What were they thinking? The best of the worst

13 Sep

Finally, match day! Brentford welcome Brighton to Griffin Park for a Championship clash that could see a win for either side take them into the play off zone. No doubt the interweb will be awash with match previews and talk on this subject, so I’d like to make my focus on our visitors slightly different – with due apologies in advance to any Brighton fans who may be reading.

As a self confessed kit-nerd, the Last Word has plenty of features on the best and worst of the shirts Brentford have worn over the years. We’ve had some pretty decent stabs at changing the red and white stripes around but, with a few odd exceptions, they follow a fairly similar template.

Like the Bees, since their inception as Brighton and Hove Albion for the start of the 1901-02 season our visitors have largely worn stripes – albeit blue and white. However, unlike the Bees they have experimented with these to a level that has fluctuated between stunning to “What were they thinking”?

In the first of a semi-regular feature, the Last Word is delving into the kitbag to look at the best, although largely worst, of our opponent’s kits through the ages.

The best : 1985-87. Remember the controversy at Griffin Park when we lost our (back) stripes for two seasons? Not only does this remove them from the front but then replaces them with horizontal ones – both thick (shoulder) and pinstripe (main body).

By all rights this should look like a prototype for the Loftus Road mob yet somehow, thanks to the class of Adidas, it works. A retro classic.

Despite ditching the stripes, it's a modern classic

Despite ditching the stripes, it’s a modern classic

The unfortunate design : 1989-91 Supplied by the good people at Sports Express this goes straight to the bottom of the pile for it’s uncanny resemblance to a Tesco carrier bag. A masterstroke in subliminal advertising or just a really, really bad design? Either way, one that should never be recycled.

Must.Resist.Deliberate  'Tesco bag / shirt (l-r)' caption mix up

Must.Resist.Deliberate ‘Tesco bag / shirt (l-r)’ caption mix up

The worst : 1991-93 deckchair If the Tesco bag was a fashion faux–pas, the club were only destined to repeat the same mistakes with their next attempt. On the surface, nothing wrong with this Ribero effort, until you see it in conjunction with the shorts.

I can only imagine that, with five minutes to go until the kit design had to be submitted and nothing ready, the club marketing director took a look at the deckchairs on Brighton beach whilst heading into work and job done.

'Massacre Mark' with your predictions, goes the text. Why bother - the kit does a good enough job

‘Massacre Mark’ with your predictions, goes the text. Why bother – the kit does a good enough job

The away shirt : 1991-93 There were a few contenders but the Chewits kit, unveiled at the 1991 play off final (they lost) has to scoop the honours. Seriously, what WERE they thinking?

Even worse, the club compound the felony by running this with matching shorts – was this an early 90’s thing at the Goldstone?

Truly a stomach churning, headache inducing effort that was more reminiscent of the popular 80s sweets than an away kit designed to strike fear into the opposition.

1991-1993 saw record sales of Alka Seltzer in the Brighton area

1991-1993 saw record sales of Alka Seltzer in the Brighton area

 

The play off final 'reveal' saw the mascot in an equally dismal effort

The play off final ‘reveal’ saw the mascot in an equally dismal effort

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