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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!