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In the 1960s and 1970s Coventry City were at the forefront of innovative kit design. Having adopted a revolutionary all-sky blue strip in 1962 they became the first team to wear Admiral's iconic tram lines design in 1975. In this screen grab, taken from a match with West Ham United on 5 November 1977 we can see another experiment, numbers on the front of the players' shirts. The idea failed to find favour and was dropped a month later.
Tottenham Hotspur (1923-24 change shirt now confirmed as red/white striped rather than plain red). Manchester City added a circular crest to their shirts in October 1970, not August 1971 as previously thought. Everton (January-May 1967 change kit added).
I am grateful to Tony Sealey for providing the material for today's update.
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: Glengowan 1876, Gordon Highlanders 1894, Grangemouth 1886, Greenock Northern 1880, Greenock Southern 1877, Hamilton Harp 1890, Hurlford 1878, Inverness Citadel 1893, Johnstone Harp 1886, Johnstone Rovers 1880, Kelvinbank 1876, Kilbirnie 1874, Kilmarnock Athletic 1877, Kilmarnock Portland 1873, Kilsyth Wanderers 1888, Kilwinning Eglinton 1895.
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: Dunkeld 1879, Duntocher Harp 1888,Dykebar 1887, East End Rovers 1881, East Kilbride 1876, Eastern 1875, Forres Mechanics 1884, Gladstonians 1889, Glasgow University 1883.
(Photo credit: Forres Mechanics The First Hundred Years, Colin G Watson 1984)
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: Cree Rovers 1879, Crieff 1883, Dalmuir Thistle 1892, Dalry 1884, Dean 1874, Dean Park 1879, Denny 1888, Derby 1875, Dumbarton Rock 1882, Dumbarton Union 1891, Dumfries Hibernian 1897, Dunblane 1880, Dunipace 1879.
As soon as I made my comment about the cryptic beastie on the Stirling Albion badge from 1956 (see 27 April below), the HFK Elves scurried off into the darker corners of the interweb to solve the mystery. William Mohiaddeen found a minute of the town council from June 1624 that described the burgh coat of arms as "the wolf upon ane craig." Jim Thomson tells us of a legend dating from the ninth century when a Danish warband attempted a sneak attack on the town. As they approached they disturbed a pack of wolves whose howling alerted the townsfolk who were able to fend off the attackers. The wolf came to be regarded as the protector of the town and features on one of the buildings in the city centre.
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: Caledonia 1885, Caledonian (Aberdeen) 1886, Cambuslang Hibernian 1887, Camelon 1884, Campsie Glen 1878, Campsie Hibernian 1890, Carfin Shamrock 1892, Carrick 1886, Cartha 1890, Catrine 1878, Champfleurie 1888, Chryston 1881, City 1878, Clachnacuddin 1891, Clifton & Strathfillan 1877, Coatbridge 1887, Coupar Angus 1877.
29 April - Scottish Clubs Update
Among the latest batch of material from Ian McConnel is this interesting colourised photograph of Rangers, taken on their tour of Spain in May 1956. This is the first time that the team had worn V neck shirts, which would become a signature feature of their kit from 1957 to 1968. It's also the first time that any kind of crest had appeared on the players' shirts but mercifully, the ugly big "R" was not seen again.
Heart of Midlothian (July-August 1982 added), Motherwell (1982-83 unsponsored kit added), Forfar Athletic (1982-83 logos corrected), Ayr United (1982-83 added), Raith Rovers (1982-83 added), Hamilton Academical (1982-83 sponsor added), Partick Thistle (1981-82, 1982-83 added), Queen of the South (1982-83 added), St Johnstone (1982-83 badge added to shorts), Clydebank (1980-83 trim added to socks), Dunfermline Athletic (1982-83 added), Hibernian (1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84 detailing updated), Brechin City detailing added to 1981-84 shorts).
27 April - Scottish Clubs Update
On the left is a (very) matchworn shirt worn by Rothes when they won the Highland League in 1958-59. Nothing remarkable about that, you might think, except that the initials crudely embroidered into the top of the badge read SAFC. According to Martin Johnston, who submitted this little gem, Rothes chairman, John Enfield, was a close friend of Tam Fergusson, the founder and chairman of Stirling Albion. Several Albion players had turned out for Rothes while doing their national service and their manager was former Albion player, Tommy Martin. It appears that Albion gifted the Morayshire club a set of redundant blue and white change shirts for their championship season.
The photograph also provides details of the crest worn by Stirling Albion in the 1956-57 season although I defy anyone to identify the beastie that forms the centre piece.
(Photo credit: Martin Johnson)
Further updates from Ian McConnel: Kilmarnock (1981-82, 1982-83 detailing updated), Queen's Park (1981-82 collar corrected), Queen of the South (1981-83 shorts & sock detailing added), East Stirlingshire (August-December 1981 added, centenary kit now correctly dated), Hamilton Academical (1981-82 added), Ayr United (1981-82 added), Stenhousemuir (1981-82 corrected).
26 April - Odds & Sods from the Inbox
Chelsea (February 1987 added), Partick Thistle (2021-22 updated), Blackburn Rovers (Feb 1975-76 shorts modified), Stockport County (1962-63 trimmings updated), Wales (1965-67 change corrected, Aug 1971 variant added.)
The photograph is from the European Championship qualifier between Romania and Wales in August 1971 and shows the visitors wearing white socks to avoid clashing with those of the home side.
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: Bathgate Harp 1885, Battlefield 1873, Beith Thistle 1881, Bellshill 1879, Benhar 1880, Benquhat Heatherbell 1887, Blackfriars 1876, Blairgowrie & Rattray 1880, Blairgowrie Our Boys 1891, Bon Accord 1884, Bonhill 1884, Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic 1890, Bridge of Allan 1890, Bridge of Weir 1893, Brora Rangers 1878, Broxburn Shamrock 1881, Brunswick 1877, Burnbank Swifts 1890, Burntisland Thistle 1878, Busby 1873.
Among the photographs of Victorian football teams recently posted on The Straw Plaiters website by Brian Webb is this one of the Macclesfield team of 1889-90 wearing spectacular red, white and blue striped shirts.
This cutting, submitted by Des Hinks, comes from the Alderley & Wilmslow Advertiser (5 November 1886) and is a report on a match between Heaton Norris Rovers and Bradford of Manchester. The home team won 12-0 and are referred to as "the Dark Blues" in the text. Rovers changed their name to Stockport County in 1890.
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: Apsley 1876, Armadale Volunteers 1895, Athole 1879, Auchinleck Boswell 1878, Avondale (Lanarkshire) 1875, Avondale (Stirlingshire) 1882, Ayr Athletic 1889, Barholm Rovers 1894, Barrhead 1874.
(Photo credits: The Straw Plaiters, The British Library)
Eminent Victorians Scotland Additions: 1st Argyll Rifle Volunteeers 1890, 1st Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers 1875 revised, 1st Renfrewshire Rifle Volunteers 1884 revised, 2nd Ayrshire Rifle Volunteers 1887, 3rd Edinburgh Rifle Volunteers 1875, 5th Kirkcudbrightshire Rifle Volunteers 1879, 6th Galloway Rifle Volunteers, 10th Dumbartonshire Rifle Volunteers 1875, 17th Renfrewshire Rifle Volunteers 1877, 19th Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers 1877, Ailsa 1874, Airdrie 1880 revised, Airdriehill 1879, Glasgow Alexandra Athletic 1874.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Sale 1869, Sandyford 1876, Scunthorpe 1882, Spalding 1874, Stanley 1890, Wellington* 1868, Whitby 1890, Wilton 1890.
Eminent Victorians Midlands Additions: Whittington Moor 1879.
After a short hiatus due to an outbreak of Covid 19 at HFK Towers, normal service can now be resumed, starting with this photograph of the Trinity College Oxford team of 1890. The college archivist has confirmed that the unusual shirts, which I beieve would have been described as "butchers' stripes", were in the college colours of white and dark blue. We believe the severe looking chap in college blazer, cap and muffler, was probably the club captain, a role common in university sports teams to this day.
(Photo credit: The Straw Plaiters)
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Lincoln Ramblers 1885, Lincoln Rangers 1885, Louth & District 1885, Low Moor 1886, Mexborough 1887, Milton* 1862, Minerva* 1878, Northumberland County 1882, Norton* 1871, Ockenden 1877, Oswaldtwistle 1886 revised, Pitsmoor* 1868, Preston Zingari 1884, Rawtenstall 1886, Rising Sun 1881 corrected, Rotherham 1872.
Eminent Victorians Midlands Additions: Lowgates 1885, Matlock Bridge 1886.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Holme 1879, Horncastle Town 1887, Hulme Atheneaum 1868, Hyde 1890, Irwell Springs 1887, Keighley 1882, Keswick 1890, Lincoln 1877 colour corrected, Lindum 1885.
Recent research by Gary James and Dave Day has established that Hulme Athenaeum was the first organised football club in the Manchester area. The flyer (left) announces the opening of the new members' club on Stretford Road in 1860 offering a news reading room, smoking and coffee room and a covered gymnasium. The initiative of Sir William Thackeray Marriott, an ordained deacon and champion of the rights of working people, the club provided opportunities for self improvement in one of the city's most impoverished areas. A football section was formed in 1863 and soon boasted 50 members playing matches every Saturday across Manchester and as far away as Sheffield. Read the full story here.
(Photo credit themanc.com)
Some time ago I published this cutting from Cricket & Football Field (2 January 1886) submitted by Andy Boocock. It is a report on a match between Bolton Wanderers and their local rivals, Great Lever. The writer mentions that Bolton wore "the white, yellow spot costume." At that time Wanderers normally wore red, white and dark blue vertical stripes and I believed Great Lever wore navy jerseys and knickers so there would have been no reason for the home team to change so I assumed they had changed their colours part way through the season, which as not unusual then. However, thanks to the material I have been working through for the Eminent Victorians section, I have discovered that in 1885-86, Great Lever wore red and white stripes which would have clashed so Bolton's bizarre outfit must have been their change kit.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Great Harwood 1885, Great Lever 1882, Grimsby & District 1885, Hartford St John's 1887, Heywood 1884, Heywood Central 1887, Higher Walton 1887.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Earlestown 1884 revised (photo left), Exchange* 1871 revised, Fishwick Ramblers 1884, Fleetwood Rangers 1890, Garrick* 1868, Gateshead Association 1887, Gateshead NER 1890, Gorton Villa 1890, Grantham 1875 revised, 1885 added, Grantham Rovers 1891.
Newcastle East End 1889-91 corrected.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Congleton Rovers 1872 revised, Corbridge 1880 revised, Crewe Britannia 1885, Darlington Grammar School 1880, Darlington St Augustine's 1890, Darwen Foresters 1880 socks corrected, Darwen Hibernians 1885, Darwen Old Wanderers 1885, Davenham 1885, Denton 1890, Dodworth 1880, Dore 1876* cap corrected, Durham County 1890.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: Blackburn Livesey United 1879, Blackpool St John's 1885, Blue Star 1882, Bollington 1887, Boston 1887, Bradshaw 1885, Brincliffe 1873 revised*, Burton-on-Trent 1872, Cleckheaton 1883, Cleethorpes Town 1887, Clitheroe 1890, Clitheroe Central 1885, Cloughfold 1879.
Eminent Victorians Northern England Additions: 8th Cheshire Rifles 1873 knickers revised, Alnwick 1879 knickers revised, Artillery & Hallamshire Rifles 1873*, Auckland Town 1886, Bankers 1874*, Christchurch 1879 revised*, Barnard Castle 1874, Barnsley Wanderers 1878, Batley C&FC 1882, Birkenhead 1881, Bishop Auckland Church Institute 1885-86 (photo left), Bishop Auckland 1890, 1891
*Added to Sheffield Association sub-section.
(Photo Credit: Bishop Auckland FC)
Eminent Victorians Midlands Additions: Sawley 1870, Shrewsbury School 1889, Shropshire Wanderers 1875, Sneinton 1885, South Derbyshire 1870, South Notts 1887, Spondon House School 1870, St Andrews Derby 1870 & 1871, St Joseph's College 1885, Talke Rangers 1876, Tibshelf Colliery 1885, Warwick County 1890 revised, Wellingborough Grammer School 1885, Whitchurch 1873 revised, Worksop Town 1891.
Eminent Victorians Midlands Additions: Mansfield 1871, Mellor's Ltd 1885, Newark 1870 revised, Newark Town 1886, Nottingham Foresters 1870, Nottingham (Lace) 1875, Notts Rangers 1887, Notts Town 1871, Notts United Amateurs 1885, Ockbrook & Borrowash Church Union 1870, Oldbury 1890, Royal 1877, Rugeley Athletic 1872 revised, Rushden Wanderers 1887.
Eminent Victorians Midlands Additions: Donington Grammar School 1871, Dronfield 1871, Eckington Works 1890, Greenhalgh & Sons 1885, Jardines 1885, Kimberley Institute 1885, Leamington College 1872 & 1874, Long Eaton Alexandra 1885.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Enfield 1886, Folkestone 1891, Emmanuel College Cambridge 1896 (photo left), Lennox 1883.
(Photo credit: The Straw Plaiters)
I'm grateful to Rev Dr Jonathon Holmes, Keeper of the Records at Queens' College, Cambridge, who has confirmed that the college team shown here from 1900 wore green and white and do so to this day. The cup is the Cambridge University Cuppers trophy, a knock-out competition contested by members of the Cambridge University Asociation Football League (CUAFL). Because of their role in helping to form the Football Associaton, the CUAFL has county status with 57 member clubs and holds a seat on the FA Council.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Queens' College Cambridge 1900.
Eminent Victorians Midlands Additions: Ashby-de-la-Zouch 1875, Babington Rovers 1885, Basford Olympic 1886, Basford Rovers 1885, Beeston 1890, Derby School 1883, Derby St Lukes 1885.
(Photo credit: The Straw Plaiters)
I had planned to take today off but last night Brian Webb sent me this photograph he recently took of a page of the Bedfordshire FA Minute Book 1895-96 and I couldn't resist adding the new material. The hand-written entries confirm the design of Luton Excelsior's shirts and include several additional clubs from the county.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: 2nd Royal Berkshire Regiment 1899, Bedford Queens 1895, Bedford Rovers 1895, Bedford Town 1895, Leighton Cee Spring 1895, Luton Excelsior 1894 revised, Radley College 1882, Somerset Light Infantry 1899 (photograph right), Wymington Star 1895.
(Photo credit: The Straw Plaiters)
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: St Thomas Hospital Association 1881, Stowmarket 1888, Streatham 1889, Sudbury Town 1888, Surbiton Wanderers 1884, Sutton 1875, Sutton School 1880, Sydenham 1870, Thorpe 1884, Tonbridge 1889, Tottenham College 1888, Tunbridge Wells 1890, United London Scottish 1884, Upper Tooting 1887, Uxbridge 1872 revised, Uxbridge Caxtonian 1887, Uxbridge Crescent 1886, Victoria 1885, Walthamstow Club 1868, Waverley 1885, West Kent 1886, Westminster 1887, Westminster Criterion 1890, Westminster School 1883, Weymouth College 1890, Windsor Phoenix Athletic 1887, Witham 1883, Wood Green 1882, Woodbridge 1888, Woodbridge Grammar School 1888, Woodford Wells 1871 cap added, Woodville 1886.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Argyle 1893, Luton Excelsior 1894, Reigate 1865, St John's Bridgwater 1888, St John's College Battersea 1882, St John's College Hurst 1874, St John's College Oxford 1877, St John's School Leatherhead 1886, St Judes 1883, St Mark's College 1884, St Martins Athletics 1886.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Royal Marines (Chatham Division) 1889, Royal Military Academy 1868 & 1887, Royal Military College 1887, Royston 1876, Schorne College 1890, Sevenoaks Grammar School 1882, Sherborne School 1872, South Eastern College 1888, South Park 1868, St Albans Pilgrims 1872 revised, St Bartholomew's Hospital 1882, St George's College 1877, St George's Hospital 1868.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Plymouth Amateur Athletic 1882, Prairie Rangers 1874, Primrose 1884, Putney Association 1974, Queen's School 1880, Radicals 1884, Radley College 1874, Rangers (London) 1880, Rangers (Swindon) 1870, Reigate Priory 1872, Remington 1885, Ringwood Hornets 1882, Rochester 1869 cap added, Romford 1877 cap added.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Old Leysians 1885, Old St Mark's 1886, Old Westminsters 1883, Olympian 1883, Olympic 1878, Olympic Rangers 1882, Oxford County School 1883, Oxford University 1874 (left), Phoenix 1886.
(Photo credit: Oxford University FC.)
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Luton Wanderers 1884, Lyndhurst 1885, Mannamead School 1890, Marlborough 1872 revised, Mars 1876, Martlets 1888, Merriott 1875, Morton Rangers 1881, Newbury & Speenhamland 1874, Newmarket 1888, No Names 1863, North Walsham 1885, Norwich CEYMS 1890, Norwood United 1885, Old Bloxhamists 1884, Old Borlasians 1886, Old Cranleighans 1889.
Lyonsdown (1882-85) & Woodville (1884-85) added to Barnet section.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Highgate Association 1888, Highgate School 1885, Hillside 1874, Hoddesdon 1884, Hounslow 1885, Hungerford 1890, Ipswich Garrison 1889, Ipswich Northgate School 1888, Ipswich Orwell Works 1888, Ipswich Rangers 1888, Ipswich School 1888, Ivanhoe 1885, Keble College Oxford 1879, Kenninghton Wanderers 1890, King's College School Sherborne 1863, Kings Lynn 1882, King's School Rochester 1872, Lancing College 1873, Leys School 1882, London Hospital 1889.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Dulwich 1884, Eagle 1885, Ealing Allegro 1872, East Sheen 1878, East Surrey Wanderers 1884, Eastbourne 1890 revised, Eaton Rovers 1889, Eltham 1884, Emmanuel School 1886, Excelsior Westminster 1883, Felstead School 1880, Foxes 1885, Grange Park 1884, Granta 1884, Great Marlow 1873 revised, Grosvenor 1888, Grove House (1879), Grove Institute 1884, Hadley 1885, Hailsham 1889, Hampstead Heathens 1871, Polytechnic 1889.
The photograph is of the Eastbourne team in 1892 wearing their dark blue and saffron shirts.
Gainsborough Trinity (1885-86, 1890-1892 added).
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Chatham 1887, Chatham Victoria 1888, Chelmsford 1885, Chesham 1883, Christ's College Cambridge 1869, Civil Engineers 1889, Clapton 1878 revised, Clatford Rovers 1887, Corinthians 1882 revised, Dalston Rovers 1883.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: Brentwood School 1878, Bridgwater St John's 1887, Brighton Athletic 1887, Brighton College 1875, Brighton Hornets 1884, Brixton 1869, Brixton Rangers 1885, Bungay Chaucer Press 1888, Bury Grammar School 1874, Bury St Edmunds 1886, Bury St Edmunds East Anglian School 1888, Carrow 1885, Chamois 1889, Chartehouse School 1862 & 1885, Clapham Common Club 1868.
Eminent Victorians Southern England Additions: 105th Light Infantry 1877, Acorn 1889, Albert 1875, Albion 1885, All Saints School 1877, Amersham Hall 1890, Andover 1886, Ardingley College 1875, Argus 1883, Beccles Caxton 1888, Beccles College 1888, Beckenham 1888, Bedouins 1869, Bexley 1885, Birkbeck 1885, Blackheath Proprietry School 1868, Bournemouth Dean Park 1891, Bournemouth Rovers 1885, Bradfield College 1882, Braintree 1886 revised, Breamore Green 1875, St Stephen's Westminster 1889.
In 2019 Robin Horton sent me a file containing details of the club colours recorded in Charles Alcock's Football Annuals 1873-1881. This material allowed me to substantially enlarge the Eminent Victorians section of the site. Earlier this week Robin sent me a second file which extends the period under review to 1868-1891. Because of the large number of clubs in the archive (over 750) I shall post new material region-by-region but I'll start with clubs that went on to become members of the Football League and Scottish Football League.
Ashington (1890-91, 1891-92 added), Ayr Academy (1874-75 added), Bolton Wanderers (1883-84 corrected - colours were "scarlet and white" not dark blue and white - see photo left), Bootle (1887-88 added), Burnley (1882-83 & 1886-87 revised, 1884-85, 1891-92 added), Burslem Port Vale (1887-89 added), Burton Wanderers (1886-88 added), Cambuslang (1873-74 added), Helensburgh (section expanded to include three earlier incarnations of the club), Kilmarnock (1874-75 added), Macclesfield (1888-1890 added), Middlesbrough (1885-86 added & timeline 1879-1890 revised), Northwich Victoria (1880-81, 1882-85, 1885-88, 1888-90 added: the 1882-83 team is pictured on the right), Partick Thistle (1876-78), Queen's Park (1870-72, 1872-73 reversable cowls added [!]), Renton (1874-75 added), Shrewsbury Town (1888-91 modified), Small Heath Alliance (now confirmed that the team played in amber and black between 1885 and 1888), South Shore (1885-90 added), Southport (1885-86 now confirmed), Stoke (some changes to time line 1868-1885), Wrexham (1890-91 knickers now confirmed).
(Northwich Victoria photo credit: Manchester Evening News)
Halifax Town (1963-64 added), York City (1964-65 added, 1987-89 shorts & sock detailing now confirmed), Queen of the South (1963-64 cold weather kit added), Queen's Park Rangers (1975-76 & 1976-77 timelines for all variant kits confirmed, February 1977 variant added).
Berwick Rangers (1980-81 detailing revised, crest history updated), St Mirren (1979-81 cuffs corrected), Kilmarnock (March 1981-83 shorts detailing added), Partick Thistle (1980-81 two strips added), St Johnstone (1977-79 shorts trim corrected), Dunfermline Athletic (1977-78, 1978-79 crest and Bukta logo adjusted).
Clydebank (1977-79 corrected, 1979-80 added), Dunfermline Athletic (1979-80 added), Alloa Athletic (1977-81 shorts corrected), Partick Thistle (1979-80 updated), Clyde (1979-80 shorts trim corrected).
Partick Thistle (1978-79 four variants now recorded), St Mirren (1977-79 detailing added), Hibernian (crest added to 1977-79 alternate kit), Forfar Athletic (1977-80 socks corrected), Elgin City (Aug 76-Feb 77 added, Feb 77-78 socks corrected), Montrose (1976-77 detailing added).
3 January - Happy New Year
We start with a photograph of Boscombe FC (now AFC Bournemouth) taken in 1920. The miniscule trophy on display is the MA Hart Page Croft Cup: this competition still exists and is open to the members of the Premier Division of the Bournemouth Hayward Saturday League.
(Photo credit: 101 Manchester City Matchworn Shirts, Mike Mcarthy 2021.)
It is widely known that Brian Clough decided at the start of the 1971-72 season to replace Derby County's traditional black shorts with navy ones to encourage the players to identify with the English national team. (History is silent about what the Scots in the team thought about this.) For the first couple of months of the new season the shirts had contrasting rings at the collar and cuff and I had always assumed these were navy and white to match the new colour scheme but Tony Sealey has uncovered evidence that they were in fact shirts from the previous season, trimmed in black. The photograph shows Alan Hinton's match worn shirts from this period: note the new ram crest, which replaced the old ram's head. These tops were last worn at Chelsea on 18 September before new, plain white jerseys and socks appeared against West Bromwich Albion a week later.