March 17 2017

The Museum of Jerseys (www.museumofjerseys.com) should not be confused with Jersey Museum, though the search engine seems determined to launch a cross-Channel ferry.

It’s a website devoted to football kit and its oddities, to which Craig Stoddart draws attention following yesterday’s note on Billy Town’s third choice kit of melange and fluorescent yellow shirts, anthracite shorts and socks the same as the shirts.

Craig’s particularly keen to draw attention to the occasion when for esteemed Ebac Northern League president George Courtney the sky really was the limit.

It was August 31 1985, Manchester City – whose home kit was sky blue-white-sky blue –  against Spurs, whose home kit was all-white and second choice all sky-blue.  George was the man in the middle.

Rather than be all white on the night, Spurs kicked off in white-sky blue-white – effectively the opposite of their hosts – but after a few minutes, George stopped play because he (and presumably a fair few at Maine Road) could clash on, as they say in his native Page Bank, no longer.

The MoJ attributes it to “sultry conditions”. Always was a sultry lad, was George.

Since Spurs hadn’t brought anything else, and amid “quite a few boos” from the home crowd, City were obliged to change into their away strip of red-and-black stripes and black shorts – a rare example of the home team changing, though where clashes occurred in the FA Cup both teams had to change. (the FA might like to explain that one.)

That account, no mention of melange and anthracite, was posted on moJ on Wednesday. A few days earlier, someone on the same website had recalled the Arsenal v Sunderland game in 2005-06- Arsenal having deployed a distinctly dark red shirt to mark their last season at Highbury.

Since Sunderland’s away kit was predominantly black – how on earth were they allowed it? – they wore the traditional red-and-white stripes and white shorts and socks, so as not to clash with the Funners’ redcurrant.

Sunderland lost 3-1, ended the season with just 15 points – 23 from safety – and, of course, were relegated. Some things seem not to change at all.

 

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