For a comprehensive look at all the kits click either City
Leeds United have sported some distinctive kits down the years,
especially in the days before Don Revie, and here's a pictorial
history of the various colours, sponsorships and badges that have
been associated with the club and its precursor, Leeds City.
The March 2006 edition of the Leeds Leeds Leeds magazine
carried a feature on United fan Paul Waite as he prepared to sell
his collection of 52 Leeds tops.
The collection included a full set of every shirt - home and
away - from 1975 to 2005 and was supplemented with reproduction
shirts from earlier years as supplied by The Old Fashioned Football
Shirts Company (TOFFS). Paul's the sort of compulsive follower
that Leeds United have been notorious for down the years.
Paul Waite: "Since around 2000, I've always liked to mess around
on eBay. Pretty soon I got to buying one or two a month and it
wasn't long before I realised that I nearly had a full set. At
that point I wrote to Leeds Leeds Leeds to ask how I could
get a yellow lace up collar Thistle Hotels one from 1995/96 as
they had never gone on sale. They asked Sean Hardy, the kit man,
and the answer was, basically, no chance! But on eBay again I
managed to get a Rob Bowman match worn one for £170!
"I suppose the best one for me is the one with the blue and yellow
hoops - you know the one I mean? Think of Brian Deane! It's classic!
I also liked the yellow one we wore in the Nou Camp when we beat
Stuttgart in the European Cup play off match in 1992 - the one
with the weird blue pattern on the shoulder. The yellow on blue
version looked like you'd been sick on it, but blue on yellow
In an attention-grabbing effort to get a team of journeymen and
promising youngsters to aspire to higher things, manager Don Revie
famously changed the Leeds look in the early 1960s to a pristine
all white, mimicking the strip of the all-conquering Real Madrid
team. Prior to that, the playing kits of both Leeds City and United
had been in various combinations of blue and gold, as incorporated
in the heraldic Leeds city crest, dating from 1893 when Leeds
a city by Royal Charter. Remarkably, the white has stuck ever
since Revie's original gamble.
From 1976 onwards, the all white has generally been punctuated
by trim and edgings of blue and gold; the away kit has used the
same colours in varying combinations, though for a time red was
used sporadically. That never gained favour with the Elland Road
public, for whom the colour was always inextricably linked with
the much-despised Manchester United. There were even complaints
in the late 90s because the Packard Bell sponsor's logo was primarily
It was partly to do with the blue and gold, but mainly because
of the association with the nearby Old Peacock Inn, that Leeds
City came by their original nickname of the Peacocks, a moniker
that was passed down like a beloved inheritance to Leeds United
and stuck with the club long after the white became de rigueur.
Though the Football Association was formed in 1863 and introduced
the first rules of the game shortly afterwards, it was some time
later before strictly uniform kits and colours arrived; teams
were often clad in a hotchpotch of whatever gear was lying around.
The young men involved in 'Socker' at the time were preoccupied
more with their individual look and style than appearing as part
of a single, coherent entirety.
Hunter Davies from Boots, Balls and Haircuts: "Looking
at the photos of the amateur teams in the early years, you see
a certain swagger and swank as they stand in their pristine jerseys
and knickerbockers, trying hard to be individuals, striking personal
poses, some lounging at the front, others sitting sideways. The
captain was usually very easy to spot, looking captain-like, aloof
from the team.
The other 19 clubs in the Second Division
in City's debut season 1905/06
Burslem Port Vale
West Brom Albion
"With the coming of the professionals, a uniform, regimental
team photograph soon took over. There was a period when some teams
lined up in the goalmouth for their team shot, in a straight line,
but this didn't last long, and from about 1905 onwards the standard
team photo was established, with two rows of players with the
captain in the middle of the front row, holding the ball. It continues
to this day. You see players automatically grouping themselves,
without being asked, having seen photographs of football teams
in the same formation.
"Players were always interested in clothes, judging by a paragraph
in the Chelsea programme from 1907. 'A display of caps in shop
windows exercises the same fascination over football players as
the milliner's latest styles do over their sisters, cousins and
"In that same programme there is a witty reference to the latest
styles on the pitch, with players starting to wear shorter shorts.
In describing one player showing a lot of naked flesh, they said
'it was about a shilling cab fare from the top of his stockings
to the nearest portion of his nether garments'."
Recognisable team strips started to emerge after the introduction
of the FA Cup in 1871. Dave Moor from Historicalkits.co.uk: "Colours
were often those of the public schools and sports clubs with which
the game was associated: Blackburn Rovers first wore the green
and white of Charterhouse School, while Reading first played in
the salmon pink, pale blue and claret colours of the rowing club
that spawned them. Colours were changed frequently, depending
on what local suppliers could provide and the players could afford.
The game was played almost exclusively by middle class men who
could afford to buy a shirt in their club's colours. That said,
plain white shirts were the most popular kit of the period, being
both relatively cheap and easily obtainable.
"During the 1880s the balance of power shifted decisively from
the middle class clubs of the South towards the industrial heartlands
of the Midlands and North West. Rows over broken time payments
led in 1885 to a decision by the FA to recognise professionalism
and the Football League was formed in 1888 to provide the leading
clubs with regular fixtures against the best sides.
"After 1885, the expense of buying playing kits for those who
turned professional fell on the club rather than the players.
Secretary managers with an eye for the accounts naturally preferred
to spend as little as possible, leading to a trend towards simpler
kits in basic colours.
"Stockings did not form part of the kit until the turn of the
century while players wore heavy shin guards outside their socks.
"By the close of the century most of the leading clubs were wearing
strips that would be recognisable today.
"By 1901, the regulations that required footballers to cover
their knees were relaxed and shorts (known as 'knickerbockers'
or 'knickers') became shorter. Shirts and shorts were close fitting
and made from tough, heavyweight, natural fibres. For the first
time, stockings became part of clubs' strips. These were initially
self-coloured but quickly design features such as contrasting
rings on the turnover began to appear. The main stocking colour
was always dark (red, blue, black or dark blue); pale colours
did not appear for another 50 years.
"Knickers were only available in white, black or navy blue. It
was exceedingly rare for clubs to wear matching shirts and shorts
although Swansea Town (now Swansea City) have always worn all-white.
"Shirts with laced crew necks became popular but a variety of
collar designs were evident. Striped shirts were popular and the
trend was for stripes to become wider than they had been during
the previous century. Striped jerseys tend to make the wearer
seem taller while hoops
the wearer's bulk. This seems to be the reason why Rugby teams
favour hoops while soccer clubs prefer vertical stripes."
It is reported that, when Royal Arsenal became the first southern
club to be elected to the Football League in 1893, "their shorts
cost 3s 3d, their flannelette shirts 2s 5d and their russet calf
boots 8s 6d".
Leeds City Association Football Club was formed in 1904 and entered
the Second Division of the Football League a year later sporting
a kit consisting of dark blue shirts with old gold trim, white
shorts and blue socks. The shirts also bore the club's badge,
the city's crest with its distinctive three owls.
Following the appointment of Frank
Scott-Walford as manager in 1908, the City shirt was redesigned
to incorporate a rather ostentatious, old gold pinstripe. A year
later there was a reworking of the theme with the stripes in the
top being swapped, making for a rather gaudier look. That City
kit was one of the more distinctive around at the time, but was
abandoned after a short period, probably on the grounds that it
was simply too fussy.
In the summer of 1910, City signed five young and inexperienced
Irish players and, as the Leeds Mercury reported, on 5 September
1910, "It must be remembered that these Irishmen are
very young men, who have been brought into a higher class of football
than that to which they have been accustomed, and that they were
playing their first match amid unfamiliar surroundings. Mr Scott-Walford
evidently had an eye to making his new men feel at home as well
as to stage effect when he attired the team in green jerseys and
supplied green flags to mark the centre line." They played
in that kit throughout 1910/11.
After City were forced to apply for re-election to the Football
League in 1912, Scott-Walford was replaced as manager by Herbert
Chapman. The soon to be celebrated Chapman brought fresh hope
to Elland Road with a vow that he would bring top flight football
to Leeds. He came very close to doing so in the years before World
War One, when Leeds City introduced another new look. Their new
shirts were still principally dark blue, but were now hooped by
a distinctive, wide gold band. The hoop was replaced shortly afterwards
with a broad gold V on the chest, a design that remained in situ
until City's untimely demise.
During World War I, Leeds City enjoyed noteworthy success in
unofficial competitions, but their financial dealings were the
subject of later inquiry by the football authorities. The Leeds
City club was wound up in ignominy
in October 1919 with all their players disposed of via auction.
Burslem Port Vale eagerly assumed Leeds' place in Division Two,
but there was soon another professional outfit formed in the city:
Leeds United Association Football Club was admitted to the Football
League in 1920.
A driving force
behind the early development of the new club and their election
to the League was Huddersfield Town chairman Hilton Crowther,
who sought at first to merge the two clubs. He eventually left
the Terriers behind to take over at Leeds United, bringing manager
Arthur Fairclough with him. Their history together at Leeds Road
was echoed in the first fifteen years at United as the club kit
was modelled on Huddersfield's blue and white striped shirts,
in combination with white shorts and dark blue socks with blue
and white rings on the turnovers. The Terriers dominated English
football in the Twenties under the management of Herbert Chapman,
winning their first League championship in 1924, the same year
United won the Second Division title.
With the resumption of Football League activity in 1919 came
a rapid expansion in membership numbers. Both the First and Second
Divisions were extended from 20 to 22 clubs. The following year,
the First Division of the Southern League was annexed into the
League as an embryonic Division Three. Another twelve months brought
the introduction of a Northern
Section of the Third Division, populated with major non-League
outfits from the North. With the rapidly escalating number of
professional clubs, the Twenties saw a massive diversity in colours
and combinations, though there was little in the way of design
In 1934, United ditched their blue and white stripes in favour
of blue and gold halved shirts incorporating the city crest badge;
the shorts were white and socks blue with gold tops. The kit was
worn for the first time on 22 September as United lost 3-0 at
Elland Road to Liverpool.
In 1939, the Football League Management Committee made the numbering
of players' shirts mandatory.
The introduction of numbers was largely down to the visionary
Herbert Chapman. He argued that they would make it easier for
players to know where they were on the field in relation to their
The use of shirt numbers dates back to August 25 1928 when Arsenal
wore them in a 3-2 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. The system deployed
by Chapman for the game was slightly different from the one that
was to be accepted years later, with the home team taking numbers
1-11 and the away team wearing 12-22. The concept of numbered
shirts had first been mooted back in 1906, but had been rejected
by the game's lawmakers, who continued to resist it.
The Football League were not impressed by the experiment, ordering
Chapman to drop his plans. He
reluctantly followed their directive, but continued to use numbered
shirts for the reserves. Arsenal wore numbers at Highbury in December
1933 during a friendly match with FC Vienna.
The Football League Management Committee rejected numbered shirts
again at its 1934 general meeting, but on June 5 1939 the Committee
finally bowed to the inevitable. They agreed a system with both
teams wearing numbers 1-11, each representing a particular position
in the classic WM formation. Numbering was mandated for the 1939/40
season, but only three games later Britain went to war and the
League programme was suspended. It was another six years before
numbered shirts finally became a permanent feature of League football.
Dave Moor: "Stripes began to appear on the side of shorts for
the first time towards the end of the decade. Shirts and shorts
became more generously cut, giving rise to the baggy shorts reaching
to the knee so fondly remembered on shorter players … Clothing
rationing limited the ability of clubs to replace their kits and
several were forced to change from their traditional colours to
those that they could purchase with ration coupons. Southport
FC turned out for several seasons in green and white hoops, a
gift from one of the club's directors made during the war. Laced
crew necks all but disappeared aside from a few diehard, traditionalist
clubs, in favour of collared shirts. Hooped stockings became extremely
popular. During the early Fifties most clubs stuck to their traditional
designs with only minor alterations to shirt and stocking trims."
The eccentric Major Frank Buckley
became Leeds United manager in the spring of 1948 with the club
back in the Second Division. He was convinced that the players
were performing poorly because the halved shirts made it difficult
for them to pick each other out. Former player Jim Bullions recalled
that the Major organised a practice match in October 1948 with
one side in club colours and the other sporting plain shirts.
Chairman Sam Bolton and director Percy Woodward watched from the
sidelines and were persuaded by Buckley to invest in a new strip.
United switched to old gold shirts finished with blue sleeves
and collars, white shorts and black, blue and gold hooped stockings.
Black shorts replaced the white ones in August 1950 on the grounds
of improved visibility. At the start of 1955/56 came another change,
to royal blue shirts with gold collars, white shorts and blue
and gold hooped stockings, a kit that echoed that worn originally
by Leeds City. The change was lucky and Leeds won promotion at
the end of the season. They were still wearing the same kit when
they were relegated four years later under the management of Jack
Dave Moor: "Continental influences were seen in new lightweight
strips that began to appear in 1955, featuring bold V-necks, short
sleeves and more streamlined shorts. There were several innovations
in design, perhaps most notably the 'candy stripes' first worn
as change strips by Manchester City and Aston Villa in successive
FA Cup finals (1956 and 1957 respectively). This design enjoyed
a vogue that lasted until the mid Sixties. By the end of the Fifties
the heavy playing kits and boots of previous eras had disappeared.
"Beginning around 1960, crew necks started to replace V-necks.
Shirts became ever tighter, shorts became very short indeed and
stockings were lightweight.
"It might be supposed that technical advances in textile manufacture
and dye technology would have resulted in greater innovation in
kit design. The reverse was true: because of the increased use
of floodlights, which allowed midweek games to be played at night,
many clubs adopted simplified designs that would stand out more
clearly under the lights (which were far less effective than their
modern counterparts). Liverpool were the first club to adopt red
shorts to match their shirts, while Chelsea quickly followed suit
with an all blue ensemble."
Don Revie took over as Leeds
United player manager in the spring of 1961 and went for a drastic
colour change for the start of the 1961/62
season, introducing a plain all white throughout. United teams
remained in the pristine strips until 1976, though many argued
that the saintly purity of the kit was in stark contrast to the
roughhouse onfield antics the manager employed. The only changes
over Revie's time came with subtle modifications to badge, logo
Bagchi and Rogerson: "Though (Revie's) decision effectively jettisoned
forty years of United's history, astonishingly little was made
of it at the time. The replacement colours were to be all white,
in quite deliberate imitation of the famous all white of the finest
team in the world, Real Madrid. To re-profile a club so efficiently
on such a whim demonstrated the man's flair and vision, drawing
a line under the failures of the past. That nobody remonstrated
with him for it is an early sign of the Board's growing willingness
to indulge him and of the interminable apathy of the majority
of Leeds fans. Such a flagrant psychological gimmick was risky.
If he pulled it off, it would be interpreted as a masterstroke.
If 'New Leeds' continued to founder, however, it could look like
hubris and finish his career. To invite comparisons with Gento,
Di Stefano and Puskas when all he had was McConnell, Peyton and
Cameron ... one has to admire Revie's nerve."
The white had been tried temporarily some time before, as recorded
by Andrew Mourant: "Early in 1960/61,
spectators were given a glimpse of the future - for the home game
against Middlesbrough on 17 September 1960, the team appeared
in what was basically an all white strip, though with blue and
gold trimmings, instead of the blue shirts, white shorts and blue
and gold socks.
famous decision … showed the touch of a man with a dream, an ideal
that his debt-ridden, down-at-heel club might one day emulate
the feats of one of Europe's richest and most brilliantly successful
teams. The move invited astonishment among some, ridicule from
others. While Revie himself felt the club had not a cat in hell's
chance of reaching such heights, he was determined to try anything
to get players believing in themselves. And along with the new
kit, Revie decreed that on away trips, players should no longer
slum it in third-rate hotels but stay in the best establishments
money could buy."
Jack Charlton claimed
that there was pragmatism behind the change: "This was the gear
Real Madrid played in and the initial reaction from the local
press was that Revie was aping the Spaniards. Not so, explained
Don. In his opinion, white is the easiest colour to identify on
a pitch. When you have only a split second to make a pass before
the tackle comes in, you're more likely to pick up the right man
if he's wearing not red or blue or green but white." Charlton
borrowed the trick when he took over as Middlesbrough manager
by adding a broad white hoop to the Teessiders' all red shirts.
In 1964, Leeds United introduced a badge to the shirts: a perching
owl on a white background circled by a dark blue border. The design
was a surprise, given the superstitious Revie's morbid misgivings
about the symbolism of birds. The owl came from the city crest,
which itself was based on the crest of Sir John Saville, the first
alderman of Leeds in 1931.
Andrew Mourant: "His most famous superstition was his continued
wearing of a 'lucky' blue suit, notwithstanding its shabbiness
in later years. But Revie's waking hours were riddled with other
phobias and rituals; taking the same route to his dug out before
a match, a fear of ornamental elephants, a readiness to believe
that a gypsy curse on Elland Road was preventing his side winning,
even a distaste for birds on pictures or as motifs.
"(Harry Reynolds' daughter) Margaret Veitch's husband Peter remembers
Revie made to their home in Pudsey shortly after they had done
some decorating. 'We wanted to put some pictures up in the bedroom.
The only ones I could get which were small were birds. He wouldn't
go in the bedroom. He said: "What are they doing there... you
don't have birds in your house. You don't have birds anywhere."
That's the reason the owl was eventually taken off the club badge.
He wouldn't have birds.'"
Not too many other top teams wore white shirts in those days
- Tottenham were the only regular example in the top flight until
Derby County's promotion in 1969 - but competition in Europe meant
that for United there was a growing necessity for an alternate
strip when there was a clash of colours. For most of the decade,
Leeds generally opted for blue shirts coupled with gold shorts
and socks, but that made for a pretty unappetising combination.
Phil Brown reporting for the Yorkshire Evening Post on the FA
Cup clash with West Bromwich Albion in early 1967: "Graham Williams,
Albion's left-back, led them out in all red, with a little boy
mascot. United had also changed - blue shirts, yellow shorts (ugh!)"
Pedantics everywhere (one or two at least!) protested
vehemently that there was a missing 'A' in the logo, because Leeds
United's full title incorporated 'Association Football Club'.
I guess it just wouldn't have looked as nice.
The 1971/72 campaign
saw the introduction of numbered blue stocking tags; they embodied
the snazzy Super Leeds image that evolved in 1972 after handsome
televised victories over Manchester
United and Southampton
and the club's sole FA Cup win. The same kit and gimmicky tags
were rather less lucky for United the following season when they
lost an FA Cup final, a Cup Winners Cup final and finished third
in the League.
In 1973, as Revie's parting shot, came the embodiment of Seventies
imagery with the iconic LU Smiley badge. It was a classic PR stunt
from Revie, mingled with tracksuits bearing the players' names
and branded footballs for hurling into the crowd after pre-kick
off callisthenics. The manager's predilection for gimmicks was
years ahead of its time and all with the explicit intention of
gaining acceptance from a public outside of West Yorkshire. 1973/74
brought a record unbeaten run, a spectacular championship triumph
and some wonderful performances.
Revie was popularly credited for initiating the football industry's
move to exploit the game's increasing commercial possibilities.
He recognised that passionate football fans would be prepared
to pay good money to wear replicas of the team strips worn by
their heroes. The more distinctive the kit, the more obvious it
was who was being supported. Revie arranged a deal with the new
kids on the block, Admiral Sportswear, and for a while the United
strip sported the distinctive Admiral logo, which enjoyed almost
equal billing with the club badge.
repeated the trick when he took over the England team in 1974,
though his time as a Football Association employee saw him branded
as a money grabbing, disloyal mercenary.
Dave Moor: "The established manufacturers, Umbro and Bukta, quickly
followed suit and logos began to appear all over the place. Admiral
pursued a vigorous and innovative marketing campaign, targeting
the top clubs, radically redesigning their kits, which would then
be showcased at important Cup finals. Rapidly a market was created.
Instead of having to buy three or four sets of kit each season,
leading clubs found that manufacturers were queuing up to offer
free kits and a share of the profits from the sale of replicas.
The new kits had, of course, to be distinctive to be saleable.
When Manchester United adopted an Admiral kit in 1975, the popular
press raised an outcry. Devoted fans now had to shell out £15
for an authentic United shirt instead of the £5 that would have
bought a generic red shirt with white trim: in the pre-Thatcher
era the Daily Mail for one considered this to be gross exploitation.
"These commercial considerations drove a new wave of innovation
in kit design. It became desirable for clubs to register copyright
on their badges and to feature these on their shirts. Manufacturers
competed to produce new designs that displayed their own logos
to best effect. Admiral led the way and were quickly followed
by Umbro and Bukta who all introduced kits that featured sleeve
trim with their distinctive logos.
"Towards the end of the 1970s there was increasing pressure on
clubs to feature sponsors' logos on players' shirts, pressure
that was resolutely resisted by the football and broadcasting
authorities. Derby County landed the first deal with Saab in 1978
but the sponsored shirts were never worn after the pre-season
photo shoot. It fell to Liverpool a year later to wear the first
shirts to carry a sponsor's name in 1979.
"Once Liverpool broke the mould, clubs began to exploit the potential
revenue from selling shirt sponsorship. The BBC and ITV companies
refused to broadcast matches featuring branded shirts, forcing
clubs to remove sponsors' logos when the cameras were present.
Coventry City thought they were on a winner when they introduced
a kit that incorporated the logo of the Talbot car manufacturing
company into the design but the TV companies blackballed them
until they introduced an alternate strip for televised games.
1983 the TV companies finally gave way and allowed sponsored shirts
to be broadcast: immediately the value of a sponsorship deal with
a club that would feature regularly on Match of the Day or the
equivalent ITV programme went through the roof. At the time, Football
League regulations restricted the size of logos to a maximum of
81square centimetres (32 square inches) but for televised games
they had to be half this size.
"The monopoly enjoyed by Umbro and Bukta since time immemorial
was now broken as a new breed of kit manufacturers stepped in
with sophisticated new brands. Le Coq Sportif (France), Hummel
(Denmark), Adidas (Germany), Patrick and Hobotts (UK) captured
significant sections of the market that now included selling replica
kits to fans. Admiral, who had done so much to transform kits
in the previous decade, overextended themselves and were bought
up by Adidas, although the brand re-emerged later in the decade.
"In the 1982 FA Cup Final Tottenham Hotspur unveiled the first
shadow stripe design and suddenly everyone was sporting shadow
stripes, pinstripes or both as technology allowed for ever more
"Towards the end of the decade, shirts became more generously
cut as new lightweight fabrics became available. Improvements
in production allowed for intricate designs to be woven or printed
into the fabric itself, permitting manufacturers to counteract
the burgeoning market in cheap counterfeit kits that began to
United were as effective as anyone in exploiting commercial possibilities.
The period from 1976 through to 1981 saw the addition of busy
blue and gold trims on collars, sleeves and cuffs, and a couple
of variants on the Smiley badge. In 1981, the club switched kit
manufacturers back to Umbro and introduced a new badge, similar
to the last version of the Smiley but with a stylised peacock,
after the club's original nickname, replacing the LU. It remained
in place until 1984, when a new club badge was introduced. That
lasted right through until 1998, making it the longest lived of
the modern era. The Rose and Ball badge was distinctive, in the
traditional blue, gold and white and incorporating the white rose
of Yorkshire together with the club name.
Relegation in the summer of 1982 brought financial hardship for
Leeds United and a desperate scrabble for any funding that was
available via sponsorship.
The club's first sponsors, lasting just twelve months, were RFW
(RF Winders), a company from Pudsey. Over the next three years
United ran through three different patrons: Systime, WGK and Lion
Cabinets. They then agreed a five-year deal, beginning in 1986,
with local clothiers, the Burton Group. Future United chairman
Peter Ridsdale was Managing Director of Burton's Top Man chain
at the time and was the moving power behind the association, joining
the United board in 1987.
1989-91 - Burton insisted that their Top Man brand be
used for the remaining two years of their association
and 1989/90 saw the logo introduced on a redesigned strip with
a round, button up blue collar, with blue and gold trimmings added
to shirt and socks. The new image brought luck as the period saw
the club capture the Second Division title and fourth place in
the top division. The away kit sported a rather busy pattern of
yellow and amber triangles, with broad blue and white panels down
the side of the shorts.
1991/92 - The same kits were in place for United's League
championship year, though there was a change of sponsor. The Burton
deal ended, and the club announced a multi-million pound deal
with Admiral Sportswear; it was said that the arrangement would
last for five years, but would not commence until 1992. The club
had to find an alternative and managed to agree a stop gap association
with the Yorkshire Evening Post to cover the twelve month period.
The newspaper group certainly got its money's worth with the return
of the championship to Elland Road after 18 years.
1992/93 - The new Admiral kit was only marginally different
from the previous design, though it did incorporate a new V-neck
look, but the change strip underwent a more radical transformation.
The initial choice was a predominantly blue affair with an unsightly
yellow-flecked pattern on the shoulder. It was the first time
that the club had moved away from yellow for an age, but a yellow
variant with blue flecking was soon introduced because of potential
colour clashes. It was the Admiral gear that bedecked the team
as the club resumed its place in European competition and captured
the Charity Shield.
1993-95 - Within twelve months of the commencement of
the Admiral deal, there was a falling out and the two organisations
parted company after a legal dispute. United established a new
arrangement with the global Asics firm for the supply of its kit,
while the Thistle Hotels chain became sponsors for three years.
A completely new look was introduced with a blue and gold hoop
across the chest and blue collar and cuffs. The change shirts
were of blue and gold stripes, coupled with blue shorts and yellow
socks; for a number of games the blue shorts and yellow socks
were combined with the home shirts. The blue and gold stripes
resulted in a number of colour clashes and, in early 1994, dark
blue and green striped shirts were introduced.
also saw the onset of squad numbering and players' names on shirts.
The system was used for the first time in the League Cup final,
on April 18 when Arsenal met Sheffield Wednesday. Less than a
month later, squad numbers were used by the same two teams as
they reconvened at Wembley to contest the 1993 FA Cup Final, and
then again five days later for the replay. Squad numbers were
introduced as standard for the 1993/94 Premiership season.
1995/96 - A distinctive all white kit was launched, featuring
the return of the LUFC scripted logo, though still incorporating
the Thistle Hotels brand. It represented a stylish recreation
of the Seventies look and was the kit that Tony Yeboah wore during
his marvellous early season run of goal getting - remember the
beauties against Liverpool and Wimbledon? Unhappily the season
petered out after a promising start - United made it to the League
Cup final, although they couldn't compete with Aston Villa and
were hammered 3-0. The green and blue stripes were dumped unceremoniously
after an FA Cup tie at Bolton in 1996 with the players complaining
that the colours
were too dark and made it difficult to pick each other out. As
a holding position, Asics introduced an all yellow alternative.
1996-98 - The summer of 1996 brought European Championship
football to Elland Road and new backers in Puma and Packard Bell
- London-based media group Caspian bought the club and introduced
George Graham as manager. Together with the Packard Bell logo,
the new kit incorporated a broad yellow trim. The change kit saw
the white and yellow interchanged, while for 1997/98 the old gold
and blue halved shirts of the Thirties and Forties were revived
to spectacular effect.
1998-00 - In keeping with the global branding of the club,
1998 brought an end to the 14-year Rose and Ball period with the
introduction of the shield badge, bringing a modern, almost European,
feel. It was a radical change to what had gone before and it took
a while to gain acceptance. After a year, there was a minor change,
with a ball being added at the centre of the white rose. The home
kit was virtually unchanged apart from the addition of a collar
and the heavy usage of the Puma brand
down the sleeves. 1999 brought a new change kit with the powder
blue Lazio style shirt with dark blue trim and shorts. It was
a stylish and popular design. A yellow version was introduced
part the way through the season as a sop to traditionalists.
2000-02 - As United prepared for their UEFA Champions
League debut in 2000, they joined forces with Nike and Bulmers.
An almost completely white kit was introduced. The shirts restored
the V-neck look and bore the Strongbow logo. Peter Ridsdale's
European shield was seen throughout the continent as United made
their way to the last four of the Champions League. The change
kit for both seasons was a simple all yellow affair. A garish
blue outfit with bold yellow trimmings was introduced in 2001
as a third option.
2002/03 - David
O'Leary and Rio Ferdinand left Elland Road in the summer and Terry
Venables was recruited to preside over a money-strapped decline.
The only change in the home kit saw the introduction of a gimmicky
white collar overlaying a blue V-neck. The brash blue change strip
was retained for a second year, and United wore it when they won
at Arsenal in their penultimate game to avoid relegation. An even
more bizarre yellow and amber look was introduced as the third
2003/04 - The
whisky manufacturers Whyte and Mackay began a three-year association
with United but had little to cheer about as Leeds slumped to
disastrous relegation in 2004. The logo was the only change to
the home kit, but a stylish dark blue outfit with yellow and white
pinstripes was launched for some away games. It was one of the
unluckiest kits ever used by the club - they gained a single point
from the five games played in it, conceding 14 goals in the process.
An all yellow kit was regularly used, and was best remembered
in a ripped and torn state, as modelled by the
ill-fated Roque Junior when he encountered Everton's Duncan
2004/05 - A new
kit was introduced with blue and yellow flashes on sleeves, shorts
and socks and sponsor's name added to the back of the shorts.
An away strip of powder blue shirts and dark blue shorts, harking
back to the European campaign of 1999/00, was introduced.
2005/06 - Yellow
and blue pinstripes brought echoes of the Eighties when added
to the white shirts. The change kit consisted of dark blue shirts,
with sky blue trimmings and shorts.
2006/07 - In
July 2006, Leeds United announced a major new deal with Bet24
on its website: "Leading internet betting site Bet24 will be featured
on the front of the club's shirts next season, but the agreement
goes far beyond a normal shirt sponsorship deal. Bet24 is 90 per
cent owned by Modern Times Group and the agreement reached between
United Chairman Ken Bates, Holger Kristiansen, the CEO of Bet24,
and Jorgen Madsen, CEO of MTG Denmark, will go a long way towards
regaining United's international standing, with all the commercial
and merchandising opportunities that entails.
"MTG is an international media group with operations in more
than 30 countries around the world and is the principal broadcasting
business in these regions. It is the largest free-to-air and pay-TV
operator in the Nordic and Baltic regions and the largest commercial
radio operator in northern Europe. MTG's Viasat TV channels reach
60 million people in 19 countries every day and MTG radio stations
reach three million daily listeners. The company already has major
connections with football and Viasat recently expanded their exclusive
rights to show Champions League matches to the Baltic regions,
Finland and Hungary to 2008-09.
"Leeds' Head of Commercial, Simon Webster, said: 'This is an
outstanding agreement for the club - and a true first in football.
The link up with Bet24 provides a lucrative and mutually beneficial
partnership, but it is the additional support in key territories
from the parent company MTG that sets this deal apart, and underlines
the growing support for the re-emergence of Leeds United. Our
thanks must also go to our former shirt sponsor Whyte and Mackay
for their tremendous support over the last three years, a partnership
that we hope will continue in the future. It is terrific that
we continue to build a family of valuable partners who play an
important role in helping the club back to the top.'
home kit for 2006/07 saw the pinstripes disappear but heavy use
of blue trim, alongside the Bet24 logo. The change strip saw the
restoration of all yellow with blue collar and cuffs.
The protracted struggle to exit administration in 2007 after
relegation led to a delay in arrangements for a new sponsor. During
the pre-season win at Darlington, United took to the field in
shirts with tape covering the name of the lapsed sponsor. Eventually
Red Kite Holdings, a property company was revealed as the new
sponsors, with the red in their logo infuriating United fans.
the new Italian
supplier, Macron, with whom Leeds signed a four-year contract,
delivered traditional home and third kits but the new away outfit,
in sky-blue and deep navy, was a complete novelty. Although the
kits were formally announced on 10 July, the launch was spoiled
by a dispute with their shirt sponsor, which delayed delivery.
In August a sponsorship deal was finalised with Netflights.com.
Netflights.com were a local online travel agent, who included
Terry Fisher and former United captain Trevor Cherry in their
management. The men came close to a buy out of United at the time
the Gerald Krasner-led consortium rescued the club in 2004.
According to the club's official website: "Netflights.com
stepped in as a White Knight to rescue Leeds United after contractual
difficulties with the proposed shirt sponsor proved unresolvable.
"Netflights.com and Leeds United have successfully signed
a three-year commercial agreement. The deal sees netflights.com
becoming the official shirt sponsor of Leeds United.
"The two organisations are working together to drive a variety
of co-marketing opportunities during the season with netflights.com
appearing throughout the club's Elland Road stadium, advertising
on backdrops during interviews and advertising in the matchday
"The agreement was signed by netflights.com's Managing Director
Terry Fisher and Ken Bates, chairman of United.
"Commenting on this agreement Fisher said, 'We are delighted
to have concluded this commercial agreement with Leeds United.
Travel companies have a great link with football clubs, as football
is truly a worldwide phenomenon and netflights.com is excited
to be working with Leeds United. For me the deal is even sweeter
as I have followed Leeds since I was a small boy and this is a
relationship that will bring mutual benefit to all parties.'
"Fisher joined netflights.com just two years ago and has
brought in a whole new management team and driven a return to
profit for the business. Terry as well as being a keen Leeds supporter
is also a knowledgeable football fan boasting the accolade of
being the youngest ever football chairman, championing Huddersfield
Town at the tender age of 29.
"Terry isn't the only link to football within the netflights
portfolio. Part of the travel group, Sellers Travel in Huddersfield
is run by Trevor Cherry, ex United skipper who also captained
England. Trevor is overjoyed at being involved with the club again.
He is working closely with netflights.com and Leeds on this collaboration
and will be a regular visitor to Elland Road throughout the season.
"United chairman Ken Bates said: 'The shirt sponsor is the
principal sponsorship opportunity at every club and netflights.com
will become part of Leeds United history alongside the other companies
that have benefited from being a previous sponsor. We are delighted
to sign a three year agreement with a new sponsor to the club
illustrates the confidence there is in Leeds United from the business
community. I would like to welcome netflights.com to the Leeds
United family and we look forward to working with them for what
we all hope will be a mutually beneficial partnership.'
"Leeds United's Head of Commercial Steve Lewis brokered
the deal and is thrilled that Fisher has brought netflights.com
in at the eleventh hour: 'We are delighted to welcome netflights.com
as our new shirt sponsor - they have been a real white knight
for us. We had signed a deal earlier in the year but contractual
difficulties left us a without a sponsor just weeks before the
season starts. Netflights.com is a company who are achieving great
success and like Leeds has a rich history, something which we
are both extremely proud of. We are really excited to be working
together with a huge range of opportunities for two such popular
crowd-pleasing brands. Everybody loves holidays and sport so with
the combination of both we know our fans will be happy.'"
the netflights.com connection remained in place, and the new kit
was used for the first time in the final League game of 2008/09,
at home to Northampton on May 2. The new home kit was an attractive
reinterpretation of their familiar all-white strip with a royal
blue flash down the left hand side, trimmed with gold. Tradition
was also maintained with the all-yellow away kit, which had royal
blue side panels to the shirt and shorts, "an attractive
interpretation" of the orthodox second choice.
United chose to launch their 2010/11
kit in time for the final game of 2009/10, at home to Bristol
Rovers, when they finally confirmed their promotion back to the
Championship. It saw a return to the classic all white strip that
had been synonymous with some of the greatest period in United's
It could not have had a more fitting game in which to make its
bow, showcasing a memorable day for United and their fans with
Jermaine Beckford's only
appearance in the kit being one of his best.
Bucking the trend of the previous couple of years, when they
had unveiled their new kit in the final game of the previous campaign,
United held back on launching their 2011/12 kit until 7 July.
The previous day, club Head of Media, Paul Dews, announced that
the club would be releasing news of arrangements shortly, but
then photos of the new home shirt, as modelled by club captain
Jonny Howson, started circling on Twitter and the truth was accidentally
confirmed by Lloyd Sam on his personal Twitter account.
The following day, the club's website carried the official news
at the same time as the identity of the new sponsors was revealed.
Leedsunited.com reported as follows: "The kit for 2011/12 is
a retro style shirt in white fabric and is influenced by the 1991/92
championship winning season which the club is celebrating this
season. The shirt features include the shiny fabric and distinctive
royal and yellow tipping on the sleeve. The home kit is launched
on Saturday 16th July at 8am from the Elland Road and Online Superstores
Jonny Howson toed the party line: "The new kit is something the
players always look forward to seeing. All of the lads were wanting
a look as soon as it arrived and you feel like the new season's
on the way now. It's a great shirt and the start of new things."
The Scratching Shed fansite offered the less flattering comment:
"Aside from the enormous cartoon sponsor on the shoulder and the
enormous sponsor in the middle and the tacky white shiny material
they've made it out of, I think you'll agree this is still one
of the worst Leeds United kits ever. Fingers crossed it's a hoax!"
Jagsnorbens tweeted: "Tell Jonny he needs to shave that bum
fluff off. He looks like a 15-year-old trying to get into Yates'."
Enterprise Insurance were identified as the new main sponsor.
"Enterprise Insurance Company plc was established in 2004 and
is based in Gibraltar, one of Europe's leading insurance centres.
Enterprise provides a wide range of general insurance products
- including motor, household, warranty and legal expenses on a
wholesale basis - for client companies in the UK, France, and
Greece. In the UK, Enterprise Insurance has over two million customers
and provides products to a number of well-known blue chip companies.
"Leeds United Chief
Executive Shaun Harvey said: 'We are delighted that we have reached
an agreement with Enterprise Insurance to become the main club
sponsor. It's great to align our brand with a rapidly growing
European Insurance company. There was considerable interest in
becoming the main club sponsor and we believe that the relationship
with Enterprise will deliver significant benefits to the club
and our fan base.'
"Commenting on the announcement of the sponsorship, Enterprise
Insurance Managing Director, Andrew Flowers, said 'We are delighted
to be main sponsor for Leeds United. It's a terrific club with
a great history, and an even greater future. On a personal note,
as a lifelong supporter of Leeds, the deal has an added significance
beyond the undoubted advantages it will bring to both the club,
and to us as a company. We are looking forward to playing our
part, together with the club management, the team, and the supporters,
in the continuing Leeds success story.'
"Part of the new sponsorship deal will involve the launch of
a new Leeds United branded portfolio of Insurance Services, in
association with Motorway Direct plc, a business partner of Enterprise
Insurance. Together the companies have in the region of 5 million
insurance clients in the UK.
"The agreement is for an initial one year term and will see all
first team playing kit, training wear and replica kit branded
with the Enterprise Insurance logo."
Adult shirts were priced at £40 and Junior shirts at £36.
The kit was used for first time in the first pre-season friendly,
a 2-0 victory at Falkirk on 13 July, when the first goal came
rather ingloriously courtesy
of Falkirk defender Thomas Scobbie deflecting a cross from Ramon
Nunez past his own keeper after 36 minutes. Rob Snodgrass was
the first Leeds man to score in the new strip 18 minutes later
with a header.
On 21 July, the club released the details of the new away kit
for 2011/12, with Paddy Kisnorbo and new midfielder Michael Brown
modelling the strip on the leedsunited.com website.
The kit was basically all black with a green pin-stripe in the
shirt and fluorescent lemon trim on the shirts, shorts and socks
and the sponsor's logo blazoned across the chest in the same lemon.
On the historicalkits.co.uk website the new second strip was
described as "black with bright neon yellow trim - a break with
tradition and perhaps one of the most unpleasant strips of the
season", while thescratchingshed.com called it a glow-in-the-dark
ensemble, adding, "The yellow and black colours Macron have gone
with haven't caused too much of a shock as Lloyd Sam dropped that
little bombshell a couple of weeks back. I'd personally assumed
it would be predominantly yellow, however, so the black being
the main colour did surprise me a little. I wish I could find
the words to sum up the following, but I really can't…" However,
a poll on the same site, showed fans split almost straight down
the middle between liking it (49%) and disliking it (40%), with
a further 11% undecided.
The strip was worn for the first time in the friendly at Hillsborough
against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, 23 July. United fought
back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Max Gradel the first scorer
in the kit with a late penalty.
The first official game played in the colours were in the Championship
at West Ham on Sunday, 21 August, with the new kit launched the
previous day at the Elland Road Superstore and Online Superstore,
with fans encouraged to pre-order from 12 August from the website.
The prices were the same as those for the home kit.
The second change strip was the royal blue outfit launched in
2010/11, updated with the Enterprise Insurance logo.
On 24 April 2012, United announced that Enterprise had extended
their sponsorship agreement for a further two years and would
continue to act as main sponsor until the end of the 2013/14 season.
Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: "We are delighted... We have
developed an excellent working relationship with Enterprise Insurance
during the course of this season and have launched a number of
Leeds United branded insurance products through the partnership,
including the increasingly popular Leeds United Insurance Compare
website. We look forward to developing our relationship further
with Enterprise and helping them to promote their business to
a worldwide audience."
Commenting on the extension of the sponsorship agreement, Enterprise
Insurance Managing Director, Andrew Flowers, said "We are delighted
to continue as the main sponsor for Leeds United. It's a terrific
club and over the course of this season we have seen the real
benefits of a marketing partnership with a globally recognised
brand such as Leeds United. The Enterprise brand has been featured
in 11 live games on television this season, generating significant
exposure for our company not only in the UK but Internationally
where we have growing business interests."
Three days later came the linked announcement of the new kit
for the 2012/13 season, available from 5 May, launched with an
Eminem-inspired video on YouTube, under the banner of "New
Shirt, New Start", with manager Neil Warnock
offering an inspiring rallying cry: "You've all seen the
stadium, and you know what it's like to play for Leeds, it's an
amazing place, isn't it? You've got to revel in the atmosphere.
You know the fans are absolutely fantastic, aren't they? What
can you say about them, they've been amazing. And if you're good
enough, and if you've got enough under your shirt, and I mean
by that have you got the desire, the passion, the commitment.
Because as a manager I need to know who's in the trenches with
me. Forget this season, give me your shirt. Who's ready to wear
this?" It might have been hackneyed, but it was certainly
According to the club's official website: "We are proud
to reveal the new Leeds United Macron home kit and showcase what
the team will be wearing next season. The white shirt will be
worn with white shorts and socks, all of which are on sale from
Saturday 5 May...
"The shirt interprets the club colours in a unique style
and has been designed by Macron, in conjunction with the club,
in order to create a bespoke shirt that integrates a variety of
different fabrics. The main body fabric is framed with a royal
blue piping whilst the neck features a Korean style collar made
of ribknit fabric with the year the club was founded, 1919, embroidered
in the back neck along with the club's moto 'Pride of Yorkshire
- Agmine in Uno'. Mesh inserts on the side flanks regulate the
body temperature guaranteeing maximum breathability.
"The new Macron 2012/13 home shirt is available in adult
sizes small to 5XL, priced at £40 and junior sizes small junior
to XL junior priced at £36. Adult home shorts are available in
sizes small to 3XL and are priced at £19 with Junior home shorts
available in sizes small junior to XL junior priced at £16. Adult
home socks are available in sizes 7-11 and are priced at £10 and
Junior home socks are available in sizes 12-2 and 3-6 priced at
Scratching Shed fans' website had its doubts about some matters:
"A major talking point following the unveiling has been the
words Agmine in Uno which Macron have stitched into the back of
the shirt... Obviously this was some kind of attempt at a Latin
motto, much like Blackburn Rovers use with Arte et Labore which
they claim translates to 'by skill and hard work'. Unlike Blackburn’s
motto, which I’m assured is a solid translation, it seems Agnime
In Uno falls into the category of faux-Latin. What Macron were
trying to translate was 'Marching On Together'. I’m told that
'Agmine' is not a real word, but appears to have been taken from
'agminalis' - 'of or pertaining to a march'. 'In Uno' meanwhile
translate into 'upon one' according to online translators – which
it should be noted, are incredibly poor at translating Latin and
are almost entirely to blame for the rise in poorly translated
"Speaking to a Latin student on twitter, he suggested
the club use ‘incedamus cuncti’ (let’s march on altogether) explaining
that 'mottos often use the subjunctive in Latin. Theirs is nonsensical.'"
Update: It seems ‘agmine’ is in fact a real word, but the Latin
is of a poor standard and the phrase still doesn’t make any sense.
This from Latin_Geek:
''Agmine' is a 'real word', despite what you write. It is the
ablative singular of 'agmen' which is a neuter noun that can mean
'a march'. When nouns are declined into the nominative case, it
generally means that something is happening 'in, on, at, or within'
the noun. What the club are trying to say with their crappy Bates-Latin
is the phrase: 'in one march'. Therefore both the noun (march)
and the adjective (one), must be declined in the ablative. Because
'agmen' is a neuter noun, the adjective must also take the neuter,
so 'unus' becomes 'in uno'. The correct Latin syntax for this
formulation should be 'in uno agmine', but whichever muppet translated
it wanted to get the marching word at the front of the sentence,
presumably because they had no knowledge of Latin. So there we
'agmine in uno' is a bastardised, faux Latin phrase that literally
means 'in one march', but can be dubiously rendered as 'marching
on together'. For those who want to take it a step further, the
use of 'agmine' is perhaps ironic because the literal meaning
of 'agmen' is 'that which is driven'. By that I mean it refers
to something that marches because it is forced to march, rather
than because it chooses to – like a herd of cattle, or an army,
or a Nazi death march…"
Latin_Geek goes on to offer a better translation: "I think
we should go for a present participle active… I reckon the best
verb to use would be 'procedo'. It has a military sense, and means
'to go before, go forward, advance, proceed, march on, move forward,
go forth'. So 'procedentes'. For a nice bit of alliteration, take
'pariter' as together, so 'Procedentes pariter' - marching on
GLAD THAT'S SORTED!
With the club still in the midst of secretive discussions about
a potential transfer of ownership and with supporters besides
themselves with impatience at the deafening silence, on 5 July,
the official website revealed the away kit that would be used
for the following two seasons.
New signing Jason Pearce and his prospective centre-back partner
Tom Lees were chosen to model the kit, which was described this
on the website:
"The new kit, which has been designed by Macron in conjunction
with the club combines technology with classic Italian style and
presents the new 'azzurro' steel colour (blue).
"The shirt was created integrating a range of different
fabrics; the main body is complemented by navy blue flanks in
a mesh fabric that define the profile of the shirt and allow maximum
breathability. The neck comes in ribknit with under collar contrasting
fabric and the year the club was founded, 1919, embroidered on
"The shirt will be on sale at the Elland Road Superstore
from 9am on Thursday 2 August.
"The new Macron 2012/14 away shirt is available in adult
sizes Small to 5XL, priced at £40 and junior sizes Small Junior
to XL Junior, priced at £36. Adult away shorts are available in
sizes Small to 3XL and are prices at £19 with junior away shorts
available in sizes Small Junior to XL Junior, priced at £16. Adult
away socks are available in sizes 7-11 and are priced at £10 and
junior away socks are available in sizes 12-2 and 3-6, priced
at £8. Infant and baby away kits are also available priced at
£32 for infants and £28 for babies."
The initial views about the kit were positive, though there was
some uncertainty about the shorts. The Scratching Shed commented:
"Positives - I quite like the sky blue, or Azura blue as
Macron are calling it. It's certainly an improvement on the horrific
glow-in-the-dark number we played in last season, and I always
prefer some shade of blue to bright yellow. The latter attracts
far too many insects for my liking. It doesn't glow-in-the-dark.
I know I covered this above, but I can't overstate how important
that is. It's a normal collar, one that doesn't make it look like
circulation to your brain is being cut off by your shirt (like
the home kit). Whoever we sign to replace Adam Clayton can also
do the Eric Cantona thing with it. He can, but he probably won't.
"Negatives - The shorts. I don't really care too much about
the shorts as I never buy them anyway. If such a day comes when
Leeds United are having an extreme injury crisis and they need
to call upon the Kop for reinforcements, they can take me in jeans
and replica shirt or not at all. I'm sure they have a pair of
shorts I can use in the changing rooms, but there's absolutely
no way I'll be wearing a pair that looks like they took inspiration
from the mudguards on old American muscle cars. - Stupid cartoon
men. I rattle on about this every time Leeds United unveil a new
shirt, but come on, do Macron really think people will someday
take them seriously with that ridiculous matchstick man plastered
all over their products? It has to be the most ridiculous sporting
logo I've ever seen. Well, except Kappa. And Le Coq Sportif. But
definitely top three.
"Overall Let's be honest, the monstrosity they released
last season makes this incredibly easy to like. Short of releasing
an all red kit, it really wasn't possible to create anything worse.
It's sort of like playing Paul Rachubka in goal - the bloke from
your local pub team could follow, he's going to look good by comparison.
That said, I'd give this effort a solid 3/5. Get rid of the silly
cartoon men, finish stitching the sides up and destroy the shorts,
and Macron could quite easily have earned themselves a 4/5. And
that's better than it sounds, as there isn't a single Leeds shirt
since the 1970's that I'd give a 5/5 to."
Out of a poll of 1,000 visitors to the site, 19% gave it 5 stars,
48% 4, 22% 3, 7% 2 and 4% 1. The Yorkshire Evening Post's poll
saw 65% saying they liked the kit.
On 24 April 2013, just four days after United's stay in the Championship
for another season was confirmed with promotion and relegation
both mathematically impossible, came the now customary pre-end-of-season
announcement of the home kit for the forthcoming season.
The club's official site announced: "We are proud to reveal the
new Leeds United Macron home
kit that the team will be wearing for the 2013/14 campaign. The
white shirt features retro vertical stripes in blue and yellow
which adds a different dimension to the famous white shirt. The
collar is ribbed in royal blue and the shirt has micro mesh side
panels for better movement. The back neck also features an appliquéd
Leeds United rose.
"The shirt is teamed with white shorts and socks which feature
details taken from the retro stripe on the shirt. The bespoke
kit has been designed by the club and Macron to create a kit unique
to Leeds United integrating various different fabrics.
"As per the current season, the Home Shirt is available in a
bodyfit style, as worn by Leeds United first team. The bodyfit
shirt allows freedom of movement and the jersey weave incorporates
elastane which guarantees regular compression and facilitates
movements by adhering to the body.
"The shirt features the logos of Main Club Sponsor, Enterprise
Insurance, and brand new Secondary Shirt Sponsor, Help-Link UK."
The deal with Help-Link, one the UK's largest home heating providers,
had been announced the previous day, with their logo appearing
on the back of the shirt, just below the player's number.
United Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: "We are delighted to
welcome Help-Link into our growing commercial partners programme
as secondary shirt sponsor. Help-Link is a market leading brand
and one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK and we are
proud to have their brand on our shirts.
"We look forward to working with the Help-Link team throughout
the course of the agreement to deliver high profile, national
brand visibility and return on investment. We are confident that
Leeds United fans throughout the UK will be able to take advantage
of the wide range of heating services that Help-Link has to offer
and be able to heat their homes for less."
Commenting, Alan Dickinson, Director of Help-Link UK said: "As
Help-Link is a Leeds based company, we feel it is an exciting
opportunity to support and work alongside the club. We are proud
to be affiliated with the sport, Leeds United and what it represents
to nationwide communities. Therefore through our involvement and
association we are looking forward to our brand further carrying
The new kit went on sale on Saturday 27 April at the Elland Road
Superstore and online, with the team wearing it for the first
time that same day in the final home game against Brighton and
Adult shirts were priced at £43 for short sleeves and £46 for
the long sleeved variety,
with shorts costing £19 and socks £10.
The initial reaction from supporters was not positive, with many
complaining that blue stripes only belonged on the shirts of local
rivals Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday.
The Spoughts website noted: "The shirt has received a very negative
response from Leeds fans on twitter… goes against what fans have
been demanding for months, which is a standard all-white kit.
It can be said that it is very easy to design a good Leeds shirt,
but also very easy to ruin one completely. In the future, it would
be worth noting that little is needed in the way of incremental
improvement. Leeds fans will likely purchase an all-white shirt
over and over, as long as it is nice. It feels ludicrous saying
it, but even a return to the 2010/11 home kit would be a vast
Under the headline, 'Why today's kit is such a disappointment',
another page on the Spoughts site went even further.
"Leeds is a city with historic ties to the industry of tailoring,
with the Montague Burton factory in Leeds considered a city unto
itself during its peak of the 1930s. The city's sizeable Jewish
population also had a hand in the tailoring industry, with the
industry essentially sustaining the community at certain junctures,
with 63% of the male working members of the community employed
as tailors in 1901. For a city with such a great past for quality
clothing, one of the representatives of the city, Leeds United,
should be enrobed in a glorious manner. What has been revealed
today is anything but that.
"This coming season is the 54th anniversary of the first time
we wore an all-white kit, the transition having been made at the
hands of Don Revie. Since then, there's been some spectacular
interpretations of a kit and colour that should ooze class, the
footballing equivalent of a classy white collared shirt.
"In the last few years Macron, an Italian sportswear manufacturer,
have taken over the license for Leeds kits, and systematically
ruined every design. 2010/11 is the only high point, where a team
playing beautiful attacking football had a kit to match.
"Today's announcement is an abomination to the notion of the
all-white kit. It would be fine as an AC Milan away kit in 1995,
because that's what it looks like. This is not Leeds United at
all. As I said before, it is incredibly easy to design a good
Leeds kit - it has to be white, and wearable. It is similarly
incredibly easy to ruin one with superfluous additions. It should
be basic and simple, and that is always enough.
"Today's kit is the equivalent of racing stripes on a white Mustang.
It's unnecessary, tacky and makes it look like crap. It also speaks
for how out of touch whoever makes these decisions is at Leeds
with the fanbase at large - how many people will have emailed
repeatedly GFH Capital's email address for suggestions about Leeds,
and how massively must these have been ignored to get today's
"The response has been incredibly negative, and will likely lead
to poorer sales than anticipated. With the club probably requiring
funds for a promotion push, this is probably not the reception
that was wanted. The sad thing is that clearly the fans could
do a better job of telling Macron what is actually wanted than
whoever selected this design at Elland Road - in 12 months, we'll
have to go again and hope they get it right next time."
The WeAllLoveLeeds site commented succinctly, Aaaaaaarrrgghhhhhh!!,
and described the kit as 'tawdry'.
TheScratchingShed.com was a little more objective, saying: "Another
Leeds United kit launch, another mixed reaction from fans.
"Following two days of Leeds United posting teaser shots to Twitter
- none of which gave much away - today finally saw the new kit
"An enormous blue and yellow racing stripe down the centre wouldn't
have been a design recommendation I'd have lobbied for, but for
reasons I can't explain, I actually quite like Macron's latest
"'Leeds United's home kit should be entirely white', argue many
fans, and I do agree our best kits (like the '72 Cup final shirt)
have been entirely white. But if people want to make this a purist
argument based on club colours and history, Leeds United's home
kit should really be blue and yellow, as per the city's crest
and the club badge. Don Revie introduced the white to copy Real
Madrid in a move not dissimilar to the one Cardiff City's owners
pulled last season.
"We're probably more associated with white than blue and yellow
these days, but the trouble with an entirely white kit is there's
absolutely nothing you can do from a design perspective. The only
thing that would ever change is the sponsors, no one is going
to pay £43 to keep up with the new sponsors each season.
"And it's not as if the entire fanbase despise the new kit. Seems
to me that the latest kit is no different to the reception every
kit gets - some like it, some don't. I doubt there's ever been
a Leeds United kit which pleased everyone.
"If nothing else, the go-faster stripes should at least improve
Michael Brown's speed."
By 27 April, the poll on the same site had received around 1500
responses, with 35% declaring they loved the new kit, 36% hating
it and 29% undecided.