Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Classic shirts # 1 Middlesbrough 1973

Recently I've been looking back over the history of football shirts in England, especially and one thing that struck me as unusual was the fact that managers in the 1960s and 1970s were always meddling in kit design. Nowadays, we can't imagine the influx of overpaid foreign bosses thinking up shirt designs and derivating from the latest adidas template, but it's infinitely more imaginable that they would rather than the blokes who dominated football yesteryear.

Quite often these are the types of blokes who now talk about football losing its traditions, but in the case of Aston villa (albeit for one season only) and Crystal Palace this in the 60s and 70s saw a complete trampling on traditions.

So, hats off to football's most unlikely designer - Jack Charlton. Jack Charlton who made his name as a tough tackling centre half for England and the team fomerly known as 'Dirty, Dirty, Leeds', came up with one of the all time classic football shirt designs.

On taking over as boss of Middlesbrough in 1973 he decided to add a white band to the club's famous red shirts, so that the players could see each other. It obviously did the trick, as Boro who had been down on their luck promptly won promotion to the top flight and Jack had come up with a distinct design that remained popular for most of the 70s and has been resurrected on several occassions since.

Notes on pictures top to bottom:
Top: The Shirt
Middle: Former Boro winger alan Foggon in the shirt
Bottom: Big Jack charlton (centre) managing Boro

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