Anticipation gathers as the leaked news of a new club crest for our 125th anniversary appears on social media (see it here), and with it, ideas and wish lists for the latest Newcastle United new kit.
General consensus suggests relief at the disappearance of the money lenders as our main sponsor, coupled with a note of caution at potential new sponsors. After all, the pound signs in the eyeballs of the decision makers won out last time.
Newcastle United new kit is designed with the target audience (us) in mind (hopefully), so if it’s OK for a minute, I’m joining the soft focus, rose tinted group.
It’s the delicate detail and doffing of caps to the past that I’m looking forward to. Apparently there will be a little more simplicity to the design; no more strange little ticks coming off stripes, or blue magpie flashes intersecting the black. While I liked the blue on the collar of the Asics kit, those go faster stripes of a couple of years ago divided opinion in our house. And the kit with the all black shoulders looked like a black and white Southampton kit of the 90s, and we have few good memories of that.
One Twitter commentator has suggested red numbers on white patches. Even if the patches are printed rather than stitched, for nostalgic reasons, I think many of us would go for this; for every Billy Rafferty, there was an Imre Varadi. I’ll happily cup my hands over my FA Cup handle sized lugs and chant ‘la la la’ in defiance of the disappointed reality of the times, if I can see a shirt with a red number and no name on the back.
In his history of how Newcastle became United, Paul Brown explores why we ended up in black and white shirts in the first place. We went through a succession of kits, including red, while repeatedly having to borrow the kit of Northumberland Seniors to use as an away kit. Eventually, it just seemed like a good idea to use that design. The most famous example of us wearing red, against Hereford a few months before I was born, has emotionally scarred most of us from TV repeats. Never again.
The leaked image of the crest seems to have an extra banner underneath the current design, with more silver included. It’s a while since our crest was redesigned, and in the light of recent designs from other clubs in a slightly retro, 70s and 80s design, it seems we’re sticking with tradition at the minute. Never making a secret of it, I’m a big fan of the older crests. The 70s and 80s gave birth to some design classics.
Retro and nostalgia are big sellers; just look at the popularity of the retro shirts available. Original shirts are going for lots of quids on Ebay. And for a team who have won not a lot since money was decimalised, the appeal of nostalgia and tradition in our shirt design is particularly strong. It’s more than glory, though. It’s pride and identity.
Despite my hopes for the new season, wherever that may be, there are a few things we certainly need to avoid in the new kit. And they’re white.
White shorts… inhale; stay calm. Where to begin? When are we good wearing white shorts? It’s like we’ve forgotten our stuff and have to borrow some from a mouldy box of dubiously stained rejects, or do PE in our pants.
And there’s one more focus group request I would like to make.
My mam was utterly delighted when the white sock experiment of the late 70s was replaced with black socks that did not require a box of Biotex to shift the mud of Fenham’s playing fields. The washing cycle has now turned; and while I loved the Bukta kit, and the Umbro kit which followed, please, Newcastle United, on behalf of tradition, retro, and sock washers everywhere: not white.
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