The Kitcast by Hull City Kits – UMBRO SPECIAL

Umbro, the venerable brand and current supplier to the Tigers, turn 95 this year and that warrants a Kitcast special. The Kitgeeks ponder the best Umbro City shirts of the modern era, and True Colours author John Devlin, the high priest of illustrated polyester, considers the wider appeal of the double diamond brand.

The Kitcast by Hull City Kits – Episode 5

The latest (and shortest) Kitcast is available for your viewing pleasure/displeasure. We cover the 2000/01 away shirt in depth, rank Umbro’s black kits, consider some of the WWC loveliness and a tribute to ‘La Società Ginnastica Sampierdarenese’.

The Kitcast by Hull City Kits – Episode 3

Episode 3 of the Kitcast sees us review the new crest that will appear on Umbro kits from 2019/20. We also look back to the Centenary season home shirt, Justin Whittle talks kit preferences and in the news round-up we discuss the latest round of poppy shirt auctions, the use of third kits at Millwall, Scunthorpe’s kit poll and Roma’s rights issue.

Presented by Les and Adam, co-produced by Mikey and John.


Tiger Rags – Download the ‘International Tigers’ PDF

Phase 2 of Tiger Rags – The Fabric of Hull City AFC begins on September 4th and is entitled ‘International Tigers’, celebrating the overseas players who have come to Hull to represent the city by playing for the Tigers. At a time when migrant labour is a political and social hot topic, it is interesting to note that the increase in the number of foreign players on the club’s books in recent years corresponds to our rise from basement level denizens to Premier League constituent, FA Cup finalist and UEFA competition entrant.

All of the shirts on display during Phase 2 at the Streetlife Museum of Transport have been worn or issued to players from beyond these shores. To enhance your visit, it is recommended that you download the accompanying exhibition guide by clicking on the link below.

Tiger Rags Phase 2 Guide


Alternatively you can view the guide within this page…


Visiting Tiger Rags – The Fabric of Hull City AFC? Download the exhibition guide PDF

‘Plurality of polyester’, looking at varied kit designs, is the first phase of our Hull 2017 exhibition ‘Tiger Rags – The fabric of Hull City AFC’, which is hosted by the Streetlife Museum of Transport. To enhance your visit, it is recommended that you download the accompanying exhibition guide by clicking on the link below.

Tiger Rags Phase 1 Guide



Alternatively you can view the guide within this page…





Tiger Rags – The Fabric of Hull City AFC


Photo: Chris Skelton

Could you imagine the city of Hull without Hull City AFC? We certainly couldn’t, for the Tigers are quite simply, part of the fabric of the city.

That fact has not gone unnoticed by the organisers of Hull 2017: The first week of the City of Culture year was heralded by a spectacular light show that used the facades of the City Hall, the Maritime Museum and Ferens Art Gallery as video screens depicting key moments from the city’s last century.

Included among the projected retellings of wartime bombing raids, the feats of airwoman Amy Johnson, trawler tragedies, the construction of the Humber Bridge and the sights and sounds of Hull Fair, were newspaper clippings of Hull City being put up for sale in the early 1980s, and footage of Deano’s unforgettable volleyed goal at Wembley that clinched promotion to the Premier League in 2008.


There’s more to the club’s story than those two events of course. Though the history of the Tigers is, for the most part, inglorious, it is worth celebrating nonetheless, and what better time than when the city of Hull is getting some belated national and international attention?

With the club seemingly uninterested in taking part in the City of Culture year’s festivities, we at Hull City Kits felt compelled to make sure the Tigers had some representation beyond video clips in the first week. So an idea was born…

“The club is part of the fabric of the city, so let’s celebrate the literal fabric of the club.”  

The result is a three month long exhibition at the Streetlife Museum of Transport. It will feature a modest display of Hull City match shirts and a recounting of tales from the Tigers’ kit history: from the amber and black striped shirts worn in the founding year 1904, to the infamous tiger print shirts of the early 1990s, and coming right up to date with the controversial ‘cactus purple’ third shirts from 2016/17.

A collaboration between several memorabilia collectors and the Supporter’s Trust (HCST), the modest display of player worn or match issued shirts  will have two distinct phases…

TigerRagsFoHCA plurality of polyester
The first two months will focus on kit design. Do you prefer the Tigers to wear black and amber striped shirts or to don jerseys that are largely just amber? Examples of both styles will be on display, as will shirts from the 1980s when red became part of the club’s palette, and some of the varied styles of change shirts will be considered.

Fans of old-skool adidas sportswear will love the trefoil adorned 1980-82 home shirt, whereas fans of animal print clothing can marvel at the lurid all over print shirts worn between 1992 and 1995.  Commemorative game detail on a shirt is a rarity, we’ll show examples from 2008, 2014 and 2016 when the Tigers reached Wembley finals, as well as a UEFA rule compliant shirt from City’s brief but memorable escapade into European competition.

InternationalTigersInternational Tigers
As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, migrant labour is a hot political topic. The second phase 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.

StreetlifeWhen and where?
Tiger Rags – The Fabric of Hull City will run from July 3rd to October 2nd in the community space of the Streetlife Museum of Transport on High Street. Entry is free.

For updates check back here on, we plan to record kit podcasts that will further explore aspects of City’s kit history and an audio file with descriptions of the items on display will be downloadable.

Further content will be available on our social media accounts, where we’ll encourage kit discussion banded together under the hashtag #TigersRags

Twitter: @HullCityKits
Instagram: hullcitykits   

Get Our Kits Out #6: 2014/15 Europa League home shirt #27 Ahmed Elmohamady


In anticipation of playing in the Europa League proper, City had supplier Umbro knock up a batch of UEFA compliant home shirts after the Tigers advanced from the Qualifying Second Round by beating FK AS Trenčin of Slovakia 2-1 on aggregate. UEFA kit rules insist that teams playing in striped shirts have a single colour panel on the back so that player names and numbers are more readily distinguishable.

Umbro went with solid amber back panels, upon which black names and numbers were applied in a unique letterset specially created for City’s European adventure. The font resembles the stenciled letters seen on cargo crates, appropriate for a team from a port city on its continental travels.

Domestic style shirts with white Premier League numbers (but not names) were used in the two games against Trenčin, but the Euro style shirts were first used in the second leg of the Qualifying Play-Off Round tie with KSC Lokeren of Belgium. They were paired with amber alternate shorts so that Lokeren could wear black shorts with white shirts, after they had agreed to wear black away shirts at home to allow City to wear their white and blue third kit for the first time.


The first leg, at Lokeren’s Daknamstadion, ended in defeat for City. A blunder from ‘keeper Allan McGregor proved costly as it gifted the East Flanders side the only goal of the game. The Tigers hoped to overcome the deficit at home, and did indeed win the second leg, 2-1, with Robbie Brady scoring twice, once from the penalty spot, but it wasn’t enough as City, down to ten men after Yannick Sagbo’s red card, were eliminated on the Away Goals Rule. This shirt was worn by Ahmed Elmohamady (scorer of City’s first ever goal in UEFA sanctioned competition, at home to Trenčin) who played every minute of the game, and came to us unwashed. It is a size S(mall).


With their European adventure over prematurely, the Tigers redesignated the amber back-paneled shirts (which didn’t carry the Umbro wordmark on each sleeve, as did the domestic shirts) part of a ‘Cup kit’, using them (and the Euro font) in the League Cup at West Brom and the FA Cup at Arsenal.

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


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,


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!


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.

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


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.


Tommy Coyle represents!


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.