2014/15 third kit by Umbro – First impressions

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The 2014/15 home kit is unanimously loved by the HCK geeks, whereas the away kit divides the opinions of SombreEthyl and JGHull. The third strip is the charm, says no one, but Umbro have revealed City’s alternate change kit, activating our opinion glands which are ready to spurt…

SombreEthyl: “A fusion of classic tradition (white away shirts) and nascent tradition (using blue, which recalls the city being the capital of synthetic ultramarine dye production as well as being one of Hull’s civic colours, as a change tone), that works for me, as does a keeping it simple approach to design. I like this. A lot.

When I see some of the attention seeking designs from brands trying way too hard to make a name for themselves, such as Warrior’s horrific Liverpool change kits both last season and this, as well as Macron’s tendency to splash as many of their logos on a shirt as possible, I’m very grateful that Umbro are capturing the zeitgeist for understated and classic designs.

A white shirt, blue shorts and white socks, each with just a touch of contrast trim, it’s a very attractive combination and is harmoniously put together.

There will come a time when envelope pushing design is in vogue again, but at a time when Hull City are trying to establish themselves as a regular and respected Premier League constituent, a restrained and tasteful set of kits fits the bill and Umbro have delivered with all three designs.

Though I’d have preferred the wrap over V neck that’s used on Everton’s white third kit, (that collar style is perhaps my favourite ever, it harks back to an age of classic kits in the late 80s to early 90s and I’d dearly love to have a City kit featuring it), it is understandable that Umbro would shy away from replicating that look for us when you see the endless and tedious faux-rage generated about templates on kit review sites.

A sponsor insisting on having their logo in brand colours can cause some hideous colour collisions (remember that purple and lime green NTL applique on Aston Villa’s claret and sky blue home kit? Eww!) but 12BET’s insistence on having part of their logo in red isn’t as jarring as it sounds. Umbro sensibly rendered part of the sponsor blue on the artwork they supplied the Premier League for the annual handbook, but I don’t think the splash of red on the final version looks incongruous on this shirt, and that’s probably down to its very basic styling.

Umbro’s slightly superfluous sleeve wordmarks will need to be covered to comply with kit rules in UEFA sanctioned competition, which will be addition by subtraction in terms of overall kit appearance, even better, they’ll be covered by Europa League patches, an embellishment second only to the FA Cup patches City used in the Semis and Cup Final.

I’m rather excited about seeing this shirt with a unique name and number font for Europa League games added too. What I’ve seen has stencil lines through it, like what you’d see sprayed onto cargo boxes, quite appropriate for use abroad I’d say

I’m duty bound to say I’d have preferred the old logo with City’s name and nickname, but regardless this is a lovely kit, and while it references tradition, it takes us in a new direction where away kits are concerned. The three kits supplied have justified our initial excitement that Umbro are back, and since the competition they faced to supply City was from Warrior and Macron, every Tiger National should be glad we’ve gone double diamond.”

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JGHull: “Oh my. That’s tremendous.

It’s the right blue. It’s the right white (heh). It’s better than the away kit.

I’m a massive fan of white as our change kit but historically, blue has been used before and I like us in it too. Admittedly, not the deep blue from last season (that was a bit of disaster) but light blue has become one of our key club colours. And this kit is stunning.

A simple shirt with round neck collar (will any of the players nick that with scissors for comfort? Hard to see where it sits on that picture of Jake Livermore – often if it’s too high or too tight, some players gets the scissors out), simple blue shorts, white socks with a simple blue hoop. Simple then, but very effective.

The sponsor including red is OK – I’d have loved to have seen that in plain blue or black but it doesn’t do any damage. I do wonder though why the red is insisted upon on this kit but not the other two kits? The red could have been used on both of the other strips so whilst this doesn’t hurt the strip at all, it stands out that it’s been used here.

The badge? Blah blah blah. I’ve said it before. Fix the “1″ and it’s OK as a shirt badge but I’d rather it had the club name on. The club are finally using Hull City in their press, artwork and social campaigns so hopefully we can see a revision of the crest for next season.

Overall, Umbro have created three great playing strips for this season and they deserve to sell plenty of them. However, I said it about the second kit and I’ll say it again – kits become memorable because of when and where they are worn. And City are in Europe. It doesn’t get more memorable than that so Umbro have every chance of these kits being loved for a very long time.

Away kit makes debut at Queens Park Rangers

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The new Umbro all-black away kit made its debut yesterday on the opening day of the 2014/15 Premier League campaign. City bested QPR 1-0 at Loftus Road courtesy of James Chester’s 52nd minute headed goal (marker Rio Ferdinand seemed more interested in Chester’s shirt, grabbing a feel, than contesting the ball), but had ‘keeper Allan McGregor to thank for maintaining the lead when he saved Charlie Austin’s penalty late on. McGregor was wearing the Aqua and Navy ‘keeper kit released for use with the away kit.

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Aside from new attire, there were other notable kit occurrences... Nikica Jelavić finally got the diacritic above the C in his surname added to a Hull City shirt. Everton applied the acute accent when he played for them, and somewhat obviously it featured on his Croatian national team shirts at the World Cup in Brazil, but since his arrival from Goodison Park in the January transfer window, City had not bothered with the accent. 

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Additionally, James Chester lost a Premier League sleeve patch at some point before his goal. He had both patches earlier on, but the applique from his right sleeve is clearly missing in goal celebration images. The patches, made by Sporting ID, were made much lighter at the start of last season, they clearly don’t glue them like they used to.

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2014/15 away kit by Umbro – First impressions

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Having shown us the very sexy home kit last month, Umbro have revealed the primary change kit City will use in 2014/15. The chin stroking HCK kit geeks are ready to give their view…

SombreEthyl: “Hmm, that’s pretty good.

Although it doesn’t quite stir the loins like the home kit, which still has me in its thrall and makes me coo every time I see it, this is a rather decent design and a good addition to Umbro’s City kit pantheon.

Back to black then… I’ve always preferred all white as a first choice change kit, but when you’re replacing kits every season then it’s good to mix it up a bit, and I like the idea of a white-black-sky blue away kit rotation. Besides, a black away kit pretty much necessitates a third kit, so there is still room for all white yet! As an unabashed kit nerd I’ll never complain about having a third kit, I’ve never bought into the idea that a third kit is a rip off, that a fan is somehow compelled to buy all three kits. You aren’t, and I’ve no time for third kit based faux-outrage .

As far as all-black goes, the 2003/04 away kit was a bit of a game changer; the sight of Ian Ashbee, clad in a mean looking black kit with amber trim, his face flushed and arms pumping in triumph after scoring the goal against Yeovil that sealed a promotion 18 years overdue, that look signalled all-black as an accepted alternative for a change kit.

It’s true that a black kit isn’t veering very far from our regular look, but there is something pleasing about being able to avoid a clash while still wearing our club colours, just with the order reversed. If you can’t wear amber and black on your travels, then wear black and amber!

Although quite a simple design, the shirt has a rather interesting neckline that is both crew neck and V-neck, exposing a round amber underpiece that creates the impression that a black top is being worn over the home shirt. It’s a collar style used on the home and away shirts Umbro have made for French club Nantes this year, but thankfully it isn’t on any other English club’s shirts (at least as far as I’ve seen) so it doesn’t look so generic and templatey, that might be the biggest plus of going with Umbro; we won’t be sharing kit design with a glut of other Premier League clubs.

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I’ve made my feelings about the revised club crest clear on the home shirt review; the crest itself isn’t ugly, but the underlying reason for the change doesn’t sit right with me. Still, I’ve liked shirts carrying a crest I don’t like before (such as the 1999/00 home and away shirts) so I won’t make out that the crest sullies the shirt, I’d just rather our shirts carry the club name.

I would also have preferred for the Umbro marks on the chest and sleeves (and while I’m at it, those sleeve wordmarks are wholly redundant and unneeded) to have been applied in amber, because once you add the mostly white Premier League sleeve patches and white numbers and letters, the amount of amber on this shirt will be quite diluted.

Similarly, the white edging to the ventilation holes on the back should have been amber to maintain the look of a club specific garment. The front of the shirt readily identifies it as part of a Hull City kit, but from behind? Not so much. Just a tiny bit of amber on the back would have made a big difference, HULL CITY AFC stitched underneath the collar piece for example, would have really enhanced the shirt.

The sponsor looks a lot bigger on this shirt than on the home version, but again I quite like the Chinese text part of 12BET’s logo so that’s not an issue.

I like that the home shorts are reused for the away kit, it creates a uniformed look across the sets, and having socks that are a chromatic reversal of the home kit’s hose offers the flexibility to use home or away shirts and socks interchangeability should the need arise. I wonder if there are amber alternate shorts to further increase mash-up options, I quite liked the varied amber shorts adidas created so we could still wear the home shirt if the home team wore dark shorts.

Verdict: Not the most practical, but a smart away design nonetheless. 

I’d have liked a wee bit more amber contrast trim on the shirt, but overall this is a fine away kit and another classy design from Umbro, I’m pleased they are showing signs of a strong recovery after their cruel gutting by former owners Nike. If the home kit is A- then I’d give the away set a mark of B+.

Not sure about that away keeper kit though!”

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JGHull:  So that’s new away kit is it? It’s ‘alright’.

I know it goes against the initial Twitter reaction (I saw one tweet describe it as ‘beautiful’ – really?) as well as the reaction of SombreEthyl, but I’m a bit ‘meh’.

Perhaps that’s because I’ve seen it already – most of us on social media saw the leak and you could see enough of it in that leak to make today’s announcement a bit of a non-event. That’s a shame as I wonder if my reaction would have been different if I’d not seen it. We’ll never know.

Let’s be clear – I don’t dislike it. It’s clean, uses our correct club colours and whilst I too would prefer us in an all white get up when we can’t wear our home kit, I agree with SombreEthyl that black kits have their place in our wardrobe. I also agree with his suggestion that pairing it with amber shorts could create a smart looking option. However, I just don’t get the over the top excitement surrounding it. Even Tom Huddlestone couldn’t hide his excitement stating in the press release that “the lads are buzzing with the new away kit” and that they “could feel the quality”. Tom, did you really say that? Heh.

Maybe the inevitable third kit will be all white? And whilst City in blue is good too (the Argentina blue kit from adidas looked great), I wouldn’t want the blue and red experiment of last year to be repeated.

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I think my major problem with it is that it reminds me of the training wear, which frankly I think is a bit iffy. Go look at it on TigerLeisure.com – it’s not great is it? No detailing, no design, just plain black stuff with the Umbro logo and that badge (I too am going to leave the badge out of it this time). If you’re looking for adventure, you can have it in plain purple.

I know this sounds harsh but take the badge off and it looks like the cheaper stuff near the door in Sports Soccer. Am I being mean? Perhaps, but it’s not the snazzy Climacool gear that adidas provided us with in the last few years and it’s certainly not a good look for “wor Steve” as he prowls the touchline.

Let’s face some facts though – whilst kit geeks like us will pore over the details of our new fabric, it’s the moments that occur whilst wearing it that make a kit a classic.

Ian Ashbee punching the air at Yeovil. City at Watford in a play-off semi. City at Wembley for the play-off final. Great City kits need great City moments. Maybe this kit gets its moment in Europe? Fingers crossed.

Verdict: Smart enough alternative to a great home kit, impact dulled  by a leak and ‘matching’ training wear.

There’s just the third kit to be unveiled now, when it is we’ll let you know what we think. Now it’s your turn. Are you happy to be back to black? Give us your thoughts.

2014/15 home kit by Umbro – First impressions

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The wait is over…Umbro have unveiled the primary kit City will wear both home and abroad in 2014/15. So what do the HCK kit geeks make of it?

SombreEthyl: “Oh that’s beautiful. Very, very beautiful.

I consider the 1990-92 Matchwinner home to be the ideal City shirt; bold stripes with plain amber sleeves. Or at least, I did. This, I think, employs that look even better, it screams ‘HULL CITY’ even if the badge doesn’t carry the name.

As far as Umbro’s remit goes, they’ve nailed it, it’s a classic looking City kit with some neat technical features (such as the small white disc topped ventilation holes on the back). Simple round collar, lots of stripes that aren’t too thin, and solid amber sleeves to brighten a shirt that could look quite dark if the sleeves are striped too, or as they have been at times, solid black. Amber is the most important tone in our colour scheme, our kits should be bright, even with a striped shirt, and this is the way to achieve that.

Similarly, the socks should have lots of amber in them too, and if we aren’t replicating last years gorgeous hooped socks, then all amber is the next best thing. The thin black stripe on the foldover band complements the simple and elegant black shorts, which have an amber stripe of the same width on each side.

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The image leaked the day before the unveiling (grr, I hate grainy leaked pictures that have people on Twitter slagging off details they can’t see properly or may well have since been changed) showed a shirt with wonky alignment of the Umbro double diamond and club crest, that seems to have been put right, as has the sponsor, which was on a black background that did the shirt no favours at all.

The sponsor then… I have no problem with betting firms advertising on football shirts (I don’t like shirt advertising full stop, there are plenty of ways to be sponsored that don’t involve turning a team’s primary identifying mark into a billboard, but hey ho, this isn’t the time for that debate), so 12BET is a significant improvement on a pawn shop/payday moneylender.

My concern then is whether a sponsors logo affects the visual integrity of a shirt by being too big, or using colours that clash with a teams palette. With the earlier black background plate that was the case, but now that the sponsor is applied as white text with a black background, 12BET’s logo doesn’t look intrusive, and I actually think the logographic Chinese text looks cool. Nobody with Hull City’s interests at heart has opposed the club trying to tap into the Asian market for sponsorship, they just don’t think changing the club’s name to that end is worth that or necessary, and seeing hanzi text on a City shirt proves that.

The crest then… Y’know, as a shirt badge, which is often different from a club crest or a single element of it (think Arsenal with just a cannon, or City from the 1940s-1970s with a scraggy looking tiger that never appeared anywhere but on the shirts), the shield with just the tiger head and ‘1904’ looks alright, although I still think it’s daft to not have the club’s name on the shirt. It’s when you see a nameless crest on the side of the KC Stadium that it looks silly, but as a shirt badge it’s not so bad (it’s better than the awful clipart crab crest from the 1999/2000 shirt, which crest aside, I love) though I’d much prefer the beloved crest used from 2002 till the FA Cup final.

If this had the old crest, I’d declare this the perfect Hull City kit, and since the crest switch is on the club and not the supplier, Umbro should be praised to high heaven for providing the club with a perfect Hull City kit.

Verdict: Very close to perfection.

The club have indicated there may be a different sponsor or the club’s charity of the year on the shirts used in Europe, so there is the worry of an intrusive logo yet to be allayed there, but for now I’m very happy with that home kit and I’m looking forward to seeing the club’s own name and numbers fonts for Europe too.”

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JGHull: “That’s almost it. That’s not just the latest Hull City AFC kit, that’s almost *the* Hull City AFC kit. There are two things which prevent me from fawning over it completely, with one maybe more major than the other.

I’ve got to agree with SombreEthyl (which pains us both) but I think Umbro have hit their brief squarely on the head. It’s a gorgeous, bold striped shirt with a simple, slightly old fashioned collar. I like the amber sleeves too. The white Umbro detailing on the sleeve cuff adds a little something. It’s the perfect Hull City shirt.

But I can’t get past the badge.

The new badge actually looks OK in situ and I’m going to leave the politics out of it (but would seriously prefer our shirts to carry our proper name) but what went on with the kerning (designer-ponce word for the spacing between the letters)? Why is the 1 of 1904 so far away from the rest of the numbers? It’s such a simple thing. I’ve seen someone tweak it and post on Twitter and it makes such a difference. 2 more minutes spent on the badge artwork and it would have been so much tidier. I can’t unsee it. I suspect the embroidery may cover it up slightly as it might be hard to replicate at that small size with a needle and thread but look at it at a decent size and the kerning really lets it down. You can see it now too can’t you? Sorry.

To summarise, put the old crest on and we’re done – Hull City shirt design could be ticked off as mission completed. It’s that good.

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As for the full kit, I’d always have hooped hosiery. Always. It just looks fantastic with the striped shirts. Maybe next year Umbro? However, that’s a minor gripe really.

My last words are reserved for the sponsor. I think the Chinese text looks brilliant. Seriously. A Hull City shirt carrying an Asian sponsor looks brilliant – I don’t really care that it’s a bookies. Let’s face it, the horse has bolted on bookies slapping their names all over Premier League kits but as a logo, 12BET looks great. I’m glad the design was changed from a black sponsors patch across the stripes to an heavy black keylined logo too (the patch being seen on the leak that SombreEthyl refers to above). To top it off, the club seem happy that it’s a great deal for them which frankly makes it a great deal for everyone. An Asian sponsor paying good money and without having to change the club name to attract them is a win-win for everyone.

Verdict: Well played Umbro. Very well played.

The leaked images imply the away kit will be all black, which necessitates a third kit. We’re hoping for classy all-white, but when both change kits are unveiled (and here’s hoping there’s no crappy leaks this time), we’ll let you know what we think. Now it’s your turn. Disagree with a our Umbro love-in or ready to jump on the double-diamond bandwagon? Give us your thoughts.

Get Our Kits Out #5: 2005/06 home shirt #6 Jon Parkin

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This 2005/06 home shirt, used numerous times by forward John Parkin, stands as evidence of the foul means employed by defenders in order to thwart the advances of a player that fans nicknamed ‘The Beast’, in a year in which City acclimatized to the newly rebranded second tier.

The shirt was worn in a ‘Coca Cola Championship’ meeting with Coventry City at the KC Stadium in January 2006, a game that ended 2-1 to the visitors. During the game, Coentry’s Welsh defender and Phantom Of The Opera mask wearer Robert  Page got away with a flagrant foul in the box that was missed by ref Andy Woolmer, but not by club photographers who captured the entire sequence,

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In the goalmouth melee, Page grabbed Parkin by the scruff of his (shirt) neck and dragged the burly striker to the floor, not leaving go even with both players grounded. The grab and pull move tore the white collar hem clean off, and ripped Parkin’s name in two on the back!

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After the game, the shirt (which featured the Football League’s new font set for names and numbers and updated competition patches on the sleeves) was sold by the club on Ebay, unwashed and signed, and it fetched £160. The buyer listed it on Ebay 7 years later which is how we picked it up.

Ranking the 2010-2014 adidas City kits

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The four year deal signed with Umbro to supply kit to The Tigers will soon bring to an end City’s (sometimes fractious) four year association with the brand with the three stripes. Whereas the boldly striped, turnover collared home shirt adidas made for The Tigers between 1979-1982 is still spoken of in reverential terms (despite it being modelled by some of the worst performing City squads in club history), it is fair to say we haven’t had a truly classic home kit from adidas since they became supplier for a second time in 2010. That is in part because other (highly visible) teams have shared the same templates as us, and having an unpalatable sponsor splashed across some of the garments has harmed overall perception of them.

Sponsor desirability aside, we reckon that adidas have done a better job with the away kits over the last four years than with the primary uniforms, and wondered where some away kits would rank when all eight distinct kits worn over the last four seasons were grouped together, so after a team huddle, we’ve put together a HCK ‘power rankings’ of adidas City kits used between 2010-2014.

We’ve tried not to consider feats achieved by the team wearing it when wearing each strip, the example of the 1979-1982 home kit shows that a uniform set can be considered classic even if The Tigers were terrible during the period of its use.

1: 2012/13 away

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In the absence of a classic home shirt, the nearest adidas have come to producing an iconic kit for The Tigers over the last four years is the all black with amber trim away set used in 2012/13. This kit gave City a brooding, menacing look when on their travels, and was sometimes used just because it looked good, not because there was any kit clash, such as at Elland Road in a memorable win over Dirty Leeds.

In a perfect world there would have been a small amount of contrast amber trim on the collar and it wouldn’t have the Cash Converters logo on the front (a decision way beyond adidas’ making), but even advertising a tat shop couldn’t taint the majestic appearance of this kit , which had its own set of amber alternate shorts (distinct from the amber alt shorts designed for the home shirt) that were used just once, in a League Cup clash at Doncaster. You wouldn’t want to have seen that look a lot, but it was a striking matchup and a handy alternative.This kit was used less after City signed a player with some level of colour blindness, causing City to go more with the home shirt with amber shorts and socks, but it was nonetheless a lovely set and the best produced in the four years being supplied by adidas.

2: 2010/11 away

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Though we’re happy with the occasional change-up, we prefer to see City wear traditional all-white when playing on the road when a change kit is necessary, and adidas nailed it with the 2010/11 away kit.

The set features just enough amber trim to make it unmistakably a City away kit, while also offering the flexibility of mash-ups using parts of the home kit. This happened a lot during our first season after relegation from the Premier League, the white shirt was worn with black shorts more than once, and sometimes with the black home socks too.

The white shorts were used with the home shirt on occasion, such as in the televised win at Preston. The back of shirt sponsor above the player names didn’t look as jarring as it did on the home shirt that year, but the strip would have benefitted aesthetically from it not being there at all, and that can’t be pinned on adidas.

Having the adidas logo on the breast as opposed to being centrally positioned would have looked more balanced, but this was still a lovely kit that ticks all the boxes on a requirements of a traditional City away kit checklist.

3: 2013/14 home

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It’s all about the socks for us, where the 2013/14 home kit is concerned. We’d been hankering for hooped socks for some time so yelped with glee when they made a return. Black socks with striped shirts can make the overall set look too dark, and amber socks often look washed out compared to the shirt ( that’ll happen with different materials), but if you have hooped socks that are black and amber in equal measure, the amber looks right and you don’t have to change when away if the home team uses solid black hose.

The shirt is just fine too (apart from the sponsor which is blah, blah, blah you know our views on the tat shop by now). Thick stripes? Ding! That’s always the starting point of a good City home kit. The collar, which reverses the stripe alignment, is a contemporary adidas staple (it appears on Bayern Munich’s Champions League shirt) and we’re not as fussed as some by the angular black sleeve panels so the competition patch doesn’t get applied unevenly over adidas’ trademark three stripes.

The one benefit of that black sleeve panel is it allows City’s kitman to be able to issue black compression undershirts rather than amber, as the white elastane hidden within the form fitting garment makes the shade of amber hard to get right. What is poor is the embroidered club crest, which looks shrunken and distorted, giving the tiger a bozz-eyed appearance.

The shorts used give the kit SOME distinction from West Brom, who have the same shirt and socks template, but our true love is the glorious pair of hooped socks which elevate this over other recent /// home kits. If we had our way, we’d always have striped shirts and hoopy hose.

4: 2011/12 away

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Light blue was once a home kit colour for Hull City, when amber dye was prohibitively expensive post WW2 and blue dye was readily available from local firm Reckitts, at the time the world’s largest supplier of blue pigments. As a result, it makes for a welcome change kit colour when we’re not in all-white or all-black.

This shade of blue was termed ‘Argentina blue’ by adidas and the shirt was normally paired with white shorts though on occasion alternative navy-blue shorts were used. Featuring a simple collar, white piping trim and a shadow pattern of shiny horizontal bands on the front, this was a rather nice away shirt. Early concept images showed the same horrific black sponsor patch that blighted the home shirt, totally unnecessary on a solid colour shirt, but the club responded to online criticism by removing the patch, to their credit.

It isn’t the most memorable of away kits, but it was decent, and found use as a third shirt in 2012/13 when the all-black away kit wasn’t sufficient to prevent clashing. Derby used the same template for their home shirt, but that isn’t anywhere as near as annoying as sharing the same home kit template with another team from the same division.

5: 2011/12 home

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Never has a perfectly functional City home shirt been so sullied by the application of a sponsor patch (and before you suggest the Needler’s Sweets patches on the front of Pelada’s leopard spot aberration usedbetween 1993-95, that was far from being a perfectly functional home strip!) as on the 2001/12 home kit.

As in the season previous, adidas gave us the same template as they supplied Stoke with, and that’s frustrating, but critiquing this set from only a City kit perspective, this is a decent strip before the sponsor patch is added, and we saw that when it was used san-sponsor for the ‘Legends Game’ part of Andy Dawson’s testimonial year events.

Bold stripes on both front and back always get our approval, and having plain amber sleeves brightens up a kit that can look quite dark if (as is usual with striped shirts) black socks are used with the black shorts. It wasn’t just the sleeves that were plain amber on this shirt, as the yoke sections were tonally solid too, and though the extended, overlapping collar piece looks like it was inspired by a pharmacy staff uniforms, it looks just fine.

Some parts of the shirt were made of a mesh material to help with sweat wicking, and as a result some panels looked to be a different shade of amber than others when vied from some angles (or when the shirt was wet). This happens on all kits, but is less obvious on a red or blue shirt than it is on amber, but given that it’s part of a performance garment that needs to have moisture dissipation properties, we think it should be overlooked. Peel off the sponsor, and this is a decent Hull City home kit.

6: 2012/13 home

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The only non-striped home shirt during adidas’ four year run was used during City’s 2012/13 promotion campaign, and it wasn’t quite solid amber, because of a large black panel on the front. This is an ok kit but not one that causes excitation, though it is notable for working well when paired with amber alternative shorts.

Ordinarily amber shirts matched with shorts and socks that are also amber lack sufficient contrast trim to stop the tone looking pale and washed out, but the hefty black panel on the top part of this shirt meant the amber still ‘popped’ and didn’t appear to be same shade as a faded dishcloth. The promotion, sealed on a chaotic final day of the season, is what will keep this kit in the memory, not the design, which Fulham have used as an away kit in 2013/14, The Cottagers wore their red and white version for the 6-0 thrashing at the KC Stadium.

7: 2013/14 away

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The use of high blue and red for an away kit got some people’s goat when this kit was first released, and some fans voiced displeasure at the unbalanced look created by having red socks with blue shirts and socks that don’t have much red trim to link the full kit together.

We feel it’s ok to throw something different in now and then where away kits are concerned, such as when we went purple and white on our travels in 1999/00, as long as we have an away set that looks like it’s a City kit more times than not. On that charge, this kit is guilty, nothing about it says Hull City, even if blue is a main colour of the city’s civic crest* and even though City have worn blue as a home kit, in the 1930s. This is an alright football strip, even with the red socks (that were sometimes replaced with white hose when the home side had a predominantly red kit, creating a Chelsea-ish look) but as a Hull City kit, it doesn’t get much love.

*Thinking about the civic crest (of three stacked coronet crowns in gold on a field of blue), a mostly blue kit with metallic gold trim would say ‘City of Hull’, if not Hull City. Maybe not a bad idea for 2017 when our fair port is celebrated as a city of culture.

8: 2010/11 home

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The first home kit of the 2010-14 adidas deal was based on a template also used by Stoke. Fuzzy stripes had been popular on the continent in the preceding few years, especially in Italy where Juventus and both Milan clubs had their black stripes rendered in a blurred or softly defined manner.

The stripes on this City shirt had the look of oily tyre tracks, which wasn’t a great look, yet having them on both sides of the shirt would have at least made the kit look balanced, the back panels on these shirts were plain amber (and sullied by a back of shirt sponsor advertising ambulance chasers Neill Hudgell Solicitors, that was unwisely placed above the player names and applied in blue and red) that created an odd effect when one City player faced forwards and another player faced them, making it appear that City players had different, non-uniformed shirts on.

That goes against the entire point of a football kit, which is to definitively identify who is on the same side. Having fuzzy stripes on the back would have meant using white for the screened on player names, squad numbers and back of shirt sponsor, which would have looked far smarter, and having a back of shirt sponsor (which served to highlight our parlous financial state after relegation from the Premier League) underneath the squad numbers on player shirts would have looked better than having two stacked rows of text in different typefaces, which was a cluttered and messy combination.

Some fans didn’t like the way the club crest looked or how it was applied. It was similar in appearance and construction to the Lextra competition patches heat bonded onto the sleeves of all nPower League teams.The two layered patch featured a printed felt tiger head and club name over a shiny, woven amber field, creating a multi dimensioned look. Like sleeve patches, the crests were ironed on rather than stitched on.

With solid stripes printed on both front and back panels, the back of shirt sponsor applied in white underneath the numbers and an embroidered crest, this kit’s shirt would have looked far better, but as it is, it’s the main part of the worst of the four home kits and in our mind, the worst overall.

Umbro and Hull City sign four year kit deal

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As predicted on our Twitter feed, Hull City will wear Umbro made kits in 2014/15 and for three seasons beyond after signing a 4 year deal with the Cheadle based firm.

Umbro did a great job with City’s kits between 2007-2010, their plain amber shirt from 2007/08 is synonymous with promotion achieved via the play-offs at Wembley, their only true striped City shirt of that deal was worn when The Tigers cut a swath through the Premier League in the early part of 2008/09 (including away wins against Arsenal and Tottenham) as City defied the odds to stay up. Umbro’s pinstriped 2009/10 was lovely, and clothed our players in their first appearance in the Barclay’s Asia Trophy contested in Beijing, China, although it had an unhappy end when City were relegated back to the Championship.

Our favourite Umbro City kit? The magnificently pure all white away kit from 2007/08 that also saw service in 2008/09 as a third kit worn at Newcastle in an FA Cup tie. We look forward to seeing Umbro’s first offering as part of the new deal,and the effort they put into marketing City kits.

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The teaser campaigns run ahead of the three seasons they made apparel for The Tigers were professionally, tastefully and respectfully done, they made Hull City feel like a.celebrated stable member rather than just a team to foist ubiquitous templates onto, and it is good to see Britain’s most noted kit maker recover after they were cruelly gutted and ditched by Nike.

Having Dean Windass and Geovanni be part of the deal unveiling as ‘Umbro heroes’ at half time between City v Arsenal was a lovely touch. Is it too late for Umbro to whip us up an FA Cup final kit? Probably, though it would be nice to see us play at Wembley without a tat shop being advertised on our garb. Adidas got a raw deal seeing that plastered on their shirts, though it is yet to be soon who will replace the pawnbrokers as main club sponsors for 2014/15.

 

Get Our Kits Out #4: 2013/14 home shirt #6 Curtis Davies

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This short sleeved 2013/14 home shirt was issued to and worn by City captain and player of the year elect Curtis Davies. The sleeves carry the updated Premier League competition patches (designated ‘Pro-S’) and on the back are the new numbers and letters (called ‘PS-pro’). The old ‘SensCilia’ appliqués, used between 2007-2013, had a felt-like feel, but the shinier and plastic feeling replacements are lighter and the graphics look sharper.

DaviesFrontThis shirt was likely used in several games, but was last worn in the 1-0 home win over West Ham in September 2013 and has not been washed so is stained with KC Stadium turf in several places. Davies played the full game.

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August Kit News Round-Up

Sagbo1Kit supplier adidas released a statement yesterday, apologising for delays in the production and delivery of City’s 2013/14 training kit. The Tigers had been wearing neon yellow and navy training kit in pre season while their own blue or black apparel was being produced, evidently wearing gear made for Sunderland (their away kit is neon yellow and navy) badged with City crests as an interim measure. Consequently the launch date for new training gear on sale in Tiger Leisure has been and gone, hence the apology from the German sportswear giant. We rather like the neon yellow apparel, and would love to get our hands on some, whether part of City’s current palette or not.

AltShortsOf more concern than the training kit is the home kit shorts, which have also been delayed. City wore the new home shirt and fetching hooped socks in friendlies at North Ferriby and Winterton last month, using shorts from last season’s kit range. At Ferriby, the black 2012/13 home shorts were worn, with the ‘home’ amber alternate shorts from the last campaign being used against Winterton Rangers.

BragaSocksWanting to take a complete new kit to Portugal, kit man John Eyre elected to use the royal blue, white and red away kit in two friendlies played in Albufeira. The full away kit with red socks was used in the 0-0 draw against Sheffield Wednesday, in which the Owls wore their new away kit (a black and yellow affair made by Puma). Against SC Braga however, City debuted alternate blue socks against the Portuguese League Cup holders, who use red socks with their primary kit.

AMacGoalkeeper kits from 2012/13 were used in all friendlies until City ventured to eastern Germany to face Dynamo Dresden. Alan McGregor wore the light green 2013/14 ‘keeper kit for the first time in the 1-0 win at the glücksgas stadion, while the outfield players wore the full away kit as Dresden play in yellow and black. The Dynamo game proved educational, teaching us the German word for kitman; John Eyre was listed in the matchday programme as City’s ‘Zeugwart’.

Tommy Coyle represents!

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There was some tidy cross-promotion work done last week when local boxer Tommy Coyle promoted his fight with Derry Mathews at Craven Park by visiting the KC Stadium for a new City home shirt. The 2013/14 Tigers kit went on sale Saturday, the same day that ‘Boom Boom’ fought mouthy Scouser Mathews on the same card as Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell making his pro-boxing debut.

Even better than the shirt holding photo-op was Coyle sporting the new home kit’s brilliant hooped socks for the fight, pairing them with black and amber boxing shorts. Coyle bossed the fight, with Mathews later admitting that the Hull fighter “bullied” him in each round, but our lad succumbed to a superb left hook in the tenth round that took Coyle down.

Aesthetically speaking at least, Tommy Coyle is our champion, wearing City socks for a pro-boxing fight makes him somewhat of a legend in our eyes.

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