May Blog

Posted by John Devlin

I love the end of the season! This one’s been a cracker with so many questions unanswered until the last few games.

Out of the clubs for whom I regularly contribute kit illustrations in their programmes I was delighted to see Leeds United and Notts County both get promoted and Cardiff still in with a very good shout and going up to the Premiership via the Play-offs.

I was also really pleased to see Sunderland’s matchday programme (to which I also contribute) win both top programme awards for 2009-10.

Of course, the other great thing about the end of the season is the gradual unveiling of the new kits. I will document these fully in the coming months but my initial impressions are mixed. I think the Liverpool home kit will grow on me (still no Liver Bird badge though grrr..) although no one seems to have mentioned that the shadow pattern is based on their late 80s away kit, not home. The Chelsea home kit is OK, not stunning, but OK. I like the look of what Burrda have done with the Wolves strips – looks like we’re heading for a retro/classically styled 10-11 campaign. I’ve still got mixed feelings about Pompey wearing Kappa for the cup but I love what I’ve seen of their white/burgundy/pink away shirt for the Cup Final.

I also hope to complete my 09-10 illustrations of Premiership and Championship kits very soon.

I’ll be posting a complete record of all home and away World Cup kits before the tournament kicks off in June. Football magazine Kick will also include a double page spread of all my WC home kit illustrations in their edition on sale 26 May.

I was interested to see whilst preparing the illustrations how the vast majority of kits in the World Cup are white. Cast your mind back 2 years to Euro 2008 where red was the dominant colour, this time round the hue is relatively scarce:

world-cup-kits

Still on the subject of the World Cup, I was flattered to be asked recently by the Gaffer from the rather excellent www.epltalk.com website to contribute to a special e-book he was publishing entitled ‘What the World Cup means to me’. The e-book has just been released and you can download it in PDF format here. Its a great read and highly recommended.

Following on from my recent post regarding things you’d like banned from kits Denis emailed me recently mentioning that he had seen a note from UEFA saying that all strapping on socks must either be the same colour as the sock or worn underneath. It reminded me of a conversation I had when I visited Umbro a few months back.  This may be common knowledge but apparently Ronaldo’s taping around his ankle/socks is due to the fact that he always prefers to wear his own special socks on his feet. These socks are also what he wears when his feet are measured for his custom boots. So in matches he actually wears the ‘feet’ of his own special socks, then puts on his standard issue team kit socks, cuts the ‘feet’ of them and tapes the two together. So in fact his team kit socks are actually just two ‘tubes’! I certainly wasn’t aware of this trend but it may explain why so many players are wearing taping on their socks.

Finally Loaded journalist Jeff Maysh recently asked me to contribute to his excellent football/football kit blog www.mudsweatbadges.co.uk. Jeff has done loads of writing on football and has an impressive collection of match worn Spurs shirts. His site is highly entertaining and well worth a visit!

Plus, don’t forget to cast your vote on www.greatestkitever.com!


17 Responses to “May Blog”

  1. EmergencyThirdKit Says:

    Interesting stuff, John.

    I remembering hearing about the ‘tape being the same colour as the socks’ thing about a year ago, on Sky Sports News. Although, I believe it was something to do with being brought up at a Football League meeting.

    On the subject, what is the actual point of wearing tape around the ankles?

    Me and a few friends spoke about this the once, and nobody really had an answer.

    Somebody guessed it was to help keep the sock in place, somebody else guessed it was to help support the ankle, somebody else guessed that it was just a “cool trend” – but nobody could say for sure.

    Are we just being stupid…

    Does anybody know the answer?

  2. John Devlin Says:

    Hello EmergencyThirdKit, as I mentioned in the blog it may be that its more players than just Ronaldo who are actually wearing two ‘types’ of socks: the ‘feet’ part which are his own preferred socks that he wears when getting his feet measured for his boots, and the ‘hose’ of the team kit sock itself. The tape is used to simply hold the two items of clothing together. Maybe I didn’t explain it well enough?

  3. Andy Says:

    With regards to putting tape around the ankles, I’ve always used tape around the ankles and above the line of the shin pad for the simple reason of keeping my shin pads securely in place. If I never used it I found I was constantly pulling up my socks and shin pads!

  4. Thomas Says:

    You should include the Puma Africa Unity kit too.
    http://www.pumafootballpresskit.com/news/soccer-world-cup-warm-up-showcases-african-unity/

  5. Mark Jessop Says:

    Re next season’s kits. What a classic from my beloved Leeds. All White and a (fairly) round neck. What more can you ask for? It’s still ‘Macron’ but a massive improvement on this seasons effort.
    Lets hope the football matches it!!!

  6. John Devlin Says:

    Hello Mark – its a great kit isn’t it? Little too baggy for my taste and a real classic Leeds design.

    Hello Thomas, I definitely want to feature the African Unity kit. Its a great idea and a stunning looking shirt, cheers.

  7. Rich Johnson Says:

    I love the Africa Unity kit…both in design and ideals. From a replica point of view though, it will be an odd one as each country has its own badges on, as opposed to the Africa Unity symbol as shown on the non country specific kit. I really like Puma’s African kits this season. Proof that a template can actually be original and varied.

    Can’t wait to see the WC feature :)

  8. Willie Says:

    ‘Quote John
    I was interested to see whilst preparing the illustrations how the vast majority of kits in the World Cup are white.’

    Now’s the time for an International team to adopt claret and amber as their main or secondary colours. ;-)
    Cheers!

  9. Denis Hurley Says:

    Russia aren’t far off that Willie!

  10. Ned Says:

    Unless I wasn’t watching closely enough, it seemed like none of the Premier League teams premiered next season’s kits in their final games this time. I wonder why?

    I’m not too sure about next year’s Liverpool kit. From the previews I’ve seen, the diamond pattern creates a glittery effect that I have my doubts about. The cut is very unflattering to certain players too – a good job Mr Molby no longer plays for us!

  11. EmergencyThirdKit Says:

    Re: 10. Ned.

    As far as I know, Bolton and Wolves were the only Premier League teams to premier their new kits on the final day of the season.

    Here’s Bolton – http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/98938451/Getty-Images-Sport

    And, here’s Wolves – http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/98956600/Getty-Images-Sport

    Chelsea wore their new home kit in the FA Cup Final today.

    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/99570393/Getty-Images-Sport

  12. Rich Johnson Says:

    Ned, Chelsea used their new kit in the FA Cup final today…I wonder if Liverpool didn’t showcase their new kit due to a change in sponsor…could well have broken a contract unless they stuck Carlsberg on it.
    Speaking of the new Liverpool kit, I seem to be one of the few that likes it. I’m all for shiny kits :) Bring back the 80s! ;) The sponsor looks a bit naff though.

  13. john b Says:

    i’m glad no new kits were on display the last day of the premiership,save them for the new season.

  14. adam Says:

    Just thought I’d mention, Bolton and Wolves previewed their 2010-2011 kits on the final day of the season.

    Bolton – http://tiny.cc/2sw23

    Wolves – http://tiny.cc/ps7cp

    I think they were the only two new kits on display, although there may have been more, as I didn’t catch Match Of The Day.

  15. Sportswear Icon Says:

    Bolton’s kit really does not look very good to me, and to be honest I’m not a fan of this “show the kit before the end of the season” thing that happens. I like a new season as you can see every teams new kits for the first time, but I guess that’s just me.

  16. John Devlin Says:

    I used to really look forward to seeing new kits on the last day of the season – and especially in the Cup Final. I have to say that I’m not knocked out by any of the 10-11 kits I’ve seen so far. Maybe they’ll grow on me once the WC is finished.

  17. john b Says:

    just seen the new arsenal kit and it looks fantastic but why has it got white socks?? it would have been perfect with the red socks….9/10 for nike but could have been a 10!

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