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Motherwell 1970's Admiral Strip Puzzle

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Maybe one for the oldies!

 

While doing a bit of kit research I stumbled on a puzzle regarding our then new Admiral kit from the 1978-79 season

August 1978 - January 1979: New Admiral kit. Amber top, with two bold claret vertical stripes and claret collar.

(See picture of Gregor Stevens in the game v Hearts played on the 25 November 1978)

Around February 1979 - May 1979: We strangely revert back to the earlier amber top with white & claret sleeve stripes. We wore claret shorts/socks with white & amber stripes, rather than the amber shorts and socks used in our first Admiral 1976-78 kit.

(See mascot pictures from v Hibs played on February 10th 1979 & v Morton 28th April 1979 this was the second last game of the 78-79 season)

Does anyone know why we reverted back to our earlier Admiral 1976-78 top? :P

 

The Fir Park Year Book from 1978-79 does partly explain how the new Admiral double claret striped top might have came about.

Excerpt from the 1978-79 Fir Park Year Book:

"Early this year manager Roger Hynd threw down the gauntlet to 'Well fans: "If you are not keen on the present 'Well strip let's have YOUR designs for a new strip!" And the response was incredible...drawings, descriptions, paintings all flooded into Fir Park and seven finalists were eventually chosen with their designs sent to Admiral for their opinion on the final selection with the manager travelling to the Midlands factory."

I have no idea if Motherwell or Admiral went ahead with any of the designs submitted but at least the Year Book quote shows Admiral looked at them. If Admiral did produce the winning kit it seems a shame that it was only used for part of the 1978-79 season

 

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We did indeed change to the kit in your first pic after it was chosen from designs submitted by fans but it was a horror and when Hynd was sacked Ally MacLeod came in and promptly changed it back.

Bad kits = bad teams as my ole Doncaster Pubspotter buddy maintains and that one certainly proved itself as we were almost relegated before Super Ally took over.

Your research shoul also show a return of the hoop in 1973(?) under Ian St John which only lasted a short while as we changed to the now famous 'Wullie P' diagonal band. NOt sure how long it took but I have a fancy that was changed partway through a season as well.

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Cheers Fatcalf. Must have been before the days that you had to register your kits at the start of the season and stick with them.

The kit wasn't great but then again footballers will use any excuse for a bad performance. :rolleyes:

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Probably more to do with Ally MacLeod enforcing his own mark, we saw Dick a L'Orange at Ibrox bringing in white socks for instance just cos he liked them better, of course could also be down to Admiral having problems with supplying the club, the real reason may never be known cos no-one really felt it important to broadcast it. I like bammy facts like that though so it would be interesting if anyone could clear it up for definite.

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I like bammy facts like that though so it would be interesting if anyone could clear it up for definite.

 

You would have thought it would have been at least mentioned in the match programmes from the time.

It is quite bizzare that a team would revert back to an earlier kit mid season and nothing is said! I had thought like yourself that it may have been a supply problem. But why launch a new kit without having enough strips for a full season?

We changed to the 'canary yellow' Adidas kit for the next few seasons. So maybe the impending change in kit supplier meant Admiral were only prepared to make the bare minimum, resulting in an enforced change back to our earlier kit.

Another scenario would be that the new kit was stolen forcing the earlier kit to be used.

If anyone knows the real reason I would be very interested.

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I'm pretty sure that Admiral strip wasn't on sale for fans to buy so they couldn't launch an appeal like Xara did with the Untouchables top a few years back if supplies were running low.

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I'm pretty sure that Admiral strip wasn't on sale for fans to buy

If you look closely you will notice that the mascots are wearing what appear to be 'knock off' versions of the proper tops.

When it came to the smaller teams these where sometimes the best you could get, even though a company the size of Admiral supplied your kit.

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I can confirm that the mascot is indeed wearing a "knock - off" version of the two stripe strip - the mascot is me! At the time it was the norm for the replica strips not to be made by the same manufacturer as the original.

 

At the time I wasn't a regular at games and I remember turning up feeling proud at being kitted out in the latest strip - and being a bit disappointed that the team wasn't wearing it any more.

 

I certainly wasn't expecting to see the picture appearing on a Motherwell message board after all this time.

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I can confirm that the mascot is indeed wearing a "knock - off" version of the two stripe strip - the mascot is me!

I'm sure at the time you didn't mind that it was a knock off or even notice. Parents really struggled to find official kit for sale. Your lucky I never even got a knock off version. :P

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Thing is Admiral put their first kit out for sale, both home and away, tracksuit an a' (cos I got them all upstairs :P ) but that two stripe effort was one of those 'silk factory' jobbies methinks.

(Sure it was called silk factory, place off Bellshill Road which made copies of replica strips. Worst part is I'm sure they supplied Motherwell's club shop with Wullie P diagonal kit and got the 'Sash' going the wrong way :P )

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You didn't mind at all - having a replica kit was a big thing - and back then I don't think I even realised the difference between a genuine admiral kit and a "knock off" one made locally - perhaps we were less sophisticated than today's children

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perhaps we were less sophisticated than today's children

They don't know the half of it... (cue Hovis music). With the likes of Provan Sports on your doorstep replica kits even for smaller sides are readily available. Still too dear mind you. :P

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Thing is Admiral put their first kit out for sale, both home and away, tracksuit an a' (cos I got them all upstairs :P ) but that two stripe effort was one of those 'silk factory' jobbies methinks.

(Sure it was called silk factory, place off Bellshill Road which made copies of replica strips. Worst part is I'm sure they supplied Motherwell's club shop with Wullie P diagonal kit and got the 'Sash' going the wrong way :P )

 

 

"Silk factory" If my memory serves me right was "Top Mill"......and you could get cheap "seconds"....remember getting a copy of the England "admiral top" 75/76ish...think it shut not longer after that.

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"Silk factory" If my memory serves me right was "Top Mill"......and you could get cheap "seconds"....remember getting a copy of the England "admiral top" 75/76ish...think it shut not longer after that.

 

 

Top Mill is right, in about 1971 a mate told me that here was a guy selling tops at that factory for 10 bob. (50p to you young guys)

I climbed the stairs at the side of the factory and the guy only had two left one was a red and white striped shirt like Sunderland's and the other blue and white stripes like Kilmarnock's. I chose the Sunderland one as I didn't want a shirt from another Scottish side.

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If memory serves, there was a fair bit of moaning when the Admiral kit came out because the fans wanted the band back on the shirt, and I'm pretty sure there were noises made about it's return which proved to be unfounded. I have no idea whether this had anything to do with the situation you describe.

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If memory serves, there was a fair bit of moaning when the Admiral kit came out because the fans wanted the band back on the shirt, and I'm pretty sure there were noises made about it's return which proved to be unfounded. I have no idea whether this had anything to do with the situation you describe.

The More Things Change............. :thumbup:

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there was a fair bit of moaning when the Admiral kit came out because the fans wanted the band back on the shirt

The 70's and early 80's certainly were a bit of an experimental period for Motherwell kits when only one top briefly had the hoop at the start of season 73-74. (See picture of John Goldthorp below) This was quickly changed to the now legendary Pettigrew claret sash top.

I prefer if our kit has some sort of claret band but it took until season 84-85 for Patrick to re-introduce our traditional band/hoop. Apart from a few exceptions in season 90-91, 96-98 and 2000-2002 it has remained. The tragic 2004-2006 Zoom effort was a band of sorts, all be it a blue and white one!

Since our colours changed to claret and amber in 1913 around 47 of those seasons our top has had some sort of claret hoop or band. This is reason alone to keep it where possible on all our home tops. In my opinion too many teams ignore their kit tradition. I really hope we can keep our signature kit and not just accept the latest design templates.

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The one thing that always annoys me about the 1991 Cup win, is that we didn't have band on the strip. I know it's petty but it niggles at me for some reason, it's the only flaw on an otherwise brilliant acheivement.

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