football League clubs is so ugly.

    The numbers look squashed and slightly deformed, and they are actually quite hard to make out from the terraces.

    I much preferred the font they used from 1999 until 2005.

    They were simple, clean, and were easy to make out from the terraces.

    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/wimbledon-celebrate-as-another-goal-goes-in-during-the-news-photo/956624

  31. Jay29ers Says:

    Sorry to go back to a much earlier comment but the Olympique de Marseille “fans” shirt is so-called because it was designed by a supporter by way of a competition – though many smell a rat.

    http://www.viralfootball.com/adidas/adidas/adidas-maillot-des-supporters-om-mathieu-is-all-in

    They do also, as you say, wear their “third” kit (certainly not marketed as that anymore) as a first choice in Europe, which drives me up the wall (http://www.designfootball.com/112-tra-s-bons-maillots-de-lajax) but over the last five years three have been tributes to the all-important supporters groups (the two orange ones both to the influential South Winners and last season’s black with red, gold and green to the MTP group involved in a bus crash a couple of years back).

  32. Jay29ers Says:

    Sorry, and regarding Steve Mandanda, he and his predecessor C├ędric Carrasso do indeed often wear an alternate outfield strip – including often the home – which for me is a massive pity as they’ve had some great red kits.

    http://www.linternaute.com/sport/foot/dossier/les-revelations-de-la-saison/image/steve-mandanda-27645.jpg

    I know that’s essentially teamwear but adidas did eventually get their finger out and put together some bespoke socks to go with it – socks that I would sell various family members to get my hands on.

    http://98.img.v4.skyrock.net/989/duel-2-star205/pics/2757619574_small_1.jpg

  33. D1607 Says:

    I’m not a Palace fan but your white kit(s) of the late 70s/early 80s were among the greatest kits we’ve seen in this country and I have no idea why you persist in wearing those terrible Barca-imitation kits. As far back as the late 80s, on your return to the old First Division under Steve Coppell, I remember thinking what a shame that the sash kit was no longer your home strip. Beautiful kit for a team with one of the most beautiful club names anywhere.

  34. EricGeneric Says:

    Thanks for the reply, Jay29ers.

    So, would you say, officially, the black kit is the 4th kit?

    Has it been worn in home matches?

  35. Jay29ers Says:

    The black kit is, officially, the “Supporters” shirt. It’s ridiculous. The other day they did indeed wear it at home, with the Intersport sponsor, in the League Cup win over Nice.

    I wanted to hate them for it but, with that sponsor particularly, it looks great.

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