2014/15 away kit by Umbro – First impressions


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.


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!”


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.


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.

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’.

Get Our Kits Out #3: 2000/01 Away shirt #3 Andy Holt

We acquired this shirt from a former club employee, so have no doubts regarding its authenticity, even though there is a slight anomoly with the letters used on the back. The Football League adopted squad numbers and player names on shirts in 1999 and standardised the font used by its 72 member clubs. The letters used came in two sizes, 73mm for match prepared shirts, 62mm for replicas sold in the club shop.

This long sleeved shirt (only short sleeved replicas were on sale in Tiger Leisure) has Holt’s surname applied in the smaller sized letters. Perhaps City had run out of some of the full size letters by the time he arrived on loan from Oldham, A low quality photograph from the Torquay away game (a 1-1 draw in which Holt scored) seems to back up that assumption, his shirt letters appear to be smaller than those on the Gulls’ keeper he’s contesting the ball with.

The letters making up sponsor IBC’s wordmark are applied in vinyl, another oddity, as most player shirts that season used raised felt. Photos from the Torquay game show both felt and vinyl letters in use, vinyl was used on the shirts of players who arrived during the season, such as loanee Mark Atkins who like Holt played between March and May 2001. Holt though, became a permanent signing, joining for £150,000 from Oldham.

The polyurethane Nationwide League competition patches straddle the maroon sleeve stripe and yellow piping, they have cracked after washing.

2013/14 away kit – The HCK verdict

After revealing the socks on Friday, City unveiled the rest of the new away kit on Monday, posting photos on social network sites that showed Irish international’s David Meyler and Robbie Brady modelling the largely blue change kit.

HCK honcho’s JGHull and SombreEthyl disagreed rather strongly about the socks on Monday morning, so Awaykitgeddon was a real possibility after both saw the full kit…


That’s the new away kit is it? Sigh.
I don’t hate the template – it’s actually not bad. Bolton are using it for their home kit this year and it looks pretty smart. I’m a bit bored of kits this year with so many clubs wearing the same kit and long for the days of a bit more originality. However, given we’re in the age of the template, it’s alright.
Is it a good City kit then? I don’t think so, no.
Firstly, it’s clearly a blue kit, negating my comments about that sock where I suggested we could look like Palace (I’ll be back on the socks shortly). Blue is a historic colour associated with City so being fair, that line of argument has weakened. However, *that* blue isn’t right. It just isn’t. Firstly, it’s not the correct hue for City and secondly, it makes the kit look a lot like recent training wear we’ve had. 
Next up, the shorts. Template shorts, same blue. OK, not too much to hate there. Still the wrong blue, still look like training kit but match the shirt. A bit odd that the maroony red isn’t referenced in the short trim though, if you’re going to have it in the shirt.
Encasing the calves, lastly we have the socks. Those bloody not-really-a-red socks. Who thought that was a good idea? Red socks? With a full length blue kit? I just don’t get that decision at all. Having debated it briefly on Twitter, Liberia once had a blue kit with red socks and it looked insane. The marketing shots we’ve had are a teaser sock shot and then a shirt/short combo so we’ve not had the full kit in one shot yet but I just can’t get my head round that. Visually, it’s going to be mental. Surely?
If the red hint in the shirt wasn’t there and the sock was a blue, I’d be underwhelmed and moaning about the wrong blue but I’d not be hating it. As it is, the not-really-a-red colour with a not-really-a-red sock? Not for me. It looks like an England cricket 20/20 kit gone wrong.
I’ve not even mentioned the sponsor yet. I think SombreEthyl and I agree that we wish this was Karoo, Dove House or Allam Diesel Marine etc than Cash Converters. I’d take a bookies again before them. I do however think marketing has been pretty good (although I’d have cropped the background image to not include empty seats!) and the timing of the release should ensure they sell a few this weekend. Fair play for that.
Imagine it in white with amber and black hint colours. It’s better isn’t it?


We’ve covered our objections to the current sponsor to death so I’ll leave well alone here, and just focus on what it appears on.

I like it. I don’t love it, but it’s a decent, solid away kit. I’m glad it’s a blue shirt, and I’ll counter JGHull’s point about the blue not being right by stating that the blues used in 1935/36 and 1946/47 were quite different shades. The home shirt worn in the first year at Boothferry Park was quite a light blue, like the away/third kits we had in 2004-07 and 2011-13, but the blue used in 1935/36 was quite deep, described as ‘ultramarine’ and like the shade used on the civic crest at the time. This blue is somewhere in between, and I’m just fine with it.

As for the red, I think it complements the blue very well and if we didn’t use it and went with just white as a contrast colour, then it wouldn’t be different enough from the Argentina blue shirt we’re retiring. I do agree that maybe a bit more red is needed in the shirt and certainly some on the shorts to make the red socks work but I think it’s something that’ll grow on people. If there is a pair of red alternate shorts then I’d go blue-red-red at Fulham, Newcastle, Newcastle and Norwich, and blue-blue-red at Sunderland if they don’t have red socks next season.

The template appears very similar to that of our black away shirt in 2012/13, but with a simpler collar. At first that bothered me, but if we use the black shirt as a third kit then at least both change kits look like part of a coordinated set. Blue seems to have become part of a three kit rotation for our away strips, we’ve cycled through all white, blue and black and amber, and since all three have historic use I’d be happy for that pattern to continue.

In recent years adidas have made better away kits for us than home, I’m really hoping that trend is reversed this year and we have a real doozy of a home kit, preferably with a striped shirt. Given that Bolton (home) and Stoke (away) are adidas kits with hooped socks, I’m really hoping our home kit has them too as I’m a bit of a hooped sock fetishist. Come to think of it, this kit would have looked good with blue and red hooped socks as it would have connected the shirt and socks better.

Still, I rather like the new away kit. Do I love it? No, but I’d buy it.

2013/14 Away kit launch date + teaser pic.


Hull City announced the imminent launch of the 2013/14 away kit on Friday, using social media platforms to give people a glimpse of the new change kit, or at least the socks. The adidas hose are a deep red, with the German sportswear giant’s trademark three stripes and logo picked out in blue.

The away kit’s full launch will be this coming Saturday (15/06/13). Reaction to the new away colours was mixed, and the HCK team were equally polarised in their views…


“I’m a rational man. It’s a teaser picture of a bit of sock, so what possible reaction can you have and still appear sane? I bloody hate those socks.

Red and blue together have no place in our history. Yes, we’ve had kits using both colours. Red was introduced by a slightly mental but hugely loveable Chairman in the 1980s, and blue is a very historic colour for us indeed, City having worn blue several times starting in the 1930s.

However, red and blue together isn’t uniquely identifying as a Hull City kit. Even an away Hull City kit. Before anyone starts, I know we’ve had a green and white chequered kit before, used maroon (with amber touches I might add) and even purple with red sponsor. I’m also well aware of the modern slant on away kits – “let’s make them insane and see if we can sell some” – Arsenal purple and black, Manchester United grey and Chelsea day-glo green all spring to mind.

So why should we be different? Well, it’s a personal thing but I believe even an away kit should identify the club. I’d go white with black and amber trim permanently (stripes at home). I don’t buy into this nonsense of having to change the shirt style to be able to sell them to the masses. Collars, finishing touches and simply changing the manufacturer all can do this.

Secondly, and most importantly, red and blue belongs to other clubs. This smells of Crystal Palace. Arsenal purple? United grey? Chelsea day-glo? They never made them look like someone else. In the age of template kits, I think this is more important than ever.

Let’s be honest, it’s just a teaser shot and any sane individual couldn’t possible draw any conclusions. However, I bloody hate those socks.”


“Heh, I’m amused by JGHull’s claim to be rational while espousing a very irrational viewpoint. I don’t have a problem with the new colours at all, in fact I’d say I’m very excited about this launch after seeing the socks.

I’m a traditionalist, I like to see City in all white when they need to wear change colours, but I accept that it needs to be mixed up now and then, and all white will be monotonous and drab if done every year, given that like it or not, kits are changed every season now.

JGHull refers to the Avec purple with red trim away kit of 1999/00, which had no precedent whatsoever when it was launched, but I bloody love that away kit, it’s one of my favourites, despite the horrific Hinchliffe crest, which featured what was more owl with a goatee beard than a tiger’s head.

So what if red and blue are the domain of other club’s where home kits are concerned? This is an away kit, and the main function of an away kit is to be utterly distinct from the home kit, even if it means utilising colours associated with other team’s. Manchester United often wear all blue as a third kit, isn’t this making them look Chelsea-esque? Probably, but it dilutes Manchester United’s identity not one bit, so I don’t accept the point that this kit compromises the club’s visual identity.

Some people are presuming that red will be the predominant colour, but I think the shirt will be blue, with shorts and socks in the red tone. We don’t have to wear an away kit often anyway, in the Premier League it will be a necessity only at Fulham, Newcastle, Sunderland and Spurs (based on them usually wearing dark shorts)   and Norwich because of shirt colour. With the exception of Sunderland, red and blue or blue and red works just fine, and presuming the away kit has alternate shorts and socks it’ll be fine at the Stadium of Light.

I’m all for a mix up of away colours for one season, but I would like to see us back in all white away sometime soon. I like the club using Facebook and Twitter to create a buzz about a new kit too, I think we’ve not done launches as well as we we could have in recent years, but the socks pic certainly has people talking.”

Kit news round up


Eagle eyed fans watching the 0-0 draw with Leicester on Boxing Day will have noticed that a new appliqué had appeared on the playing kit. Two days later the club announced a sponsorship deal with local scaffolding firm Burflex, who would become back of shorts sponsor for the remainder of this season.

The Clay Street firm have struck a deal that covers not just the rest of the 2012/13, but also the whole of next season too, although if City were to be promoted this term the Burflex appliqués would not be used in 2013/14, as kit sponsorship is restricted to chest advertising only in the Premier League.


Early in January the 3rd shirts worn at Bristol City were sent out to the winning bidders of an online auction that ended on Christmas Day. The Argentina blue shirts featured  ‘tash converters’ appliqués, as main sponsor Cash Converters used the televised game in late October to show their support of the Movember charity.

Scorer Sone Aluko’s shirt fetched a whopping £510, that along with cash raised from the sale of the rest of the shirts will go towards male cancer treatment research. We were rather chuffed to snag Liam Rosenior’s matchworn shirt, but what later grabbed our attention was the crest patches used on the goalkeeper shirts.

Tiger National Andy Bradley won Eldin Jakupović’s bench worn keeper jersey and sent us a photo of his purchase, showing that the crest used was the 3D effect, layered felt type which featured on City’s 2010/11 kits, whereas the outfield shirts all used the iron on (but meant to look stitched on) crests used on kits for both this season and for 2011/12. Dave Holmes, snagger of the matchworn ‘keeper shirt from that game, confirmed that Ben Amos’ jersey used the 2010/11 crest too. Curious.

CityAway80sFinally, a request for knowledge. The above photos were both for sale on Ebay recently, and show City in the Admiral away shirt introduced in 1982/83 and used throughout the six year period Admiral made City’s kits. The pinstriped away shirt is being worn with plain white socks and what black socks, do you know what game these images are from?

Tigers’ kit converted for Bristol City trip

City’s shirts will feature a modified Cash Converters logo for the televised game at Bristol City on Saturday. The Australian pawnbroking and payday loan firm is publicly backing the Movember Foundation, a charity initiative that seeks to raise awareness of and funds to fight male cancers by encouraging men to grow moustaches in November.

Kitman John Eyre had planned to use the black away kit at both Middlesbrough and Bristol City, but since the club have a stock of sponsorless Argentina blue shirts, it makes sense to apply the ‘Tash Converters’ logo to the 3rd kit rather than modifying the already printed up black away shirts.

City wore the light blue shirts for the 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate last season, they were paired with navy blue alternate shorts so as not to clash with Bristol City’s white home shorts. For 2012/13 however, The Robins wear red shorts with their red shirts (based on the same ‘Autheno 12’ template as our amber and black home shirts) so Steve Bruce’s men can wear the white shorts with Argentina blue trim this time round.

Bristol City favour the same Alarm Orange goalkeeper kit used by Ben Amos this year, and our wearing blue shirts means the Cyan ‘keeper jersey is less than idea. The club have ordered a stock of the tan and black ‘Condivo 12’ goalkeeper kits so they have an alternative for such instances, but are not sure they will arrive in time to use on Saturday.

Reflections on the away kit with amber shorts

Rather than opine straight away, we thought we’d let our thoughts on the kit worn at Doncaster percolate for a bit. City wore the black away kit with alternate amber shorts for the League Cup tie, a look described by some Twitter users as a ‘kitastrophe’. After time to reflect on it, here’s what we think…

JGHull: I love it. Anyone describing it as a ‘kitastrophe’ is wrong. Even the sponsors logo looks alright!

I’m a white away kit man but you can’t deny this kit is a gem. The standard black shorts were always going to cause an issue at some point due to the opposition kits we’re due to encounter as the season progresses. Knowing this helps understand that these shorts were designed to be worn with this kit – it’s not a case of John Eyre making it up as he goes along. I’m not 100% sold on the trim on the thigh which finishes the brand stripes short but I think the look overall is a really, really smart one.

Having said that, I do understand the concerns of the Twitterati. How many playing kits have we actually got? Two variants of the home kit (short variants), two variants of the away kit (again, short variants) and two variants of the third kit (guess what? short variants).

The key thing though is that the variants are all thought about and considered. It’s not the case of playing in home shorts with a third shirt and the training socks due to some administrative balls up, but evidence of Kitstodian Eyre caring sufficiently to ensure that City’s attire is as smart as possible.

It’s important to have a man who cares in charge of the fabric…

SombreEthyl: When the black away kit was released one of my first thoughts was ‘two pairs of black shorts’, and thinking about the teams in the Championship with black or navy shorts, I had a feeling we’d see a black-amber-black combination at some point. I wasn’t expecting us to use different amber shorts to those worn with the home shirt in pre-season though.

I like the look, I like that we can wear an away kit but still have our main colours on show, and this ensemble puts more of our main colour on display. Its a far stronger look than Argentina blue and white would have been.

I can understand people voicing disapproval at first, it’s natural to initially dislike something unfamiliar and it isn’t a look we’ve ever seen before, but I think it’ll grow on people if used again an Sheffield Wednesday is a probable, though we could go all amber.

I’d rather see this combination, I’ve grown to love it,  it reminds me of a look Borussia Dortmund sometimes sport away from home. I don’t like mixing and matching kit for the sake of it, but this was necessary because of the home team’s shorts so its all good.

In the interests of balance and fairness, we should probably mention Doncaster Rovers’ kit.  It’s, err, alright…

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.

Tigers to debut away kit at The Valley

City will wear all black for the visit to Charlton on Saturday, giving the new adidas made away kit it’s first matchday appearance. Most recent kits have been given a first airing at North Ferriby in the annual Billy Bly Memorial Trophy match, with City wearing the home kit for one half and the away kit for the second 45 minutes. This year though, the away kit was launched later than usual, going on sale only a day before the start of the 2012/13  campaign, and being revealed just 24 hours before that.

A change kit isn’t really a necessity when we visit Charlton, their red and white is no clash with black and amber, but we’re keen to see the sleek and sexy new kit in match action. We’d be happy for kitman John Eyre to use it in nearly every away game this season, only Millwall’s navy blue shirt creates a real clash with it, and for games wear the home side wears black shorts, Doncaster and Derby are two, there are alternate amber shorts that could be used.