Can Fulham provide the missing link? Help needed in kit quest

31 May

So this is what if feels like to be a modern day paleontologist. Whilst trawling the internet to unearth long buried clues may not be in the same league as a Jurassic Park style Velociraptor ‘dig’ , it is a close as I’ll get to emulating that wonderful film. But instead of T-Rex bones, it is the mythical ‘green’ adidas shirt, worn by Brentford at Fulham in season 1980/81 that we’re on the hunt for.

The inspiration for this quest? Kitman Bob’s suggestion that we’re going to need a ‘third’ shirt this season then being followed up by Matthew Benham’s public acknowledgement of the idea about having a ‘green’ variant. Certainly, it is an idea that seems to be getting some support in social media at present but one which also threw up the reminder that we had worn green before.

If the legendary Adidas 80/81 ‘home’ shirt has been lost forever, at least it still exists in pictorial form. But the green variant worn at Craven Cottage that season is one that I’ve never even seen a photo for. Surely it was out there, somewhere?

To misquote TV’s Peep Show, this was a job for Bruzon and Google, the maverick detectives who just won’t give up.

But after a weekend’s ceaseless searching, I’m now at the end of the line. The only solid evidence is a black and white picture from the subsequent Brentford match day magazine showing an action shot from the Fulham game. And even that is largely ’side on’.

1980-81 programme

It DID exist. Once…

I’ve trawled the Internet. I’ve looked through books. I’ve even attempted scouring the covers of Fulham programmes from the era (via the medium of eBay – there isn’t a stash of illicit reading material lurking Chez Bruzon) .

Likewise those of Brighton and Watford whom I gather we also wore this rarely seen colour against.

Green cji

The digitised ‘mock up’

There have been mock ups made of this shirt (left) whilst your’s truly has attempted to recreate a version  (further below) although, being honest, this is somewhat tricky when you don’t know fully what you are looking for.

Even Brentford FC memorabilia guru Paul Briers has only been able t0 supply the above programme picture. And if he doesn’t have a copy then, surely, it doesn’t exist. Or does it….

So here’s the challenge. Does anybody have a picture of this? Are any Fulham fans reading who may have a copy of a ‘home’ programme lying around that contains further images? What about our friends in the local press?

I don’t even know who owns the Middlesex Chronicle these days but I’m sure they must have voluminous archives. Perhaps lurking in the vaults.

Until then, we can only speculate. I’ve no idea if we’ll wear a green third shirt next season but I’ve moved on from that now. Somebody somewhere must have a picture of this lost treasure, this missing link to put a kit obsessive out of his misery.

If you do, please get in touch. It would be wonderful to see first hand evidence of what sounds like a real ‘one of a kind.

I won’t even ask if the real thing exists…..

wanted-reward-poster-background

Did it look something like this ??

Nick Bruzon

Plug time (regular readers know the score from here) : As ever, The Last Word ‘season review’ : Ready. Steady. Go Again and the three year anthology : The Bees are going up remain available for download. Should anybody want to go over this nonsense and relive these moments once more then you can do so now.

It has been a stunning few years. Here’s to more of the same. We may have had a few lows (something about a penalty, the football village, the FA Cup, the pitch, the Marinus experiment) but there have been plenty more highs as the Bees made an unexpected challenge for the Premier League.

Thanks for reading.

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6 Responses to “Can Fulham provide the missing link? Help needed in kit quest”

  1. Paul Briers May 31, 2016 at 8:20 am #

    Nick

    The Middlesex chronicles’s picture archive was destroyed from what I gather. Not sold to an independent company – like Getty, coloursport, or alamy – or even digitised before it went to the incinerator.
    The same also happened to Wakefield’s collection of negatives and plates, of Brentford, Chiswick and Ealing, sadly.

    If only someone had an inkling that photos of a bygone era would now be so important……
    Asking Fulham or their – coughing and choking here – fans……(that was tough) is an idea!
    Even pictures of the other 80/81 pastel blue adidas away shirt isn’t that common, no colour pictures that I know of just black and white.

    Let’s hope someone comes up trumps.

    I thought there was another green kit work in the late 1980’s too, but never found anything. Never heard of the 1970’s green kit either!

    Paul

    • nickbruzon May 31, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

      Cheers Paul. Massively appreciated . Who’d have thought so little survives from so recently. We’re just used to instant access to information, I guess

  2. RebelBee May 31, 2016 at 8:27 am #

    Not feeling the green shirt personally. For those that wear tops as “leisurewear” a second or 3rd shirt in one solid colour makes sense, designed for this purpose.

    Anything with a castle badge would work for me though.

    • nickbruzon May 31, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

      I’d love a bit of castle badge action

  3. Geoff Buckingham June 1, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

    Hi Nick.
    I am delighted to solve the mystery of Bees in green kit.
    As I thought, it was borrowed !
    On 12th Jan 1974 the Bees coach did not turn up and the players used their own cars to drive up to Doncaster Rovers. One of them Barry Salvage was even booked for speeding on the return journey!
    The kit was on loan-from Slough Town !
    It was green shirts with pink numbers too!
    The match was a bottom of table Division 4 clash played in front of 3009 spectators. Bees won 2-1 thanks to Andy Woon’s brace.
    That win helped towards the Bees scraping out of the bottom two and we finished the season just 2 points off the bottom four re-election places.

    • nickbruzon June 2, 2016 at 4:41 am #

      Geoff – stunning news. Thank you. No column today but will be sure to see if I can dig a tad deeper into this one and then share later this week. Cheers

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