Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Top 5 Fulham Kits

A club's kit is often intrinsically linked to a particular era of football history, and sometimes a specific player (the Black away kit of 2003/04 will always be the unlucky "Steve Marlet kit" to me). These are my favourite five Fulham kits to date. Check out for pictures of these and every Fulham home kit since 1886.

1. 1999-2001 Home Kit (Adidas)

2. 1975-1977 FA Cup Final Kit (Umbro)

3. 1981-1983 Home Kit (Oscar)

4. 1993-1994 Away Kit (Vandanel)

5. 1952-1963 Home Kit

The vogue for adults buying football shirts really only started in the 90's, and so despite the fact that four of my top five kits are white the 1999/2001 Home Kit was the first white shirt I had bought since my Mum & Dad had bought a polyester replica Adidas top for me when I was about 12. I really liked this kit, it had a feeling of quality about it and was different to previous Fulham shirts whilst still looking quite traditional. Even a season under Paul Bracewell did little to dampen my enthusiasm and when Tigana arrived it got the chance to claim it's place amongst our most successful kits by seeing the team win the League and gain promotion to the Premier League. Player I most associate with it: Stan Collymore.

The kit we wore for our only F.A. Cup final appearance (to date) and then for the two subsequent seasons was possibly the first time we had deviated from a plain white shirt. The black collar and cuffs gave it a bit of seventies style and the "retro" FFC logo has remained popular ever since. Player I most associate with it: George Best.

This was the kit the MacDonald team wore as we won promotion back to Division 2 and then almost Division 1 the following season. Made by previously unheard of Oscar, this kit saw the addition of black eppilettes and was just as smart in the red away flavour. Oscar produced one more kit for the club in 1983/84 before disappearing completely from the kit manufacturing scene. Player I most associate with it: Ray Houghton.

I'm not sure I've got the year right but I'm sure I remember wearing this on that long trip down to Swansea to see us finally drop into the lowest league. It was the first of a series of red & black away kits that took their inspiration from the 1975 "A.C. Milan" away kit. Player I most associate with it: Gary Brazil

Really our kit hardly changed at all from 1903 right up to 1975, the reason I've singled out this period is that it was probably our "Golden Era" and for several of these seasons we wore some fancy stripey socks. The Historical Football Kits website has the stripey socks down as 1955-56 and 1959-61, so maybe they are correct, but scanning through the Turner & Coton book "Fulham - The Team" suggests players were less concerned with wearing matching socks back then. Anyway I'm basically saying I like the plain white shirt and this season's Nike version is just as good and could be a future Top 5 contender. We've not worn a completely plain white shirt since 1975 so it was due a return. Player I most associate with it: Johnny Haynes

Somehow I've failed to include any of the numerous away kits I have bought nor the 1977-1980 kit that was the first one I saw the team play in. That was a classic Adidas kit with black collars and the famous three stripes. I was maybe slightly put of it at the time thanks to that kit my Mum & Dad bought me as a 12 year old. My kit was always slightly too small, was made of a horrible polyester mix that was never nice to put on and had a badge that was a dodgy transfer which started to come of after a couple of washes. I wore it religiously to football training though, until eventually I had to accept it really was too small. Looking back it was a great kit as well but for now sits just outside my Top 5.

No comments: