Almost every club wearing stripes faces the prospect of their tradition being tinkered with by kit designers searching for new ways to reinterpret their football jerseys. Stoke City are, however, remarkably lucky that this has happened on relatively few occasions since the club permanently switched to red and white striped shirts back in 1908. The most liberal interpretation of the club’s stripes came, thanks to Umbro, in 1983 when for two seasons the side played in a white shirt with red pinstripes and red sleeves. Fortunately the early 80s trend of discarding kit heritage faded quickly and a more standard striped outfit returned in 1985. Prior to the club’s permanent switch to red and white stripes, the team had worn a whole myriad of colours including: claret and blue (in their original incarnation as Stoke Ramblers in 1863), blue and black hoops, amber and black stripes, navy and red stripes and plain claret. Away colours have tended to be predominantly either yellow or blue, although the club did endure a curious period of away kit designs in the early-mid 1990s when two consecutive purple change strips, a green and black striped outfit and a two tone blue design garishly emblazoned with the name of the club across the front were worn. Stoke’s first sponsor was camera manufacturers Ricoh in 1981 but their most prominent commercial partnership came with the arrival of the Britannia Building Society to the club’s shirts in 1997 - the company of course also lending their name to Stoke’s new stadium that same year.