In order to avoid a colour clash when on the road, the Tigers have occasionally mixed and matched elements of primary and change kits. On other occasions they’ve had to procure items not part of the season’s kitset for an individual game, and in rare instances, they’ve been forced to borrow items of from opponents. The shame.
Here we attempt to catalogue every example of what we call a mash-up.
There are distinct types of mash-up, codified thusly…
MUSKI – Mash-Up from Stocked Kitset Items: So, away shorts worn with the shirts and socks of the primary kit for example. Your most common type of mash-up, sometimes an on the day decision, but usually planned by the kitman.
MUBI – Mash-Up featuring Borrowed Items: Perhaps the most notorious example is City taking only the ‘flint’ grey change kit to Newcastle in 2008, necessitating City borrowing the home sides white adidas shorts and socks from the Geordie’s away kit. Embarrassing, and the result of a failure of planning from the kitman.
MUNKI – Mash-Up featuring Non Kitset Items: When mixing and matching items from the current kitset won’t cut it, and mash-up need is established before City arrive at an opponent’s ground, the kitman will have used foresight to find something else that fits the bill, such as when white Umbro shorts bought from the Harrogate branch of Sports Direct were used with the Diadora home shirts and socks at Sheffield Wednesday in 2004.
v. Fulham (1959/60)
City travelled to the capital in January 1960 to face Fulham in the FA Cup, and were promptly sent packing by the Cottagers, who won 5-0. City wore the white shorts and socks if the away kit with the home shirts. In the pic, Jimmy ‘Chisel Chin’ Hill scores past Billy Bly, who retired at the end of the 1959/60 season.
v. Spurs (1980/81)
Pairing the white away shorts with the shirts and socks of the home kit solved a multitude of clashes in the first adidas kit era (1980-82), the most notable instance coming in an FA Cup tie at Tottenham in April 1981. Mike Smith’s Tigers had made it to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup after defeating Halifax, Blyth Spartans (at the third attempt) and Doncaster, to earn a trip to White Hart Lane, but the tie against top flight Tottenham resulted in a 2-0 elimination, with goals from Brook and Archibald.
v. Exeter (1983/84)
Red was added to the City colour palette when Don Robinson became chairman in 1982, and the tertiary tone wasn’t restricted to the primary kit in the form of pinstripes on the shirt and the main sock colour. A set of red shorts was produced for use with the white change shirts with black pinstripes, and on occasion they were used with the ‘home’ shirt on our travels. One such instance came in early December 1983 when the Tigers visited ‘the other St. James Park’, in Exeter. A Bobby McNeil goal wasn’t enough as City lost 2-1 to the Grecians, who would end the season rock bottom of the Third Division. Pictured are Exeter player-manager Gerry Francis, and City’s Steve McClaren and Billy Whitehurst.
v. Fulham (1992/93)
A straightforward MUSKI type mash-up at Craven Cottage in October 1992, with the attention grabbing original tiger stripe shirt (and primary socks) matched with the white change shorts for a pulsating 3-3 draw.
v. Cheltenham (2003/04)
The Tigers tipped up at Whaddon Road in November 2003 for an FA Cup first round tie, and wore all black in the 3-1 defeat. Nothing odd about that you might think, our away kit was all-black, and had already been used once before at Rochdale in the September. The crucial difference was the socks: the regular away kit socks were black with amber foldover bands split by a black stripe. These had black foldover bands with a thin amber stripe sandwiched by two thin white stripes. These socks were part of the goalkeeper kitset and mostly used by netmen in the first year of the home kit’s two year lifespan (2002/03), strange then that were pressed into outfield use, making this a non-standard MUSKI.
v. Blackpool (2007/08)
Hull City’s first £1 Million transfer fee paid caused a great deal of excitement in late August 2007, when Caleb Folan, briefly a loanee at City in 2001, signed from Wigan. Folan went straight into the line-up for a televised Monday night game at Blackpool, where City mashed-up (MUSKI) by pairing the black home shorts with the white shirts and socks of the change kit. It was an inauspicious beginning for Folan, who was taken to hospital after being stretchered off wearing a neck brace as the Tigers lost 2-1.
v. Doncaster (2010/11)
The reality of relegation from the Premier League hit home when City made a first ever trip to Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium, which in 2006 replaced the ‘Earth Stadium’. That might sound like a wondrous artificial biome that simulates a rainforest environment and teems with exotic life, but it was just the decrepit old Belle Vue ground given an undignified moniker by a Rotherham based finance company in it’s final years. Wearing the primary shirts over the white change shorts and socks, the Tigers lost 3-1 as they came to terms with life back in The Championship.