Thursday, 2 July 2009

Hull City shirt

Newcastle United raised a few eyebrows this week when they released their new away shirt. The er… two tone yellow striped effort has been widely panned by media and fans alike, with some naming it the worst kit ever. It comes on the back of a tough few months for the Magpies who are still reeling from relegation to the Championship and are yet to appoint a manager or find a new owner. An embarrassing kit bringing them more ridicule is the last thing they need.

But rather than make their pain worse I thought I would try and make them feel better by looking back at a kit that makes Newcastle’s ‘custard cream’ effort look positively beautiful - step forward Hull City.

Flashback to 1992 and Hull were a very different team to the one they are now. The bright days of the Premier League were a distant dream as the club struggled in the old division two, fighting to stave off relegation to the conference in a crumbling Boothferry Park.

But in an era that is largely to forget for their fans they had a kit that will go down in history as one of the worst ever, though it holds a place dear in the hearts of all Tigers supporters.

The shirt was a gold and black tiger print, yes that’s Tiger print, in affectionate reference to the club’s nickname, with black shorts and black socks. The shirt sponsor was Bonus for the 1992-93 season before being changed to Pepis for 1993-94. It attracted no end of mockery with many suggesting that it looked like what you would find on the seats of an old Ford Escort in the 1980s.

On the field the uniqueness of the kit failed to inspire the players. They began the 1992-93 campaign in the re-branded division two and briefly topped the table with a flurry of early wins. However the season soon tailed off and boss Terry Dolan only just managed to save the side from the drop to the conference, losing 22 games and finishing 20th out of 24.

Things marginally improved in 1993-94 as they finished 8th, just outside the play-offs. One of their star performers that year was a certain Dean Windass, a Tigers legend who would later return to the club and hit the goal that secured them promotion to the Premier League in 2008.

After their near miss in 1994 there were big hopes among players and fans that the club could earn promotion the following year. But despite holding a top six place for much of they year a late dip in form saw them finish 9th. The follwing year the tiger print was consigned to the history books as they reverted to the more conservative, if a little boring, gold shirt with black trim.

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