Posts Tagged ‘ Historical Football Kits ’

John Devlin/True Colours

true colours cover

John Devlin/True Colours

John Devlin, author of True Colours: Football Kits from 1980 to the Present Day, Volumes 1 and 2, came on the SoccerNomad podcast to talk kit history and design. His wealth of knowledge is remarkable and I learned a lot. After a great conversation, we finished with some listener questions.

Learn more about kits and get in touch with John.



Sample page from True Colours

true colours sample page

Early kits

England 1872-1879


Aston Villa 1878-1879


Woolwich Arsenal 1894-1899


(images courtesy of Historical Football Kits)

Sample jersey styles from Picking Up the Threads

picking up the threads

Kit Design Elements

Tramline kit

coventry city


Sublimated dye


Collar Styles






50 Greatest Football Shirts Ever

Additional resources


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SoccerNomad Podcast: EPL 16/17 Kit Preview


EPL 16/17 Kit Preview

JR Francis (@paynomind) returned to the SoccerNomad podcast to look at the kits for the upcoming EPL season. After we both rant about the Manchester teams, we gave comments on the rest of the league and picked our top 5. Plus there’s some news and notes on the manufacturers.



Thanks for listening! You can also subscribe via iTunes and please leave a rating and review. Follow me on twitter @austinlong1974.

Manchester United Dollar Date (16/17 home kit)


Photo courtesy of Footy Headlines

Manchester United released the new home shirt for 16/17 season, the second offering from the new adidas contract.

I recently recorded a podcast with Design Football regarding the new kit and Manchester United kit design in general. In my preparation I was struck by the fact that very little is known about the early kits of Newton Heath. Also the club has used red first choice tops since being renamed Manchester United in 1902 except for an all white strip with a giant red v from 1922-27 and a cherry and white hoops shirt for a short time in the 30s.


Photo courtesy of Football Fashion

Several design elements are used on the new shirt. Red is used on the crew collar and cuffs, rather than a contrasting color, and this hasn’t been done since the 2007-09 seasons. That shirt is one of my favorite United jerseys and the look really works. The red is complemented by white adidas stripes down the torso rather than the shoulders.


Photo courtesy of Manchester United

Adidas has also introduced a vertical stripe of interlocking hexagonal shapes that divides the shirt in two shades of red. According to the Manchester United press release. . .

In the second year of the partnership with United, adidas has taken cues from the club’s illustrious history, with a two-tone red-split design evoking the two-tone Newton Heath kit of 1878.

The official coat of arms for the City of Manchester was the basis behind the idea for the honeycomb graphic that knits together the two red block designs on the shirt. It was inspired by the worker bee which appears in the crest and originates from the Industrial Revolution, in which Manchester played a significant role. The strong work ethic of the city is also part of the club’s DNA, instilled in the players whenever they pull on the red shirt and represent the club.

Regarding the Newton Heath comment, I just don’t believe that’s true. United’s earliest home shirts were white with a blue cord. The assumed green and gold kit didn’t arrive until 1881 and there indications that a red and white home shirt was used in the late 1880s and early 1890s. If anything I would love for a manufacturer to create a half red/half white shirt, although it could a) cause kit clash headaches and b) make people think that Feyenoord are playing.

As for the hexagons, using the bees from the Manchester Coat of Arms is a bit of a stretch. I don’t mind it, even though, as Jay from Design Football mentioned, the way the hexagons are causes the shirt to not be divided evenly.

There are also small touches, with a Newton Heath plaque on the inside neck and the letters MUFC in the hexagon shapes on the back of the neck.


Photo courtesy of Footy Headlines

The shorts are white with red adidas markings and look fine. I’m sure there’s some sort of technological advance but essentially they are the same shorts. I really like the socks which are black with a red band on the turnover plus a red devil on the shin. I applaud adidas for using this part of the badge and hope they continue to do so in the future.

Another great home kit from adidas and will keep my eye out for a deal so I can pick one up.

Read my comments on the away kit here.


Official Manchester United release

Find out more about the history of Manchester United kits at United Kits and Historical Football Kits.

Read the rest of my Strip Club posts here and follow me on twitter @austinlong1974.