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  The 1980s

Clubs began to exploit the potential revenue from selling shirt sponsorship.  The BBC and ITV companies refused to broadcast matches featuring branded shirts, forcing clubs to remove sponsorsí logos when the cameras were present.  In 1983 the TV companies finally gave way and allowed sponsored shirts to be broadcast: immediately the value of a sponsorship deal with a club that would feature regularly on Match of the Day or the equivalent ITV programme went through the roof.  At the time, Football League regulations restricted the size of logos to a maximum of 81square centimetres, but for televised games they had to be half this size.

A third colour was introduced to the strips of most clubs: Liverpool, for example, who had introduced yellow to their kit in 1976, featured pale grey trim in the mid-1980s and later dark green.

In the 1982 FA Cup Final Tottenham Hotspur unveiled the first shadow stripe design and suddenly everyone was sporting shadow stripes, pin stripes or both as technology allowed for ever more intricate designs.

Towards the end of the decade shirts became more generously cut as new lightweight fabrics became available. Improvements in production allowed for intricate designs to be woven or printed into the fabric itself, permitting manufacturers to counteract the burgeoning market in cheap counterfeit kits that began to appear.

click on a kit icon below to go direct to details for that season
80-81 81-82 82-83 83-84 84-85 85-86 86-87 87-88 88-89 89-90
1980-81  Third Division Top  Home
Another change of design, and another change of manufacturer - this time to Adidas.  As well as featuring the maker's logo on the shirt, a feature which had now become the norm. The away kit, of all red, had the same pattern of three stripe markings on the sleeves & socks and logo stripe on the shorts, as the home kit.
Match by match view
Home kit Alternative kit 'Away' kit  
1980-81 Home shirt 'Away' shirt

1980-81 Squad photo
click to enlarge

Club badge

26 Dec 1980
Malcolm Shotton & Paul Berry
OUFC v Charlton Athletic
10 Jan 1981, Andy Thomas
Rotherham v OUFC
1981-82  Third Division Top  Home
This appears to be the first season that Oxford had (for some matches only) a sponsors name or logo appearing on their playing shirt: the "Sunday JOURNAL".  Otherwise the home and 'away' kits were as that of the previous season.
Match by match view
No sponsor     Sunday Journal sponsor  
Home kit Alternative kit 'Away' kit   Home kit Alternative kit  

1981-82 Team photos  click to enlarge

1980-82 Home shirt 'Away' shirt
Tim Smithers 13 Feb 1982
Mark Wright, after defeat at Coventry in the FA Cup


23 Jan 1982
Keith Cassells, Brighton v OUFC
23 Jan 1982
Fogg, Shotton & Thomas celebrate after
the 3-0 FA Cup win at Brighton
1982-83  Third Division Top  Home
A change of manufacturer to Spall Sportswear was undertaken for the strips of the 82-83 season, and they continued to be the company used for the following two seasons.
This strip had yellow shirt, with a blue pinstripe, with plain blue shorts and yellow socks.  The collars of the previous ten seasons also disappeared, with a return to a plain v neck.
Match by match view
BPCC sponsor   Pergamon sponsor  
Home kit Alternative kit
11-09-82 @
Preston N.E. (Lge)
26-02-83 @
Wallsall (Lge)
12-03-83 @
Exeter City (Lge)
'Away' kit
28-08-82 @
12-01-83 @
Torquay U. (FAC)
12-02-83 @
Cardiff City (Lge)
  Home kit  
1982-83 Home shirt 1982-84 'Away' shirt
click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge

1982-83 Team photo
click to enlarge

1982-83 Squad photo
click to enlarge

28 Aug 1982, Gary Barnett
Gillingham v OUFC

1983-84   Champions of Third Division. Top  Home
BPCC were a sponsor during this season, although two different versions were used: the first was a stylised logo (as shown in the Gary Barnett picture) and the other was the plain "B P C C" in black lettering.  The sponsor "PERGAMON" was also used on the shirts in some matches.
The text under the ox head logo on the shirt was "O.U.F.C."
A third kit of all white was also used in one match - away v Bradford City on 3 March 1984.   This would have been used due to the home team colours of red & yellow stripes.
Match by match view
BPCC logo   Pergamon   BPCC (black)      
Home kit Alternative kit
03-09-83 @
Wigan Ath. (Lge)
05-10-83 @
Newcastle (Lge Cup)
'Away' kit
01-11-83 @
Wimbledon (Lge)
  Home kit   Home kit Alternative kit
06-03-84 @
Sheffield Utd. (Lge)
  Third kit
03-03-84 @
Bradford City
28-04-84 @
Newport Cnty (Lge)


1983-84 Match worn home shirt 1982-84 'Away' shirt
click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge


  Shotton receives the Div 3 trophy Parading the trophy at The Manor 1983-84 Team with Division 3 trophy
click to enlarge

12 May 1984, George Lawrence
OUFC v Rotherham

3 Sep 1983, Gary Briggs
Wigan v OUFC

5 Oct 1983, Steve Biggins
Newcastle v OUFC
1 Nov 1983, George Lawrence
Wimbledon v OUFC
1984-85   Champions of Second Division. Top  Home
The same yellow design of home shirt was used in 84-85 as the previous season, apart from the addition of "DIVISION III CHAMPIONS 1983-84" around the Ox head logo.  This lettering was also used on the new white 'away' shirt of this season.  The shorts were similar to the previous season, but now also with a pinstripe.
BPCC continued as the sponsor for the first part of the season, and again the plain "BPCC" was used, but this time in blue lettering.  The "Sunday People" took over the shirt sponsorship from 13 October 1984 game against Brighton, h
owever, the rules of wearing sponsored shirts in matches that were televised in those days meant that you were only allowed to wear one sponsor on tv per season, which meant that for the seasons later games shown on tv, (eg. Oldham on Match of the Day in April) the BPCC shirts still had to be used.
Match by match view
BPCC (blue)   Sunday People sponsor   BPCC (black)  
Home kit Alternative kit
29-08-84 @
Hereford (Lg.Cup)
22-09-84 @
Grimsby Tn.(Lge)
06-10-84 @
Man City (Lge)
25-09-84 @
Bl'ckb'n R.(L.Cup)
'Away' kit
08-09-84 @
Wimbledon (Lge)
  Home kit Alternative kit
17-11-84 @
Oldham A.(Lge)
20-11-84 @
Ipswich Tn(L.Cup)
12-01-85 @
Fulham (Lge)
09-03-85 @
Sheffield Utd (Lge)
06-04-85 @
Cardiff City (Lge)
'Away' kit
10-11-84 @
Shrewsb'y T.(Lge)
05-01-85 @
Shrews'y T.(FA C)
13-04-85 @
Wolves (Lge)
  Home kit Alternative kit  
1984-85 Home shirt 1984-85 'Away' shirt
click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge
1984-85 Squad photo  click to enlarge
The "DIVISION III CHAMPIONS 1983-84" badge used on the shirts of this season
1 Sep 1984
Hamilton & Aldridge,
OUFC v Portsmouth
4 May 1985
Malcolm Shotton & Trevor Hebberd,
OUFC v Notts County
6 Oct 1984, Steve Biggins
Manchester City v OUFC
(previous season's shirt -badge & black
 "BPCC" lettering- was worn this match)
9 Mar 1985
Jeremy Charles, Sheffield Utd v OUFC


1 Steve Hardwick
2 Dave Langan; Paul Hinshelwood
3 Bobby McDonald; Paul Hinshelwood; David Fogg; Tony Spearing
4 John Trewick; Jeremy Charles
5 Gary Briggs
6 Malcolm Shotton
7 Mark Jones; Peter Rhodes-Brown; George Lawrence; Les Phillips;
Brian McDermott; Kevin Brock;
Andy Thomas
8 John Aldridge
9 Billy Hamilton; Peter Rhodes-Brown; Mark Jones; Gary Barnett;
Jeremy Charles
10 Trevor Hebberd
11 Kevin Brock; Peter Rhodes-Brown; Brian McDermott
12 Peter Rhodes-Brown; Steve Biggins; Mark Jones; Kevin Brock; Les Phillips; Gary Barnett; John Trewick;
Brian McDermott; Jeremy Charles; Andy Thomas
8 Sep 1984, John Aldridge
Wimbledon v OUFC
10 Nov 1984, Trevor Hebberd
Shrewsbury Town v OUFC
13 Apr 1985, Kevin Brock
Wolves v OUFC
1985-86   First season in First Division.  League (Milk) Cup winners. Top  Home
For the clubs first season in the top flight there was a return to kit manufacturer Umbro.  The blue in the strip was changed from the royal blue a darker navy blue.
The wording around the ox head was again changed to be "1ST DIVISION 1985/6" only, on both the yellow home shirt and on the centrally placed badge of the new white 'away' top.  
The new design of strip also had a new sponsors logo, "WANG", inside a rectangular shaped box.
Match by match view
Small Wang logo   Large Wang logo   Milk Cup Final kit  
Home kit Alternative kit 'Away' kit   Home kit Alternative kit Alternative kit
12-02-86 @
Aston Villa (Lg.Cup)
'Away' kit
26-10-85 @
Watford (Lge)
  20-04-86 v QPR  
1985-86 Match worn home shirt 1985-86 'Away' shirt
click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge


Neil Slatter

1985-86 Squad photos
click to enlarge

1985-86 Squad in 'away' kit
click to enlarge

20 Apr 1986, Malcolm Shotton
Milk Cup Final,  OUFC v QPR

  Trevor Hebberd 7 Sep 1985
Malcolm Shotton, Man Utd v OUFC
Ray Houghton 26 Oct 1985, Andy Thomas
Watford v OUFC
1986-87  First Division Top  Home
The same kits were used as in the previous season, with the slight change of the sponsors logo to "WANG COMPUTERS", and the shirt badge was just the ox head, without any wording.
At one game only in this season (Southampton, 18 Apr 87) a third kit was used. This was a v neck shirt in royal blue and shadow pin stripes, and worn with blue shorts and socks.
Match by match view
Home kit Alternative 1 Alternative 2
03-01-87 @
Man City (Lge)
'Away' kit
23-08-86 @
Watford (Lge)

29-11-86 @
Norwich City (Lge)
Third kit
18-04-87 @
Southampton (Lge)
      1986-87 Squad - with Milk Cup
click to enlarge
1986-87 Home shirt (with 85-86 badge) 1985-88 'Away' shirt (with 85-86 badge) 86-87 'third' shirt
click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge
  11 Oct 1986, John Aldridge
OUFC v Coventry City

5 May 1987, Dean Saunders
Luton Town v OUFC

 Billy Whitehurst The home and away kits, as advertised in a programme
 - although, the white shirt shown does not appear
to be the one that was actually used in matches.
23 Aug 1986
Shotton, Trewick & Judge,
Watford v OUFC
18 Apr 1987, Billy Whitehurst,
Southampton v OUFC

18 Apr 1987
Kevin Brock (& George Lawrence),
Southampton v OUFC

1987-88  Finished 21st in First Division, relegated to Second Division. Top  Home
A new home kit design was produced by Umbro for this and the following season, although the 'away' kit remained unchanged for 87-88.  The new design was a repeating three yellow stripes, light/mid/dark, separated by a thinner white stripe.
The wording on the home shirt badge was changed to "OXFORD UNITED" placed between the horns of the ox, with "1962-1987 25th Anniversary" below the ox.   Wang Computers remained as the sponsor - in the same style as on the previous season's shirt
Match by match view
Home kit Alternative 1
26-09-87 @
Derby County (Lge)
Alternative 2
28-11-87 @
Everton (Lge)
12-12-87 @
Manchester U.(Lge)
'Away' kit
30-01-88 @
Bradford City (FAC)
09-04-88 @
Watford (Lge)
      1987-88 Team line-up
click to enlarge
1987-89 Home shirt 1985-88 'Away' shirt (with 85-86 badge)
click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge
Gary Briggs 17 Oct 1987, Tommy Caton
OUFC v West Ham United
  12 Dec 1987, John Dreyer
Manchester United v OUFC
26 Sep 1987, Ray Houghton
Derby County v OUFC
30 Jan 1988, Dean Saunders
Bradford City v OUFC
9 Apr 1988
Peter Rhoades-Brown
Watford v OUFC
1988-89  Second Division Top  Home
The final season for the Umbro kits, and also for the Wang Computers sponsored shirts.  For this, and the following seasons, the wording on the badge was just "OXFORD UNITED" placed between the horns of the ox.   While the home shirt appeared the same design as the previous season, the stripes were actually positioned differently (see comparison photos below).
There was also a return to red for the colour of the 'away' strip after four seasons of predominantly white kits, although the previous season's white kit was still used as a third choice.
Match by match view
Home kit Alternative 1
08-10-88 @
Portsmouth (Lge)
Alternative 2
05-10-88 @
Swindon Tn. (Lge)
04-03-89 @
Birmingham C.(Lge)
Alternative 3
05-11-88 @
WBA (Lge)
Alternative 4
06-05-89 @
Plymouth Arg.(Lge
Alternative 5
 ?-01-89 @
'Away' kit
10-09-1988 @
Chelsea (Lge)
15-10-88 @
Ipswich Town (Lge)
26-11-88 @
Man.City (Lge)
25-03-89 @
Bright'n & H.A.(Lge)
01-04-89 @
Leicester City (Lge)
Third kit
10-12-88 @
Watford (Lge)
1987-89 Home shirt 'Away' shirt
click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge
As illustrated by these two photos, the 87-88 shirt had the mid-yellow stripe
placed centrally, while for 88-89 it was the thinner white stripe in this position.
  29 Aug 1988, Martin Foyle
OUFC v Hull City
4 Mar 1989, Colin Greenall
Birmingham City v OUFC
8 Oct 1988, Dean Saunders
Portsmouth v OUFC
5 Nov 1988, Martin Foyle
Jan 1989, Gary Smart
Sunderland v OUFC
6 May 1989, Lee Nogan
Plymouth v OUFC
1 Apr 1989, Jimmy Phillips
Leicester City v OUFC
10 Dec 1988
Watford v OUFC
1989-90  Second Division Top  Home
A new design from the new manufacturer, Scoreline, saw a shirt that had all blue arms - this style had not been used on a club shirt since the days of Headington United in the 1950s.   Red continued to be the colour for the 'away' strip.
For 89-90 OUFC did not have a sponsor at all until the Wolves game on 9 December, and then had "PERGAMON" with the company logo below the wording, which was then reversed to have the logo above the wording from the West Bromwich Albion game onwards (10 Feb 1990).
Match by match view
No sponsor - pre 9 Dec   Wang (88-89)   Pergamon (logo below) 9 Dec - end Jan   Pergamon (logo above) Feb onward  
Home kit 'Away' kit
23-08-89 @
Fulham (Lge Cup)
02-09-89 @
Blackb'n Rvs.(Lge)
16-09-89 @
WBA (Lge)
  'Away' kit
04-11-89 @
Port Vale (Lge)
  Home kit Alternative
27-01-90 @
South'pton (FAC)
'Away' kit
30-12-89 @
Brighton & H.A.(Lge)
13-01-90 @
Watford (Lge)
  Home kit 'Away' kit
21-04-90 @
Wolves (Lge)
'Away' kit 2
17-03-90 @
Portsmouth (Lge)
1989-90 Home shirt (pre 9 December)
click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge
1989-90 John Durnin 'match worn' home shirt (post 9 Dec)
click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge
1989-90 'Away' shirt
click on the shirt for a close-up of the badge
1989-90 Squad photo
click to enlarge
26 Aug 1989, Dave Penney
OUFC v Watford
7 Apr 1990, Mark Stein
OUFC v West Ham
27 Jan 1990
Southampton v OUFC
2 Sep 1989, Neil Slatter
Blackburn Rovers v OUFC
19 Sep 1989, Martin Foyle
4 Nov 1989, Mark Stein
Port Vale v OUFC
17 Mar 1990, Mark Stein
Portsmouth v OUFC






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The following shirt photographs were donated by Dan Peedell: 82-83 home, 82-84 away, , 83-84 home, 84-85 home & away, 85-88 away, 85-86 home, 85-86 away, 86-87 home,
87-89 home, 88-89 away, 89-90 away.