Posted: 3/6/2012


     Last week England lost 3-2 to Holland at Wembley wearing their latest outfit, all white except for a red three lions badge, red numerals and a little red trim on the stockings. It was the first time EVER than there was not a hint of blue in the kit. WHY ??? ask parents and grandparents. MONEY OF COURSE !!

     It is their EURO 2012 outfit after their last strip lasted 11 matches and was the EIGHTH change since 2000, Hooray !! each cost about 6 pounds to produce and retail for more than 60.

     UMBRO (hUMfreysBROthers) has it's logo on the uniform and of course is now owned by NIKE out of Portland, Oregon and has a long history of providing The Football Association with their home and away uniforms, warm ups and more. Umbro were formed in 1924 in Wilmslow,Cheshire and made the Manchester United kit.

      BELIEVE ME, until The World Cup in England in 1966 the F.A. had to PAY a retailer for each uniform and only got a 20% discount. At the time it was BUKTA. The year prior to that Charles Humphreys and a retailer Ron Goodman met with ADI DASSLER, founder of ADIDAS in The Coberg Hotel in Bayswater, London, near the F.A. headquarters in Lancaster Gate. They went to see England manager Alf Ramsey and F.A. Secretary Dennis Follows and offered FREE uniforms and shoes with 3 stripes. Humphries and Goodman also went round the world to offer free uniforms to all the other participants.

      Fourteen agreed, all except North Korea. Not only that, the company provided uniforms and adidas shoes to school kids who marched round Wembley in the Opening Ceremony, representing all the nations, prior to the boring England 0 v Uruguay 0 draw. I WAS THERE THAT JUNE DAY.

     The F.A. offered the 22 man squad 22,000 pounds between them if they won The World Cup, on top of the 30 pounds per man match fee. The day before the Final against West Germany, Adi Dassler went to The Haddon Hall Hotel and offered each player 1,000 pounds each if they would wear his shoes the next day. Alan Ball rushed back to his room clutching 2,000 pounds for him and room mate Nobby Stiles, a Catholic, who had been at Mass. Gordon Banks the goalkeeper, did a separate deal with PUMA.

      I was also at the hotel, leaving a couple of posters to be signed by the squad at dinner that evening, and a poster tube. stamped and addressed to me.

      On November 30th at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, England lined up for the very first international. There was no photo because the local photographer would only show up if EVERY players agreed to buy a copy, which they refused to do. England players provided their own white jerseys, their own knickerbockers and varied stockings.

      Many players wore caps in the future until late in the century. It wasn't until 1935 that The F.A. agreed to provide uniforms and that year put numbers on the back, something that the Scots didn't do until 1944.