Sheffield United earn their stripes again

New strip earns its stripes
New strip earns its stripes
0
Have your say

Blades will have a more recognisable look next season as stripes return to the home shirt.

The smart new Adidas kit was unveiled today at Doncaster Sheffield Airport and after a season wearing a predominantly white jersey as part of the club's 125th Anniversary celebrations, Blades fans will be delighted to see their team run out again in the iconic red and white stripes.

Last season's strip

Last season's strip

The kit launch also brought the announcement of a new shirt sponsor. Emblazoned on the front of both the home and away shirts will be international online travel company, alpharooms.com, which has agreed a three year, significant six figure sponsorship deal.

The new kit is on sale now from the Blades Superstore or online at www.sufcdirect.co.uk.

What better time to reflect on last year's strip, whose notable lack of thick red stripes fueled fans' debate, and the good, the bad and the ugly past sponsored shirts.

Last season's predominantly white jersey featured what was widely regarded as Blades' first recorded badge.

2014/5 kit launch

2014/5 kit launch

As the club's website said at the time: “The one-off design created by adidas is a modern interpretation of the first recognised Sheffield United strip from the turn of the 1890s and also includes the first identified club badge.

"Primarily white, the retro style celebratory shirt features red pinstripes, a collar with press studs and the familiar three stripes of our official technical kit supplier. The shirt will be worn with red shorts and red socks.”

The kit prompted a mixed response from supporters, some welcoming cap-tip toward history while others couldn’t see past loss of trademark bold red and white stripes.

Another notable departure from the tried and true stripes came in the early 1990s when Dave Bassett, who could seemingly do no wrong in the dugout, turned his hand to kit design - and came up with a diamond-chequered shocker many fans regard as the club's worst ever.

Alex Sabella

Alex Sabella

Or there was the short-lived 1979 experiment with one thick red stripe, as sported in our picture by Argentine ace Alex Sabella. This too strayed too far from the traditional design for many to stomach.

When we think of the best Blades shirts, they usually stick to a simple formula: red and white stripes, often with a dash of black trim. Perhaps one of the most memorable was the shirt sported from 1992 to 1994, manufactured by Umbro with its distinctive lace-up collar, as worn by Brian Deane as he headed the very first goal of the Premier League era past a flailing Peter Schmeichel.

There's been speculation that the kit being readied for take-off at Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield Airport will herald a 'back to basics' approach that returns to the traditional format ... but there's always the chance of a surprise. Watch this space for live launch coverage.

What are your favourite and least favourite Blades kits down the years? Let us know in the comments.

Harlequin kit

Harlequin kit

Classic early '90s Umbro strip

Classic early '90s Umbro strip

Stephen Quinn

Stephen Quinn

Michael Tonge

Michael Tonge