Tigers trial a new look at Donny

Kitman John Eyre opted against using the third kit at Doncaster last night, instead pairing the new black away shirt with alternate amber shorts for the League Cup tie at the Keepmoat Stadium. Donny’s black shorts ruled out both the home or away shorts (both are black), giving Eyre three choices; The home shirt with amber shorts (as worn in pre-season), last season’s away kit of Argentina blue shirts and white shorts which serves as third kit in 2012/13, or as was worn the black away shirt with amber shorts. This was a second consecutive use of the away shirt which made it’s match debut at Charlton on Saturday.

Interestingly, the away shirt comes with a set of amber shorts distinct from those designed to work with the home shirt, so adidas have supplied two sets of alternate shorts in amber, as well as two sets of black shorts. The combination of black shirts, amber shorts and black socks is a flip of the home kit colours, and creates an intriguing but unfamiliar look, one we may see again. Sheffield Wednesday pair black shorts with blue and white stripes shirts, so the blue 3rd shirt isn’t really an option. Whether we go with the home set or the away set on October 6th, we’re likely to wear amber shorts at Hillsbrough. Other opportunities for alternate short usage comes in December (Watford/Derby) and February (Bolton).

Tell us what you think of last night’s look.

Shorts stories: Cut from the same cloth

Since Boston United switched from blue and white to amber and black in 1951, City and The Pilgrims have shared a colour scheme.

At the turn of this century, the sharing went a step further, with the two teams sharing the same fabric for kit elements despite arrangements with different and unrelated sportswear brands.

After an unseemly incident at Darlington in October 2001 that led to City borrowing the home side’s away shorts (and Darlo players changing shirts mid-game on the pitch), The Tigers commisioned some alternate amber shorts that could be worn with the plain amber shirts and socks in away games when the home side wore dark shorts.

The amber shorts were soon pressed into action and were used twice in November 2001, first in a 2-1 defeat at Lincoln and then in a 1-0 win at Luton. Whereas City’s plain amber 2001/2002 home shirts featured a ribbed, needlecord weave, close inspection of the alternate shorts shows a shadow pattern of chevrons in diamonds woven throughout.

This diamond pattern was used on Boston’s home shirt from, 1999/2000, a shirt ‘made’ by Belper based sportswear firm Paulas Benara. In reality the shirts were made in East Yorkshire by Dewhirsts Sportswear Ltd. of Driffield (who have a factory on Amsterdam Road, Sutton Fields in Hull) as were City’s kits despite the Patrick branding.

Though City’s alternate shorts carry the French sportswear firms stylised P logo, they’re  undoubtedly made from the same fabric as Boston’s Paulas Benara branded amber shirts, meaning our alternate shorts were quite literally cut from the same cloth as Boston’s shirts.

Alternate amber shorts make first appearance

Last season City used amber shorts with the home shirt on six occasions; at Derby, Southampton, Coventry, Crystal Palace and Portsmouth and once at home, donning the alternates when Southampton foolishly brought only black shorts with them.

Amber alternates will be part of the 2012/13 ensemble too, and will work equally well with the black away shirts (please hurry up and unveil the away kit City!) as the largely amber primary shirts.

The new alternate shorts were given a debut in last weeks friendly at Blundell Park, a 0-0 draw with Grimsby who wore their traditional get-up of black and white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks, hence the need for City to go with amber shorts.

The block of black at the top of the home shirts provides enough contrast for the amber shorts to not look make the whole kit look washed out, but not so much contrast the amber components appear to be different shades. We’re a fan of amber shorts being used away when the home side use black shorts and our away shirt wouldn’t really work (such as at Derby) but it is disappointing that these don’t look sufficiently different to last years shorts.

Mark Cullen was one of several players at Grimsby wearing undershorts that if used are supposed to match the shorts worn over them, but they were a bit too orangey to be truly described as matching. Kitman John Eyre said he is hopeful of getting undershirts that match the amber of the home shirts far more than last years yellow undershirts, but these orange undergarments don’t fill us with faith that they will. Saying that, the rule about undershirts is they must match the main colour of the sleeve, and it is arguable that they’re mostly black, in which case black undershirts could be used, Robert Koren got away with it at Winterton, even using thumb-holes for true ‘thumbing nose at authority’ effect.

“He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing”

Back in December, we ran a feature on the surprisingly numerous occasions when City have had to borrow bits of another teams kit in order to avoid a clash. We’re always scouring for old City photos so as to build a complete picture of what the Tigers have worn down the years, and recently we aquired two images that help us take a step nearer that goal. These photos, though depicting kit anomolies, don’t explicitly show City wearing another teams kit however, instead they show the Tigers wearing shorts without any team markings in one, and lending another team some of our apparel in another.

The first image from 1990/91 shows Dave Bamber rounding Plymouth’s keeper for City’s only goal in a 4-1 Barclay’s League Second Division defeat in October 1990. Paired with our regular Matchwinner home shirt and socks are some white short shorts that the eagle-eyed will notice carry the Umbro double diamond.

These may have been borrowed from Plymouth but they had no Pilgrims insignia on them, and Plymouth didn’t wear Umbro kit in 1990/91, they wore apparel made by Ribero, who at the time also made kit for Blackburn and Fulham (and would go on to make Norwich’s famous ‘bird poo’ kit that was worn when The Canaries beat Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup)

Plymouth had worn Umbro kit the year before though, and the Pilgrims page on Historical Football Kits shows that they wore white shorts with a green double diamond yet no Plymouth badge in 1989/90. The Umbro mark looks black on the above photo, so although the shorts were probably old Plymouth stock, it’s hard to state that was the case with certainty.

The second picture is a bit more cut and dried. It shows Delroy Facey celebrating his goal in the 3-0 win over Luton Town at the KC Stadium during our 2004/05 Coca-Cola League One promotion campaign.

It also shows a dejected looking Luton goalkeeper, Slovenian Dino Seremet, wearing a borrowed City keeper jersey. Boaz Myhill, in nets for The Tigers that day wore grey, so presumably The Hatters kitman brought only a grey keeper top, necessitating the loan of a green Diadora jersey that didn’t even carry the Coca-Cola League competition patches.

In both of these cases the side lending some kit suffered defeat, so maybe the “he that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing” proverb rings true.

Tigers wear amber alternate shorts at home v. Southampton

By our reckoning, City hadn’t worn amber shorts for a home league match since 1965 until last night, when League leaders Southampton arrived at the KC Stadium with only their black primary shorts. Rather than make the Saints wear a set of our shorts, City deferred and wore the amber alternates with the regular black socks for the 2-0 defeat.

It created an odd look, perhaps we should have gone with the amber alternate socks too, but the kit inventory is not stored at the KC Stadium, rather at the Millhouse Woods Lane training complex and bused in for each game, so it is understandable that during a quick dash to Cottingham only the alternate shorts were collected.

City have previous when it comes to choosing to change themselves rather than lend a visiting opponent some kit, back in August 2004 Bradford tipped up with only black shirts with amber trim, so City wore the sky blue away shirts and socks with black shorts. The Tigers lost that game too, maybe we should force the opponent to wear some of our kit after all.

As well as wearing the amber shorts twice in a season against Southampton (having used them in the game at St. Mary’s in November) City have now worn them in back to back games, as they were used with the amber socks in the 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday.