|There are hundreds of
stories in this Premiership of ours and this is just one. Tottenham had
worn many different colour combinations before deciding to copy the kit
of the most successful team of the time - Preston North End. There can
be no greater tribute than to assume the same colours of a side that had
already done the Double in the early days of the League.
The famous Arsenal team chose their
colours by wearing the shirts which were donated to them by Nottingham
Forest. So they are to blame for Tottenham fans being allergic to
anything red and white !! Leeds were originally an all blue wearing
team, but were desperate for success, so took the colours of the great
Real Madrid team of the 1950’s and 60’s. It did work to some extent
for them too.
But where did other clubs come up with
their club colours ?? It set my mind to thinking what might have
happened in those far off days at the start of football as we know it
....Many clubs located by the coast will be found playing in blue,
because of their proximity to the sea (e.g. Portsmouth, Cardiff City,
Hartlepool, etc.), however, Chelsea were a long way from any water, but
decided to play in blue rather than the red of the Chelsea Pensioners
coats. Liverpool were preordained to adopt the colours of the body organ
of their name and Everton were blue because of the colour of the
wrappers of Everton toffees, sold around the area at the time of their
Red and white stripes are a favourite
choice of many clubs and this is due to the influence of barber shops on
the game. When the members of the teams were having their hair cut, they
looked up at the old red and white barbers pole and were struck by the
way the colours would look on their shirts. There are far fewer teams in
blue and white stripes as these colours were displayed on the pole
outside the old chiropodists premises.
Some teams ended up with the same colour
combination despite being miles apart. For example, West Ham, Aston
Villa, Scunthorpe United and Burnley all came to their kit colours
through the desire to mix the light blue of the sky and the rich red of
fire-scorched brick from the industry around their respective areas.
Coventry on the other hand couldn’t decide what colours to sport, so
their founder just looked to the heavens one day for inspiration and was
so struck by the sky above he plumped for the light blue strip that they
are so well known for.
Torquay’s ensemble must have been
taken from their location on the English Riviera and reflects the blue
sea and the yellow of the sandy beaches on the Devon coast. Whereas
their county rivals Plymouth Argyle have gone all historical and go back
to the days of Sir Francis Drake’s game of bowls before he left to
fight the Spanish Armada. Playing lawn bowls, the green has translated
to the shirts of the Pilgrims of today. The colours of Norwich was
determined by their old ground name of the nest and they became the
Canaries, so could only be clad in green and yellow. Grimsby went along
with their name and bore black and white stripes to reflect how grim it
is up north, while Notts. County had a similar strip but for very
different reasons. Being one of the first clubs around, they did not
even think about colour television being invented in the future, so
decided to go for the monochrome look to stand them in good stead for
many years to come.
Hull City’s black and amber stripes
are taken from their Tigers nickname. Bradford City’s interesting
mixture of claret and mustard comes from the culinary cupboard, where a
mix of the wine and savoury add to a special old Yorkshire chicken dish
and this was eaten with relish in the city by Bantams fans and thus led
to their team adopting the colours for their shirts. For some sides they
were only able to take in the effect of colours when it was too late.
For example, the purple and white stripes of Northampton Town, but then
that’s what happens when you slop red wine down your nice new all
white kit. Those difficult stains just won’t come out you know !!!