Classic and Retro Aston Villa Football Shirts

Aston Villa hold the proud claim that they were the first club in English football to wear claret and blue way back in 1887-88. The origins of the colour selection remain a mystery however, although they clearly developed from the chocolate and blue striped kit the team had worn the previous season.  Earlier kits featured a whole array of colours, most memorably an all-black strip with a large red lion motif sewed to the front of the football jersey that was worn from 1878 to 1880. Black also featured on the Villa kit from 1924 to 1957 thanks to distinctive black socks, trimmed with claret and blue. The club’s original claret and blue jerseys were quartered or halved (Hummel’s infamous halved Villa shirts of the late 1980s perhaps not as abstract as people thought!) before a claret football shirt with blue sleeves and a large blue hoop that curved around a lace-up neck was introduced in 1894. It was a iconic design that Umbro faithfully recreated in the post-modern kit design boom of the early 1990s.  The vast majority of Villa home kits have followed the claret shirt/blue sleeves approach although the last 30 years have seen kit designers take several liberties with this tradition. White or blue jerseys are favoured away from home although, as was the trend at the time, yellow shirts were worn away from Villa Park in the early 1970s. The club’s first sponsor was brewers Davenports who featured on the club shirt for just one season (1982-83) following the side’s success in Europe a season earlier. In 2008 Villa became the first Premier League side to forego the lucrative revenue of shirt sponsorship and instead included the logo of local children’s hospice Acorns on their jerseys