Before you meet the HCK staff, we’d like to acknowledge that although this site is the work of two people, those who have helped are legion and we are endebted to them for their support. Our thanks go to to; John Eyre, Boaz Myhill, Gill Wilkinson, George Hudson, Tony Sturdy, Matt Carrington, Dave Richardson, James Richardson, John Devlin, George Chilvers, Kelvin Atkinson, Darren Thompson, Chris Skelton, Martin Parkinson, Mike Hawkridge, Caine Pickering, Anthony Wedlake, Steve Broadbent, Pete, Chris, Suzy and Suze.


JGHull

James Greenwood being ace

How long have you been a kit geek?

I took my first breath in 1978 and grew up living within “gawping out of the window” distance of Boothferry Park’s six pylon floodlights. They were fascinating on night games – before I was old enough to go, I remember looking through my bedroom window and looking at the glow given off.

Dad eventually took me to my first game and annoyingly, he’s no idea what it was and nor do I. He does tell me though that I was hooked instantly. Watching my heroes in amber and black (and red) meant I too wanted to wear amber and black (and red) and so begin a decade of Christmases where my favourite present would be the new Tigers kit, tracksuit or bench coat.

I was a kit geek instantly. I remember the 1986 World Cup and having the Argentina kit with Maradona 10 on the back – I wore it after the “Hand of God” incident too much to my Dad’s embarrassment. I also had the Scotland kit from the same World Cup. Don’t ask, it was because of  the shorts.

I married in 2008 and we went to the west coast of America for our honeymoon. We took in an LA Galaxy game (they won 5-3 and yes, He played) and I bought a replica shirt with His name on the back. In thirty years, I’ve not changed much.

What is your City kit style preference?

Stripes please. Plain white or blue away shirt.

Your away colours preference?

Tough this one – I’m a fan of the powder blue away kits we’ve had in recent times as the history of the club almost demands it should be blue, but an all white away kit gives me the kit horn. In fact, 2007/08 Away features in my top kits ever. I’m happy to see the club rotate but they should always stick to powder blue or white.

If you were commissioning new kits, how would you approach it?

I think some of the fun has gone from modern kit design. I’d wait for the supplier rep to turn up, pick which template I like the best and that’s that. Designing the sponsor logo is an important and often overlooked part of the process though and relies on the sponsor “playing ball” and not being precious about colour that their logos must retain etc. I can see why they want it how they want it, but the kit must come first!

Top 5 City shirts?

The 2007/08 away shirt has already had me waxing lyrically about it , you can read about my love affair with it here:  Kit Review for the 2007/08 Away.

The 2008/09 home shirt was as all home shirts should be – I understand the need for the club to change the shirt from a marketing point of view but simple stripes, good looking sponsorship logo, great collar. It’s as simple as that sometimes.

To be fair, the 2006/07 home shirt makes it on to this list for the same reasons. It was simple and looked great – unless it was being stretched over portly Parkin’s gut during pre-season. Again, helped out by a plain and unfussy sponsor patch.

You can tell from the picture of me that the 1986/87 home shirt was always going to make this list – although I admit it was bonkers. The hooped socks, the crazy amounts of red and the red shoulder bands all add to the assault on the eye. However look at me in that photo – I was the happiest 8 year old kid in the world, in full kit glory and even wearing City wrist bands. Seeing that kit makes me regress which is a lovely, lovely thing.

Lastly, the 2010/11 away kit was underused and undervalued. I think it was a cracker but then you can probably tell I’ve a thing for all white away City kits.

Bottom 3 City shirts?

I hate the 1998/99 home kit. We were rubbish and the shirt matched it. Too much white, crap looking gradient banding, a poor manufacturer and badges and sponsor patches which faded as soon as you even thought about washing it. Rubbish.

I hold the 2000/01 home shirt in disdain too. Too much white, a weird off yellow amber in colour and made in a material which felt 4 inches thick. That’s before we get to THAT crest. It still fills me with hate.

I quite liked the bonkers 1994/95 home shirt which was used also used in 1993/94 too, it’s just for the second season it was used we applied an A4 sized patch to the chest to cover up a sponsors logo. It looked as you’d expect – like a great big afterthought.

Other shirts you *heart* are…

England 1986 – loved this. Still do. Gary Lineker, hand in a bandage, wheeling away with one hand in the air in shorts that short you can count what’s going on. We don’t need to include a picture as you can all see it in your mind’s eye. Iconic.

West Germany 1990 was a great kit. Not a popular one in the playground due to ridiculous, stereotyping, outdated morons but still, it was ace. Throw in Klinsmann, a fantastic World Cup (regardless of how great England did) and you had a hooked 12 year old kid.

Brazil 1998 – bit of an odd one I suppose but I just liked it. I bought it and wore it a lot but really, it’s like most Brazil kits (yellow, blue, white). Nike did a nice enough job of it but I think the fact that I wore it to death gets into this list.

Crystal Palace Away 1977/78 – made by Admiral, owned by an uncle. I was born in 78 and there are photos of me sat with said uncle whilst he was wearing it. Some of my stand out kits happen to be Admiral too – they made some belters in the early 80s.

LA Galaxy 2008 – honeymoon related, but looks the part regardless. I even bought the one with “His” name on the back and even though the font is a bit mental for name and numbering, I love the shirt. 

Most treasured kit related possession?

I’ve a few including some match worn shirts but probably most treasured is a fully signed centenary home shirt. A striped shirt, for our 100th birthday and fully signed? Horn inducing!

Anything else?

I’m a cricketer amongst other things – who comes up with the Twenty20 kits? Dreadful, although adidas have started to improve things recently.

SombreEthyl

How long have you been a kit geek?

It started quite early I think, from being 7 or 8. I saw my first game when I was 6, a 7-0 thumping of Stockport in 1982/83, and the next year I had a savings jar and the goal was to buy a shirt. As far as I know, the 1984/85 shirt, the Admiral one with alternating matte/shiny amber between red pinstripes, was the first released commercially so that was my first City shirt. Since then I’ve always had a fascination with what the team wear and I’ve quasi-obsessively collected shirts as released. I’ve a fairly decent memory when it comes to stuff about kits and a few years ago I started writing detailed kit reviews for the Amber Nectar site and then I’ve assisted a few websites to accurately recording City’s kit history.

What is your kit style preference?

Stripes, definitely. Black and amber stripes on a shirt says Hull City, where as plain amber shirts aren’t always instantly recognisable. The pinstriped 2009/10 shirt was a lovely design, but when you first saw it you thought ‘looks a bit like Wolves’, and to me, the whole purpose of a kit is to instantly and conclusively identify what team is wearing it, stripes do that better than plain amber shirts.

Your away colours preference?

All white. I know some say it makes us look like Leeds, but all white was our regular away kit long before Leeds decided to ape Real Madrid’s kit in the 60s, and white was the colour of the first ever City shirt. Add a bit of amber trim to a white kit and it’s very classy looking.

I’ve quite liked the light blues used in 2004/05 and 2011/12 too, and there is the local connection of local firm Reckitts being the main supplier of ultramarine dye in the world, which is probably why we wore lightish blue shirts after the war when amber (or orange as Harold Needler wanted) dye was too expensive.

If you were commissioning new kits, how would you approach it?

I’d retain stripes every time. I understand the club alternating plain amber and stripes for commercial reasons, but I think maintaining the visual integrity of the club is more important than that, so we’d have stripes every year. I’d also have hooped socks, which I have a bit of a fetish for, they complement the overall look of the kit when paired with a striped shirt and the stripe/hoop width is the same. The hooped socks used between  1960-1963 really made the kit ‘pop’ and I’d like to see them used again, we had ‘pinhoops’ in 2009/10 but that didn’t sate my hunger for hooped hose.

Top 5 City shirts?

1990/91 home – The first shirt for almost a decade to not feature any red on it, I think it was gorgeous.

Thin black and amber stripes with a parallogram shadow pattern, a black collar with a discreet white placket that was only seen if the collar was worn unbuttoned, and most importantly, plain amber sleeves.

When we wear stripes, the overall kit can look a bit too dark so having amber sleeves brightens the whole kit up a bit. I loved Swan and Payton as a pairing up front, and this shirt reminds me of that.

I still can’t fathom how a team that started the season with with Jacobs, Jobson, Roberts, Palin, Payton and Swan in it managed to get relegated. That failure should tarnish the kit, but for me it doesn’t.

1980-82 home – I’ve always had an affinity with the adidas brand, and that’s probably down to their classic football shirts and trainers/boots being ubiquitous in the late the 70s and early 80s. A classically styled adidas kit then is always going to excite me, even if I never saw us play in it. I bid for one in an auction hosted by Billy Whitehurst but had to drop out around the £450 mark, I just couldn’t justify the cost. I love the shirt’s wide amber stripes and plain amber sleeves, maximising the amber. City had a torrid time when they wore this kit, but they sure looked good.

2008/09 home – I was delighted we used stripes for our first Premier League campaign, it gave our ‘proper’ shirt style global exposure and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s why we’ve had some version of stripes since then (even if the follow up shirt was only pinstripes). I thought Umbro got this kit very right, it had technical features and a  few fancy design elements but overall it was a simple, striking kit. We wore amber socks with this shirt at Old Trafford, White Hart Lane and Fratton Park, and that was my preferred version of the kit as a whole.

2007/08 away – To me, this is the finest City away kit ever. All white, with the thin amber and black bars going across the shoulders, becoming V shaped under the collar. The material wasn’t too thin, because some white shirts can be a bit see through, especially when stretched over the ponderously bulky bellies of supporters (I include myself in that number) whereas this quite considerable shirt was a brilliant white. It was interchangeable with the home shorts too, we wore black shorts with it at Blackpool and it didn’t look in any way hastily thrown together. Excellent.

1992/93 home – I wouldn’t ever want us to do this again, but tiger stripes worked at the time. It generated positive news stories at a time when they weren’t being generated by those on the pitch or in the boardroom, and I appreciate the kitsch value of it. Maybe I should be embarrassed about it like fans of other clubs think we should be, but I’m very fond of this shirt.

Honourable mentions…

2004/05 all black away, 1960-63 thin striped home, 1984-86 amber with red pinstripes home, 2009/10 pinstriped home, 1999/00 purple away.

Bottom 3 shirts?

1994/95 home – When the club had a falling out with Matchwinner, they did a deal with Pelada and simply stuck Pelada wordmarked stickers over the Matchwinner logo.

Understandably Matchwinner were not happy and took legal action, so Pelada rushed out an interpretation of tigers stripes, what we got was a rust coloured leopard spot affair.

Utterly abhorrent, and made worse when we changed sponsors, adding an unfeasibly large patch over the original chest text. Ugh.


1998/99 home
– The Great Escape kit was a shocker. In between thin black stripes, ‘amber’ gradiated to white and white to ‘amber’ on alternating thicker stripes. Only the ‘amber’ was orange, and the gradient effect looked like someone had deliberately spilt Tango on a white shirt in a needless but moderately artistic fashion. Plus the collar wouldn’t lay flat, it was always rolling up, and the tigers head on the crest looked like it was yelping in pain. The collar tag  featured that  tiger too (we’d never before used it on a shirt), next to a crudely drawn shark which was Hull FC’s logo during their Hull Sharks phase.

It was utterly awful, and the football played during it’s use was largely awful too, the team that played August – January was probably the worst in the club’s history until Warren Joyce heroically saved us by recruiting (among others) Gary Brabin and Justin Whittle. Not even the relief-joy of achieving a Great Escape is enough to create some positive feeling about this shirt, I hate it.

2000/01 home – This kit was supposedly voted for by fans in a poll, but I’m sceptical that the majority of polled City fans plumped for a mustard yellow shirt with mostly white sleeves and the Hinchliffe crest that resembled an owl with a goatee beard. Avec had done a pretty good job the year before with their bold striped, round collared home shirt, but this was a shockingly bad follow up. After this kit Avec’s services were dispensed with, though they may have been glad of that since the club had a patchy record for paying for things in that era.

Dishonourable mentions…

2008/09 ‘flint’ away, 2005/06 black away.

Other shirts you *heart* are…

1988/90 West Germany home – I adore the abstract three stripe pattern on this shirt, it was also used on warm up sweatshirts and track tops for Manchester United and Arsenal, but they didn’t look anywhere near as good as this.

The German flag coloured pattern aside, it’s a simple white kit with an unfussy round collar, and it’s the mixture of the two elements, a funky contemporary design on an otherwise clean and minimal shirt that makes it work so spectacularly. Oh and adidas’s three stripes on the shoulder enhance any shirt.

1986 Denmark home – Hummel’s bifurcated design with a red panel on one side, and red pinstripes on a white half seemed radical and revolutionary when in debuted. Nowadays it’s not so shocking, but it’s still quite attention grabbing.

Coventry and Aston Villa players didn’t look quite as cool wearing this pattern as did the dynamite Danes of 1986. My footballing heroes at that age were Garreth Roberts and Denmark striker Praeben Elkjaer-Larsen, but it was his playing kit rather than his playing style that I really admired.

1995/96 Newcastle away – I’ve no love for Newcastle United, the delusions of grandeur held by their fans annoy me no end, but I do love their maroon and navy hoops with ecru granddad collar away shirt from the season they finished as Premier League runner up.

adidas paid tribute to Newcastle West End (a precursor club to the Magpies) with this kit and for a shirt that was a nod to the past, it was very contemporary and fashionable.

Most treasured kit related possession?

I’ve got the Patrick/Sportscard 2001/02 shirt worn by Justin Whittle in the pre-season game against Obelic Belgrade. He later gave me a pair of matchworn Puma King boots that have drill holes in the soles as he’d preferred Mizuno’s boots with 6 front studs as they stopped him getting blisters. When Mizuno discontinued that boot, he tried some DIY stud addition on the Puma Kings!

Anything else?

I like Borussia Dortmund of the Bundesliga and that originated with me falling in love with their Nike neon yellow shirt from the 1993/94 season which I picked up cheap in Princes Quay (and recently picked up again after seeing it on Ebay). I like some American sports too and the teams I follow in those, the decision of who to support was predicated on their kits, or ‘uniforms’ as they’d say.

I chose the Los Angeles (now St. Louis) Rams primarily because I thought their helmets, blue with a yellow horn, were the best in the NFL, and my interest in baseball is almost entirely down to what the players wear. I like the St. Louis Cardinals, their home jerseys have two red birds perched on a baseball bat on an otherwise plain white button down shirt, they’re worn with a red cap with an interlocking S, T and L logo representing the city. Simple and elegant looking.