More pants than shorts
City fans are split into 2 when it comes to our home colours, some love having a uniqueness that is only shared with Motherwell and then there are other fans that in all honesty have a total dislike of our home kits irrespective of the design. I have to be honest here and I fall into the latter as I am not a big fan of the home colours employed, and it is very rare I do like our home kit, not saying I am one of these that moan and have a go before even seeing it. Some grow on me after a good several months like the predominantly amber one with the claret stripe going down the left hand side a few seasons ago, but not enough to go out and buy.
I was close to doing a parody last season on our home kit looking like a road sign, when it was worn with the white shorts in some games, it looked totally amateur. It actually looked horrible and I felt a sense of embarrassment about my club when I looked at all my mates clubs’ kits. One thing I do know, however the amber and claret is designed, black shorts with black socks go so much nicer and look a bit more authoritative and professional than a mish mash with a white bottom half.
Origins of the Amber and Claret
Our first kit in 1903 were hoops which you see more in rugby and that is where our colours came from. Manningham RFC was the 2nd string rugby club in Bradford whose members were from the working class recorded losses of £660 in 1902/03, and after a general meeting on the 26th March 1903, it was decided to create a professional association team called Bradford City, playing rugby and football on alternate weekends. Bradford City were elected into the football league and to this day only 1 other club has been elected to the football league without qualifying, Chelsea.
For the first few months, City wore the amber and claret hoops adopted from the rugby team, then shortly changing to the more familiar vertical stripes we are more accustomed to today in the sport. It is also noted that the amber and claret are the same colours of the Prince of Wales Own (West Yorkshire) Regiment.
Should City have more right to play in Yorkshire white than Leeds?
Leeds City barring 3 seasons played in blue kits until their demise, Leeds United played in a kit similar to what is now recognised as the Huddersfield Town kit of the blue and white stripes between 1920-1934 then changing to combinations of blue/yellow till 1961. Bradford City played in both white tops and shorts in the 1923/24 season and barring 2 seasons between 1974 and 1985 with varying levels of amber and claret trim. Personally I do like teams that play in white, Leeds United, Real Madrid, even the Bradford Bulls sported some great designs over the years, the players are clear to see, and the kits look smart at kick off on a nice sunny day. By the time Leeds United was formed, we had already played in white shorts for 2 decades, and for me, I would love to see City play in Yorkshire white as the home kit.
Is it really that far fetched to play in white at home?
No! Between 1974-1985 City’s home kit was white with the exception of 2 seasons, and a further 2 seasons with amber shorts. There was still an inclusion of the amber and claret in various trims, just like with Leeds United you see inclusions of blue and yellow which is their traditional colours. One of our best designs for me on was the away kit from the end of the 90s with the trim under the armpits. It was basic, clear, but it looked good. We seem to design some really nice away kits over the years (let’s forget the pink one), but somehow seem to make a mess of the home kit. I really hate it now with modern kits having to have a plain back and which makes many tops look like 2 separate shirts sewn together by some 3rd world illegal factory in some unheard of country that is just about to get busted because of child slavery, some of our home kits are that bad.
Lest we forget that with foreign owners coming in, some clubs have changed colours entirely for various reasons, be it fashion to get more replicas sold, scientific with a belief of players spotting their team mates more (just look at how easy City players meld into their backgrounds at the far end of the pitch) or just plain superstition.
But am I having a go at our club’s tradition, or not?
Believe it or not, out of the 113 seasons, City have adopted the vertical stripes as little as around 30 times, so our amber and claret stripes are not as “traditional” as the majority may think. With the black, the colours of city and even the Bulls do have a very West Germany feel to them whom have produced one of the best kits on the international stage. Now having German owners, could we see that famous West Germany design grace Valley Parade? I wouldn’t complain if we had a kit predominantly white with a bit of amber and claret trim and even black touch to top it off. Maybe even going back to our home kit from the mid 90s with the stripes and black shorts, or let’s take the claim of the Yorkshire white back from the other side of West Yorkshire and go back to the design from the 1984/85 season. More and more fans are fashion conscious nowadays, I would only buy a top if I like it, I used to wear Bulls tops more or less every weekend, especially if a day out because it was loose, and more importantly, looked good. I’ve never worn a city replica shirt in the same manner, I used to wear the blue/claret one from the start of the millennium, but not in the same manner as the Bulls tops. I do regularly wear black polo shirts and sweaters, still wearing my jumper celebrating the centenary making it 13 years old, but hey, it still looks good and it is still good quality.
One thing though that no one can say about the City kit, if you see someone wearing our home shirts, there’s no mistaking which club they follow and even as far away as Cornwall on a none football trip away middle of the summer, I’ve walked up to people having a chin wag about players etc. Uniqueness, tradition, fashion? Every single City fan will fall into one of those 3.
Strip tease at Valley Parade
More pants than shorts