the black and blue s.

in About Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:38 am
by Four • Superman | 711 Posts | 7110 Points

锘? The soccer kit is not just the uniform that a soccer team wears when playing. It means so much more and has evolved from its humble beginning in much the same way as the soccer boot. Beginning life as a simple top to help distinguish one team's players from the other team , the soccer shirt has become a piece of design and innovation and more importantly to soccer fans across the globe - a fashion accessory. When soccer became an organised sport in the mid 1800s, the formation of the English Football Association brought many rules to the previously anarchic sport. However, uniforms or kits were not one of the early rules as players generally wore whatever they liked with a coloured cap or scarf used to distinguish themselves from other players. Soccer in England was played mainly by wealthy gentlemen who were financially able to purchase a suitable shirt in their club's colours - with plain white t-shirts the most popular kit due to its ease to obtain and being relatively cheap. In a handbook published in 1867, it was advised that 'if it can be previously so arranged, to have one side with striped jerseys of one colour, say red, and the other with another, say blue. This prevents confusion and wild attempts to wrest the ball from your neighbour.' However, from the inception of the Football Association in 1863 , it still took over a decade for soccer kits to appear and become a regular part of the game. The first kits that appeared were generally taken from public schools, with teams such as Blackburn Rovers adopting the colours initially of Cambridge University as many of their players were former students. Many of the original kits were garish and brash, shown by Reading's use of a salmon pink, claret and blue uniform - a million miles from the simple royal blue and white of today. As the sport moved away from a middle class hobby and became popular as a working class occupation, the kits were to evolve with the sport itself. Individuals would no longer be responsible for providing their own uniform, as clubs began to adopt specific colours and provide the kit for their team to wear. Association football became increasingly popular with spectators and so the soccer players' attire was to be affected to improve the ease of viewing. This led to the abandonment of bright, gaudy colours in favour of distinctive primary uniforms to enable viewers to easily identify their team from a distance. As the game evolved, the equipment used also changed, with the invention of shin pads by Sam Weller Widdowson in 1874. His use of cut down cricket pads outside of his stockings would also evolve into smaller pads worn inside the socks , a more familiar concept to the modern-day soccer player. Shorts and socks were not considered a part of the team's kit until around the turn of the century. In 1901, new regulations were introduced making socks officially part of the strip as well as so-called 'knickers' not being required to be lower than the knee leading to the 'soccer shorts' that we see today. It was in the first twenty years of the 20th Century that the soccer kit of today really began to take shape. Forty years on from the first soccer kits, and with association football becomingly increasingly popular in the UK, soccer kit styles became more fashionable and design-conscious in the early 1900s. Popular shirt designs included the eternal favourite of vertical stripes, although the pinstripe of the 1800s was replaced with a wider stripe. The First World War prevented the UK soccer league from continuing from 1914 until the competition returned in 1919. Between 1919 and the next suspension of professional soccer in 1939 with the outbreak of war with Germany, kit innovation had slowed down and the most notable change of the period occurred in the 1930s. Collars replaced crew necks and shorts were no longer plain with the inclusion of stripes down the side of the leg. The most influential change was shown by north London's Arsenal when their kit had red shirts with contrasting white sleeves, a design that is still their home kit to this day. Another introduction that appeared in this period was the introduction of shirt numbers, experimented with by Arsenal before becoming more common in 1939 before the Second World War. Numbers would go on to play a significant role in the merchandise sales of shirts in the latter part of the 20th century, but were used initially to allow easier identification of players. After the end of World War II , rationing would play a major part in the development of soccer kits. Clubs would struggle to replace old kits due to clothing rations and so would play in the same kits for years or borrow full strips from other teams, including rugby clubs. KIts began to keep a level of consistency and teams opted to maintain a specific colour uniform which would become associated with their club. The baggy, loose-fitting shorts of the early parts of the century were gradually replaced during the 1950s when kits became more streamlined to aid speed and agility of players. This change in style and design coincided with the European influence on the previously English-dominated sport as soccer started to evolve into a worldwide phenomenon. The 1950s saw the introduction of the European Cup, renamed as the UEFA Champions League, won for the first five years by Spain's all-white Real Madrid. As the game became publicised through the popularity of both club and country competitions, television also introduced soccer to a wider audience across the world. The sport gained followers from many countries and backgrounds and so the players' attire and the players themselves took on the role of soccer icons. The arrival of the swinging 60s brought a new type of soccer player to the public's attention as the sport's popularity reached unprecedented highs. The club game was full of well-supported teams including the red of Liverpool and the black and blue s.

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