1978–79: 50 Years of Top Flight Kits

1978-79 division 1 kits

A big year personally for me, as this was the first season I watched after getting into football. Funny how the clubs and kits still resonate with me, just goes to show I guess how the early years of a person’s interest in the game sticks with them.

This was actually the very first season that ALL teams in the top flight featured club badges on their home shirts. The season also saw adidas add their wordmarque to their trefoil logo across their teams.

The big news on the kit front though was a slick and silky new design arriving at Pride Park courtesy of French manufacturers Le Coq Sportif – their first kit in the top flight. We’ll hear more of them as the seasons progress…

The manufacturer split this season was as follows:
Umbro – 10
Admiral – 6
adidas – 5
Le Coq Sportif – 1

Arsenal – A momentous change for the Gunners this season…the kit was the same but now featured an Umbro logo on the shirt. An Arsenal crest joined the Umbro brand on the shorts.
Aston Villa – No change.
Birmingham City – Adidas text added to the trefoil, otherwise no change.
Bolton Wanderers – New arrivals to the First Division, Bolton sported the collared Umbro kit with diamond taping
that they had adopted the season before whilst in Division 2.
Bristol City – No change.
Chelsea – No change.
Coventry City – Kit was essentially the same except for a new logo-branded set of socks.
Derby County – The Rams opted for a brand new Le Coq Sportif strip formed from a silky fabric giving the side a very continental feel. It’s also interesting to note the switch to navy socks and also the fact that the navy was much darker than previous shades worn by the club. The shirt logo began to include red as the season progressed.
Everton – The kit was identical to the previous season apart from the addition of a new club badge, replacing the rather plain EFC monogram.
Ipswich Town – Ipswich embraced modernity by opting for a new v-neck adidas shirt in preference to the collared version that had lasted for just one season.
Leeds United – No change.
Liverpool – Only the tiniest of changes as the club crest was now added to the shorts alongside a new yellow Umbro logo.
Manchester City – No change.
Manchester United – A special centenary year crest was added to the Red Devils shirt this year.
Middlesbrough – Like Ipswich, the club ditched their previous kit after just one year and introduced a plainer red v-necked jersey – minus the distinctive chest band. Unusually the adidas logo and team crest were embroidered in black.
Norwich City – No change.
Nottingham Forest – The strip remained the same, apart from the addition of adidas text below their trefoil logo.
QPR – The sequence of blue and white hoops again altered this year and was topped off with a white wrapover crew-neck. A club badge was included on the home shirt.
Southampton – The Saints’ famous ‘candy striped’ Admiral kit made it’s Division 1 debut this season. It was a design that broke with tradition but is today fondly remembered by supporters. It was first worn by the club in 1976.
Tottenham – The last of this season’s promoted teams again sported Admiral in a classic design. Logo taping on the sleeves AND v-neck set it apart.
West Bromwich Albion – No change.
Wolverhampton Wanderers – No change.

League champions this year were Liverpool with QPR, Chelsea and Birmingham City relegated.

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