Blyth Spartans are well know for their rather unique green & white striped shirts, while a popular choice for European clubs in this country no other team from the National League upwards currently wear green and white stripes as their home kit.
The clubs history is full of varying styles of green & white tops and quite often different styles worn in the same season.
The current run of 54 years wearing stripes is the longest in the clubs history.
When Blyth Spartans Athletic Club were formed from the embers of Blyth FC in April 1899 the new club needed playing kit, that wasn’t green & white stripes though.
It consisted of white shirts, white shorts and red socks, the reason for that choice is unknown.
After initially only playing friendlies, the clubs first league competition was the 1901/02 Northumberland League season, wearing the white shirts, white shorts and red socks.
When the striped tops were initially used is unclear because the first ever team photo taken at the Travellers Rest Public House (which the club used as its base & changing rooms), is dated as ‘1901/02’ and they are wearing stripes rather than white tops.
However, it is documented that for the new 1902/03 season the famed green & white shirts were officially adopted as the clubs colours.
Striped tops were popular at the time, the old Blyth FC had worn black & white stripes. They had just acquired brand new kit before they folded, Blyth Thistle FC who by default became the leading team in the town took ownership of that new kit.
The first recorded newspaper reference to Spartans wearing green & white stripes appeared in the Blyth News report of the away game at Seghill Blake on the 18th October 1902.
The reporter commented that the contrast between the green & white stripes of Blyth and the red and white tops of Seghill ‘pleased him’.
As would be the case for many years to come old kit was still used at times, the red socks were often worn with the green & white striped tops. Ever since adopting the green & white stripes, white shirts have traditionally been the clubs away colours.
The actual reason behind the clubs choice of green will probably never be known, surprisingly there is no documented record of why those colours were chosen.
A vague thought by a town historian was that it may have come about due to the amount of green open space around the town in 1902!.
The colour has since become the choice of two other prominent sporting institutions in the town; the Rugby Club and the Running Club.
With the origins of the clubs green & white stripes being unknown it led to the local legend that it was donated by Glasgow Celtic!
The legend had it that in 1902 Celtic were been due to play a friendly further south but due to bad weather they didn’t make it that far and allegedly played the Spartans instead.
Between 1889 and 1903 Celtic had worn green & white striped tops before adopting their now famous hoops.
Allegedly having helped Celtic out it was thought they give Blyth their strips!
However, that claim is simply not true
as the 1901/02 team photo proves.
It has also been debunked by Glasgow Celtic Football Club themselves and two people whom have published books about the Spartans.
In 2001 supporter Michael Scott published ‘and then the corner flag fell down,’ reflecting on his years supporting the club.
He contacted Celtic to establish any truth, upon checking their records they confirmed the Blyth game had not happened.
The only North East opposition they faced in 1902 was on 13th March when they played Newcastle United, winning 4-2, but the game took place at Berwick Cricket Club.
In 2013 club historian Ken Sproat published his superb history book, documenting the club from its origins. He had spent years pouring over every single archived ‘Blyth News’ paper that was ever produced. He was able to find out who owned the first ever football in the town and who played the first game, but there was absolutely nothing about the supposed friendly.
For such a game to have taken place in 1902 it would have been well documented, in those days everything that happened in the town no matter how trivial was reported.
The clubs own playing records go back to the very first game played and the only recorded friendly in 1902 was against Sleekburn United on 1st February.
Also to his disbelief he found no reference whatsoever as to why green & white stripes were chosen as the teams colours.
- The theories to why teams didn’t initially play in green varies wildly. In the late 1800’s the only colours widely available for kits were black, red, white and blue.
- There are claims that green was considered unlucky, possibly going back to the theatre days of the 1700’s. A green mat or cloth was brought onto stage for an actor to perform their dying scene on, as years passed green became associated with death.
– There is also a theory that the colour green became very unpopular in the late Victorian years because there was no safe green dye. Bright emerald green was made from arsenic, once safer green dyes were invented people were still wary of the colour.
– A claim exists that English clubs avoided the colour due to it’s connection with the troubles in Ireland. In the late 1700’s the English brought in a law that anybody wearing green could be punished by hanging after the was colour adopted by the Irish Freedom Fighters of that time. This is probably the logic behind Celtic and Hibs colour scheme as both clubs have Irish roots.
– The common assumption that green shirts would clash with the goalkeepers top is actually the wrong way around.
Until 1909 keepers could wear only red, white or blue. As this meant some sort of colour clash green was added to the palette as fewer teams wore green. In 1912 the FA gave permission for green jerseys to be worn as a result it became the default colour for keepers.
From 1902 to 1932 the club wore many styles of green & white stripes as the fashions of football tops changed with the times. Along with changes to the width and position of the stripes the other main change was to the neck/collar of the shirts, varying from buttons to string tied.
In the 20’s and through into the early 30’s the club used two different string tie shirts. They only differed by the colour and style of neckline. One had a white round neck and the other a green collar.
As was be the case for many years the club reused shirts to save money. After discarding the string tie the green collar shirt was used again for several season’s.
1932/33 saw the very first move away from stripes. An all green shirt with a large white V was used. It was a very popular style top at the time and the first break away from the usual stripes or blocks of colours used in football tops.
The first ever action photo of the Spartans taken at the
3-1 home win over Wallsend on 10th September 1932 shows them wearing the top. There is a 1932 team photo showing the club proudly displaying their new kit.
However, there is another image from that same season showing them wearing green & white stripes!
By the very next season, 1933/34, they were back to wearing stripes which were worn up until the club closed up shop at the outbreak of WWII.
The post war years saw the shirt style change purely due to what the club could get.
New kit was supplied by sports outfitters M.Cropps who had run a shop in the town since the 1832.
Quite often kit that had been worn for many years would be kept when new shirts were bought and reappeared a few seasons later as the club looked to save money and use what they had. Officials would spend the time mending the kit rather than replace it,
club legend Billy Fenwick often spent hours just darning worn out socks so they could be used again.
For the club’s first season after WWII, 1946/47, brand new white & green quartered shirts were worn for the single season in the Northern Alliance.
Election back into the Northern Eastern League for the following season saw the club return to the stripes they had worn in the NEL prior to the war.
However by 1950/51 they were back wearing new green & white quarter tops. As had happened before those new tops were not worn exclusively and many times that season the stripes were also used.
Barely four months into 51/52 season there was yet another change.
Prior to an FA Cup 1st Round tie at home to Bishop Auckland in November, a game played in front of a then record home crowd of 9,468, new team kit was presented to the club.
The thriving Supporters Club which boasted two thousand members and a newly formed women’s section sourced and bought brand team new kit.
It was the beginning of a club tradition that still carriers on to this very day.
The solid green shirt with white arms was worn throughout the 1950’s in two different styles, one had a white collar and another had a white V neck collar.
Again the styling of the shirts mirrored the current fashion, the neck line was quite often the main difference, changing from a V style collar to a round neck and even a draw string collar reappeared in early 50’s tops.
The first known image of Blyth wearing away colours, the traditional white shirt, comes from 1957. Hosting Hartlepools United in an FA Cup 2nd Rd tie the club choose to wear their white shirts as United’s blue shirts were the exact same style as Blyth’s solid green one’s.
58/59 saw the club wear solid green shirts with a large white V collar, white shorts and white socks with green top as the first choice home kit.
Even into the 60’s just when the club seemed to have settled on the use of stripes random changes still occurred.
In 1964/65 the club turned amateur when it joined the Northern League and a new round neck shirt was purchased.
That new shirt was the ever first to carry a crest, it wasn’t specifically the clubs own badge but the towns official crest with the club name underneath.
By 1966/67 the stripes were gone yet again as a green shirt with white arms similar to that worn in the 50’s returned, this time with the crest on it and also appeared on the white away shirts.
That town crest never appeared on a shirt again after the 66/67 season.
- There has only ever been 3 official football club crests.
The first came about at the beginning of 1980 when Chairman Jim Turney and newly appointed commercial manager, Mike Turnbull, decided the club needed its own identity.
They ran a competition to design a club crest with an unknown local artist coming up with the winning design. Initially used for promotional & sponsorship purposes it first appeared on the clubs programmes for the 1980/81 season.
While it was used on souvenirs and merchandise it never ever appeared on the teams kit!
That logo served the club right through until 1993 when long serving club director and press officer Phil Castiaux worked with Kimmerston Design on a project to modernise it.
That new design has stood the test of time and still serves the club right up until the present day.
There was however a change to the design in summer of 1999, with the club celebrating its centenary it was incorporated into the design for the 1999/2000 season only.
In Jackie Marks first season as manager, 67/68, there was a change in home shirt colour.
They wore white shirts with green collar & cuff trimmings, green shorts & white socks.
That kit was then worn as the away kit in subsequent seasons.
Thereafter 67/68 season it has been stripes in varying styles right up until the present day.
- The clubs traditional colours are classed as the green & white stripes with black shorts and green socks, however over the years there have been many different combinations.
In 1980 white socks were used with black shorts then in 1981 for the first time in a decade the club used white shorts and socks. Since then more often than not the shorts have been black and its the socks that have changed from white to green.
Another popular combination; green & white striped shirts with green shorts and green socks has been used in the 80’s, 90’s and even up until the present day.
In the 71/72 season Blyth reached the FA Cup 3rd Round for the first time ever, for the home tie with Reading the club were treated to a brand new home kit donated by two local businessmen, brothers Roy & Ian Caller. They were owners of the popular North East department stores; Callers and also happened to be the clubs Joint Vice Presidents.
They would continue to repeat their generosity for big cup games throughout the 70’s.
The first ever kit to carry the makers branding came in the 74/75 season, the Umbro kit came about due to a special occasion.
Having reached the FA Cup 1st Round, the club landed a plumb home tie with Preston North End.
Boasting two 1966 World Cup winners, Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles, the game attracted an all ticket sell out crowd of 8,500.
Again Caller’s brothers treated the club to brand new kit for the occasion. In the build up to the game the new home shirts were worn for a series of publicity photos, as modelled by club legend Brian Slane.
After drawing 1-1 the club strangely reverted back to their old style non branded home striped shirts for the replay at Preston!
The new Umbro home shirts were alternated with the non branded shirts worn in that replay throughout the rest of the season.
A new Umbro branded all yellow away kit was also presented to the club and worn for the rest of the season, it was still being used as the clubs away kit right up until the early 80’s.
In 77/78 Burscough arrived at Croft Park for an FA Cup 1st Round tie with their solid green home shirt. With the overcast weather conditions potentially making it difficult for the match officials Blyth were forced into wearing the old 67/68 white home shirt for the game.
The Callers brothers repeated their generosity in February 78 with the clubs next brand marked kit. They bought a new away kit for the Stoke City FA Cup 4th Round tie.
Honouring of the shirt style of the 50’s they purchased Bukta kits that had a green body and white arms.
While this kit came with white shorts and socks, as worn at Stoke, when it was used thereafter it had varying different short and sock colours combinations.
The clubs famous Bukta branded striped shirts worn at Wrexham for the first time was also donated by the Callers brothers and that was also first time the club wore shorts with manufactures branding on.
The famous 77/78 season summed up the clubs kit history, three different styles of striped home shirts were worn throughout that season.
Following that 77/78 season the club was inundated with offers of green kits by various manufacturers, one extremely rare kit came in the 78/79 season.
A local derby at Ashington saw the Spartans wear a brand new all green kit made by Yorkshire firm Litesome. That kit was worn only on a handful of occasions often with black shorts & green socks before vanishing, with the all yellow Umbro away kit from 1974 being used instead.
The iconic Bukta home top served the club right through until end of 82/83 season. However in 1981 the club moved with the times and brought in a new shirt made be popular 80’s brand Le Coq Sportif.
That shirt was a first for the club, gone was the traditional cotton material, the French company used polyester fabrics.
Polyester kits had become increasingly popular and their designs more intricate as manufacturers cast an eye on the developing replica kit market.
The new home shirt featured a broader stripe and was worn with either black or green shorts and white socks.
There was also an all green Le Coq Sportif away shirt which was used with various colour shorts and socks.
Unsurprisingly it wasn’t worn exclusively and by the turn of 1982 the trusty old Bukta shirts began making an appearance from week to week.
That year was also a landmark for the club, after months of negotiating the club started the 82/83 season wearing their first ever shirt sponsor.
Chairman Jim Turney and forwarding think Commercial Manager Mike Turnbull had realised the need for wider income streams.
The Universal Building Society was emblazoned on a large white square that was stitched onto the iconic Bukta striped tops.
The season long deal also saw the companies name adorn pitch side sponsorship boards that had started to appear around Croft Park.
For the new 1983/84 campaign there was a change of kit due to a new shirt sponsor, the Mercantile Building Society started a four year deal and had their name printed in red onto a new shirt which didn’t carry any manufactures name.
There was a new all green away kit that also carried the red lettered shirt sponsorship, however random changes in the shorts and socks colour occurred seemingly depending on what was chosen for that particular game rather than any clash with opponents colours.
For 86/87 the stripes on a new unbranded home shirt became thinner and a new Nike branded yellow away kit shirt with was introduced.
There was also a rarely used Nike red third top, it used the same black shorts and socks as the yellow kit.
- The use of a Nike kit came about thanks to team manager Jim Pearson, the former Everton & Newcastle United striker worked for Nike as their as Head of Football in the UK.
He played a pivotal role in the evolution of Nike into teams sports in this country.
He was personally responsible for Nike signing deals with Arsenal and the England Rugby Union and signing up Ian Rush, Eric Cantona, David Ginola and cricketer Ian Botham to wear the Nike brand.
A new sponsorship deal was signed in 1988 with Northumbria Bus Company and their
‘N’ logo adorned the Falcon Sportswear made home shirts. The club continued with the Nike branded away kits long after Jim Pearson had left and both the home and away shirts carried the Northumbria Buses logo long after the sponsorship deal had ended.
As the clubs fortunes began to wane the early 90’s kit seemed to reflect this. Falcon Sportswear again supplied a plain and simple green & white unbrand marked striped shirt.
Some enterprising Supporters Club members purchased a handful of extra shirts and took it upon themselves to get a Spartan crest added by a local embroidery shop.
The club was struggling to raise finances to the point that in late 1991 a make or break friendly with Newcastle United was arranged to help boost finances.
In early 1992 the club received a much needed lifeline when it secured sponsorship from iconic North East comic, VIZ.
It also marked the start of the Supporters Club selling replica shirts, previously only club jumpers, ties, scarves, mugs etc. had been on sale.
Even in the early 70’s Blyth shirts had only been available to buy from the towns long established sports shop, McCropps. They supplied the club with its playing kit, but ordered enough to sell to the public as well.
Contrary to what many believe the VIZ logo first appeared on the clubs kit at the end of the 1991/92 season. On Saturday 2nd May 1992 Blyth beat North Shields at St James’ Park in the Northumberland Senior Cup Final wearing the VIZ logo for the first time.
The club had struck a deal with Belgium sportswear company Activity through it’s UK Managing Director Peter Harrison.
The shirt featured a small embroidered club badge between the green stripes on right side of the shirt.
For the new 92/93 season Activity provided new shirt with a printed black club crest and also supplied a new yellow away kit. Both kits survived for a few years as the club did its usual changing of kits randomly from game to game.
The yellow away top was worn in the club’s last ever Northern league game at Ferryhill Athletic in April 94.
Having started selling Activity replica shirts the Supporters Club began to experience problems with supply from the company in 1993.
Activity also supplied shirts specifically for the Supporters Club to sell, they produce the same shirt in black & white and red & white stripes.
The shirts were never intended for team use but purely to cash in on Newcastle United & Sunderland fans who followed the club.
County Durham firm Hogger Sports stepped in to help supplying identical shirts. The shirt featured a bigger club badge and had a fleece like backing to the material and only seemed to be worn by the team when it was cold.
Hogger followed their predecessors lead and produced black & white versions of their tops for the club to sell.
For the new 93/94 season the Supporters Club sourced a new kit supplier, Hero Sportswear. The company based in Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire already supplied kits to other Non League clubs; Northwich Victoria, Stafford Rangers, Barrow & Kidderminster Harriers.
Hero Athletic & Sports stated they were: ‘Pioneering a return to a classically styled kits’, however the old fashioned tie string collar design had been already been introduced by Umbro!
The top which featured a stitched club crest on a shield proved hugely popular with the fans. It was also the first time another colour had appeared with the green stripes, a thin black line ran down either side of the each stripe.
This shirt is often wrongly stated as the first shirt to feature the VIZ logo. The bright red VIZ logo was actually a compromise, they had wanted to follow their comics humour with ‘drink beer, smoke tabs’ on the front of the shirts, unsurprisingly the FA rejected it and they settled for just their distinctive logo.
Throughout the 93/94 season the club randomly interchanged the Hero shirts with the long sleeved Hogger tops when the weather suited long sleeves and they also used the Activity shirt on odd occasions.
There was also a rare Hero Sport red away shirt that was only ever used once in February 94 for the 5-2 win at Hebburn.
Picking up on the red away kits lack of use an enterprising club Director snapped up the little used shirts for his 5 a side team to use!
In 1994/95 the club joined the pyramid system, leaving the Northern League for the Northern Premier League.
Activity were now the sole kit supplier having solved their supply issues, the home shirt had a white collar and white cuffs and featured a large stitched crest.
The new shirt came due to the Federation Brewery now being he club’s sponsor and it carried the logo of their popular drink; LCL Pils.
A new all white away shirts was introduced and was worn for the first time in the 1-1 draw away at Netherfield on 27th August 1994.
This one season wonder top was last worn on the 6th May at Harrogate Town when a 2-0 win to sealed the title. The full time celebrations led to the shirts demise as supporters claimed the players shirts as souvenirs, so a new away kit was needed.
The 94/95 season home shirt saw a slight change with the collar and cuffs now being green but otherwise it was identical.
The away shirt was a yellow top with a blue collar and blue trim on the sleeves, popular with the fans it lasted lasted until the end of the following season.
In November 1995 the club reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup, for the tie at Third Division Bury the club were supplied a special commemorative all red kit by Activity, it carried ‘FA Cup 1995/96’ embroidered under the Acitivty logo.
The shirt was identical to the style of the previous yellow away kit. Following the superb 0-2 win they also wore it again for the 2nd Round defeat at Stockport County.
After that it was only ever worn once again on 30th January 96 in the South Tyneside Football Benevolent Fund Gazette Cup tie at Hebburn. It was only worn due to the home sides black and yellow stripes clashing with Blyth’s green & white stripes and also the away kit of yellow.
Activity’s UK Managing Director Peter Harrison was installed as team manager following the win at Bury and not long after he opened his own sportswear shop.
A new ‘barcode’ style home was introduced for 96/97 and became an instant hit with the fans. The advantage of Harrison having his own shop allowed the Supporters Clubs to sell replica tops with the offer of your favourite players shirt number on the reverse.
A ‘new’ away kit was debuted at Spennymoor on 26th August 96, well it was a new colour for the club; burgundy.
The shirt itself was identical in styling to the previous yellow and red shirts, despite being popular with fans in the darker winter months many supporters commented that the colour made it difficult to see the players.
For the 97/98 season the Unibond League struck a deal with the Cumbrian based sportswear firm ICIS to be the leagues ‘preferred’ kit supplier. They were to supply teams with training kit and match balls, however from the off there was an issue with supply.
Blyth had to start the season wearing the old Activity kit, as the club officials demanded a resolution to the kit issues the team fought their way to the FA Cup 1st Round.
The Supporters Club was inundated with requests for the new kit which featured a different take on the traditional green & white stripes, a thin orange stripe ran down the middle of the white stripe. The club made a final demand to have the ICIS kit for their game at Blackpool, and ICIS guaranteed they would have the kit in time.
To ensure they had a new kit for the game, manager John Burridge used one of his many contacts within the game and had Ulhsports produced and green & white strip for them to use in case ICIS failed to deliver on their guarantee.
ICIS did manage to supply the new kit, over 3 months late and the Spartans walked out at Bloomfield Road wearing a brand new kit.
The popular all orange kit was first worn in a 2-1 win at Radcliffle Borough on Saturday 22nd November.
Budgie’s back up Ulhsports kit did get used twice, first for a midweek training friendly against a Middlesbrough XI and it’s only public outing was in his final game as manager at St James’ Park for the 0-2 Senior Cup Final defeat to Bedlington.
1999 marked the club’s centenary and the popular ICIS home and away shirts carried the clubs new centenary crest created by Kimmerton Design. The LCL Pils logo was also made larger, the kit was only worn for the 99/2000 centenary season.
For the next two seasons the clubs kit was supplied by local firm Logitog, they carried the LCL Pils logo on the front of the home kit but not on the yellow away kit.
For the first time there was a different away kit sponsor, Miller Homes were building new houses in the town and were approached by club officials about being a shirt sponsor.
In 2002/03 & 03/04 the club used kit supplied by Moette Sportswear and it carried the new rebranded LCL logo. There were also occasions a long sleeve top were worn that no sponsors on them!
The Supporters Club were finding it increasingly difficult to find green & white striped shirts especially from manufacturers who could supply the quantity of replica tops needed.
The money the Supporters Club generated from the replicas always went back into the club in the way of donations or as happened in 1999 paying for the upgrading of the ageing tannoy system.
2004/05 saw a return to Nike kits but this time it was purely down to them having a green & white striped kit in their generic kit catalogue. There was also a new yellow Nike away kit that featuring blue collar and blue arms.
For three years from 2005 the club used kit by Hummel.
These shirts proved very popular with the supporters, a new sponsor was also introduced with Drager Safety on the shirts.
The away shirts went back to orange with black shorts & orange socks.
Once again it proved a popular kit colour, there was also a third kit white away kit. Different styles of Hummel kit were used up until the end of the 07/08 season.
In 2008/09 the club started to use Errea kit, the Italian companies kits were supplied by a local sportswear firm.
The 08/09 Errea home kit proved to be a classic as the club embarked on another of their famous FA Cup runs. Following a televised 2nd Round 0-0 draw at AFC Bournemouth the replay at Croft Park and subsequent 3rd Round tie with Blackburn Rovers attracted massive national media attention.
This was the first ever shirt to carry a sponsor on the back, Chairman Tony Platten’s company; Tynetec appeared above the shirt numbers. Ever since then the club have had a sponsor on the back of the shirts.
The teams shorts had carried the VIZ logo since 07/08 season but they again fell foul of the FA over proposed a new sponsorship idea they had for the televised FA Cup games.
They had wanted a new logo, a ripped shorts effect with body hair showing, but ended up with having to settle for their logo on the shorts.
2010 saw the first ever acknowledgment to the club’s past with a new white away kit. Despite having had two white away shirts in recent years it was announced that the white shirt, white shorts and red socks kit was specifically based on the clubs first ever colours.
Differing styles of green & white Errea shirts continued to be used for the next four home kits.
In 2011 when a new shirt sponsor was needed the deal with Drager ended after 6 seasons, law firm Quantum Elite promoted one of their services
’24 Seven Claims’ on the tops for the next two seasons.
The 12/13 shirt also saw another colour appear along with the green & white stripes for the first time since 1997. The addition of a black line on the green stripe didn’t go down as well with the fans as the orange line had 15 years earlier.
In July 2013 the shirt stayed the same style as Quantum Elite continued their sponsorship but changed the branding to ‘Pro-Law’.
For the 2014/15 campaign a new shirt carried another new sponsor which was a first
for the club, Chairman Tony Platten paid for the shirt sponsorship deal himself.
He then donated it to a local charity, ‘Community Foundation, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland’.
The charity certainly benefited from the philanthropist chairman’s gesture as once again the club embarked on an epic FA cup run. Reaching the 3rd Round again certainly drew the media’s attention especially when the dramatic 2nd Round win at Hartlepool United was broadcast live on the BBC.
2015/16 season saw the club use Yorkshire based sportswear company EV2.
For two seasons the same style kit was worn although it carried different sponsors for each;
Blyth Workspace then Ascent Homes.
The only difference in the shirts being the style of EV2 logo changing and the size of the club crest.
It was the kit worn when Blyth won the NPL title in 2016/17. It was a popular shirt with the fans but the Supporters Club encountered issues with sizing and supply.
Prior to 2017/18 the club announced it had returned to their former kit and merchandise partners Errea and S08 Sportswear. While the home kit would change every season the Supporters Club stated it aimed to keep the same away kit for two seasons.
The new home kit was bespoke, created to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the famous 77/78 FA Cup run it was based on the kit the worn then.
That season also saw a brand away kit when a striking all silver kit was introduced. The shirt had a thin green pinstripe through it proved hugely popular with the fans.
In December 2017 it was announced that as part of a series of events marking that 77/78 cup run a special one off kit would be worn for a home game based on with the kit worn in the famous 3-2 FA Cup win at Stoke City in 1978.
To mirror the shirt as close as possible there was no sponsor’s logo on the kit, the first time a home shirt had been worn in a game without a sponsor in 12 years.
In keeping with recent designs the new bespoke home shirt for 2018/19 was also a nod to the clubs past.
Based on the iconic late 70’s & early 80’s Bukta shirt it carried the Errea branding on the arms replicating that iconic top.
The 2019/20 season saw another landmark in the clubs kit sponsorship when for the first time a sleeve sponsor was added. Home & away shirts carry the office supplies company; SOS Group Ltd logo.
The next three season saw new shirts sponsors for each season, although the 19/20 & 20/21 campaigns were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
TEXO adorned the 19/20 home and away tops, the all blue away kit was a brand new colour for the clubs kit. 20/21 saw Complete Fabrication Services logo, CFS, on the new home & away kits. The away was yet another new colour with a ecru & maroon shirt added to the clubs ever expanding away kit palette.
21/22 saw another new shirt sponsor, the CEFO Group logo adorning the new home kit and the all maroon away kit.
List of the clubs playing kit sponsors –
Front of shirt – CEFO Group
Back of shirt – JFS Torbitt
Sleeve – SOS Group
Front of shirt – CFS
Back of shirt – JFS Torbitt
Sleeve – SOS Group
Front of shirt – TEXO
Back of shirt – JFS Torbitt
Sleeve – SOS Group
Front of shirt – Community Foundation
Back of shirt – JFS Torbitt
2016 > 2018 –
Front of shirt – Ascent Homes
Back of shirt – JFS Torbitt
Front of shirt – Blyth Workspace
Back of shirt – JFS Torbitt
Front of shirt – Community Foundation
Back of shirt – JFS Torbitt
Back of shorts – 24 Seven Claims
Front of shirt – PRO-LAW.CO.UK
Back of shirt – JFS Torbitt
2011 > 2013 –
Front of shirt – 24 SevenClaims.com
Back of shirt – JFS Torbitt
2008 > 2011 –
Front of shirt – Drager
Back of shirt – Tynetec
Back of shorts – VIZ
2005 > 2008 –
Shirt – DRAGER SAFETY
2003 > 2005 –
Shirt – LCL
2000 > 2002 –
Shirt – MILLER HOMES (Away shirts only)
1994 > 2003 –
Shirt – LCL PILS
1992 > 1994 –
Shirt – VIZ
1988 > 1992 –
Shirt – NORTHUMBRIA BUSES
1986 > 1988 –
Shirt – MERCANTILE
1983 > 1986 –
Shirt – MERCANTILE BUILDING SOCIETY
1982 > 1983 –
Shirt – UNIVERSAL BUILDING SOCIETY
List of the Clubs kit manufactures –
ERREA – 2018/19 to date
EV2 – 2016/17 & 17/18
ERREA – 2008/09 > 15/16
HUMMEL – 2005/06 > 07/08
NIKE – 2004/05
MOETTE – 2002/03 & 03/04
LOGITOG – 2000/01 & 01/02
ICIS – 1997/98 > 99/00
ULHSPORTS – 1998 – 1 off kit for NSC Final
ACTIVITY – 1994/95 > 97/98
HOGGER – 1993/94
HERO – 1992/93
ACTIVITY – 1991/92
FALCON – 1988/89 > 91/92
NIKE – 1986 > 1988
BUKTA – 1982/83
LE COQ SPORTIF – 1981/82 & 82/83
LITESOME – 1980/81 & 1981/82 away kit only
BUKTA – 1977/78 > 81/82
UMBRO – 1974/75* > 77/78
* 1st ever brand marked kit
- As shown the history of the clubs colours and kits is quite varied, researching and documenting it proved quite a task but ultimately a worthwhile one.
However, after hours and hours of searching through various archived local newspaper records the actual reason for the choice of green & stripes stripes has disappointingly proved elusive. Sadly there appears to be no record to be found as to why or indeed whom made that choice.
I will continue to search in the hope that one day I can somehow find out why our clubs famous colours where chosen.
Acknowledgements and Thank you’s –
Michael Scott’s book ‘and then the corner flag fell down,’ reflecting on his years supporting the club provided important information used.
Ian Hertwick of Blyth Spartans Supporters Club for supplying the graphics of the clubs kits and information on past kits and his memory of the kits sponsors.
Phil Castiaux for his help with the history of the clubs crests and of course his involvement in the actual crest itself.
Jeff Young for his superb knowledge of the clubs kits and use of his extensive collection of Blyth shirts.
Kevin Tilmouth for his use of his unique Spartans memorabilia collection and his vast knowledge of the club.
Andrew Tilmouth our use of his superb collection of Blyth shirts.
The superb British Newspaper Archive was a valuable source of information on the club’s history.
The following excellent football shirt website provided valued images and information used within this article –