Get Your Kits Out #3: Deano boots + (Nike) RED match ball

Though our primary interest is playing kits, there is plenty of room in our hearts for equipment;  boots, keeper gloves, sock ties, that sort of stuff, and not forgetting the most important item in any game, match balls.

We yelped with glee then when Leigh Palmer responded to our regular Twitter pleas for people with cool City stuff to show it off here on HCK, as his items are doozies.

Leigh owns the left boot of the pair of Pumas that Dean Windass wore, and scored in, for the Championship Play Off Final at Wembley in May 2008. He also owns one of the special edition matchballs that was used against Arsenal in March 2010, a quite fateful match for Phil Brown, it was his last in charge of City. Let’s look at the swag…

First up is Deano’s left boot, a Puma v1.06 in white, which matched his then dyed blonde hair. Windass wore this in both of the play off semi final legs against Watford as well as at Wembley, and this boot was planted into the turf stabilising Deano as his right foot volleyed the ball into the net, and City into the Premier League on that most glorious of days.

Leigh was a lucky recipient when Deano hoyed the boots into the crowd, his 5th row seat meant that he was perfectly placed to catch the size 9. “The boot is signed on the front, he [Deano] got my lad and me into the ceremony at City Hall and the lad was sat with him on stage while he was signing autographs. He’s a top man.” says Leigh.

As for the ball, well this isn’t your usual official 2009/10 ‘T90 Ascente’ Premier League matchball. Nike produced a set of red accented balls for use by La Liga in Spain, Serie A in Italy and the Premier League in England to show support for Bono’s (Product) RED charity initiative.

The RED branding is licenced to partner companies, in this case Nike, who produce items that when sold, raise money that goes to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Nike’s contribution to the campaign was red laces (‘Lace up, save lives‘ was their slogan) and the design on the balls is intended to resemble the laces tied up.

The (Nike) RED balls were used during all Premier League games played on the 13th/14th March 2010, for City that meant against Arsenal who visited the KC Stadium.

Lucky Leigh once again found himself in the right place at the right time. “Samir Nasri kicked the ball into the crowd just as the ref blew for full time, I was sat on the front row of the East Stand, I managed to catch it, get it up my top and slip away.”

Phil Brown wasn’t quite so lucky. City looked on the verge of picking up a highly creditable and useful point when Nicklas Bendtner scored deep into added time to give Arsenal a 2-1 win. The defeat compounded a dreadful run for City, and Brown paid the price, he was put on gardening leave and would not manage City again.

These are unique items from a momentous period in City’s history. Leigh, we’re just a little bit jealous, thanks for sharing.

National flag wristbands

During our two year stint in the Premier League there was a short lived fad for wearing national flag wristbands. It began with OG-prone defender Kamil Zayatte away at Manchester City in 2008/09.

The Guinean will probably go down as the most accessory laden player in club history. At one point in the City v. Citeh game he wore a black long sleeved compression jersey, HCAFC branded gloves, a black Umbro wristband on his left arm, and on his right, a band with the red, yellow and green colours of his West African nation.

The practice reached a peak the following campaign, season 2009/10, when Kamel Ghilas, Jozy Altidore and even Geovanni got in on the act.

Ghilas, or كمال فتحي غيلاس as he’s known in Arabic (imagine getting that put on the back of a shirt), was born in Marseille, France, but evidently considers himself Algerian rather than French. He has played for the Algerian national team 18 times (3 of those games were played while with* City in World Cup Qualifiers, v. Zambia, Rwanda and Egypt) and often wore an Algerian flag wristband when playing for The Tigers in 2009/10.

The Algerian flag consists of two bars, one green, one white, with a red star and crescent at the centre representing both Islam and the blood of those killed fighting for Algerian independence. Helpfully, for those who didn’t recognise the flag, Ghilas’ wristband had ‘Algérie’ in red letters above the star and crescent.

French is no longer an official language of Algeria, although it is commonly used, maybe he got the bands from the Marseille branch of Sports Direct or summat.

*Ghilas is still a Hull City player of course, but he’s been loaned out twice on season long loans, to Arles-Avignon and Stade de Reims, and clearly isn’t in City’s plans.

Geovanni was a frequent wristband wearer during his time with the Tigers, but he usually went with black Umbro branded bands. He got into the flagband spirit for one game though, wearing a yellow and green band with ‘Brasil’ overlaid in white text for the 4-1 FA Cup 3rd Round defeat at Wigan on 2nd January 2010.   

Whereas Zayatte, Ghilas and Geovanni occasionally wore national flag wristbands, American international Jozy Altidore wore one more often than not, in fact he had two distinctive wristbands, both made by his boot sponsor adidas. 

Both featured a split flag that was half ‘Old Glory’ and half the emblem of Haiti, as Altidore’s parents are both Haitian. That flag is two horizontal bars, blue over red, with a white panel bearing the Haitian coat of arms. Altidore wore a blue wristand in games against Southend (home, in League Cup), Wolves (away, with adidas logo taped over), West Ham (away), Arsenal (home), Fulham (home), Burnley (home), Aston Villa (home) and in his last, red card truncated performance for City against Sunderland (home, shown above).

A white version was worn in games against  Bolton (home in Altidore’s debut, and away), Sunderland (away), Birmingham (home), West Ham (home), Everton (home), Manchester City (away and home, seen above) Aston Villa (away), Blackburn (home), Manchester United (home) and Wolves (home).

When Jozy scored his only Premier League goal for the Tigers, against Manchester City in a 2-1 win at the KC Stadium, Altidore’s immediate reaction was to tearfully clutch at his white USA-Haiti wristband (shown above).

National flag wristbands seem to be just a Premier League phenomenon where City are concerned, as they’ve been notable in their absence since our return to the Football League.

Tigers sport black sleeves and armbands v. Donny

Matt Fryatt displayed both rebelliousness and respectfulness in the 0-0 draw with Doncaster last night.

His act of rebellion was in wearing a long sleeved undershirt on a chilly night at the KC Stadium, though he was not the only one of the starting XI to do so; Aaron Mclean, Robert Koren and Corry Evans all wore yellow long sleeved undershirts beneath short sleeved jerseys, as they have done for weeks. Fryatt’s undergarb however was *GASP* black!

Kitman John Eyre told us a few weeks ago that some referees are more lenient than others when it comes to applying FIFA’s directives about player equipment. Those directives state that “if undergarments are worn, the colour of the sleeve must be the same main colour as the sleeve of the jersey or shirt” and “if undershorts are worn, they must be of the same main colour as the shorts.”

The man in charge of last night’s Championship encounter, referee Mr J Waugh, evidently had no issue with Fryatt’s black sleeves, or Donny ‘keeper David Button pairing black undershorts with yellow playing shorts for that matter. Our ‘keeper Vito Mannone appeared to also be wearing a black undershirt, the sleeves visible as his keeper shirt sleeves were either rolled up or cut off (his undershorts were compliant though, matching the ‘Macaw green’ shorts) and second half sub Seyi Olofinjana too sported black sleeves underneath a short sleeve jersey.

We like this spirit of non-conformism, the black undershirts look infinitely better than the yellow tops and if we can get away with it, then it’s all good.

The respectfulness was shown in the wearing of black armbands to mark the passing of Bob Chapman, who served as City chairman between 1977-1981. Oddly, the armbands were only worn in the second half, and were evidently issued only to the eleven players who would start the second 45 minutes. Neither Seyi Olofinjana or Josh King had armbands on when they were introduced as second half substitutes.

We love: Andy Dawson’s old skool tie ups

Football equipment is constantly evolving, and it’s an evolution driven by marketing and retail. Every year we’re told these new balls are 7% lighter, that shirt has improved sweat wicking properties and Petr Cech’s new headcap has three USB ports.

Immaculately rendered commercials show Kaka balletically slaloming past angels on a field of fire thanks to his new anti-grav adiFLY Kinetiq III’s and challenge us to emulate him.

Chuck those old boots away pal, these new Nike’s that look like they’re made from Clingfilm have an LED covered outer layer that constantly changes colour during the course of a game and they’ll improve your performance by 18%.

Equipment that isn’t readily visible on a player isn’t quite as aggressively marketed, shin pads, ankle straps, sock ties, that sort of thing, but there have still been periodic updates as new materials have become available.

Sock ties were once like laces (and an object of desire for young lads stood in The Well at Boothferry Park reserve games, players leaving the pitch at full time would be subject to shrill entreaties for their muddied tie-ups), a quick knot kept the foldover bands from slipping down the leg, now Velcro tipped elasticated bands (which really means they’re not ‘ties’ at all) are used instead.

Except by Andy Dawson, who appears to be on a one man crusade to keep sock ties in use, having worn them in all four divisions. From his arrival in May 2003 through to his most recent game, tell tale exposed strands have identified the full back as a Velcro-band abstainer, and we love that he’s never ditched the tie ups. Here’s a pictorial tribute, spanning Dawson’s storied City career…


Festive kit tracking

All three games played over the festive period were notable from a kit-watching standpoint. The Tigers wore the Argentina blue and white away kit at Middlesbrough on Boxing Day, marking only the second time we’d worn the change kit in it’s original guise; with white shorts. The first time we used white shorts was in September in the 1-1 draw at Doncaster, all other uses of the away shirt saw it paired with navy blue shorts.

At Burnley on New Year’s Eve, City used amber socks with the first choice shirt and shorts. Mystifying, as Burnley wear white socks at home, so there was no colour clash. The game at Turf Moor marked the first time The Tigers had worn this combination since playing Bradford City in a pre-season friendly.

The only home game over the festive period was against Derby, in which we wore our full first choice kit. As a mark of respect to Gary Ablett, who died on January 1st following a 16-month battle against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, all City players wore black armbands. Ablett, a two time league champion (both with Liverpool) and FA Cup winner (once with Liverpool, once with Everton), played 5 games for City while on loan in 1986.

The updated 2011/12 kit tracker is HERE

Hands up if you want correctly coloured undershirts…

The 2-1 win against Leicester on Saturday proved somewhat cathartic after the recent Nigel Pearson departure saga and back to back defeats. One aesthetic fly in the ointment was the use of yellow undershirts with short sleeved jerseys, worn by Robert Koren (celebrating his winner, above), Corry Evans, Aaron Mclean and Liam Rosenior.

Law 4 of the Laws of the Game, under the heading ‘Basic equipment’, states that “if undergarments are worn, the colour of the sleeve must be the same main colour as the sleeve of the jersey or shirt.”

Since the sleeves of the 2011/12 home shirt are predominantly amber, any undershirts used must also have amber sleeves. The approximation of amber used for the  undershirts worn by City players this year evidently satisfies referees, but the contrast of the two tones, that of playing shirt and of undershirt, is pretty shoddy looking. Hopefully City can source some proper amber undershirts soon.

Interestingly*, the undershirt worn by striker Aaron Mclean during the Leicester game  (seen left) had thumb holes in the cuffs. ————————————————————-

*Interesting if you’re a player equipment obsessive like us that is.