Retro Bukta football shirts
Formed in 1879 by Edward R Buck and Sons, Bukta are the longest established football kit apparel manufacturers in England, if not the world. Their first kits were produced way back in 1884 for Nottingham Forest - although of course it was to be nearly 100 years later until sportswear companies’ logos were permitted on football apparel.
Bukta operated out of Manchester from 1885 before moving to Stockport in 1938 and in this time, away from sport, the company also produced uniforms for the Scout movement and the British Army in World War 1.
However it is football for which Bukta are rightly known. The firm produced kits for a consistently high number of clubs throughout the 20th Century and in the 1960s they supplied more teams than any other brand, including the England national side.
Bukta’s popularity continued with high profile deals with West Ham, Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle Utd over the years. Later in the 1970s the brand were given a valuable dose of publicity when George Best joined Scottish side Hibernian who sported shirts featuring a massive Bukta logo as part of a kit supplier/sponsorship package. The late 70s also saw their roster wear shirts that included brand building Bukta logo taping down the sleeves and shorts. Many of these designs are now firm favourites with retro-looking supporters.
The company was still run by the Buck family until 1982 when Sir Hugh Fraser (of House of Fraser fame) bought the firm. However the 80s saw the firm’s flame fade and despite three logos changes and deals with Crystal Palace (for whom they produced a huge number of different kits in just a few short years), West Ham and Derby the company folded as the 90s took hold. The brand suffered further indignity as several of their designs were worn the season after with a new logo simply stitched over the Bukta marque (see the Watford and Derby kits from the early 90s). Obviously in those days team kits were not as plentiful as they are now.
The Bukta brand, now owned by the Cavden Group made a comeback in the late 2000s with new kit deals with Motherwell and Bukta amongst others although now the company seem content to operate as a heritage brand and have recently launched in conjunction with Toffs a superb series of accurate 1970s retro designs for Newcastle, Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea to name but a few that recreate the iconic Bukta taping shirts of the era.