Kit review – 2006/2007


Not since the late 1970’s had City played in unique, striped shirt kits three times in a row, but the release of the Diadora 2006-2007 kit saw a repeat of that sequence. In terms of club shop sales, the thin striped 2005-2006 shirt proved unpopular compared to the thick, bold striped 2004-2005 release that preceded it, so for City’s second season in the Championship, thick stripes returned.

This shirt (seen on Craig Fagan) had a black central stripe, giving the shirt front three black stripes and four amber stripes, the two outside amber stripes tapered at the bottom due to a piped seam on the bias.

Previously Diadora had outsourced the design of City’s kits to other companies, but this one was designed by them at their base in Giavera del Montello in north-east Italy, and it showed.

Raglan sleeves ensured a neat fit on the shoulders, but the narrow, tapering cut meant it clung to the less than athletic looking physiques of Jon Parkin and Dean Windass as well as those fans who are unashamed heavy consumers of pies and ale. Because of this, many chose to go one up from their usual replica shirt size.

A rigid black bound hem at the bottom of the shirt pretty much ruled out any Ravanelli-esque shirt-over-head goal celebrations. A true athletic garment, this shirt had loads of cunningly located mesh panels for ventilation and heat dissipation when playing, black panels on the neck and underarms and amber ‘slash’ panels on the shoulders.

Instead of having their name spelt out in letters as on the previous two home kits, Diadora used their ‘arrowhead’ logo on this strip, the word Diadora only appearing on a hem tag, next to City’s crest and also throughout the tag in hologram form. This tag also featured the 11-dot formation logo used on the Italian firms football equipment, such as on the sleeves of the AS Roma, Hannover ’96 and Preston shirts. The quite naff looking ‘Hull City AFC official merchandise’ white collar tags used on the last two home shirts weren’t used this time, instead a heat bonded label with the Diadora ’arrowhead’ also shows the shirt’s size. The care label inside the shirt shows these jerseys are made in Romania rather than Morocco like the last two.

The logo of Bonus Electrical, the club’s primary sponsor, was heat bonded on the chest in thin white felt, but that wasn’t the only sponsors logo on this shirt. The Football League had relaxed their rules on kit sponsorship a year earlier to allow a secondary sponsor’s name to appear on a club’s shorts or on the back of the shirt. The Tigers didn’t go for this in 2005-2006 (a season in which cash strapped Leeds had the name of an asbestos removal firm branded on their players arses) but succumbed in 2006-2007 as failure to jump on this bandwagon would see the club bottom of the Championship sponsorship revenue table. So Hessle based copier/scanner firm Gemtec had their name on the back of this shirt at the bottom.

The original Diadora designs as shown to the Fans Liaison Committee


The shorts for this kit were black with thin amber stripes that start halfway down the sides continuing to the bottom, a change from the shorts featured on the design mock up which showed a tapered amber stripe running the full length of the shorts on each side. As per convention, the City crest was on the left side of the shorts at the bottom with a small white Diadora ’arrowhead’ on the right, above which goes the Football League standard short numbers.

Black socks with amber bands at the top completed this kit, the first time a City home kit had featured black socks since 2000-2001. 

A white Diadora ‘arrowhead’ was woven in at shin level and the letters HCAFC are picked out in black on the amber roll down band.

Loan signing Ricardo Vaz Te obviously didn’t like the design of the socks, the Portuguese forward chose to cut the feet off his City socks and wear the remaining band over his own elasticated white stockings. (Pictured right)

The 2006-2007 City home kit was nominated for the Football League Championship’s Best Kit Design Award (sponsored by Nivea For Men oddly) though that competition was won by Burnley’s frankly jenk away kit.

Close-ups of the designer's logo, crest, sponsor, hem tag, collar & shirt back sponsor

As in 2001-02, the Tigers had some amber shorts manufactured for use with the home shirt in away games where the home side wore black or navy shorts. These pants, a reversal of the black home shorts, were used at Preston (as seen on Nicky Forster, below) and at Sheffield Wednesday (modelled by Stephen McPhee, below). At Deepdale the amber shorts were paired with the black with white top band away socks, though the kit man dug out the 2005-06 home socks for use at Hillsborough.



City retained the largely black away shirt from the previous season for 2006-2007, sometimes pairing it with white shorts and socks such as at Watford in the Carling Cup (as worn by Damien Delaney, above) and other times with black shorts and socks like when at Burnley (as worn by Michael Bridges, above right) and even used the sky blue away 2004-2005 shirts as a third kit on occasion.

After an uplifting 3-2 win at Southend in this strip the superstitious Phil Parkinson figured it was lucky and had it used again at Southampton and Norwich (as seen on Dean Marney, right).

His luck soon ran out and after his sacking it wasn’t used again.

Bo Myhill had two keeper kits to choose from in 2006-2007 (as seen below). He usually wore an all green affair that had one white and one black stripe on the left side and the City crest in the middle of the kit below Diadora’s name, the ‘arrowhead’ logo appeared on the ‘keeper socks but not on the jersey or shorts.

A metallic light blue version of this kit was worn a few times, mostly away when the home team’s netman wore green.

Dean Marney at Norwich

 

Les Motherby