We can exclusively reveal that the Workington first team shirts for the new season will be predominantly red. Unfortunately, we cannot disclose the style or design yet, nor that of the change outfit (away strip) we have opted for.
Like every other aspect of the game at our level, the kit launch has been put on hold. There are question marks about when we will be allowed to start training, if and when the friendlies can be played and, most importantly, when will the 2020-21 campaign get underway so the small matter of revealing a strip almost becomes insignificant.
Instead of worrying about various situations the football club has no control over, we have taken a light-hearted look back at the strips we have worn in recent seasons and boy there have been a few shockers over the years.
There have been some classics too, no doubt, but I suppose it is very much down to individual choice. One man’s favourite is another’s nightmare, although some dodgy outfit will instantly become revered if it is part of a title winning season or a successful cup final.
I wasn’t so keen on the yellow and red change strip in 2015-16 but I almost became attached to it, almost, when we wore it with pride in the promotion play-off final at Salford. I did like the ‘home’ version that season so it was more the colour scheme than the design that irked me.
Many supporters will value the historical link with the kits we have worn over the decades, vividly remembering that we donned white shirts for the memorable visit of Manchester United, were in our normal red in those fantastic League Cup clashes against Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea and wore the same plain red Bukta shirts in our last Football League game at Newport County and our inaugural NPL fixture against Stafford Rangers.
In more modern times, it was normal red and white at Bury in our last appearance in the First Round of the FA Cup thirteen years ago, red also for the magical FA Trophy day at Wimbledon, an all blue outfit for the subsequent tie at Stevenage, black and green stripes when we were relegated from the Conference in a defeat at Vauxhall, black and yellow stripes when our FA Vase adventure ended at Bedlington Terriers and sky blue and black stripes in our play-off failure at Stourbridge.
One of the most unpopular strips, I recall, was the 1990-91 ‘crazy-paving’ design with the red in the shirt not so prominent. The away version was the same in blue, although not disliked to the level of the home outfit.
I think there was general approval for the ’96-97 choice of a ‘dark green and navy quarters’ number which was supplemented by green shorts and green socks. But the fetching away strip wasn’t so popular with the manager and he blamed it for many of our passes going astray with the dark colours difficult to pick out on a dark day or under sub standard floodlights!
A particular favourite of mine was the 2008-09 away strip with an Umbro broad striped sky blue and white shirt supplemented by black shorts – not quite Argentina ’78 but eye-catching nevertheless.
Our red shirts have often been bordered by white facing, but red and blue became fashionable for a while in the eighties, then black was added to the red and white in the North West Counties League. It even got to the stage where the compulsory red and white was boosted by navy, yellow and black extras twenty years ago.
Players never had much say in what kit was purchased in the past so it was a bonus if it was comfortable to wear. They do have an input nowadays although customising to individual requests is almost impossible at non-league level.
Our suppliers have varied over the years but it has been SK Kits for the past two seasons and they will be the providers for the forthcoming campaign.
It is a topic that will always spark debate amongst players and supporters but I think it is important that our teams always look the part and even better if we are in an outfit unique to WAFC.
The 2020-21 outfits will be revealed in the not too distant future but, in the meantime, see what memories are evoked by some of the Workington kits below: