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.