Team: Newcastle United
Home or Away: Home
Years Active: 1980 – 1983
As Worn By: Kevin Keegan, Chris Waddle, Bobby Shinton, Imre Varadi, Kenny Wharton and Jeff Clarke.
Things weren’t going particularly well on the pitch for the Magpies in 1980 as they languished in the middle of the Division Two table, but the club’s new shirt manufacturer Umbro had designed a kit for the club that fans were sure to love.
It was nothing out of the ordinary to most people, the usual black and white stripes with an embroidered badge featuring the City’s castle and the famous magpie, but this became a uniquely memorable Newcastle shirt for a couple of reasons;
1. On the plus side; It was the first Newcastle kit to feature a shirt sponsor. And what a sponsor! Not only was Newcastle Brown Ale extremely popular with fans, the ‘blue star’ logo also looked good. So much so in fact that this is a rare case of a sponsor’s loge actually enhancing a shirt rather than diminishing it.
2. Less positively, and quite importantly; the stripes weren’t actually black. I mean they were meant to be, indeed the stripes on the players shirts were indeed black, but the shirts available for fans to buy in the club shop were adorned with dark brown stripes. Not immediately noticeable at first, but all too evident after you had washed your beloved shirt a couple of times.
The club eventually admitted it was a manufacturing error and sent out letters of apology to supporters in which they claimed that ‘black was a very difficult colour for shirt manufacturers to reproduce’. Yeah…
Perhaps Umbro had got a little too caught up with the groundbreaking vented hem feature the kit sported. The plain black shorts were a skimpy affair (as was the rage in the 80’s, well in the UK at least) and the club returned to plain black socks after toying with hooped ones in the late 70’s .
How do you rate this kit…?