One of the highlights of last season, judging by the responses, was when Tony Sealey offered to produce a history of Tottenham kits over the years.
Tony is one of the most knowledgeable Spurs fans on this subject and he took us from 1882 - 1976.
Which left a number of people asking if he could continue the story. I'm delighted he has found time to take the story the next step to 1995, (1).
Whilst Tottenham have played in white shirts with navy blue shorts (or knickers as they were called till the late 1950’s) since 1898, the kit has evolved significantly over time with changes in fashion, practicality, technology and ultimately commercialism all having an impact on the design of the lilywhite shirt, evolving from the flannel/cotton button up shirts of Victorian times to today’s high tech, quick drying, moisture resistant, lightweight materials. With previous articles I had covered the periods up to 1977, with this article, I will move on and cover the period up to 1995.
Tottenham announced the new design as thus; “As in all things, fashions change in football kit, and we feel the new design enables us to kit pace with modern trends without discarding the traditional basic colour of white shirts and navy blue shorts with which we have been so proudly identified for so many years.”
The new home shirt was still made of white cotton with an embroidered cockerel and Admiral logo(only the replicas were made of polyester with iron on logos), but added a large wing collar, a navy blue stripe with white Admiral logos down the sleeve and a matching placket at the neck.
The shorts were navy, with a reversed white stripe with navy Admiral logos down the side and white socks, with a broad navy cadet stripe, with Admiral logos around the turn over, to match that down the sleeves. Matching white shorts were also worn against teams in clashing blue shorts.
The corresponding all yellow away shirt was again made of cotton and had a navy blue epaulette on each shoulder, navy blue winged collar and cuffs. This was matched with yellow shorts, with a navy blue stripe with yellow Admiral logos down the side and yellow socks with a ring of navy Admiral logos around the turnovers. There was one inconsistency with the away shirt design during the three years that it service, with the Admiral logo located both on and off the navy blue epaulette, depending upon the season.
Though they wore the old Admiral kit in pre-season friendlies, for the start of the 1980/81League season, Tottenham introduced a new kit made by the French Manufacturer Le Coq Sportif, which I still believe to be the most appropriate for Spurs.
The new design was a much simpler than the one that it had replaced, being a white cotton shirt, with a white V neck, with a single navy blue cadet stripe at the neck and on the cuffs.
The crest was located centrally on the shirt, with the manufacturers’ logos now on each of the sleeves. Plain navy shorts with white socks with a single navy blue cadet stripe around the turn over, though plain white socks were worn early on in the first season. And with keeping in with tradition, white shorts were worn for the 1981/82 European Cup Winners Cup campaign.
The away strip was again all yellow, with navy blue flashes trimmed with yellow at the shoulder and whilst the correct socks appeared in September, initially Spurs wore the 1975-77 Umbro change yellow socks with it.
For Tottenham’s Centenary season in 1982/83, Le Coq Sportif introduced influential new kits made of a matt and gloss shadow striped polyester material.
The home shirt was plain white, with twin navy piping on both the v neck collar and cuffs. To celebrate the clubs centenary, the club crest was suitably embellished and located on the left breast, with the manufacturers’ logos on the right.
This was matched with shadow striped navy shorts, with crest and manufacturer’s logo and white socks with twin pairs of navy cadet stripes. Alternate shadow striped white shorts were worn as first choice in European games.
The change kit consisted of an all powder-blue shadow striped shirt, with a plain v collar, cuffs, matching shorts and powder blue socks with the twin pairs of navy blue cadet stripes and the same Centenary crest as the home shirt.
A third kit of all yellow, of similar design to the home kit, was worn at least once, away to Bristol Rovers, whose kit clashed with both the first two choices, in a testimonial to celebrate their own Centenary and, probably in a pre-season friendly against Manchester City at Maine Road in 1984.
For 1983/84, the previous years design of white and powder blue kits were retained, but to combat the growing threat of illegally made pirate replica kits, the decision was taken to introduce a new crest. The design was deliberately more complex and now included two lions supporting the club's monogram as well as the club's Latin motto, AudereestFacere, which translates as "To dare is to do." This was placed centrally on the shirt, with the manufacturers’ logo reverting to each of the sleeves.The new crest also appeared on the shorts, though older 1980-82 home shorts were worn up till October 1983.
Initially these shirts were unsponsored, but from December 1983, Tottenham signed their first shirt sponsorship deal and henceforth Holsten was worn across the front of the shirt. Initially, the logo was relatively small,limited in size by regulations, but from late February, a larger logo of 81 cm2 was permitted. These two kits were retained till the end of the 1984/85 season.
Parts 1-3 appeared earlier this year and can be found starting at -
Editors Notes -1- While thanking Tony for producing this insightful look into the club I must thank him for allowing me to divide his article into two parts, the second will be with you shortly. Tony has also supplied a number of images and I've tried to fit in as many as possible. Apologies to him for the delay in bringing this latest article to you. Once again if there are any questions arising from the piece do please send them in.
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