The Kit Cupboard – Carlisle United Away Kit 1995–97

carlisle-a-95-97There have been numerous incidences of shirt sponsors influencing the colour schemes of club kits but none perhaps as blatant and eye-catching as the Eddie Stobart sponsored Carlisle United away kit from 1995-97. The Stobart Group (as the company is now known), a road haulage/distribution/warehousing company who had moved to Carlisle in 1976, actually commenced the shirt deal in 1995 and it was obviously decided to start the relationship with a bang. Therefore the Carlisle side appeared in change jerseys (manufactured by the little known Red Fox company) that mirrored the iconic livery of the Eddie Stobart trucks. It was a genius, although controversial move, as toys and collectables branded with the Stobart Group’s instantly recognisable corporate palette of green, red and amber (with a healthy dash of white) were massively popular at the time – ensuring massive publicity and exposure for the club who were then newly promoted to Division 2. A brave initiative highlighting the close bond between a world famous company and its local team – or a financial sell-out that destroys the integrity and heritage of the club? Opinion will always be divided athough it should be noted that The Stobart Group’s sponsorship of Carlisle continues to this day.

Worn in: The 95–96 relegation season…and the 96–97 promotion season! Plus, the dramatic 96–97 Auto Windscreens Trophy Final penalty shoot-out win over Colchester United.
Worn by: Rory Delap, Matt Jansen and Lee Peacock.

11 Replies to “The Kit Cupboard – Carlisle United Away Kit 1995–97

  1. That’s one vile kit…as for the heritage aspect…away kits seem to be fair game for experimenting with these days…at least they didn’t change their name to Carlisle Stobart FC!

  2. It just makes me wonder what a person would make of it if it was actually their team. I mean it really is a ‘challenging’ design isn’t it! Maybe a green and white with subtle hints of red and amber would have been better.

  3. A very challenging design, and if I remember rightly, Carlisle used to wear this for away games very often even when the home team didn’t wear blue.

    Funnily enough before this kit Carlisle had the infamous green, white and red “Aquafresh” kit made by Le Coq Sportif, which was worn in the Auto Windscreens Shield final in 1995. So popular in fact that a couple of seasons ago the design was revived when Le Coq Sportif returned as kit suppliers!

    I doubt this 95/97 design would make a return though!

  4. I wouldn’t write off a return turn to this, how long before it is officially ‘retro’?

    I was talking about this kit the other day to a mate of mine actually when I mentioned Reading’s new away kit being a ‘walking Waitrose advert’.

  5. I do quite like the Reading Away kit, though you’re right Ian…it does look like they’ve been rebranded as Waitrose FC.

  6. The original Match Winner deckchair was loved by the majority of fans, the follow up Red Fox effort pictured above wasn’t as good as it just didn’t look as nice. Shame that when le coq sportif brought it back 2 seasons back the players refused to wear it, I blame this on the white shorts rather then the originals green.

  7. I’ve been a fan of Carlisle for 27 years and have owned every strip and from a fans view “we loved it”. We are very proud of our association with eddie stobart. He helped save our club with his funds from extinction many a time and is cumbrian through and through. The “decky” holds many fond memories for Carlisle fans. I think unless you support the team you dont get the significance of the colours and the meaning. It was a way of saying thanks.

  8. Hello Jayne, Thanks for commenting, great to hear an opinion from a Carlisle fan and you raise many interesting points that the neutral fan might not appreciate. Good and close relations between sponsor and club can be rare but in the case of Carlisle and Stobarts its clearly very important. Great post!

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