This blog takes a closer look at the sartorial saga of home outfits of English and Welsh football clubs. It is not always clear why particular club colours where chosen in the first place. Often there was no deliberate club policy to wear specific colours or even to change them. Some clubs adopted the school, church, company, county or the livery colours from the borough they originate from.
Formed by workers, Coventry City arguably first sported black being the corporate colour of the Singer bicycle factory. Blackburn Rovers chose the colours of Malvern school, Cambridge blue and white halves, as the uniform of their team.
Other clubs adopted the colours of a prestigious family a town was associated with in earlier days. Grimsby Town’s initial outfit for instance were blue and white hoops, the colours being derived from the local Pelham family.
Wherever a city or town had more than one major club, there had to be a major colour contrast for territorial reasons. The followers of the involved clubs wished to be able to distinguish themselves from one another. So is it that Nottingham Forest are red and Notts County are black and white.
There have also been periods that clubs believed that a mere change of whatever colour would produce a change of luck. We see unique sartorial contributions as well as surprises from the days when spots, sashes and halves were fashionable. Tranmere Rovers, for example, changed from the established blue and white to maroon and orange halved jerseys simply to impress their opponents. York City changed to brown and cream striped shirts in an attempt to increase support from workers in the local chocolate industry.
Other choices were obvious though. Portsmouth adopted their colours in response to the local military influence. Some seem lessed obvious but were entirely logical. AFC Bournemouth play in cherry red because Dean Court was built next to the Cooper-Dean estate which included many cherry orchards.