Kits Through the Ages

PAGECRESTIn January 2021 I set about overhauling the graphics for this section because I have always been unhappy with the darkness of the blue used previously. The contemporary postcards and photographs that I possess have always made me think that it should be much lighter, so I contacted Dave Moor of Historical Football Kits website to see what he thought; I’ll let him explain: “An enduring puzzle that goes back to the very beginning of HFK has been how to interpret early photographs of Huddersfield Town, such as [my 1913-14 team photograph]. The stripes appear to be quite pale and initially I thought they must have been light blue although the few contemporary records I was able to find consistently described their colours as “blue and white.” Once the role of the orthographic film stock, widely used at the time was understood (it makes blues look pale and reds/yellows dark), I revised my graphics to show conventional mid-blue. Recently Roger Pashby, who runs the outstanding Huddersfield Town Collection website, sent me a photograph of a 1909-10 fixture card, the season that the club dropped their original red jerseys and it clearly states that the new colours would be “light blue and white”. Armed with this information I have re-examined the photographic record and concluded that the club wore a shade that was intermediate between pale “Cambridge Blue” and conventional mid or royal blue. I believe they switched to mid blue and white shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, although I can’t be certain about this. (12th January 2021)”

I completely agree with Dave’s conclusions and in the light of our discussions I have updated my graphics, although it needs to be noted that going by contemporary squad photographs the club seemed to mix’n’match its socks during any given season between 1910 and the late 1920s. And as for Town’s iconic stripes themselves, I discovered the following information on page 32 of 100 Years: All That’s Worth Knowing: Facts & Photos (George Binns, Alan Hodgson, Ian & Gwen Thomas, 2009) “…as in most matches that season [1912/13], Town played in their registered colours of white shirts with blue neckband. However, as early as 5th November 1912 the Board requested Mr Emmerson to supply samples of ‘blue and white striped and all blue jerseys of good quality.’ As a consequence on 26th November the Directors decided to purchase new football jerseys of blue and white vertical stripes of three inches in width for the following season [1913/14].”

9KIT 190809 1KIT 190809 2KIT 190910KIT 191011KIT 191112KIT 1912 AprilKIT 191213KIT 191314 aKIT 191314 bKIT 191416KIT 191617KIT 191819KIT 191920KIT 192023KIT 192324KIT 192425KIT 192526KIT 192627KIT 192733KIT 193335KIT 193537KIT 193740KIT 194445KIT 194546KIT 194647KIT 194750KIT 195051KIT 195152KIT 195253KIT 195355KIT 195556KIT 195657KIT 195758KIT 1958KIT 195859KIT 195962KIT 1962-63KIT 1963-65KIT 1965-66KIT 1966-67KIT 1967-68KIT 1968-69KIT 1969-70KIT 1970-71 warmKIT 1970-71 coldKIT 1971 AugKIT 1971-72KIT 1971-72 lateKIT 1972-73KIT 1973-74KIT 1974-75KIT 1975-77KIT 1977-78KIT 1978-79KIT 1979-80KIT 1980-81KIT 1981-82KIT 1982-84KIT 1984-85KIT 1985-86KIT 1986-87KIT 1987-89KIT 1989-90KIT 1990-91KIT 1991-93KIT 1993-95KIT 1995-97KIT 1997-99KIT 1999-2001KIT 2001-02KIT 2002-03KIT 2003-05KIT 2005-07KIT 2007-08KIT 2008-09KIT 2009-10KIT 2010-11KIT 2011-12KIT 2012-13KIT 2013-14KIT 2014-15KIT 2015-16KIT 2016-17KIT 2017-18KIT 2018-192019-20 kitkit 202021

NB: At the outset of the 2020/21 season there was no kit sponsorship but by December the club had begun to cycle different sponsors on all three first team shirts for the remainder of the season; those graphics are not shown here.

Dave’s HFK site also includes a few of Town’s second, third and “special” kits…

1970-1972

KIT 1970 second

1991-92

KIT 1991 second

2007-08

KIT 2007-08 second

2008-09

KIT 2008-09 secondKIT 2008-09 charity

2009-10

KIT 2009-10 secondKIT 2009-10 charity

2010-11

KIT 2010-11 second

2011-12

KIT 2011-12 secondKIT 2011-12 charity

2012-13

KIT 2012-13 secondKIT 2012-13 third

2013-14

KIT 2013-14 secondKIT 2013-14 third

2014-15

KIT 2014-15 secondKIT 2014-15 third

2015-16

KIT 2015-16 secondKIT 2015-16 thirdKIT 2015-16 special

2016-17

KIT 2016-17 secondKIT 2016-17 third

2017-18

KIT 2017-18 secondKIT 2017-18 third

2018-19

KIT 2018-19 secondKIT 2018-19 third

2019-20: season of the infamous “fake” kit

The release of the new 2019/20 kit provoked a storm of controversy as Town teamed up with bookmakers Paddy Power, a notorious company famed for their “banter” and sending-up of everybody and everything. This applied to HTAFC as first their sponsorship announcement video went viral after mocking both the football club and the town of Huddersfield itself. Then came the kit announcement…2019 kit jokeA storm of protest followed, only made worse by the fact that the team actually played in the shirt in a friendly at Rochdale. However, two days later, all was revealed – the sash was gone and even the sponsor’s logo was absent as part of Paddy Power‘s “Save Our Shirt” campaign and all was well with the world once more. The sash shirts were subsequently auctioned for three Huddersfield charities on eBay. Well done PP and HTAFC! (For details see AT THE AUCTIONS)

Footnote
On 5th September 2019, Town were fined £50,000 by the FA for a breach of rules regarding sponsor advertising on shirts. New chairman Phil Hodgkinson admitted culpability and paid up, so the club ended up shelling out more than they had actually raised for charity. Well done, the FA – you never let us down, do you?  😦
2019 kit

2019-20 HOAX kit2019-20 second kitKit 2019-20 Third

*Town’s FAC Final kits can be seen HERE.

NB All graphics are (c) Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission. All rights are reserved.


SOURCES

I am occasionally asked how I know about one or two of the more obscure kits; usually there will be a postcard or a photograph somewhere on this website (see the TEAM PHOTOGRAPHS section for most photographic sources) to back up my research, but just occasionally I have found evidence beyond those items. Here are a few examples…

The first kit – 1908/09

1908 HTAFC kit evidenceTown’s first ever kit as a professional football team, worn in their very first competitive match, a friendly against near neighbours Bradford Park Avenue who were newly promoted into the Football League. [photograph from page 17 of 100 Years: All That’s Worth Knowing (Binns, Hodgson & Thomas) 2009]


April 1912 kit

1912 April kit dark with white yokeThis certainly wasn’t the standard kit for the 1911/12 season; white shirts with a blue collar or yoke were the order of the day according to a contemporary booklet that I have. But Bartlett’s final game was indeed on 9th April 1912, at home to Hull City, and those terraced houses in the background are the old pre-“Cowshed” end, so that kit definitely checks out as a “home” one. The Bullock action photograph cannot possibly be from the same game – he didn’t play in either League game against Hull. Which all means that this kit must have been worn on at least two different occasions. Dave Moor has once again provided the best explanation as follows: The tops are clearly the team’s change strip and the fact that they are worn in home matches is not in itself significant. At the time the “senior” club retained their first choice strip when colours clashed and it was not until 1921 that the Football League introduced the rule requiring visiting teams to change. What is significant though is that the image on the right is from a match against Hull City; there is no reason for Huddersfield to change out of their normal white shirts for this game but it came over the Easter period at the end of a sequence of four matches in five days. In fact the teams had met the previous day at Boothferry Park and it seems likely that there was no time to get their white shirts washed and dried in time after they returned from Hull.” [photographs from pages 16 & 17 of Leeds Road: Home of My Dreams (Ian Thomas) 1994]


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