In episode 10 we cover the evening with Ian Ashbee & David Meyler, the open training session, look at kit news, show off our latest pick-ups, see what’s been available on Ebay, and look in-depth at the 2012/13 away shirt.
We’re joined by @HullCityItaly as we review the new ‘Deep Lagoon and Medieval Blue’ 2019/20 third kit by Umbro. The 2014/15 third shirt is recalled, along with the usual discussion of news and pick-ups.
We love amber alternate shorts, and no 5-0 demolition at Derby is going to change that. They’re a great way of avoiding a colour clash, while retaining the colours we’re known for: amber and black.
Amber shorts haven’t always been alternates of course, they were part of the primary kit in 1964/65.
That kit, despite having a fabulous shirt with twin black chest hoops, proved unpopular at the time, and was dubbed the ‘banana kit’.
That disparaging term speaks volumes about what is needed for amber shirts to work: contrast.
If the shirt doesn’t have enough black in it, the addition of amber shorts will create a look that is pale and washed out, yellow, rather than the bright and distinctive amber associated with the Tigers.
That said, the switch to Polyester, which isn’t prone to colour fading as Nylon is, means a modern pair of amber shorts would be the same bright tone at the end of the season as at the start, despite repeated washing.
Despite the material change (which occurred in the late Seventies and early Eighties), amber shorts don’t seem to have been considered again for home kits.
Even as alternates, used with the ‘home’ shirts away from home against opponents with black or navy shorts, amber shorts weren’t introduced until the early 2000s.
Their use in the 2001/02 season was precipitated by a somewhat laughable incident at Feethams (the then home of Darlington) that was caused by the naive decision to have an away kit with dark shorts when the home shorts are black.
City had worn the away kit of silver shirts with navy blue shorts and socks at Derby County in the League Cup in September 2001, referee Graham Laws evidently didn’t see white shorts and black shorts v silver shirts and navy shorts as a clash.
However when the Tigers traveled to Darlington for a league game a month later in October, that game’s match official, Michael Jones, took exception to white and black v silver and navy and ordered City to don Darlington’s white away shorts as a compromise…
Midway through the game however, Jones decided there still wasn’t enough distinction and so halting proceedings, had Darlington change into their away shirts. On the pitch. With a blizzard of shirts being tossed onto and off the field of play. In hindsight, the better decision would have been to have Darlington wear their white away shorts, that way they would have still been in their home shirts. Rodney Rowe might have preferred that solution, as it would have meant he didn’t have to squeeze into the number 9 white Darlo shorts, which were clearly several sizes too small for him.
The Darlo debacle led to City ordering two sets of alternate shorts to avoid any further clashes. A silver shorts set was worn just once with the away shirt, at Oxford in March 2002, however the amber alternates made to be worn with the amber home shirt with a black contrast V neck were pressed into action three times in 2001/02, and established a way to avoid a kit clash while still using the primary shirts away from home.
The Patrick branded amber alternate shorts made their debut at Lincoln on Saturday 19th November 2001. Curiously, the amber shorts had the same jacquard pattern of repeated diamonds containing chevrons as Boston United’s Paulas Benara (of Belper) branded home shirts. The chevrons pointed upwards on Boston’s shirts but downwards on City’s alt. shorts. Both it seems, were manufactured by Dewhirsts, who made apparel featuring other firm’s branding used under licence.
After the 2-1 defeat at Sincil Bank, the amber alts were used again at Luton on Tuesday 20th November 2001. That game ended in victory for the Tigers, with Rob Matthews’ goal proving enough to take all three points at Kenilworth Road. The last time they appeared in 2001/02 was in the March, when City eked out a 0-0 draw at Leyton Orient.
Amber shorts weren’t needed at Lincoln in 2002/03, when City wore their all white with navy and amber trimmed away kit. It was used as a third kit in 2003/04 at Cambridge and Southend, but not at Lincoln, where the Tigers elected to break out alt. shorts instead for a 2-0 loss in the February…
White shorts were preferred as alternates in 2004/05 (Sheffield Wednesday) and 2005/06 (Sheffield Wednesday again and Luton), but an amber set was made up for 2006/07 featuring Diadora’s arrowhead logo. They were first used at Deepdale in the October, paired with the black socks of the away kit as City went down 2-1 to Preston North End.
On New Years Day 2007 the amber alts were utilised again, this time with the amber socks from the previous campaign’s home kit. Nick Barmby scored twice in a 2-1 win at Hillsborough.
Umbro took over as kit supplier in the summer of 2007, but none of their home kits worn for three memorable seasons – which took in a first Wembley visit (2007/28), our first top flight campaign (2008/09) and relegation from the Premier League (2009/10) – had a set of alternate shorts.
The next batch of amber shorts were provided by the brand with the three stripes: adidas.
adidas took over for the 2010/11 season, in which the Tigers found themselves back in the Football League. There were no alternate shorts that campaign, instead City got by with mash-ups: mixing and matching parts of the home and away kits. The first adidas amber alts appeared in 2011/12, debuted along with amber alternate socks at Derby in Nick Barmby’s first match in charge after Nigel Pearson hot-footed back to Leicester.
The look was replicated in the next two away games, at Southampton when the black shorts of the Saints necessitated it, and at Coventry, when there was no real need given the all-sky blue kit of the home side.
Used with the ‘Tiro 11’ template home shirts, the amber shorts were chromatic reversals of the primary black set, with a curved contrast panel that starts at the hem then truncates and slashes past the three stripes on the sides.
When City turned out at Crystal Palace in all-amber, it was pretty clear that it was aesthetics driving the choice of apparel away from home rather than clash avoidance. Kitman John Eyre told us: “The lads said they like the amber shorts after the win at Derby so they’ve been requesting them, Nick likes the all amber as well.”
Nobody anticipated City turning out in amber shorts at home however, at least until Southampton arrived at the KC Stadium with only black shorts.
The Saints kitman evidently presumed the amber shorts used at St. Mary’s were part of City’s primary kit. Instead of going all-amber, the black primary socks featured in the 2-0 defeat.
The final use of the amber alts. came at Portsmouth. Another 2-0 defeat.
You might expect that six uses of primary kit alternate shorts in 2011/12 represents peak amber shorts, but you’d be wrong! The promotion season of 2012/13 not only saw an increase in alt. shorts use, but there were two distinct amber sets! City didn’t even wait until the regular season began to debut one of the new sets, breaking them out in pre-season in a game at Grimsby (check out that retro ball design).
The 2012/13 away kit was all black, and utilised a different style of shorts to those of the home kit. Both kits also had amber alternates, and the away kits alternate shorts were used just once, at Doncaster in the League Cup. This was the only time to date when the Tigers have dressed in black over amber.
The primary kit’s alternate shorts were used on seven different occasions in Championship action, starting with Sheffield Wednesday…
Then came Birmingham City…
…and Ipswich Town.
Feast became famine in 2013/14, the last season of the adidas contract, as there were no new amber alts. The previous season’s alternates for the home kit were re-used just once, in pre-season at Winterton.
The royal blue away kit had two sets of socks, one red and one white, providing sufficient enough contrast to make alternates for the home shirt redundant.
The FA Cup Final against Arsenal was the last game in which adidas dressed the Tigers, as the club renewed acquaintance with Umbro. The return of the double-diamond coincided with a new club crest that was suspiciously club name free, coming as a name change was blocked by the FA.
Hull City became the last team to qualify for UEFA competition as losing cup finalists in 2014/15, in future years the Europa League qualifying spot would pass to the highest ranked Premier League team not yet qualified if the cup winner qualified by other means.
After overcoming AS Trenčín of Slovakia in the Third Qualifying Round , City faced KSC Lokeren in the Play-Off round. The Belgian side agreed to wear their away kit at home in the first leg so that City could wear their European change kit, with the agreement they could wear their home kit in the second leg in Hull. That meant amber shorts at home for the Tigers, in a game that would end in elimination despite a 2-1 win. The shorts featured a bespoke font that loosely resembled the stencils used on cargo containers, appropriate for a port city side travelling abroad.
UEFA regulation compliant shirts were made ahead of the Lokeren game in the anticipation of Europa League group stage qualification. They featured a ‘free zone’, a plain amber panel on the back for increased name and number legibility. With European interest ended after just four games, the ‘Euro shirts’ became ‘cup shirts’, and were used at West Brom in the League Cup with amber shorts.
The amber shorts were given one domestic outing in 2014/15, at Sunderland in the Premier League, so they had Premier League numbers applied. City won 3-1.
A third letterset style was applied to the 2014/15 amber shorts when they were re-used in 2015/16. City won 2-0 at Brentford in the November Championship fixture.
They were next worn at Bury in the FA Cup Fourth Round. City won 3-1 courtesy of a Chuba Akpom hat-trick.
The 2014/15 amber shorts must have been in short supply by April 2016, because City used the white away shorts and socks with the home shirts. It wasn’t pretty, nor was the performance as the Tigers crashed to a 4-0 defeat. When City faced Derby again in the play-offs, they did so in all new amber shorts. Evidently Umbro supplied the 2016/17 alt. shorts ahead of schedule. a 3-0 win put the Tigers in the driving seat going into the second leg.
The 2016/17 alternate shorts set was next used in the August in a League Cup game at Exeter. Adama Diomande (2) and Robert Snodgrass scored the goals in a 3-1 win to put City in Round Three.
The Premier League numbers added to the amber shorts in 2016/17 were white, rather than black. Those shorts were next worn at Sunderland in the November.
Within a month they were put to use again, this time at Tottenham in December. The result was the same though, another 3-0 defeat.
The FA Cup Fourth Round saw the last use of amber alts. in 2016/17. Another three goal deficit in defeat, 4-1, this time to Championship Fulham. With City bottom of the Premier League, the cup was considered a low priority by head coach Marco Silva, brought in to attempt a rescue of City’s top flight status.
Back in the Championship, with Russian Leonid Slutsky now picking the team, the Tigers had a mercurial start to the 2017/18 season. New amber alts. made their first appearance at Derby, the game was a defensive nightmare and ended in 5-0 defeat.
Just days later the amber shorts were on show again, this time at Fulham. Another defeat ensued though, the Cottagers won 2-1.
The complete amber alternate shorts record
|10th November 2001, Division 3||Lincoln 2 City 1|
|20th November 2001, Division 3||Luton 0 City 1|
|23rd March 2002, Division 3||Leyton Orient 0 City 0|
|28th February 2004, Division 3||Lincoln 2 City 0|
|21st October 2006, Championship||Preston 2 City 1|
|1st January 2007, Championship||Sheffield Wednesday 1 City 2|
|19th November 2011, Championship||Derby 0 City 2|
|29th November 2011, Championship||Southampton 2 City 1|
|10th December 2011, Championship||Coventry 0 City 1|
|17th March 2012, Championship||Crystal Palace 0 City 0|
|20th March 2012, Championship||City 0 Southampton 2|
|27th March 2012, Championship||Portsmouth 2 City 0|
|20th July 2012, Friendly||Grimsby 0 City 0|
|28th Auust 2012, League Cup||Doncaster 3 City 2|
|6th October 2012, Championship||Sheffield Wednesday 0 City 1|
|17th November 2012, Championship||Birmingham 2 City 3|
|21st December 2012, Championship||Derby 1 City 2|
|23rd February 2013, Championship||Bolton 4 City 1|
|11th March 2013, Championship||Burnley 0 City 1|
|30th March 2013, Championship||Huddersfield 0 City 1|
|13th April 2013, Championship||Ipswich 1 City 2|
|16th July 2013, Friendly||Winterton 0 City 6|
|28th August 2014, Europa League Qual.||City 2 Lokeren 1|
|24th September 2014, League Cup||West Brom 3 City 2|
|26th December 2014, Premier League||Sunderland 1 City 3|
|3rd November 2015, Championship||Brentford 0 City 2|
|30th January 2016, FA Cup||Bury 1 City 3|
|14th May 2016, Championship Play Offs||Derby 0 City 3|
|23rd August 2016, League Cup||Exeter 1 City 3|
|19th November 2016, Premier League||Sunderland 3 City 0|
|14th December 2016, Premier League||Tottenham 3 City 0|
|29th January 2017, FA Cup||Fulham 4 City 1|
|8th September 2017, Championship||Derby 5 City 0|
|13th September 2017, Championship||Fulham 2 City 1|
It’s been a while since we’ve done any ‘shirt swapping’, in the sense of taking a look at the current and historical kits of another club in addition to Hull City. With the 2017/18 season upon us, we thought we’d cast a critical eye over the garb of our opening day opponents, Aston Villa, selecting their three best home kits, the worst, and judging the latest offering.
*Disclaimer* These things are naturally subjective, and done just for amusement, so don’t get bent out of shape if we’ve missed out a kit that you really like.
The three best Aston Villa home kits…
The look of claret bodied shirts with blue sleeves has been an Aston Villa staple since the late 1800s, but the Villans have experimented on occasion. Between 1981-1983 there was an Ajax-ification of the basic design premise, with a thick claret band parting blue that was now more prominent, part of the body panels rather than just on the sleeves.
There were several versions of the shirt, a sponsor was added in 1982/83 and a set for use in UEFA competition pared down use of the maker’s mark, but for our money the unsponsored domestic 1981/82 version is best. This had a Le Coq Sportif logo on each sleeve and a centrally placed club crest. All versions of this shirt were matched with white shorts and blue socks.
Macron referenced this kit in 2013/14, but it wasn’t a patch on the original, worn when Villa were defending the title and cutting a swath throughout Europe, winning the Champions Cup against Bayern Munich.
Hummel’s 1986 Denmark primary kit is one of the most iconic designs ever produced, and the template worked well for Southampton, Coventry and Hellas Verona too. A claret and blue version didn’t quite hit the spot when used by Villa between 1987-89 though, but Hummel’s follow up, worn for the 1989/90 campaign, fared much better.
The crossover V neck of the 1987-89 shirts was updated with chevrons replacing thin stripes, as was the Raglan sleeve construction, only this time the body was solid claret and the sleeves all blue. Hummel’s chevron logo appeared in pairs on each sleeve (the long sleeved version had two distinct pairs on each sleeve), whereas previously they were repeated inside sleeve ‘tape’. Overall, this was a much more restrained shirt than the one it replaced, but that design restraint meant the ensemble looked far more like what you’d expect from a Villa kit.
It can be hard to let preconceptions go, and in the back of my mind there’s an automatic association with Nike and shirts that are overdesigned and garish. Sure, they’ve got form when it comes to that, but frankly which manufacturers haven’t? Nike have in fact produced some great shirts that are devastatingly simple: Holland 2002, Arsenal 2010/11, England 2013/14 and France 2014 all qualify, as does the Villa home from 2009/10.
It featured a simple round collar, with a thin blue yoke panel bridging the gap between the collar and cuffs on an otherwise claret shirt. In future years sponsors would insist on fussy logos accompanying their wordmarks, but at this point Villa had the name of their nominated charity Acorns ( a Birmingham and West Midlands children’s hospice) in a clean, sans-serif and all lower case font. Lovely.
The worst Aston Villa home kit…
There exists a strange kit netherworld inhabited by shirts that are quite attractive designs, but that don’t work as shirts for the team wearing them. This is one such example. It’s hard to go wrong with claret and blue, they work so well together, and those tones in stripes looks rather good indeed. It’s just that this kit doesn’t say Aston Villa. The colours are right, but the styling is wrong for the club.
An FA Cup final appearance will often render a shirt memorable, and this strip is certainly that, but a Wembley outing doesn’t make up for this very good shirt being a bad fit for this club.
Rating the current Aston Villa home kit…
Villa are in the second year of a deal with Under Armor, the Baltimore (USA) based brand. They seem to be going for a ‘luxury bag’ look, with embossed lions throughout the front and back pieces. A would be V-neck collar is squared off by an upside down pentagon shaped panel that straddles the border of ‘interesting’ and ‘fussy’. There’s the standard issue betting sponsor on the front, with Unibet’s interconnected balls logo tastefully applied in white, avoiding their brand colour of green was a wise choice.
There’s nothing to get excited about here, and nothing to enrage either, if this strip represents an upgrade on the first Under Armor Villa home shirt, it’s ever so slight an upgrade. The 2016/17 shirt had an unwieldy sponsor as a downside, but a tidy collar and placket as an upside. The embossed lions feel like they’ve been added just to create a different look from the plain finish of the previous year and whereas the rounded seams on the sleeves may offer a better fit than the straight cut set in sleeves of 2016/17, visually it neither adds or subtracts to the overall look.
The Streetlife Museum has no audio description equipment at present, so to assist Tiger Rags visitors with visual impairment, we are offering an MP3 download that guides you around the room and describes all the exhibits.
Matt Rudd of Absolute Radio provides directions for our recommended route, while David Burns of BBC Radio Humberside is the exhibit guide.
Tuesday 20, June, 2017
Amber and black – The colours of culture
A group of lifelong football fans have worked together to ensure their beloved Hull City plays a part in the UK City of Culture 2017 celebrations.
The group are putting the final touches to plans for an exhibition of classic Tigers’ kits, which will go on display from Monday 3 July.
Tiger Rags – The Fabric of Hull City AFC will run from Monday July 3 to Tuesday October 2 at the Streetlife Museum of Transport. Entry will be free.
The exhibition is part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017’s Creative Communities Programme.
Les Motherby, author of the Hull City Kits blog and an avid hoarder of memorabilia, has brought together a number of local collectors to exhibit their prized player worn shirts, on public display for first time.
He said: “Hull City may not have a glorious, trophy-laden past, but they have an interesting history regardless, one that means a lot to Tigers supporters.”
“Shirts worn by players are the ultimate physical representation of that history, they evoke memories of past players, games and seasons.”
“Hopefully the club will have their own museum one day but until then this exhibition, part of the Creative Communities Programme for Hull 2017, offers a chance for people to celebrate the visual identity of Hull City.”
Councillor Terry Geraghty, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Leisure and Chair of Hull Culture & Leisure, said: “Over the years Hull City have grown to become an integral part of the fabric of the city and its identity. The club is loved by locals and recognised all around the world.
“We are delighted to be working with Les Motherby by hosting the Tiger Rags exhibition, an individual Hull 2017 community project, at the Streetlife Museum, enhancing the experience further. I am sure it will prove a huge hit with visitors, supporters and residents alike.”
The Tiger Rags exhibition has two themes, Plurality of Polyester and International Tigers.
Plurality of Polyester will run from July 3 to September 3, followed by International Tigers from September 4 to October 2.
The first two months will focus on kit design.
Examples of different styles will be on display, as will shirts from the 1980s.
Shirts will also commemorate teams from 2008, 2014 and 2016, when the Tigers reached Wembley finals.
There’s also a UEFA rule compliant match shirt from City’s brief but memorable foray into European competition.
From September 4 to October 2 the exhibition switches to International Tigers.
The last month of Tiger Rags acknowledges the part played by foreign footballers during Hull City’s rise from the basement division to the Premier League, with a display of shirts worn by players from around the globe who have come to Hull to play for the Tigers.
Exhibited items will inevitably evoke memories, and Tiger Rags want to capture those memories, and ask that visitors share them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #TigerRags
An audio description will also be available for people to download onto their mobile devices from www.hullcitykits.co.uk
Streetlife Museum of Transport is free and open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 11am – 4.30pm.
Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017, said: “Hull City are woven into the fabric of the city’s cultural identity so it is fantastic to have such an amazing collection of memorabilia on display as part of Hull 2017.”
For more information, please contact:
Les Motherby on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07887 555679
NOTES TO EDITORS
Tiger Rags is one of 60 new projects to receive funding through the Hull 2017 Creative Communities Programme, which is being delivered in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund, a Principal Partner of Hull 2017.
A total of £750,000 is being invested in the programme, which was set up to celebrate, nurture and support local talent and develop opportunities for emerging artists.
In addition to cash from Hull 2017 and the Big Lottery Fund, the projects will receive staff support to build capacity in the arts sector, helping to create a legacy. The Creative Communities Programme is also being supported by Hull and East Riding Charitable Trust.
The projects – which range from photography exhibitions to music and food festivals and choral and orchestral concerts to audio-visual installations – will see local artists, community groups, cultural and other organisations in the city working with local people of all ages to create new artistic work, events, installations and other activity throughout 2017.
For a full list of projects visit: https://www.hull2017.co.uk/discover/article/sixty-community-projects-inspire-creativity-across-hull-2/
About Hull UK City of Culture
Hull UK City of Culture 2017 is a 365 day programme of cultural events and creativity inspired by the city and told to the world. Hull secured the title of UK City of Culture 2017 in November 2013. It is only the second city to hold the title and the first in England.
Divided into four seasons, this nationally significant event draws on the distinctive spirit of the city and the artists, writers, directors, musicians, revolutionaries and thinkers that have made such a significant contribution to the development of art and ideas.
The Culture Company was set up to deliver the Hull 2017 programme and is an independent organisation with charitable status. It has raised £32 million, with over 60 partners supporting the project, including public bodies, lottery distributors, trusts and foundations and local and national businesses. Key contributions are coming from: Host City – Hull City Council; Principal Partners – Arts Council England, BBC, Big Lottery Fund, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, KCOM, KWL, Spirit of 2012, Yorkshire Water and the University of Hull; Major Partners –Associated British Ports, Arco, BP, the British Council, British Film Institute, Green Port Hull, Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, MKM Building Supplies, P&O Ferries, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Sewell Group, Siemens, Smith & Nephew and Wykeland Group.
68 per cent of the funding is dedicated to public facing activities, including the widest range of cultural events in every corner of the city, with a further 11 per cent for legacy and contingency. More than £5 million is being invested in volunteering, learning and community engagement. £1.6 million is being invested to ensure a legacy after 2017. This includes capacity building, such as supporting existing events so they can grow, staging curtain-raiser events, developing future programming for after 2017 and building a new platform to support a unified ticketing system for the city.
Hull 2017’s International Partners are: Aarhus, Denmark, which is European Capital of Culture 2017; Reykjavik, Iceland; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; and Freetown, Sierra Leone (twinned with Hull). These relationships are reflected in a number of events throughout the year.
For information go to www.hull2017.co.uk
Follow us on Twitter @2017Hull Instagram @2017hull Facebook HullCityofCulture
About Big Lottery Fund
The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every year it invests over £650 million and awards around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
Since June 2004 it has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.
About Hull & East Riding Charitable Trust
The Hollingbery Family founded the business in 1933 with the first Comet superstore opened in Hull in 1968. The business was subsequently sold to Kingfisher and in 1985 the charity was established with the defined purpose of donating funds to help and support charities, both national and local, and other deserving causes, provided that direct benefit was forthcoming for people who live in Hull or the East Riding of Yorkshire.
For more information, including on how to apply for funds, see http://hullandeastridingtrust.org.uk/
We were so looking forward to seeing City shirts adorned with Europa League sleeve patches, but sadly, the European adventure is over after just four games. That’s not to say those games were uninteresting to kit geeks, especially the play- off round games against KSC Lokeren of Belgium.
Approval for the unique name and number font created by Sporting ID for City to use in UEFA organised competition came through in time for the first leg at the Daknamstadion, where Lokeren play their home games.
The numbers feature the 2014 club crest at the base, and both numbers and letters are split in a stencil style. Is this in reference to Hull being a port? It recalls the stencils used to mark cargo boxes, and since City’s kits would be be shipped abroad for use in Europa League games, it seems somewhat fitting, whether by accident or design.
City requested that Lokeren wear all black at home so The Tigers could give a debut to the white and blue third kit, that would act as first choice change kit in Europe. .
To comply with UEFA rules regarding kit supplier logos, the Umbro wordmarks on the shirt sleeves had to be removed. Most of them were, though the shirts of Harry Maguire and Tom Ince still had them (on one sleeve at least) throughout the game that ended 1-0 to Lokeren.
For the home leg, the amber and black striped home shirts needed some modification. Whereas for FA sanctioned competitions, white numbers on amber and black stripes are considered to be of sufficient contrast, to satisfy UEFA stipulations, a plain coloured panel on the back is required. So Umbro created a new home shirt set, with plain amber back panels that stopped three quarters down, underneath which stripes resume. As at Lokeren, the Umbro sleeve text was again absent for the 2nd leg.
Additionally, because Lokeren had agreed to wear all-black at home, they requested that we accommodate their desire to wear white shirts with black shorts in the 2nd leg, which meant a debut for the alternate amber shorts designed for use with the home shirt.
The amber back panels on the shirts sure tweaked our loins as kit geeks, how we’d love to get our hands on a matchworn, though most City players swapped with Lokeren players. As for the amber shorts at home, we have recent form: We used amber alts when Southampton came to the KC Stadium in March 2012, bringing only black shorts. City had worn amber shorts at St, Mary’s earlier in the season so perhaps they thought that was part of our first choice kit.
The use of amber shorts against Lokeren gave the occasion a special feel, we wouldn’t want to see it regularly, but it seemed somehow fitting for an extraordinary occasion. It’s just a shame City’s players couldn’t have put in a special performance to ensure progression to the group stage, City won 2-1 on the night but Lokeren’s away goal meant they went through on away goals with the aggregate score 2-2. We’d love to have seen the plain backed shirts used again, in conjunction with Europa League and Respect sleeve patches.