Pompey Kits: Suits you Sir
Whilst Pompey's home kit has remained relatively straightforward for the past twenty or so years (with the exception of the odd manufacturers, sponsors or designers signature) our 2nd and especially 3rd kits have been victim to more colour changes, than a chameleon wandering through a rainbow.
And it was the thought of how revolting that chameleon would look that got me thinking…
Leaving aside our Home Strip; from the Salmon pink during our humble beginnings all the way up to our traditional Blue, White, Red of the modern era, what has been our best, worse, luckiest or quite simply most embarrassing 'alternative' strip?
I cannot profess to remember them all, let alone the order they came in, but I've attempted to serve up a few to start the debate, although I have to admit in most cases I can only recall the shirt colour(s)
Lets start with a personal favourite of mine. The red, white, red (or sometimes blue), combination of the away kit of the early/mid seventies. The shirt, similar to the home kit had two left sided vertical stripes running through it. The difference in the away kit being that they were white stripes on red as opposed to blue on white for the kit worn at Fratton. I can still remember my boyhood hero Peter Ma-rin- el-lo flying down the wing wearing this kit although I can't quite remember where it was, but it must've been local (ish) as I wasn't allowed past London for away game then - Must've been Orient or somewhere….
What happened after that kit was no longer used I cannot remember (unless we went back to all red) but the next shirt that sticks in my memory is the white round neck 'T-Shirt' with thin blue & red horizontal stripes sported by the likes of Vince Hilaire when Pompey were on the road between 83 & 85. I remember this shirt distinctly as it sported Pompey's new crest (the football with the anchor through it) which annoyed me a little as I had just spent £10 down the Hard, having the star and crescent tattooed on my left arm!
The classic white with dazzling blue shoulder flash I think was the next to come, and if my memory serves me correctly that was worn on away days during our journey to Division One under Alan Ball's leadership - Oh what heady days, no sooner had I blinked and we'd let in 6 at Highbury, 5 at Forest and 4 at Anfield all within about ten days as I recall. The kit as well as our status soon departed.
Pompey then entered the world of the delusional and turned into Brazil. Sponsored by Goodmans our away kit from 89-91 as worn by Beresford, Stevens, Hogg & co was, quite simply (right down to the green and yellow-trimmed white socks) an attempt to fool the opposition that they were up against the Samba boys. If only our away form had been anywhere near as good at the kit! - Brazil we were not and the kit I think went much the same way as Beresford, Stevens & Hogg.
For some reason black and red halves then became the order of the day Whittingham and Walsh (still have dreams about that partnership) strutted their stuff and bagged a hatful between them during 94 & 95. Then along came new sponsors and we started impersonating other teams again. That said, we did demonstrate that we had learned our lesson from the Brazil experience…. This time we were only trying to be the Man City team of the 1970's. Some bright spark put a couple of black stripes down the red half of the away shirt and a couple of red stripes down the black half, stuck on 'The News' across the middle and charged every Pompey fan the £25 for the privilege.
Coming more up to date we've had the hideously oversized star & crescent (much like my tattoo) on the sleeve of the yellow & blue 'KJC' kit, The 'Ty' all gold that helped us win the division-one title and the all red 'OKI' used for the 2005/2006 season
What difference a colour makes I don't know, I only hope that we stick with what we've got for a couple of years, otherwise I'm worried that the only colour left that we haven't used is Orange…. Come to think of it didn't we have a garish 'Bishop Printers' Orange shirt with a vertical black band across it?
Written by Chix.
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