Historical Football Kits


News & Updates 2012


2 December 2012-13 Additions: Newtown (A), Cliftonville, (A, sponsorship), Ballinamallard United (A), Glenavon (A), Crusaders (A), Glentoran (A).

beith fc circa 190030 November: Pride of place today goes to this photograph of North Ayrshire side Beith FC taken around 1900-01. The team played briefly in the ill-fated Scottish Third Division from 1923 until 1926 when the competition was abandoned. It was sent in by Lynne McKenna who is researching her family tree and believes that her great grandfather was a member of the team. Lynne would very much like to know anything more about this side and in particular what the trophy is. If you can help please Contact Me.

Stoke City (1974-75 amended): Tottenham Hotspur (1886-87, Jan-Feb 1934 added; 1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-91 change kits modified): Brentford (Jan-May 1984 added; 1990-92 detailing added): Crawley Town (1981-82 added): Stockport County (1900-05 socks corrected): Fulham (crest history updated): Burnley (125th anniversary crest added): Burton Albion (1987-88 added; 1986-87, 1994-95, 2006-08 amended; crest history updated).

I have added an External Link to Show de Camisas, an exciting Brazilian site with coverage of club and national kits from around the world with, as you would expect, an emphasis on South America.

25 November: Leicester City, Cardiff City, Blackpool, Gillingham, Walsall, (crest histories updated). East Stirlingshire (1991-92 added; 1990-91, 1998-99, 1999-01 detailing updated).

yugoslavia football team 193014 November - 2012-13 updates: Celtic (3rd), Rangers (charity), Motherwell (charity), Aberdeen (3rd), Inverness Caledonian Thistle (A), Hull City (charity).

I have been puzzled for a long time by the appearance of the socks worn by many European and South American teams in the 1930s. As you can see in this photograph of the Yugoslavian team from 1930, there seems to be a white section covering part of the calf. Claudio Betta has now solved the riddle for us: these were known in Italy as cavigliere, ankle supports that also kept players' shinguards in place. Incidentally, the image also illustrates our recent discovery of orthographic film stock that makes the team's mid blue shirts look pale and their red socks very dark.

Thanks go to everyone who has submitted information for our World Cup section. Updates and corrections have been made to: 1934, 1938, 1962 (Group 2, Group 4), 1974 (Brazil v Argentina), 1982 (Soviet Union, Poland semi-final strip), 1990 (Argentina v Yugoslavia).

6 Novemworld cup trophyber: We're back! We offer sincere apologies to regular visitors for the lack of updates since mid-September. This was due to the need to migrate the site to a new server, a process that took much longer than we expected while we dismantled the old site one byte at a time, transfer each byte in bubble wrap to the new server where our team of unpaid and underage interns carefully polished each byte before reassembling the site.

Despite the apparent lack of activity, we have not been idle and today launch substantial new content in our World Cup History section with the 1958-1998 tournaments now available.

Our priority for the next few weeks will be to work through the substantial number of outstanding contributions sitting in the mail silo, focussing on newly reported kits for the current season.

In the meantime, the HFK Shop has had to be closed temporarily but we hope to have this back up and running within the next few days.

14 September: The Arsenal sections have been updated with a new crest history and the addition of a kit from 1908-09. Given what we now know about early photography, the colours in some graphics have been revised. The Watford section has also been revised with an expanded crest history. Oxford United (colour revised on 1970-75 graphics).

sweden footbal team 192713 September: Andreas Nilsson of the Swedish FA receives a gold star for not only resolving the puzzle of Sweden's 1934 and 1938 kits (see yesterday's entry) but also finding the technical explanation. Andreas has confirmed from the SFA's own records and those of historians that the team has always worn yellow shirts and blue shorts as shown in this colourised image of the 1927 team.

orthographic emulsion comparison chartThe explanation for the anomoly is in the orthographic ("true colour" - something of a misnomer) emulsions used in photography at the time, which varied in their sensitivity to different wavelengths of light. Photographers used a range of emulsions as well as lens filters in different circumstances. The result is illustrated perfectly by the comparison chart on the right from The Light Farm that shows (for example) that yellows, orange and reds show up very dark while blues are much lighter. This explains many anomalous photographs that have proved difficult to interpret. Modern panchromatic emulsions, which reproduce colours in a manner more logical to the human eye, were available but much more expensive until prices equalised in the late 1920s. It appears that most of the photographs from the pre-War World Cups were taken on orthographic film stock.

partick thistle fc 1902-03 team group2012-13 updates: Exeter City (A), Hartlepool United (A), Newcastle United (3rd updated), Tottenham Hotspur (3rd updated), Wycombe Wanderers (3rd), Hibernian (3rd).

Historical: The Wednesday (1875-76 added): Stoke City (1919-20, 1929-30 added; 1926-27 socks confirmed): Exeter City (1931-32 added): Partick Thistle (1902-03). We had previously believed the thistle badge first appeared in 1909 but this photograph (left) clearly shows it was worn on the much earlier when the Jags played amber and black.

italy 1934 world cup teamitaly football shirt 193512 September: I've received some fascinating material that sheds further light on the early World Cup competitions. For example, on the left is the 1934 Italian team wearing what appear to be blue shirts that are much lighter than those seen after the war. On the right, however is a photograph sent in by Claudio Betta of an original top from the period, on display in the Museo del Calcio in Coverciano that shows conclusively that they were mid-blue. Furthermore the trim on the sock turnover was the same blue and not white as it appears in photographs.

sweden 1934 team groupNow consider this picture of the Swedish team from 1934, in which the shirts are considerably darker than the shorts, which leads me to think they are in blue tops and yellow shorts. Greger Lindberg has drawn my attention to the flag on the players' shirts, which appears to be reversed suggesting the tones in the photo are very badly distorted. I've written to the Swedish FA for help.

Kevin Grandjean, writing from Paris, has confirmed that France's socks were always red although they appear to be black in photographs, another anomoly that seems to be due to the idiosyncrasies of photography of the time.

5 September: It's only been 24 hours since our World Cup Section was launched and already contributors have been rummaging through obscure histories and the darker recesses of the interweb to shed light on some of the problematic early entries. Romania's crest details have been confirmed and the enigma of Austria's borrowed shirts solved in the 1934 section while several graphics have been updated in the 1938 section with newly discovered material.

If that's not exciting enough for you, the 1950 and 1954 sections have been added as well.

jules rimet trophy4 September: Our History of the European Championships is now complete with the addition of the Euro 2000 and Euro 2004 competitions.

Work has now started on our next major project, the complete kit history of the FIFA World Cup: the 1930, 1934 and 1938 sections are ready and we will be adding the post-picking up the threadswar tournaments over the coming months.

Look out for Picking Up the Threads by John Chandler, now available available from the usual High Street and online book retailers for £9.99. This latest addition to the growing football kit history canon is a light-hearted, well-researched and informative account of the origins of the colours worn by English and Scottish clubs and includes substantial sections on world club and international teams. This handy pocket-size book is ideal for settling pub arguments and getting the advantage in football trivia contests. The author, whose illustration credits include The Mighty Book of Boosh has devised charming and idiosyncratic pictures in a style that will lilywhite & blue digital editiondelight everyone who cut their gaming teeth on Sensible Soccer and Super Mario. More fun may be had by spotting the individual players represented in each image.

John Maysh's excellent Lilywhite & Blue, the history of the Tottenham Hotspur shirt from 1959 to the present is now available in a digital edition for iPad. This latest version has been updated with new interactive content and videos and can be downloaded from the iTunes Store.

26 August - 2012-13 updates: Ballymena United (A shorts/socks confirmed), Lisburn Distillery (A), Crusaders (Socks detailing added), Manchester City (3rd), Crawley Town (3rd), Cheltenham Town (A), Derby County (3rd).

24 August - Euro updates: Netherlands v Greece (1980) kits confirmed: Spain crest corrected (1964 & 1980). Work is now underway on the Euro 2000 section.

ifa premiership logo23 August: The 2012-13 IFA Premiership section is now available.

22 August - 2012-13 updates: Millwall (3rd), Tranmere Rovers (shorts detailing added), Portsmouth (A), Hartlepool United (A*), Rangers (A), FC Dallas (sponsor added), Vancouver Whitecaps (A updated), Seattle Sounders (socks corrected), Newtown (H), Afan Lido (H, A).

20 August - 2012-13 updates: Portsmouth (H), Port Vale (H), Yeovil Town (sponsorship added), Wales (H).

third lanark 1902-03 team groupThis photograph is captioned Third Lanark AC and was taken in 1902-03 with the Glasgow Cup. It was probably taken at the end of the season when they dropped their previous name, 3rd Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers.

Berwick Rangers (1990-91 sponsor corrected): Dundee (early crests added): Wolverhampton Wanderers (1995-96, 2008-09 detailing corrected): Brighton & Hove Albion (1973-74 corrected): Millwall (1923-24, early 1945-46 added with back story): Blackpool (1938-58 socks altered): Stockport County (1902-05 knickers corrected).

18 August - 2012-13 updates: Montrose (H, A), Chesterfield (H updated), Birmingham City (A, 3rd), Hull City (A), Lincoln City (H), Luton Town (H).

plymouth argyle first change kit circa 1964Historical updates: This photo, found by Keith Ellis, shows Barry Jones wearing an extremely odd Plymouth Argyle shirt. The shirt itself dates from 1959-64 but was only ever worn with the old city coat of arms and not the oversize Mayflower crest seen here. In fact this badge first appeared in 1964 (which is when Jones joined the team) on the new white strip with green/black bands. Steve Rhodes, has proposed that this was Argyle's first ever change strip (they had never needed one before they switched to white) made up of old shirts with the brand new badge sewn on.

In his history of The Wanderers FC, Rob Cavallini records that around 1870 the club changed from their original orange, magenta and black colours to yellow, purple and black. This has now been recorded in our FA Cup Finalists Section.

Queens Park Rangers (narrow hoops confirmed until 1899): Hull City (1921-22 added): Chelsea (2005-06 away colour adjusted): Arsenal (2000-02, 2008-09, 2009-10 detailing added): York City (Nov 1975-76 corrected): Stoke City (1993-94 collar corrected): Newcastle United (1893-94 change kit added): Cardiff City (1989-90 shirt detailing added).

Several graphics in the European Champions League 1970-1999 sections have been tweaked.

15 August: The Premier League has published its 2012-13 Handbook and so we are today able to complete this section. My thanks go to Martinos Perdikis from Cyprus for spotting this for HFK. Everton (3rd), Fulham (3rd), Manchester United (3rd*), Newcastle United (3rd), Reading (3rd), Southampton (3rd), Tottenham Hotspur (3rd), West Ham United (3rd*), Bolton Wanderers (A, 3rd), Leicester City (A, 3rd), Port Vale (A), Gillingham (H, A updated), Hereford United (H socks confirmed), Kidderminster Harriers (H).

14 August 2012-13 Updates: Today's focus is on English teams: Arsenal (3rd*), Bolton Wanderers (3rd), Millwall (A updated), MK Dons (3rd), Carlisle United (A), Leeds United (3rd*), Watford (A), Morecambe (H detailing added), Brentford (Special).

13 August - 2012-13 updates: Elgin City (H, A), Cowdenbeath (A), Peterhead (A*), East Fife (3rd shorts/socks confirmed), Carmarthen Town (A), Lanelli (H, A), Yeovil Town (H, A updated), Watford (sponsor change).


11/12 August: Because of technical issues, we have not been able to update the site this week. After turning everything off and on again several times, the problem is now resolved and updates have resumed, starting with the Olympics Football Tournament.

2012-13 updates: Clyde (H, A), Arbroath (H, A, 3rd), Brechin City (H, A), Forfar Athletic (H, A*), Stranraer (H, A*), Rangers (A), Peterhead (H), Airdrie (H), Berwick Rangers (A, 3rd*), Queen of the South (sponsor now confirmed), Annan Athletic (A*), Stirling Albion (H, A).


wrexham advertiser 8 october 18645 August - 2012-13 Updates: Accrington Stanley (H updated), Cheltenham Town (H), Wrexham (H), Blackpool (H*, A*), Tranmere Rovers (A), Wigan Athletic (3rd), Barnsley (A), Hartlepool United (H*), Boston United (H),


This cutting came to light recently and provides evidence that Wrexham AFC were not formed in 1872 but some eight years earlier, in October 1864. This make them not only the oldest club in Wales but the third oldest professional club in the world still in existence.

4 August 2012-13 Updates: Prestatyn Town (H, A), Carmarthen Town (H), Gap Connah's Quay (H, A), Annan Athletic (H*), Airdrie (A, 3rd), Dumbarton (sponsor added), Albion Rovers (H, A), Hamilton Academical (H, A), Ayr United (A), Kilmarnock (H, A, 3rd), Aberdeen (A).

welsh premier league logo31 July: The 2012-13 Welsh Premier League section is now open.


30 July - 2012-13: Northern Ireland (H), Chelsea (3rd), Millwall (A colour amended), Sheffield United (A), Grimsby Town (H).

29 July - 2012-13 updates: Stevenage (A corrected), Rotherham United (H, A corrected), Doncaster Rovers (3rd), Newcastle United (H detailing added), Huddersfield Town (3rd), Blackburn Rovers (3rd), Preston North End (H), Exeter City (H), Accrington Stanley (H), Aldershot Town (H, A, 3rd), Torquay United (H, A updated), Norwich City (A), Bradford City (A, 3rd).

2012 london olympics logo28 July: Although we can't begin to match the astonishing, wonderful spectacle of the Olympics opening pageant brought to us last night by Danny Boyle with the help of 7,500 volunteers, we can bring you our own 2012 Olympics Football Tournament section, which is now open.

Please remember to avoid using the Olympic Lanes when the signs are illuminated.

23 July - 2012-13 updates: Leicester City (H), Huddersfield Town (A), Torquay United (H, A).

From the mail box: Port Vale (1981-82 sponsor updated): Celtic change kits (1986-87, 1987-88 sponsorship updated): Chelsea (1974-75 change kits amended): Rotherham County now has a separate section.

21 July - 2012-13 updates: Stevenage (H, A), Morecambe (H, A), Derby County (H), Scunthorpe United (H socks confirmed), Peterborough United (H), Sunderland (H), Manchester United (A), West Bromwich Albion (A), AFC Wimbledon (A socks updated), Rotherham United (A), Wolverhampton Wanderers (A), Wycombe Wanderers (A), Millwall (H, A), Birmingham City (H), Notts County (H updated, A, 3rd added), Colchester United (A).

MLS: NY Red Bulls (A corrected), Vancouver Whitecaps (3rd).

I'm very grateful to Phil Brown, vice-chairman of Fleetwood Town FC for providing detailed information on all the team's kit going back to their formation in 1997.

fa women's super league logo20 July: New content - the 2012 FA Women's Super League, currently underway, has been added. My thanks to Michael Capewell who suggested this project.

Gentlemen, please remove your hats before entering this section.

rangers fc 187718 July: Our focus today is on Scotland and the reshuffle that has taken place since "newco" Rangers were admitted to the Third Division. (The photo shows some of the founders, wearing white tops borrowed from a rowing club, in 1877.)

Although the new Rangers is a separate entity and should therefore be treated as such on HFK, it appears that the SFA is going to allow the new club to inherit the records of the old one. In a statement published yesterday, the SFA indicated that "Sevco Scotland Ltd (the company that bought the club's assets and intellectual property) are requesting the transfer of the existing (SFA) membership of Oldco. This is different to an application for a new membership."

The issue may turn on a legal nicety: whether Rangers FC, the club, has a separate identity to the company that owns it. Therefore, although Rangers PLC is now being liquidated, it may be argued that Sevco Scotland Ltd has bought the club and its history from the administrators. This issue has excited considerable comment in the blogosphere, much of it highly partisan. HFK will continue to treat Rangers' history as continuous at least for the time being. Please note that we will not enter into any correspondence on this until the SFA clarifies the position.

Additions for 2012-13: Livingston (H, A), Raith Rovers (A), Berwick Rangers (H*), Inverness Caledonian Thistle (H), East Stirlingshire (H, A, 3rd).

16 July - 2012-13 updates: Barnsley (H), Nottingham Forest (H).

15 July - 2012-13 Updates: Fulham (H), Oxford United (H, A), Burton Albion (A), Charlton Athletic (A), Sheffield Wednesday (A), Newcastle United (H).

14 July - 2012-13 updates: Reading (H, A), Rotherham Town (H), Fleetwood Town (H, A), Stockport County (H), Southend United (A), Arsenal (A), Hull City (3rd), AFC Wimbledon (3rd kit sponsor updated), Queens Park Rangers (3rd), Everton (H), Tottenham Hotspur (H, A).

12 July - Euro Section: Euro 96 is now available and the Euro 2008 section has been upgraded to the new format.

hungary v denmark european championship 19648 July - European Championship Updates: Some very impressive research by Jon Jones into Russian language websites has uncovered this image of the third place play-off between Hungary and Denmark in 1964. It turns out that the source image we had originally used had been incorrectly captioned and was in fact from a match between Denmark and Luxembourg.

The strip worn by Denmark against Spain in the 1988 finals has been corrected. The Yugoslavian, Portuguese and Romanian kits have been revised in the 1984 section and the 1980 Greece change kit has been amended.

6 July - 2012-13 Updates: Wigan Athletic (H amended), Walsall (H, A), Blackburn Rovers (A), Liverpool (A), Manchester City (H, A), Leeds United (A).

5 July - 2012-13 updates: Hibernian (H), Ross County (H, A), Ayr United (H), West Ham United (H), Southampton (H, A), Sheffield Wednesday (H socks confirmed), Watford (H), Derby County (A), Southend United (H), Barnet (H, A), Bristol City (H).

4 July: The new European Football Championship/Euros section has attracted a good deal of positive feedback and, more importantly, contributors have filled in all the gaps (and corrected several errors). My warmest thanks to everyone concerned. The 1992 section is now open and Euro 96 will be added shortly.

If you have recently submitted historical material, please be patient as this is being kept on hold while we focus on the new season's club kits and completing the Euro project.

thames ironworks fc 1897 team groupI've been taking a look at the colours of Thames Ironworks, the predecessor of West Ham United. Their earliest shirts were described at the time as Harrovian Blue: assuming this was not a fanciful description for the more common navy shirts of the time (perfectly possible), these would have been a rather richer shade, rather like dark blue ink. In 1897 they castle mail packet co house flagstarted to wear the strips they acquired after merging with Old Castle Swifts FC two years earlier and shown on the left. Swifts were the works team of the Castle Shipping Company and their shirts were described as Castle Blue. On the right is the house flag of the Castle Line, which suggests that these would have been mid- rather than light-blue as I had previously thought. Looking again at the photo and knowing what we now know about how shades of blue were artificially lightened by the processing of the period, I now believe mid-blue is more likely to be correct.

henri delaunay trophy29 June: Ladies & gentlemen, mesdames et messieurs, meine Damen und Herren, signore et signori, señoras y señores, κυρίες και κύριοι, mina damer och herrar, Дамы и Господа, meneer en mevrouw: with the final of the Euros coming up this weekend we thought it timely to launch our latest work in progress, the complete kit history of the European Football Championship/Euros.

Our new section covers the periods 1960-1988 and 2008-2012: the missing sections will be added over the next few weeks. There are a few gaps and visitors are encouraged to use the Contact Me links to fill these in and correct any errors in return for the usual acknowledgment.

Due to the continuing European financial crisis, the management regrets we cannot accept Euros in the giftshop.


28 June: Euro 2012 updated.

2012-13 updates: Greenock Morton (A*), Northampton Town (H, A), Bolton Wanderers (H), Sunderland (A), Crawley Town (H, A), Bradford City (H), Tranmere Rovers (H).

The debacle at Rangers now seems likely to push the SPL and SFL into a merger with long overdue reforms into the overall structure and financing of professional football currently being pushed by the SFA. Proposals are likely to be considered by member clubs next week and pending the outcome, Rangers have been replaced by Club 12 in the SPL 2012-13 section.

20 June: Euro 2012 updated.

2012-13 updates: Dagenham & Redbridge (H*, A), Charlton Athletic (H), York City (H, A), Wigan Athletic (A), Plymouth Argyle (H, A), Doncaster Rovers (H), St Johnstone (H), Dunfermline Athletic (A).

Other updates: Crawley Town (1990-91, 1994-95, 2001-02, 2006-07 added; 1988-89, 1993-94 amended and some dates revised): York City (Feb-May 1984 added; 1983-84 revised): Bristol City (1949-50 and unrecorded crest added): Aldershot (1970-72 amended).

19 June: Euro 2012 updated.

2012-13 updates: Heart of Midlothian (H), Aberdeen (H), Alloa Athletic (A*), Partick Thistle (H*, A), Greenock Morton (H).


16 June: Euro 2012 updated.

2012-13 updates: Aston Villa (H, A), Colchester United (H), West Bromwich Albion (H), Stenhousemuir (H, A), Hibernian (A).

15 June: Euro 2012 updated.

2012-13 updates: Burnley (A), Nottingham Forest (A), Hull City (H), Wolverhampton Wanderers (H).

12 June: Euro 2012 updated.

2012-13 updates: Huddersfield Town (H), Peterborough United (A), Middlesbrough (A updated), Swansea City (H), Raith Rovers (H*), Dundee United (H, A), Alloa Athletic (H).


9 June: 2012-13 updates: Chelsea (A), Fulham (A), Coventry City (H, A), Gillingham (H, A updated).

Euro 2012 updated.

Some tweaks to the European Cup/Champions League section have been made: Leeds United (1975), Benfica (1990) & Barcelona (1992).

uefa champions league logo8 June: To coincide with the opening of Euro 2012, we are today launching new content. The UEFA Champions League Finalists section charts the history of every European Cup and Champions League final since 1956. In the meantime we will be updating the Euro 2012 section as the tournaments progresses to create the definitive record of all the kits worn in the competition.

cardiff city rebranding 20126 June: The decision by Cardiff City's owners to go ahead with rebranding the club despite an outcry from supporters has prompted considerable media coverage as well as an unsightly bulge in HFK's mail box. The change from blue to red is the idea of Malaysian owner, Vincent Tan, who wants to increase market appeal in the Far East where red is considered a lucky colour, and is part of a package that will bring £100m investment to the club.

Changing colours is far from being a new idea. If success follows, the new look is soon accepted - think of Coventry City, Leeds United and Crystal Palace. The transformation of Wimbledon into MK Dons aside (an altogether different exercise) there have been no major rebrandings on this scale for over 30 years during which time the professional game in England has changed almost beyond recognition. Thanks to the growth of the market in replica kits, fans identify more than ever before with their clubs through buying their shirts. This has, in turn, led to growing interest in the heritage of their club's colours down the years.

While some supporters welcome the considerable investment on offer, others question whether more than a century of tradition should be ditched for purely commercial considerations.

This goes to the heart of the matter and illustrates the conflict that is damaging the professional game. Many owners treat football clubs as just another part of their business portfolio; vehicles to generate profit (or "shareholder value"). Success is pursued by spending beyond the club's means, an unsustainable approach that has led to disaster at Rangers, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Darlington and too many others.

The aim in business is to out-compete your rivals and dominate market share. This is why we now have a small number of clubs, funded by billionaires, dominating the Premier League.

In business, consumers frequently switch brands but how many Manchester United supporters are going to watch City just because they have achieved success and have a smart new stadium?

The fundamental point is that football clubs are not like other businesses. Their aim is to compete on level terms through sport, not to drive rivals to the wall. They rely not on shareholders for their existence but on emotional stakeholders, the fans who will turn out regardless of whether their team is winning or not.

The behaviour of City's owners would be perfectly acceptable if they were dealing with a chain of high street stores or a group of insurance companies. But a football club is not like that.

(c) Dave Moor

4 June - additions for 2012-13: Oldham Athletic (A), West Ham United (A), Notts County (H), Liverpool (A), Heart of Midlothian (A), Dumbarton (H, A).

31 May - additions for 2012-13: Motherwell (H*, A*,3rd), Dunfermline Athletic (H), Scunthorpe United (H, A), Rochdale (H, A), Preston North End (A, 3rd), Brighton & Hove Albion (H*, A*), Everton (A).


29 May: The IFA Premiership (formerly the Irish League) 2011-12 section has been added.

Euro 2012: Sweden and Ireland away kits updated.

27 May: The new 2012-13 English and Scottish season galleries are now OPEN. Visitors are respectfully reminded that they may not consume their own food on HFK premises. Thank you for your cooperation.

southampton fc team group 1896-9724 May: Southampton supporters should know about the teammead.co.uk site, where Peter Mead has posted his large collection of team photographs going back to 1887. Peter's material has uncovered two unrecorded kits (1939-41, 1941-42) and helped tweak the existing records.

The photograph (left) shows the Saints team from 1896-97, nottingham forest team group 1930-31the year they dropped "St Mary's" from their name and wore striped shirts for the first time.

This picture of the 1930-31 Nottingham Forest team is a bit of a puzzle. The socks appear to match the deep red of the shirts so what are we to make of the turnovers? They could be lightish blue or amber but neither of these colours dallas tornado (dundee united) 1967 team groupotherwise appears in their history.

Celtic (1986-87, 1988 change kits amended): Bolton Wanderers (1977 variant of Admiral kit added). Gillingham (1993-95 graphics tweaked).

Since I added a crest history of Dundee earlier this month it seems only fair to do the same for Dundee United. In the course of my research I came across this image of United playing as Dallas Tornado in the United Soccer Association tournament in 1967. Two years later the bosses' wife persuaded the board to modernise the team's image and adopt an all-orange strip in domestic competition.

23 May Additions for 2012-13: Queen of the South, Yeovil Town, Wycombe Wanderers.

reading team group 1965-66Inspired by Coventry City's sky blue revolution, Reading launched their own all light-blue strip in 1965. An interesting detail, revealed in this rare colour photograph found by Steve Maggs, is the crest worn by several players. It is unclear whether this new badge was worn when the new season began.

Barnsley (1981-82 collar corrected); Plymouth Argyle (detailing adjusted on 1978-89, 1979-80); Grimsby Town (1983-84, 1984-85 detailing amended); Watford (1978 crest added).

21 May - 2011-12 additions: Torquay United (3rd), Macclesfield Town (3rd).

Additions for 2012-13: Stoke City, Bury, AFC Bournemouth, Queens Park Rangers, Blackburn Rovers, Oldham Athletic.

southport afc 1958-59 team group15 May Additions for 2012-13: Crewe Alexandra, Milton Keynes Dons.

The fire that gutted Southport's main stand, offices and changing rooms in 1966 also destroyed the club archive so it is always a delight when something new turns up, especially when, as with this team photograph from 1958-59, an unrecorded kit is revealed. Fleetwood Freeport (2000-01 added); Wrexham (1976 ECWC one-off kit added).

dundee fc old style hfk graphic8 May: The 2012 FA Cup Final kits have been added.

While spring cleaning the Dundee section (2003-04 European kit, 2012-13, crest history added and a brilliant one-off strip posted in the SFL Division One section) I came across this image hidden behind a radiator.

This is how our graphics looked when we launched the website in June 2006.

That does seem rather a long time ago.

4 May: Fleetwood Town have been added to our Football League section and a brand spanking new Welsh Premier 2011-12 section is now available. An Irish Premiership section will follow shortly.

MLS 2012 - Toronto FC (A), Houston Dynamos (3rd) added - too orangey for crows, that one.

2012-13 additions: Sheffield United.

Port Vale (1952 crest added).

1 May - more 2012-13 kits: Crystal Palace, Swindon Town, Brentford, Middlesbrough, Falkirk.

30 April - 2012-13 additions: Celtic, Rangers, Cowdenbeath, Hereford United, Cambridge United, Bristol Rovers, Leeds United, Carlisle United.

25 April: The current Notts County home kit used in away games has been newcastle united 1898-99 team groupadded and detailing on Preston North End (3rd), Walsall (H) updated. Portsmouth (1989-93 crest added).

Newcastle United (1898-99 added - photo left; 1897-98, 1965-66 amended; 1973-74 third socks altered).

Arsenal J Rutherford of arsenal 1924(1910-11, 1913-14, 1917-18 added; 1945-46 change added; I've rendered the early kits to 1918 in a darker shade of red to be more consistent with photographic evidence and the 1919-28 graphics now have the correct lace-up shirts. A good example is shown here in this card showing J Rutherford and promoting a product that somehow has not survived. Yum.

pongo waring circa 193424 April: During the 1920s and 30s, Aston Villa wore some very distinctive change shirts such as this one modelled by Pongo Waring. Like their "home" tops these were ribbed woolen garments that must have been extremely heavy whenwet but which would have kept the players warm in even the coldest winters. As we can now see, the necks were secured with attractive tassles rather than conventional laces. (1933-34, 1934-35, 1955-56 change kits added.)

west bromwich albion team group 1887-88For years I have believed that West Bromwich Albion wore mid-blue and white striped shirts until 1920 but the 1891 cutting posted on 20 April below has forced me to re-evaluate this opinion. In the second paragraph the writer states that West Bromwich have always used the navy and white and have had it registered as being the senior wearers. After reviewing photographs from the period, I have concluded that the lighter shade evident in many is due to fading of the shirts and/or the now well-documented limitations of contemporary photography. On the right is the Albion team in 1887-88 showing how much variation there was in individual shirts at the time.

Thanks to the magisterial and hugely entertaining History of the Queen's Park FC 1867-1917 (Richard Robinson 1920) I have been able to add five very early kits (1868-1876) to the Queen's Park section as well as detailing for Scotland's first kits. You can download a free PDF of Robinson's book (long out of print but a must for anyone interested in the early history of Scottish football) from Brian McColl's excellent Scottish Football Historical Archive.

23 April: Mansfield Town (2012-13 added): AFC Wimbledon (2012-13 added): Tottenham Hotspur (Boxing Day 1945 change, Xmas Day 1950 change, 1967-68 change worn at Lyons kits added; 1962-63 change amended): the one-off kit worn by Scarborough in the 2003-04 FA Cup against Chelsea has been added.

20 April: This cutting, discovered by long term HFK contributor Kjell Hanssen in the Burnley Express archive from 11 July 1891 is pure gold. Not only does it shed light on an obscure period, it indirectly confirms that the Football League required member clubs to register distinctive colours for the 1891-92 season. We learn, for example, that Stoke and Darwen were waiting to find out what Burnley would opt for before choosing their own colours. I believe this futile rule was dropped when the Second Division was formed in 1892.

It does pose one puzzle however, by referring to West Bromwich Albion's colours as navy and white. The various sources we have accessed suggest that Albion adopted navy after the Great War but we would like confirmation.

As a result of this new information we have Bolton Wanderers (1890-91 revised; 1891-92 added): Burnley (1890-91 added): Derby County (1890-91 revised): Wolverhampton Wanderers (1891-92 revised):

More "Buy From" links have been added to the Euro 2012 and Chelsea sections. Partick Thistle have a new shirt sponsor. Leyton Orient (2012-13 added).

Wales (1881, 1883 added): Scotland (1902 & 1972 change added): Northern Ireland (sequence of dates modified).

The origin of Tottenham Hotspur's cockerel crest is now explained in the club section. Rotherham United (1985-86 added).

We will be adding a Fleetwood Town gallery in due course following the club's promotion to the Football League. All contributions to their kit history will be most welcome.

19 April: Spain's Euro 2012 away kit has been corrected. Norwich City 2012-13 gillingham fc team group 1913-14home kit added.

Gillingham have announced that next season they will be wearing a re-creation of the red and blue kit worn in 1913-14. This marks 100 years since the club changed their name from New Brompton. The original crest, the town's coat of arms, will be embroidered onto the brand new shirts. Shown here is the team, with the Lord Mayor, proudly showing off their brand new kit in 1913. (Photograph from Gillingham FC, Roger Triggs 1999).

Historical Updates: Exeter City (1986-87, 1987-88 added): Bristol Rovers (1980-82 crest added): Hereford United (1988-89 missing details now added): Port Vale (1988-89 added; 1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86, 1986-87 detailing updated: 1983 crest added).

17 April: The Euro 2012 section has been updated after Nike released details of more of their kits.

A missing badge from the 1966 FA Cup final has been added to the crest history on Sheffield Wednesday's page an the FA Cup Final section. Also added are kits from November 1973-74, 1981-83 while there are two new graphics for 1983-84.

15 April...and we're back in the room. We've been taking a break over the past four weeks to recharge the batteries and now we're back, ready to start work on copeland tile 1878 thumbthe backlog of contributions in the HFK inbox.

I was very taken with this image submitted by David Drew, a rare, if not unique, example of a large painted ceramic tile showing a football match. It was commissioned in 1878 from Copelands and installed in the home of a very wealthy individual in Glasgow. I do not think the artist intended to depict real teams in action but rather to evoke the spirit of the game, with perhaps Anglo-Scottish rivalry in mind (click on the thumbnail to examine the image, and the crests on the players' jerseys, in more detail).

welsh national football team 1886We have learned that the Welsh national team played in a variety of colours in the 19th century, probably because the cash-strapped FA of Wales bought whatever they could afford for the team. We hope to have more details later this year but in the meantime we have been able to establish their strips from 1877 and 1888. This photograph from 1886 fails to shed any light as the players are wearing their club strips. None, as far as I know, are from Ruabon FC, who now feature in the Eminent Victorians section.

The one-off silver outfit launched by Brentford a little while ago was not used in the match with Notts County as planned and will instead appear next season. Birmingham City have officially dropped their striped away shirts, which have not been worn this season. Missing detailing has been added to the current Sporting Kansas and Aberdeen graphics.

Just like Christmas shopping, the season for new kits comes round earlier each year. First off the mark for 2012-13 are Ipswich Town closely followed by Chelsea.

Euro 2012 is now complete with the addition of France (H) & Sweden (A). Updates will be added to the group sections once the tournament is underway but meanwhile the FA has announced the strips England will wear in their Group D games.

notts county shirt circa 192314 March: This interesting photograph, submitted by Nick from the fine Up The Maggies website, shows a Notts County player wearing the distinctive chevron shirts from 1923-26. This is the first time that I've had an image with sufficient detail to make out the details of the crest, which is clearly a magpie rather than the town coat of arms as I previously thought. The use of emblems like this was very new at the time and the trend was probably started by Tottenham Hotspur who adopted their cockerel badge in 1921.

The MLS 2012 section as been updated. Links to various newly available replica shirts have been added to the Newcastle United Home & Away, Oldham Athletic, Swansea City, Hibernian and Republic of Ireland galleries. Hibs' famous purple and white change shirt from 1977 is available via the Iconic Away Kits section.

2 March Euro 2012 Updates: Spain (A), Denmark (A), Sweden (H) added: detailing on England (H), Netherlands (A), Italy (A) amended. Several new "Buy From" links have been added as the new shirts arrive with our affiliate partners. By purchasing your replica shirts through these links, you will be supporting HFK as we earn a modest commission on each sale.

jock espie burnley fc circa 189628 February: Here we have a fine formal photograph of Jock Espie of Burnley, dated 1896 and found by George Chilvers. This date resolves an anomoly in the record (we had previously believed it dated from several years earlier). This very distinctive style of striped shirts was worn by only two or three teams.

Other Historical Updates: Lincoln City (late 1982-83 variant added): Port Vale (1986-87 added): Manchester City (shade of blue adjusted on 2003-07 graphics): Clydebank (1975-77 logos added): Celtic (2001-03 socks amended): St Johnstone (1976-77 added; 1910-14 collar adjusted).

Ukraine (A) added to Euro 2012. Crest on Portland Timbers 3rd kit revised. Bristol Rovers 1974 strip added to Classic Kits Section.

24 February 2011-12 Updates: Brentford (special added), Preston North End (3rd added), Aston Villa (FA Cup Away added), Torquay United (socks corrected), Dundee United (H&A shorts swapped over), Columbus Crew (sponsorship added), Chivas USA (H added), New England Revolution (H added), San Jose Earthquakes (H&A added).

wigan borough programme23 February: Following on from the discovery of Wigan Borough's crest (3 January), George Chilvers has provoked a concerted effort among the Wigan Athletic supporters' community to establish the colour of Borough's jerseys in 1924-26. Among the tantalising clues discovered is this rare and fragile programme recently sold at auction. wigan borough 2925-26 colourisedUnfortunately the image was not of sufficient quality to make out the description of Borough's colours, although the letters G**** and White can just about be made out. The final corroboration arrived with the discovery of a report from the AGM in July 1926 when it was noted the team's jerseys had been changed from green to gold and black (my emphasis). This colourised image is by George and HFK would like to extend thanks to everyone involved in solving this long-standing conundrum.

The radically new England strip has been added. Additions to Euro 2012: England (H), Greece (H & A), Germany (A modified), Czech Rep (A), Croatia (A), France (A), Italy (A), Russia (A).

8 February: Republic of Ireland (new away added): Scotland (new away added): Croatia (Euro 2012 home added).

mls logo6 February: The 2012 Major League Soccer gallery is now open. Just take the lift to the third floor and follow the signs. Visitors are kindly asked to avoid dropping food crumbs on the new carpets.

Smoking is not permitted in any part of the HFK complex.

wigan borough fc crest 19253 February: This photograph shows clearly the details of Wigan Borough's crest as it appeared in 1925 and it is not, as we had previously thought, made up of the Wigan coat of arms but the letters WBFC intertwined. We have assumed the jerseys are gold but have not been able to confirm this.

Wigan Athletic (1964-65 added; 1933-34 socks corrected; minor tweaks to 1965-69 graphics): Derby County (1925-26 crest amended): Kidderminster Harriers (1903-04 added).

glossop north end fc 125th anniversary shirt23 January: This season marks the 125th anniversary of the formation of Glossop North End and to mark the occasion the club has introduced this special commemorative shirt, based on the top worn when the team played in the First Dvision for one season in 1899-1900. It is this team that is featured in HFK's banner at the top of every page on the site. Incidentally, the gentleman wearing a button-hole and gazing proudly across the team from the far right of our banner is their chairman, Samuel Hill-Wood. The son of a succesful cotton magnate, Hill-Wood was captain of Derbyshire Cricket Club and funded the Glossop football team until the outbreak of World War One. Elected MP for High Peak in 1910, he was created a baronet in 1921 and presided over Arsenal during their first period of success in the mid 1930s. His descendants remain inextricably linked to Arsenal FC and when Glossop reached the FA Vase final in 2009, they were presented with a silver plate from the London club as well as the use of their training facilities.

Updates: Swindon Town (2011-12 FA Cup strip added).

manchester united in hooped shirts 193419 January: Tim Ashmore recently passed on this interesting observation from Mark Wylie, curator of the Manchester United museum. Among the collection in his care is a minute book from 1934 that records that the FA had agreed to the club changing their registered "home" colours from red to "maroon and hoop" (sic) from 3 March of that year. These tops have been commonly described as "cherry and white" but Mark has confirmed there are no contemporary references to these terms. I am delighted to add this to the record and, in the process, have extensively reviewed our entries for United's Home and Away sections with the latest information from the superlative unitedkits.com, the site that Tim runs with Paul Nagel.

Euro 2012 Updates: Republic of Ireland (H) added, Poland updated.

euro 2012 logo6 January: Today we launch our Euro 2012 section as a work in progress. With many of the participating nations still to announce their playing strips, we encourage visitors to let us know as new kits are launched (but please no leaks). Once the tournament is underway we will post strips in the Match-by-Match sections, building up the definitive record of the competition.

Please take care to avoid wet paint in the new gallery and place children in the receptacles provided.

5 January: A very Happy New Year to you.

Today's updates: Newcastle United's (new shirt sponsor): Coventry City (2012 FA Cup strip added): Third Lanark (1959-60 added).

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