Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bristol Rovers shirt history

When you think of quartered shirts you usually think of Rugby. However, a lot of football clubs also had quartered shirts in the nineteenth century. Strangely though the club that most famously wear this pattern in England, Bristol Rovers, didn't start wearing their distinctive blue and white quarters until 1931.

Bristol Rovers started off life as the Black Arabs in 1883 and wore a black shirt with a gold sash.



In 1893 the Black Arabs became Eastville Rovers and wore white with black shorts and later a sort of dirty green and yellow halved shirt. In 1897 they became known as Bristol Eastville Rovers and one year later became simply Bristol Rovers. From 1897 to 1900 the club wore blue and white hoops.



Bristol Rovers alternated between kits of black and white stripes and blue and white hoops during the first 31 years of the 20th Century and then in 1931 they introduced the blue and white quarters for the first time.



The shirt design became that iconic that Bristol Rovers didn't bother with a club crest. However, between 1962 and 1973 they abandoned the quarters for blue and white stripes and plain blue kits. In 1973 the quarters were back and they have been in fashion ever since. In fact in 1980 when Rovers finally designed a badge it was based on the pattern of shirts.



The badge added a rather camp looking pirate in 1997 to go with the club's nickname of the Pirates, but the shirt pattern is still prominent.



I'll be off to see Bristol Rovers at Peterborough on Saturday and below is the kit they will be wearing next season, although they will be wearing their away strip, as Peterborough wear blue.

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