October Blog

Posted by John Devlin

5041949534_d90aef1104With the new season now well under way understandably there haven’t been too many recent shirt launches to get us kit anoraks all hot under the collar. The biggest news this week is the launch of a special limited edition Umbro England shirt featuring Peter Saville’s colourful crosses throughout the entire fabric. Its certainly a very different and brave shirt and would be a nice addition to the wardrobe of any England shirt collector. Not sure how popular it will be with the everyday England fans though given that the crosses graphic (symbolising the  identities of modern day England) was not exactly warmly received when it appeared on the chest/shoulder panels of the regular England kit.

The other kit news I saw last week on Football Shirt Culture was the launch of some new adidas Star Wars shirts. Now, I love football kits and I love Star Wars, but putting them together just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe its an age thing (after all I remember seeing Star Wars at the Odeon in Southend when it first came out in 1977!) but these new shirts are just utter rot. Embarassing and poorly thought through – just awful. See what you think – click here.

I’ve recently finished a commision to supply very basic Champions League kit illustrations. I’d like to develop these and get them on the site at some point soon – but first I have to finish the 09-10 kits (just added Sheffield United’s) and then start work on adding the 10-11 outfits. Illustrating the backs of the shirts for this section does mean a lot of extra work so I’d appreciate your views as to whether its worth including them. What do you think? Please let me know.

index.3Speaking of kit illustrations, I have a new regular kit feature starting in the latest edition of Backpass  – the excellent magazine that deals with all manner of retro football topics. Each feature highlights several key or interesting kits from a club history dating from the 1960s to the 1980s and is accompanied by text and photos. This edition features Manchester City and can be bought at WH Smiths or online at the Backpass website.

A couple of other websites I’d like to draw your attention to are:

Pride in the Jersey – the first ever website dedicated to documenting the history of GAA kits. This fascinating look at Irish kits has been put together by Denis Hurley – a regular contributor to True Colours message boards – and features an interesting article on kit clashes in the GAA.

Footy Kit Reviews – this new kit review site is by Rich Johnson – another regular here at True Colours – and it gives his views on various contemporary kits. Again, well worth a visit.

lilynew21 I hope to posting a full review very soon of a new book on Spurs matchworn shirts entitled ‘Lilywhite & Blue’ by esteemed journalist, football kit fan and all-round top bloke Jeff Maysh. Just to say, if you’re interested in kits (and if you’re reading this I have to assume you are!) you will love this book.  Jeff’s also ghost written the memoirs of Roy Reyland, a kit man at Spurs for many years which also looks like being a good read. Check out Jeff’s site here.

Finally, keep an eye open for a bit of a restructuring of the True Colours site over the next few weeks along with a slightly different new look…watch this space.


21 Responses to “October Blog”

  1. Rich Johnson Says:

    It’s going to be really interesting to see the reaction to the ltd edn England shirt…I’m sure some will like it and I can see it becoming a collectors item, but possibly because of its infamy more than anything else. That is is covered in the one thing that most dissenting voices have been concerned with is running one hell of a risk…good luck Umbro. As a football shirt, I can’t see it winning hearts and minds…as a collectors item, I’d say it’s great :)

    As for the Star Wars shirts (I too am a big fan of both…and also saw the 1st film on 1st release…albeit aged 2!), at first I loved the Jedi one, what with it being so closely modelled on the Holland 88 shirt, but as time has gone on, I’m starting to agree with you John…they look like some cheap fakes! Clearly they are supposed to be retro items and in that sense they’re a success as they look like something from the summer of 77, but they just look too kitsch and naff to be cool.

    Thanks for the shout out too John. Much appreciated :)

  2. Denis Hurley Says:

    Thanks for my plug too John!

    Have to agree about the Star Wars kits, if the films had been out in the late-80s then fine, but this is stupid.

    If they were going to do it at all then they should have used the 70s wing collars

  3. Rich Johnson Says:

    Great site there Denis! Really Interesting stuff :)

    As for the backs of the shirts John, my personal view is you should concentrate on doing more of the fronts and leave the backs as they’re rarely much to write home about with the designers tending to focus on the front themselves. Tis just my 2 penneth though :)

  4. john b Says:

    I also saw star wars in 1977 on a family holiday to blackpool,also love adidas(the stuff with the trefoil on) but together no! good luck with the backpass magazine column john,will keep a look out for it.

  5. ciaran Says:

    re: the star wars kit

    Adidas has been making a whole range of second rate star wars originals gear throughout 2010.The jerseys as bad as they are arent as hideous as the track tops they had out earlier in the year.Smacks of an ideas drought in deutschland.

    What next.stormtrooper copa mundials/predators.

    Fail.

    The umbro kit is like someone dipped it in sprinkles.I know its made by some madchester artist but that movement was hardly umbro related bar the “world in motion” video.

    Its about the only blot on an otherwise glorious portfolio as of late for umbro.

    Re: Denis

    Well done on PITJ.An excellent idea.You can shoot me down on this if you like but it could do with a bit of cyber-paint.

    Its hard to get excited about the shirts given that the dreaded “o’neills” have been involved with almost every kit though.

    Just to let you know John that GAA laws state that all jerseys must be made by Irish kit makers so hence no Adidas, Puma, Umbro etc.

    A joke if you ask me.

  6. Rich Johnson Says:

    Though given the GAA actively promotes Irish Sport and culture, one can hardly blame them?

  7. Denis Hurley Says:

    ‘Cyber-paint’ as in more design on the site is it Ciarán?

    Others have said that to me too, initially I had planned to go with a minimalist design and just focus on content, pretty similar to historicalkits.co.uk (though eagle-eyed among you will have noticed the article style is directly lifted from here!) – though part of the reason for that is my own inexperience in that field.

    It’s definitley an area I’d like to improve upon, though coming up with a design idea, and then being able to execute it, are harder than I’d like!

  8. Andrew Rockall Says:

    Isn’t Roy Reyland now kit man for Saracens? I swear I saw an one of those pre advert adverts with him in the Sarries dressing room, that being said I was very, very drunk!

  9. Simon Shakey Shakeshaft Says:

    Andrew yes Roy is the kit man at Saracens RFC these days. Thanks for letting me know where the picture was taken, it definitely didn’t look like Spurs Dressing Room. The book is a good read actually, but wanted more on shirts!

    That Back Pass has some really decent articles in it and some excellent contributors ;-) Another good read and highly recommend it.

  10. John Devlin Says:

    Of course! If you need another reason to pick up the latest Backpass there is a superb article on England match worn shirts from the 60s with a special focus on Aertex shirts. Its essential reading!!

  11. Mark Jessop Says:

    John, for me the front of the shirt is the main thing and I can easilly live without the backs being illustrated.

    I see that you’ve now finished the 09-10 kits and i’m sure this is very much appreciated by everyone.

  12. ciaran Says:

    #6 The GAA only promote Irish culture when it suits them.Most if not all of O’Neills jerseys aint made in Ireland so its a bit of a double standard in my view.

    The GAA is more about money than sport or culture nowadays anyway.Look at our administration and youll see that.a mirror image of our government.

    #7 Denis Id like to assist the project anyway I could. I have a fair amount of programmes gathered over the years if they are any good to you as regards looking for kit designs and all that.Id say I have more programmes than sky as this stage.

  13. Denis Hurley Says:

    Brilliant stuff Ciarán! I’m currently doing counties in blocks back as far as 2000, then hopefully back to 1990 and so on, though I realise that the further back i go the harder it’ll be!

  14. Jason88 Says:

    This has nothing to do with anything, so I apologise, but it’s the latest comments section on the website.

    As an aside, maybe a rolling comments section on the site would be a nice little addition, just for the random kit musings as the football season goes on?

    Anyway, I’m watching Scotland versus Spain, and Spain are wearing an uncoordinated red-blue-navy combination. Of course, both teams wear red socks, so Spain – being the away team – had to change. That’s fine.

    I’m just amazed that Adidas, considering that Spain are the Euro and World champions and the biggest team that Adidas provide kits for, haven’t provided them with a pair of blue home change socks, instead of having to just wear the navy socks from the away kit, which seems so small time, and looks terrible.

    I mean, how many teams do you see with sometimes more than one pair of change shorts and socks?

    The baffling world of football kits continues…

    Here’s a picture from the game, for those who didn’t see it…

    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/105211143/Getty-Images-Sport

    Keep up the great work with the books and websites, John. :)

  15. Denis Hurley Says:

    I actually like that look Jason, it brings back memories of the 80s and early 90s when Spain had red/blue/black

  16. ciaran Says:

    Kudos to the designer of the scottish kit.fine job made of it.the diadora botch job is becoming a distant memory.

  17. john b Says:

    i like the fact when spain played scotland they wore traditional colours rather than say all-blue against all-red.And has anyone noticed clubs wearing the same colour shorts this season,both blackpool and man city wore white today.

  18. John Devlin Says:

    Funny you should say that John, I went to a progamme fair today and was looking at kits from the late 60s/early 70s. Shorts clashes weren’t a problem then. I’ve been working on Millwall kits and for the late sixties they played in all white at home and then red shirts, white shorts and red socks away.

  19. Bleeker Says:

    Am I right in thinking that the 20 current Premier League teams all have a brand new home kit this season? It seems odd that nobody has a home kit in the second year of a two year cycle…

    I’m not 100% sure though.

    By the way, John, if you click on the 09-10 kits in the Kit Database section, the link takes you back to the comments section.

    Just thought I’d point that out, we don’t want anyone missing out on your fine illustrations.

  20. Denis Hurley Says:

    I like the tweaks to the site John!

  21. Rich Johnson Says:

    What he said :) Looking very fresh…love the new banner especially.

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