The Great Bolton Shorts Mystery

Posted by John Devlin

Like many traditionalists I was pleased to see Bolton back in their familiar navy shorts this season after a few years in all white. However watching MotD this morning I noticed them wearing their white shorts against Liverpool – although there was no colour clash.

With a little bit of time on my hands this morning I thought I’d investigate further and see if the club have switched back to all white for 08-09.

Looking at their fixtures, the navy shorts have been worn in all home games (despite causing a clash of sorts in six games!) but it does look like the club are wearing all-white away from home this term.

The only time they have worn navy shorts with the home shirt away from the Reebok Stadium has been against West Ham, Aston Villa and Manchester Utd – all of whom wear white shorts so of course if Bolton wore white shorts there would have been a clash.

In the rest of the away games Bolton have worn white shorts with the home shirt; against Newcastle, Hull & Sunderland (all arguably to avoid a clash) but also against Middlesbrough and Liverpool where there was no clash.

Plus of course they have sported their amber change strip at Spurs and Fulham.

The first time I noticed the concept of a team always changing their kit away from home was Portsmouth in 03-04 and 04-05 when they sported a navy away kit in as many away games as they could – clash or not.


27 Responses to “The Great Bolton Shorts Mystery”

  1. amir Says:

    Does not the Premierleague restrict the number of times a team can wear their away kit per season? Thus wearing the white shorts is Bolton’s way of signifing that they are away instead of wearing their real away.
    I read this somewhere at the start of the season, but can not remember where.

  2. Phil Says:

    You are right Amir, the away kit of a team can only be worn 8 times per season unless clashes dictate otherwise and third kits can only be worn by written permission from the FA.

  3. Denis Hurley Says:

    Really? I never knew that, very interesting!

  4. john Says:

    and why were man united wearing white socks last night?

  5. Denis Hurley Says:

    That’s a question I’ve been asking for years John, I know they do it for cups but every so often they do it for league games too, must be if the opposition forgets to bring a pair that would avert a clash

  6. john Says:

    boro wore royal blue socks on monday.

  7. Andrew Rockall Says:

    Phil I am sorry mate but I don’t know where you got that nonsense about wearing your away strip a limited number of times but it simply isn’t true.

    The kit men from each club will discuss what strip will be worn in the days leading up to each game, but the referee has the final word on what is acceptable

  8. Phil Says:

    I wrote to the FA and got it from there. The 8 matches can be exceeded if necessary and as you say, the referee makes the final decision about clashes.

  9. Jon Says:

    If there is such a rule in place from the FA then I can only imagine it was introduced recently as a result of certain teams wearing their change kit for away games, even if there isn’t a colour clash.

    As John mentioned in the original article, Portsmouth did this with their navy change kit, which I thought was a very curious choice of colour given that they normally wear blue. Also I recall Norwich City did the same with their green away kit in the 04/05 season, mainly because no other team in the Premier League wore yellow and that it had a different sponsor.

    It’s nothing new though, there was a time in the late 80’s early 90’s when the Football League stipulated that teams must not wear their change kits unless there actually was a colour clash – not that Arsenal took notice of the ruling anyway!

    The incident with Man U and the white socks at home still baffles me. I know they wear white socks in European competition, but domestically they wear black. A number of times whilst Nike have sponsored them they have worn white socks at home against teams who usually wear black or navy socks. For instance, at the start of this season Newcastle turned up at Old Trafford wearing white socks from last season’s third kit, yet in seasons previous they’d worn black socks.

    And finally on the subject of kit clashing and kit men from both teams discussing what to wear, I suppose Wigan didn’t do that for yesterday’s FA Cup tie at Tottenham… their fluorescent yellow away kit would have been fine, but wearing the home kit, and keeping the blue shorts and white socks made it a little bit difficult (for me at least) to watch on television.

  10. Andrew Rockall Says:

    I was at the Tottenham Wigan game and thought it strange, Wigan wore their away strip when the 2 teams met back in September for the league game. Who know’s what Tottenham will wear on Sunday at Wigan in the retrun League fixture. The Club shop has sold out of all stock of the black third strip so they won’t need to wear it for sales sake.

  11. Jon Says:

    I’m guessing they will wear the black kit for the replay.

  12. Andrew Rockall Says:

    It’s not a replay it’s a league game.

  13. Jon Says:

    Sorry my mistake!

  14. john Says:

    united wore white socks again last night meaning derby had to wear black,yet at the first leg both teams wore traditional colours.Why?

  15. John Devlin Says:

    I think its simply a way of Utd signifying that they are playing in a cup competition. In the same way we discussed Pompey wearing an alternative blue shirt as an away kit a couple of seasons ago, it seems Utd want to differentiate league and cup. Of course, it might be a superstitious thing.

  16. John Devlin Says:

    Andrew – seems the black Spurs shirt made an appearance against Wigan. Funny, I always thought it was brown though – is it definitely black? I think the gold badges etc make it seem brown. If it is black its a really lazy choice of colour though. Spurs wear navy which is so close to black. Another all navy kit would have been a better choice IMO.

  17. Andrew Rockall Says:

    Tey John it is definately Black with fake collars too. I managed to aquire a full set of the strip back in June when I refereeed Puma versus the Tottenham Commercial Dept at White Hart Lane. I also bagged a Home shirt without any sponsorship, the dual layer version the players wear. Looks very classy indeed.

  18. John Devlin Says:

    One of the perks of the job hey Andrew? I’m very jealous. How different are the players shirts to the replica versions?

  19. Jon Says:

    Spurs did have a brown and gold third kit a few seasons ago which actually looked quite smart, given that brown usually is a colour that appears in those “worst kit polls”.

    I’ve noticed some differences with Puma replicas and player issue shirts, particularly the logos, the dual layers and in some instances the stitching. Not sure about Spurs replicas/player issue shirts but certainly on Puma’s portfolio of national team shirts I’ve seen some contrasting differences.

  20. Jon Says:

    And talking of changing kits when there is no colour clash, Arsenal were at their old tricks at Cardiff yesterday, deciding to wear their yellow change strip despite the fact that Cardiff wear blue.

  21. John Devlin Says:

    A-ha! Arsenal did that all the time in the late 80s/early 90s. I think it used to come from their reluctance to wear anything other than white shorts with the home shirt which may have been the case last Sunday. Arsenal are very precise when it comes to their kit – apparently the captain decides before each match whether the players will wear short sleeves or long sleeves and they all have to follow suit. I think its great – shows a bit of pride in their appearance!

  22. John Devlin Says:

    I’d really like to find out more about the differences between player shirts and replicas. I know there are some things like players shirts don’t have embroidered badges (extra weight!) whereas replicas do, presumably to offer more value. The irony of that is in the early days of replicas the PLAYERS shirts had embroidered badges and the replicas were heat-transferred or flock!

    Speaking of Puma’s national shirts, I recently saw the Italy and Poland shirts in a shop – they both have a very strange fabric. Its a teabag effect but as coarse as sandpaper – you could almost grate cheese with it!

  23. Jon Says:

    Yeah I really don’t like the material on the Puma shirts, and the logos seem to be some tacky plastic material which looks like it would bubble up after a few washes.

    Talking of which, I noticed the stitching on Puma’s player issue shirts seem to have some kind of reflective effect on the seams, particularly on the sides and the shoulders. Any other logos, for instance, the Italian flag on the back of the Italy shirt is on the shirt itself between the collar and the back panel, but on the replica the flag is on the collar itself.

  24. john Says:

    United played blackburn last week and both sides wore white shorts,not seen that for a long time.

  25. John Devlin Says:

    I noticed that John – its weird, every time I watch a match now the first thing I look for is a shorts clash!

  26. Steve G Says:

    When Arsenal play Everton they always both play wearing white shorts – with a shorts clash – which is fair enough.

    As a Cardiff fan I was disappointed that Arsenal didn’t choose to wear their home strip at Ninian Park. Odd.

  27. Jon Says:

    It is rather odd, though come to think of it, how come Cardiff wore yellow in the replay, when they could have worn the alternate shorts and socks with the home shirt?

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