JVoH: Big name signing

Before 2009, the longest surname of any Tigers player had been Faulconbridge, as in Craig, the forward loaned to City by Coventry in 1998/99. Faulconbridge’s seemingly superfluous ‘u’ gave his family name 13 letters, although his name never featured on a City shirt as the practice of putting names on the back of Football League jerseys didn’t begin until 1999/2000. Those 13 letters pale in comparison to the surname letter count of Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, who joined City in September 2009 and played in our second (and ill fated) season in the Premier League.

The Dutchman, who had played for FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven in his homeland, and for Celtic in Scotland prior to his move to the KC Stadium, has a surname that is 20 letters long, which makes it little wonder that fans on messageboards used the shorthand ‘JVoH’. If you take the spaces in his name into account, JVoH’s surname takes up the room of 22 characters on a shirt, which must have been a headache for whoever had to print up shirts for the player and fans buying replicas.

Initially they went with the regular letters, which are 53mm tall on players shirts (replica shirt name letters are only 47mm) and because City radially arch the names, JVoH’s wrapped all the way around the number 29, almost completing a circle…

Later in the year though, an order went in for the narrower, but still 53mm tall letters that had  previously only been used by Manchester City’s Shaun Wright-Phillips (both players sported the thinner letters in the 1-1 draw at the now-Etihad Stadium in late November 2009). The narrower letters on JVoH shirts made their first appearance against Wigan on October 3rd 2009 and were used for the rest of the season.

The Guardian newspaper answered a query regarding the meaning of JVoH’s unusual surname, answering; “According to our research, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink was thus named because, way back in the 17th century, two farming families in the Enschede area of Holland intermarried. Both the Vennegoor and Hesselink names carried equal social weight, and so – rather than choose between them – they chose to use both. ‘Of’ in Dutch actually translates to ‘or’, which would mean that a strict translation of his name would read Jan Vennegoor or Hesselink.

City mark ‘Hospice Football Week’ with shirt patches

Help the Hospices is the Football League charity for season 2011/12, and the last week has been designated ‘Hospice Football Week’. As part of the league wide team-up, each club has been twinned with a local hospice (City’s is Dove House) and in addition to a range of money raising activities, shirt patches mark the club’s commitment on the pitch. The patches featured on City player’s shirts on Tuesday for the 0-0 draw with Leeds and on Saturday’s 2-2 tie with Ipswich. The shirts will soon be auctioned off, with the money raised going to Dove House.

Short story: New sponsor patch for televised Tigers

City’s kit featured a back of shorts sponsor for the first time this season at Blackpool last night. The Tigers wore the Argentina blue away shirt with navy blue shorts against the Tangerines at Bloomfield Road, earning a valuable point courtesy of Matty Fryatt’s late equaliser. The shorts of all outfield players featured a patch advertising Lionel Hutz Neil Hudgell Solicitors for the televised Championship game, but there was no patch on the shorts of keeper Vito Mannone.

The no win, no fee soliciting firm were back of shirt sponsors in 2010/11, while lab equipment company SLS had their logo on the shorts, but until last night there was no shorts sponsor in 2011/12. Whether the patch will appear for the rest of the season or was just in place for a televised game is yet unclear, but from our aesthetics focused point of view, the less sponsors logos on a kit the better.

Kit Converter part 2: Simpson sponsorless for Stiffs

A week after Matt Fryatt lost his Cash Converters patch against Brighton, there has been another sponsor malfunction in a City match. This time it affected Jay Simpson, who started up front for the reserves in their game against Hartlepool’s second string at North Ferriby’s Church Road (Calling it the Rapid Solicitors Stadium feels very, very wrong) on Wednesday. We asked if Simpson was wearing Fryatt’s shirt, figuring it could have been ‘recycled’ and used for reserve games, but kitman John Eyre tells us this was an all new sponsor malfunction. We wonder if any Tiger Nationals have been tempted to boil wash their replica home shirts in a bid to possess a patch free, though partially shiny fronted shirt like Fryatt and Simpson.

Sponsor Malfunction: Koren’s shorts v. Crystal Palace (April 2011)

One of our Twitter followers, @hullrico, told us of a sponsor malfuntion on Robert Koren’s shorts last season. We had a look through some images from 2010/11 and he was dead right. Over the course of several games, the heat bonded logo of SLS on Koren’s shorts degraded, as evidenced by the photo of the Slovenian playing against Crystal Palace late last season. 2010/11 is the only season we’ve had short sponsors, for 2011/12, SLS ‘upgraded’ their financial backing to become back of shirt sponsors.

Sponsor Malfunction: Damien Delaney v. WBA (Feb 2007)

Matty Fryatt’s shirt losing its Cash Converters patch during the Brighton game this week had us wondering about other shirt sponsor malfunctions, so we had a check through the photo archives. The last instance we could find was in the 2006/07 Championship match between City and West Brom at the KC Stadium. In that game, a 1-0 defeat, the letters B, O and N from the BONUS ELECTRICAL appliqué on Damien Delaney’s shirt began to peel away.  Let us know if you’re aware of other instances of sponsor malfunction.

Kit Converter: Fryatt loses sponsor patch v. Brighton

Matt Fryatt’s kit looked great for much of the goalless draw with Brighton at the KC Stadium tonight, as a sponsor patch malfunction aesthetically improved his shirt no end. He took to the pitch sans-Cash Converters logo for the second half, the shirt-blighting black patch had completely detached, leaving only a shiny band where the appliqué had been heat bonded on. If the club put this shirt on Ebay, we’re bidding for it!