Sunday, December 7, 2008

Crystal Palace in shirts





Crystal Palace started in claret and blue shirts in 1907 and remained with these colours until 1938 when they decided to change to white kits in an attempt to improve their rather poor fortunes. From 1949-54 Palace went back to claret and blue and then wore white shirts with some claret and blue until 1963.

In the 1963-4 season Palace showed their supersticious side again by changing to their yellow away shirt, as it had been lucky for them (Many years later Palace would be ridiculed for having a yellow and blue away kit modelled on Brazil.)

As well as being supersticious Palace are obviously impressionable as in 1964 they played Real Madrid in a game to celebrate the opening of their floodlights and decided to adopt the all white kit of their illustrious guests.

After a copule of seasons in the all white of Real Madrid, Palace continued to play in claret and blue until Malcolm Allinson arrived in 1973. In the bullsitadabulous style that football didn't really adopt until the formation of the Premier League many years later, he decided to change the nickname from 'The Glaziers' to the much more impressive 'Eagles'. He also decided bright red and bright blue were much more vibrant than claret and blue (well, he probably didn't say that, as I'm just making him sound like a latter day marketing exec for the hell of it). His magic didn't really work the Palace mojo, as he couldn't get the new improved Eagles into the top flight and after 3 seasons Terry Venables took over.

Terry Venables oversaw the introduction of the white kit with the red and blue sash, as made famous by Vince Hillaire in topps bubblegum cards and also got them into the top flight. Obviously, Allinson wasn't the only pioneer of marketing at Selhurst Park, as Palace were dubbed 'the team of the 80s', however they were relegated in 1981, and shockingly Venables left under suspicious circumstances.

Palace came into their own under Steve Coppell in 1989 when they reached the Cup final and finished 3rd the following season. However, since then they have been a bit of a yo yo team, although they seem to be suffering a sustained period in the first division under Neil Warnock at the moment.

In 2005 fans voted for a claret, blue and white shirt modelled on the 1971 kit, although it was only used in a few friendlies. This season they have gone back to a sash design after a few years in red and blue stripes.

Shirts from top to bottom:
Top: The original shirt in claret and blue that Palace wore in 1907.
I938 shirt, when Palace changed to white.
The 'lucky' yellow shirt from the 1963 -4 season.
It's just like watching Real Madrid under the floodlightfrom 1964-66

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