Posts Tagged ‘ England ’

Claret and Blue–South Shields F.C.

South Shields FC, a club with a storied history, was formed in 1974 in the wake of Gateshead A.F.C. and Gateshead United F.C. The club has climbed up the English football pyramid and now play in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, which is the 7th level of English soccer.

FA-Vase-Final-Wembley-Stadium via chronicle live

FA Vase triumph in 2017 (picture courtesy of Chronicle Live)

The last 15 years or so have seen several cup runs, both local and national, for the Mariners but nothing may ever trump the 2016/17 campaign. The club collected the Durham Challenge Cup, the Northern League Cup and most notably Football Association Challenge Vase (FA Vase) title. This competition is for teams playing below Step 4 of the English National League System (or equivalently, below tier 8 of the overall English football league system). On top of that, the team won the Northern League with 108 points.

49573675728_0bfc1ee821_c (2)

Current home strip (picture courtesy of South Shields FC)

South Shields claret and blue shirts and white shorts are an homage to their predecessors, who have used a multitude of color schemes over the last century–tangerine and black, red and green, blue and white, all white, amber and blue, all red and even white and green. Historical Football Kits has previous iterations. Recent kits for the Mariners have been provided by Nike, Macron, Stanno, Errea and now are made by Puma.

Resources

Feel free to comment below or hit me up on twitter, @austinlong1974, with additional information, corrections or comments.

Claret and Blue–Westfields FC

Another lower league team was brought to my attention after my original post.

Westfields FC were formed in November 1966 by local youths following England’s 1966 World Cup win. Per the club’s website: The club took the claret and blue colours from West Ham United, as its founders admired Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Sir Geoff Hurst, who were part of the England squad that won the World Cup in the year they were founded.

One of the founders, Andy Morris, is still involved with the club and is now its chief executive. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for 50 years’ service as during their 50th anniversary celebration, which took place in 2016/17.

The Fields, as they are known, are currently playing in the Hellenic League Premier Division (ninth level of English football).The Hellenic Football League is an English men’s football league covering an area including the English counties of Worcestershire, Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, southern Buckinghamshire, southern Herefordshire and northern Wiltshire

Westfields were unbeaten this campaign (20W 6D 0L) and 13 points ahead, but unfortunately the season has been abandoned and all results expunged, with no promotion or relegation.

One of the highlights for the club was their FA Cup run during the 2016–17 season. The club won six matches and qualified for the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Per Andy Morris, “We appeared on Match of the Day and Football Focus, and I appeared as a studio guest for the live FA Cup First Round Draw in Manchester.” The Fields played Curzon Ashton and were knocked out after losing 3–1 in a replay after drawing 1–1 initially at home.

westfields old strip

The Westfields team that won the Herefordshire Sunday League Premier Division in 1972

1920 home

2019/20 Home kit

Resources

Feel free to comment below or hit me up on twitter, @austinlong1974, with additional information, corrections or comments.

Claret and Blue–Weymouth FC

This was another club brought to my attention on my original post about teams who wear claret and blue.

Going through the history of Weymouth FC made for interesting reading with a string of ownership groups, managers and promotions/relegations. This club has experienced a lot in 130 years.

Founded in 1890, the club started with a halved navy blue and pink shirt paired with white shorts and navy socks. The club was referred to as the Terra Cottas during the 1893-1894 season. 

A kit of white shirts with black shorts and socks was introduced in the 1930s and was used in the late 50s and for most of the 60s and 70s. Interesting that their strips have been manufactured by Macron, Joma and Umbro in recent seasons.

The Terras were promoted to Conference South in 2006 and played in the National Conference (fifth tier of English Football) until their relegation in 2009. The club is currently in the National League South (sixth tier of English Football).

42265192011_0d7fdd5b07_c

Picture courtesy of Peter Else (Flickr)

James Warrener, author of The Weymouth FC Shirt Story, let me know that the halved shirt had an image of the town’s jubilee clock on the back.

2016/17 Home shirt

1819 home kit

Current Home Strip

Resources

Feel free to comment below or hit me up on twitter, @austinlong1974, with additional information, corrections or comments.

Top Five Matches

I came across a post on reddit asking Which five matches changed your life?Loved the question and after thinking about it for a bit, here’s what I came up with:

1996       England v Germany Euro 96

download (2)

This game created the template for watching soccer while working. ESPN picked up the rights to this tournament and I fell in love with Croatia, saw Gazza’s wonder goal against Scotland, and the Czech Republic’s heartbreak in the Final against Germany. In the previous round, England played Germany in a rematch of the 1990 World Cup Semi. I was working as a summer intern at the FBI and snuck up to a conference room to watch the second half and penalties. England were so close but after 11 perfect spot kicks, Southgate’s miss condemned the Three Lions to defeat.

1999       Bayern Munich v Manchester United   Champions League Final

99 ucl

As my love for the Red Devils continued to grow, the Treble season reached its dramatic conclusion in Barcelona. With no Keane or Scholes, United was up against it and when Basler scored in the opening minutes, I didn’t believe. Negative by nature I just waited for Bayern to seal the game and accept defeat. But when Sheringham poked home from close range I screamed with excitement. And when Solskjaer put the ball in the Germans net, I ran around the house in sheer joy.

2002       USA v Portugal   World Cup 2002 Group Stage

05mat1

In the days leading up to the game, I had a dream that the US crushed Portugal like 6-0 but I had missed it by sleeping in. Due to the time difference, the game kicked off at 4am ET. On the morning of the game, I drove frantically to a friend’s house who was hosting people. After the early US blitz I thought maybe I had had some sort of premonition but alas, Portugal fought back and made for a nervous last couple of minutes. That tournament was amazing and I got up at all hours to watch the matches.

2009       Real Madrid v FC Barcelona     La Liga

article-0-04C9515F000005DC-308_634x379

In the late 90s and early 2000s I start following FC Barcelona and watched a dramatic 2006 Champions League Final against Arsenal. In the years following, that magic team was broken up and rebuilt and taken over by Pep Guardiola who drove the Blaugrana to an unprecedented, at the time, Treble. Real Madrid hunted Barca down in the league and set up a crucial meeting at the Bernabeu, and when Los Merengues scored first, a sick feeling came over me. And then magic happened with Henry and Messi tearing apart the hosts, each scoring twice, and also getting goals from Puyol and Piqué. It was breathtaking and set the stage for Iniesta’s moment of magic at Stamford Bridge and an amazing finish to the season.

2012       Manchester City v QPR     English Premier  League

Aguero0_4_3099831b

The dramatic end to the 1988-89 season was before my time, so when United came back from 0-1 against Spurs in the final league game of 1999 to clinch the title, I didn’t think it could get much better than that. I was wrong. A bunch of fellow fans gathered at Buffalo Wild Wings for Fox’s Survival Sunday, with all ten games on an array of channels. With fans from several different teams present, cheers and groans were constant depending on the action. Eventually we started calling out the TV numbers to keep track of the events. United secured victory at Sunderland and with City down 1-2 against QPR, another league title looked secure. But the fickle finger of fate intervened and Dzeko equalized, setting up Aguero’s moment of glory. Stunned I drank several shots as I watched the celebrations at Etihad. Gutted by the result, it was still one of the greatest soccer community events I have ever experienced.

Let me know what games impacted your soccer support in the comments below.

——

Check out more posts on my trips, research and memories on the MatchDay Memories page.

Strip Club–World Cup 2014 Kit Preview (Part 2)

In preparation for the 2014 World Cup I have been working on several projects, one of which is reviewing all of the kits from each country for the tournament.  For Euro 2012, I did an extensive series of posts, running a virtual kit tournament.  Alas time and scope do not allow me to do this sort of thing for the World Cup, so instead I went through all of the shirts and narrowed it down to the my top 20.  There are some excellent resources for this:

From there I ranked them and put together a couple of posts.  Hope you enjoy and comments are welcome.

#10  Belgium  Home       

I love the red color of the jersey with the image of the crown from the crest in the torso.  I am not familiar with the manufacturer Burrda but the company did well with all three kits.  All three use the flag colors in the ring collar and the horizontal accent is muted and adds a nice touch.

#9  Brazil  Home

Brazil 2014 World Cup Home Kit (6)               

Brazil has such an iconic yet simple jersey and it’s hard to screw up, but Nike and Umbro have both done so in the past.  The understated trim on the sleeves (as opposed to the #StoptheSleeve versions of recent years) and the new collar design really put this towards the top.

#8  Iran  Away   

I didn’t even know that uhlsport still existed but the company created a dynamic jersey for Iran’s appearance at the 2014 World Cup.  The sublimated cheetah on the away kit is pretty cool and although this could be seen as a Portugal rip off, I think is distinctive enough to stand on its own.  In my research, I came across this on wikipedia:

On 1 February 2014, Iran announced the addition of the endangered Asiatic cheetah on their 2014 FIFA World Cup kits in order to bring attention to its conservation efforts.

#7  Japan  Home

Japan 2014 World Cup Home Kit (1)

Adidas got this spot on for the Blue Samurai.  The blue is very rich and is trimmed with a peach color which you don’t see very often.  The lines that radiate out from the national badge are not only an appealing accent but, according to Football Fashion, serve a purpose:

According to adidas: . . . the uniform is an expression of the strong determination as the players and the supporters realise that now is the time to unite as one and go into a huddle (“ENJIN”) to get ready for the battle ahead, to go all in for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ and capture victory.  On the left side of the chest, there are 11 lines spreading out from the emblem, expressing the way those players depart from the “ENJIN” to their respective positions on the pitch for the battle.

#6  Cote d’Ivoire  Home

Ivory Coast 2014 World Cup Home Kit 2

Simply love this jersey.  Love the orange, and the shirt has such a great looking crest.  The African accents on the shoulders and armpits are unique and dynamic, creating a striking jersey for the team.  Here’s hoping that Didier Drogba and company get out of the group stage this time around.

#5  Holland  Home 

holland-home-wc-14

Another orange jersey and another classic.  As with Brazil, the Dutch kit is very identifiable and Nike has kept things very simple here.  In the end, a slightly redesigned crest really pushes this shirt up the list.

#4  Ghana  Home 

Ghana 2014 World Cup Home Kit 2

Love the contrast of the white shirt with the accents on the cuffs and shoulders.  Sometimes the simplest shirts are the best.

#3  England  Away   

England 2014 World Cup Home Kit (1)

Nike got this absolutely right for England.  The pinstriped red shirt with a ring collar cleverly hides a St. Cross design, and the crest pops against the red background.  Combined with the white shorts and red socks, this is one of best strips at the World Cup.

#2  Croatia  Away

Croatia 2014 Nike World Cup Away Jersey Image

I’m a big fan of Croatian kits, and this jersey uses the standard royal blue of their away kit and accents it with the red and white checks across the shoulders.  Speaking of the red and white checks, I found an interesting post on Wikipedia about the Croatian Coat of Arms, which gives insight into the colors used in the jersey.  It also appears that there is a two tone blue in the Football Federation crest but I haven’t been able to find anything that confirms that.

#1  Portugal  Away     

Nike Portugal 2014 World Cup Away Kit (1)

Wow.  When I first saw this shirt, I was reminded of previous Portuguese away kits.  Turns out that the 1998. 2000 and 2002 away kits were white with navy blue trim and accents, although for the life of me I couldn’t remember them ever wearing those at a competitive event.  This jersey has so much going for it: a white base with minimal blue trim around the collar and sleeves; a collar that combines modern design with the Nike button phase; and a crest that pops while referencing history (Portuguese Football Federation’s centenary).  Combined with the blue shirts and white socks, I hope Portugal wears this every game instead of their historic maroon kit.  This has definitely gone on the wish list and hope to pick it up in the coming months.

Strip Club–World Cup 2014 Kit Preview (Part 1)

In preparation for the 2014 World Cup I have been working on several projects, one of which is reviewing all of the kits from each country for the tournament.  For Euro 2012, I did an extensive series of posts, running a virtual kit tournament.  Alas time and scope do not allow me to do this sort of thing for the World Cup, so instead I went through all of the shirts and narrowed it down to the my top 20.  There are some excellent resources for this:

From there I ranked them and put together a couple of posts.  Hope you enjoy and comments are welcome.

#20  Chile  Away

Chile 2014 World Cup Away Kit (1)

This simple white shirt with just hints of the flag colors does a nice job but Puma’s funky collar (ie trachea patch) pushes it down the list.

#19  Russia  Home

Russia 2014 Home Kit 1

I really like the color of this shirt, which is reminiscent of their pre World Cup 2010 release (they failed to win the playoff, OOPS!!), and again I enjoyed the flag accents on sleeves.

#18  Argentina   Home

Argentina 2014 Home Kit 1

This shirt is a classic and adidas does well here by adding just a hint of modernization (ie the diagonally stripe things).

#17 France  Home

France 2014 Home kit 1

For the most part, Nike has done well since taking over the French line.  The blue color used is very attractive, nicely accented by a white collar and a monochromatic badge.

#16  Colombia  Away

Colombia 2014 World Cup Away Kit (5)

This would have been a Top 10 selection without the accents on the sleeves, which cause the shirt to look very MLS-ish, and that’s not a good thing.

#15  Australia  Away

Austrlia 2014 World Cup Away Kit-1

What a color combination, very unique, which according to Football Fashion is “dark obsidian blue, and has been inspired by the design worn by Australia when they qualified for their first ever final 40 years ago.”

#14  Korea Republic  Away

I love the white shirt with just a hint of the flag colors (a theme for me), and the collar is quite unique and serves as a nice touch.

#13  Ghana  Away

Ghana 2014 World Cup Away Kit 1

I would have loved to put this in the Top 10 but the shirt is just a little too busy for me.

#12  England  Home

England 2014 World Cup Away Kit (1)

Nike does a nice job keeping the shirt clean and simple, but the V neck collar keeps it out of the Top 10.

#11  Cote d’Ivoire  Away

Ivory Coast 2014 World Cup Away Kit

To be honest, I think my bias against green shirts kept this lower but Puma did a great job with the African jerseys for this tournament.

Strip Club–Tip Out Edition

As I’ve written before, Euro 2000 was one of my favorite and most memorable soccer tournaments ever.  During a window in the late 90’s to early 2000’s, I turned from casual fan into full-on Soccer Nerd.  During those years I was reading, watching, coaching and playing to a level that raised the game to an obsession (an unhealthy one my wife might add) in my life.

One of the disappointments of that tournament was Germany.  The defending European champions had crashed out against Croatia at the 1998 World Cup and began defense of their title with a strong Bayern Munich contingent, a sprinkling of German contributions in the English Premier League and some domestically based stars.

The Germans were drawn in a group with Romania, England and Portugal.  In the opener, Mehmet Scholl pegged back the Romanians with a goal to secure a point (his goal is early in the video).  Next up was England, and Alan Shearer doomed Die Mannschaft to an early exit with a headed goal, marking the first time that England had won a competitive match against Germany since the 1966 World Cup final.

Portugal added insult to injury with a 3-0 demolition via a hat trick from Sérgio Conceição.  The winger nodded in Pauleta’s shot cum cross at the back post before getting laid out by Kahn to open the scoring.  Conceição then danced around Hamann and hit a shot right at the German keeper, which somehow he didn’t save.  Later in the second half, Conceição was released down the right hand channel and thumped his shot home to the far post.

The poor performance of the Germans started a rebuilding process that is paying dividends to this day.  Two years later Germany were in the World Cup Final.  They made the World Cup Semi-Finals in 2006 on home soil and were Runners-Up at Euro 2008.  Another Semi-Final appearance at World Cup 2010 was followed up by Semi-Final defeat by Italy at Euro 2012.  The team is poised for great things at the 2014 World Cup with players hitting their prime and Bayern Munich finding domestic and European success.

As for the jersey itself, I got it in unique circumstances.  The BIGGBY franchisee I worked for had three daughters.  The oldest daughter’s husband was in town on break from military service and was looking for a soccer game.  I hooked him up at a local facility and afterwards he said he had a jersey that he didn’t really wear or want.  So I took the bait.  Turns out it was the Germany away shirt from Euro 2000, which was seen in the game against England.

In my research, I found this information from Picking up the Threads about the color green being used:

The German away kit is traditionally green and white; there is a widespread urban myth that this was a mark of respect that Ireland retained neutrality in WWII, or they played their first post-war friendly against them; however neither of these stories are true (it was in fact Switzerland who West Germany first played a post-war friendly against in 1950).  The colours of the away kit actually reflect the colours found on the flag of the second biggest kingdom of ancient Germany; Hannover and Saxony.

The shirt is a little big and can get a touch heavy during hot conditions, but I love the look.  Adidas incorporated the German flag into the collar, bands on the sleeves and the three stars representing each World Cup victory.  One of the coed teams I played on recently used green as their team color, so I made sure to wear it every once in a while.  I enjoy watching this current German team, so break out the jersey occasionally during International weekends.  For the 2013 Champions League Final, I wore it to the Watch Party as I didn’t support either Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund.  It’s a nice collector’s item but not a heavy part of the rotation.