A survey of kits worn
around 1970 reveals a picture of drab uniformity.
During the Seventies a reaction gradually set in as clubs
began to assert their individuality once more. In
1969, the manager of Aston Villa, Tommy Docherty, introduced
a radical redesign of the club’s traditional strip featuring
a collar with V inset. Within a few years almost every
League club was wearing similar collars.
It was Leeds’ manager
Don Revie who first understood the commercial potential of
distinctive club strips. He entered into a deal with a brand
new kit manufacturer, Admiral, who produced the first
branded kits that could be sold to fans at a premium in
1975. These featured a new club badge as well as the
manufacturer’s logo. The established manufacturers,
Umbro and Bukta, quickly followed suit and logos began to
appear all over the place.
Rapidly a market was created. Instead of having to buy three
or four sets of kit each season, leading clubs found that
manufacturers were queuing up to offer free kits and a share
of the profits from the sale of replicas. The new kits had,
of course to be distinctive to be saleable.
These commercial considerations drove a new wave of
innovation in kit design. It became desirable for clubs to
register copyright on their badges and to feature these on
their shirts. Manufacturers competed to produce new
designs that displayed their own logos to best effect.
Admiral led the way and were quickly followed by Umbro and
Bukta who all introduced kits that featured sleeve trim with
their distinctive logos.
Towards the end of the
1970s there was increasing pressure on clubs to feature
sponsor’s logos on player’s shirts, pressure that was
resolutely resisted by the football and broadcasting
authorities. Derby County landed the first English
deal with Saab in 1978 but the sponsored shirts were never
worn after the pre-season photo shoot. It fell to
Liverpool a year later to wear the first shirts to carry a
sponsor’s name in the Football League in 1979.
click on a kit icon below
to go direct to details for that season
The 'away' colours for this season were "white
shirts & blue shorts", as indicated in the away
match at Watford.
Sep 1972 - OUFC v Manchester United (League Cup)
Dave Roberts heads clear from Dennis Law And
1973-74 Second Division
The all gold kit of this season was the first Oxford home
strip to be all one
colour, and was also the first to incorporate the club badge
on the chest. The away kit consisted of white shirts
with a red diagonal from left should to hip (on the front
only), blue shorts and white socks. The club badge was
not used on the 'away' shirt.
Finished 20th in Second Division, relegated to
A complete change took place in the strip for
this season, in a change from the gold and gold & black of
previous seasons, with the introduction of the wide yellow and
blue stripped Umbro shirt - which also featured the maker's
logo and the club badge of the previous two seasons (but now
in a new colour variation). There was also a return to blue shorts - as
previously used in the Headington United era - which would
continue to be used in various shades and designs up to the
The away strip was white shirt and socks, with blue shorts.
1975-77 Home shirt
(missing Umbro logo and club
1976-77 click to enlarge
19 Mar 1977,
OUFC v Crystal Palace
28 Aug 1976,
Chester v OUFC
1977-78 Third Division
The Admiral kit for this season used the
fashion pioneered by this manufacturer, by incorporating the
maker's logo all along the arm & shorts stripe, as well as
on the shirt chest.
The circular club badge was dropped from the shirts
(although, it was used again on the same style shirts the
This season saw the use of the new club badge
on the shirt - the ox head - which was used for many seasons
(with various wording), and still forms part of the clubs
Admiral continued as the kit manufacturer, but with a
slightly modified design for the season, having a smaller
collar and fewer stripes on the neck.