Strip Tease Ends As Club Reveal All

AFTER weeks of strip tease and blurred websites hints Boro have finally revealed all… the new Peru-style shirts are out. Hurray! It’s officially summer. Now let the eager queues form outside the club shop, let the kids compete to be the first on the block to wear one while playing on FIFA and let the Teesside kit-porn cognescenti start to deconstruct their DNA.

Boro leaked the new kits with a quirky if over-thought little YouTube video from the people who brought you the clunky pun-packed cheesy cult classic season ticket trailer “Woody’s New Bird” .

So… discuss….
The home strip is red with a white sash that echoes the kit Middlesbrough Ironopolis wore in their one ill-fated season in the Football League in 1893-94..
Nops kit.gif
although that is probably accidental. I can’t see the Adidas designers doing extensive research on the nuances of Teesside’s Victorian rivalry and I can’t see why the club would sanction a strip that pays homage to their long dead sibling. It is straight from P17 of the catalogue I think.
That doesn’t make it a bad design of course. It is eye-catching and contains the basic ingredients of red body with white flourish. It is a reverse of the classic Peru kit and similar in template to last season’s Wolfsburg kit. and last term’s Chelsea away top. And this season West Ham are using the same design for their away kit. And no doubt many, many more as they say on the compilation albums,
I’m sure it will look quite snazzy as we launch our bid for glory. And should Boro pull off a famous promotion then the Steel River Plate shirt could even become an iconic design burned into our psyche. After all the kit many regard as the ultimate Boro shirt was a radical innovation introduced by Jack Charlton in his first season.
I do like it the new sash shirt. And I think it is certainly better than last term’s yoke/sleeve combo… but I think every time Boro wander away from what should be our default they are missing an open goal. I know I bang on about the Above Average White Band but it should be the starting point of the brief every year. How hard can it be? It is obvious.
It is an eye-catching design identified with Charlton’s Champions, the Carling Cup victory and the UEFA Cup final and the club are missing the advantages of a distinct, unique image that helps forge identity among supporters and build brand recognition further afield.
In the other aisle, I can’t get excited about away kits as they generally have no rhyme nor reason (‘hunter and jade’ stripes? Purple? A blue cross tyre imprint?) and rarely any link with a club’s history but generally I’d like a blue/black strips element to them. Preferably stripes not hoops.
But that is what you get when you go with a big manufacturer, a templated style straight from the catalogue. Given the excellent feedback from the Bournemouth game you’d have thought they’d have gone with that white strip. But what do I know?
The away kit has echoes of the “traditional” and popular blue and black (it’ll probably turn out to be ‘sapphire and steel’ or something) – although it comes from P32, and is hoops instead of stripes and it is a generic template best known in England as the 2010 Chelsea away kit. … there’s that much vaunted Stamford Bridge link-up starting to bear fruit anyway.


43 thoughts on “Strip Tease Ends As Club Reveal All

  1. Hoop-styled shirts have worked for Reading and QPR when it comes to promotion seasons…maybe that’s being a bit too optimistic.

  2. Perhaps Boro’s new kit is paying homage to the beautiful game by donning the beauty pageant sash – though I don’t know if there are any plans for a tiara in the event of us being crowned champions.
    Let’s hope this year it’s not Miss Goal, Miss Playoffs and Miss Promotion that make it to the last three – but as much as I’m in favour of world peace I’d prefer world domination (though Championship domination would suffice)
    Anyway, onto the leisurewear round (sorry I mean away kit) – hmmm grey and blue hoops – the players should blend nicely into the crowd with that understated combo, though the purpose of the away kit is probably more about giving supporters something unobtrusive to wear each year.

  3. The white on the shirt has come and gone throughout our history.#
    My first memory was the yoke during Dickie Rooks years made more memorable because of his neck and shock of blond hair. I think we had many years of plain red with white collar and cuffs before the team that Jack built.
    Then followed the sponsorship years with sundry designs though I cant recall a white band. My next recollection is the team including Merse and we then we got several kits with a white panel/band/yoke/stripe.
    I always liked something a bit different but red was always the colour.
    Many of the modern generation expect the white to be there, probably the biggest faux pas was the rebranding which featured the new hideous badge and Liverpool lite kit.
    I think that polarised the schism between fans and MFC. At the time I made the differentiation between Boro and MFC, one is a financial entity the other is our identity.
    As for the new kits? Not wonderful, I can understand the slash because it is a way of keeping the white but the away is a bit of a shocker. Adidas are probably relieved they have offloaded some stock.
    Going back to when we joined forces with Adidas the much lauded bespoke kits. In the pre season friendly at Macclesfield the opposition ran out in a blue version of our home kit. Must have a look at the latest brochure.

  4. Both kits are poor and going back to white shorts makes the sash look like an afterthought. Won’t be buying either as the away kit is a terrible combination of colours and would rather see an inverted home shirt for the away.
    White horizontal chest band on an all red kit with either the reverse for the away or blue and black stripes – this combination every season please.
    Its nearly as bad as the 2010/11 season shirt.

  5. As a member of the “Teesside kit-porn cognescenti”, I like it.
    Yes it’s a cut and paste design from Adidas, but it’s a rather fetching one at that.
    What I really like is that it brings something new to the “mainly red with a significant white area” Boro template. We’ve had shoulders, yokes and bands before but never a sash. The fact that Ramsdens have allowed another unobtrusive take on their logo is good, too.
    Overall: Me likey.
    Are we allowed to sing “The Sash The Boro Wore” or is that too much?
    Up the Boro !
    **AV writes: Blackpool away had an orange sash last year. Plus a sizeable contingent of ex-Rangers players and fans. We were just a pipe band and some Apprentice Boys wearing bowler hats away from an interesting pre-match display.

  6. It’s a good job you don’t get any extra points for fashion isn’t it. Looking back I thought the 1997/98 home shirt was awful but we got promoted that season.
    I agree with Mr. Vickers that we should have our own identity and wear a red shirt with a white band, but what do I know? I don’t think the new one is too bad, could be worse.

  7. When players are running at full tilt and you have to make a quick decision, will they be able to pick a player out at Brentford on a wet windy night in December? The funeral away kit may create a problem,
    Remember Man U with that grey one they replaced at half time,

  8. Just read Simon Fallah’s piece, if I didn’t feel suicidal before I do now.
    I’m with AV on the shirt, a red shirt with a horizontal white band is iconic and would give Boro a unique identity. It really isn’t difficult, can you imagine Newcastle playing in something other than black and white stripes or Real Madrid ditching all white? For the life of me I don’t understand why the club can’t see the benefit of having a unique strip.
    But hey, as I never buy replica kit I guess my opinion is irrelevant.

  9. I picked up my shirt this afternoon and I like it, I was not sure about the away shirt until I saw it the shop but it is much better in the “flesh” than in the photo.
    The home shirt has two tone red panels and the Boro badge sits well on the diagonal stripe, Yes I am happy with the home shirt, it is something different to the on the chest, off the chest, on the shoulder, off the shoulder on the chest or gone altogether.
    Maybe with a new style shirt, a new style manager, a new style system we might end up with a better future.
    Come on BORO

  10. Aside from personal opinions on the designs, which I detest, the away kit is a major footballing concern. As Werdermouth has already pointed out that kit is going to make finding a Boro player at pitch level difficult due to the camouflaging effect of the colour choice.
    I reckon a few games in when it becomes obvious we are dropping away points it will be ditched and the all white Bournemouth kit may make a hasty and unplanned reappearance. That away kit is not fit for purpose.
    If they wanted a poncy Southern softie style posing garment then they could have made it a 3rd choice to sell to those of a certain age and image conscious persuasion but please leave the real football shirts for the real job on the pitch. I doubt if a bloke was anywhere near the design of those kits and if so he certainly wasn’t a Teesside Tommy.
    Amazing how my optimism for the new season has been dented by a sash and white shorts! Not quite as bad as what Cardiff fans felt I’m sure but it feels to me a few steps down the same path.
    **AV writes: I’m not sure about the science of colour, movement, a dark shirt against the background or a crowd or peripheral vision… but Chelsea won the Premier League in 2010 wearing this exact design as their away kit.

  11. Now I’ve seen some better photos of the away kit I actually quite like it – especially with the yellow trim, though I still find the home shirt a bit of a shocker. It might have looked a bit better if the white sash wasn’t combined with white shorts – it makes Woody in his pose look a bit a like a Thunderbird on a stag do.
    Nevermind, I’m probably with Nigel in that I’m not really your typical replica kit customer anyway. Though I’m still a bit puzzled as to why the switch to a sash was entertained, but in the end football kits are a minor concern as it’s only the style on the pitch that is reflected in the league table.

  12. I quite like both versions of the new kit. Didn’t fancy the away at first but the more I look at it the more I like and actually it looks the better of the two now.
    I would like to have seen the home shirt with red shorts, though. I think the all red kit with the diagonal white would have been more Boro and better looking. I think even Peru have the same colour on their shorts as shirt. I have ordered the new home shirt already but it has not arrived yet.
    Next I’d like to see some new players to be bought to fit the new shirts. Howabout a striker first? Now as Norwich City have signed Lewis Grabban from Bournemouth, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Danny Graham coming back for pre-season.
    Up the Boro.

  13. So,the new kit….
    A lost opportunity to establish a unique brand with no (intentional) reference points to club tradition. A meek attempt to introduce a sexy foreign component with an unfortunate connection to Chelsea.
    It perfectly reflects where we are as a club.
    I hate it.

  14. Maybe Karanka chose the kit? It is all a foreign conspiracy.
    Few comments about white shorts, in my early years we always wore white shorts, if Kinnell was playing chocolate would be a suitable colour.

  15. How predictable, folks getting upset about a shirt design. No matter what the club does some people will find a way of finding fault. Not quite as laughable as those that get their panties in a twist about the badge, but up there. It’s the player inside the clothes that matter folks, not the clothes they wear.
    Splendid answer to Redcar Red, Vic… so the new away kit will be a disadvantage to us because it will be difficult spot our players against the background, but somehow Chelsea managed to win the league wearing it! Surely we can find something more interesting to talk about.
    Incidentally, if my missus finds out I’ve been reading an article entitled ‘strip tease ends as club reveals all’ I’ll be in big trouble.
    **AV writes: Wait till the “smart” individually tailored advertising starts popping up.

  16. Bob some people don’t really care what strip the club plays in, who the club signs or indeed what league they play in or even if they can be bothered going. Some people simply aren’t bothered about a clubs identity, its heritage or its past, its just somewhere to go on a Saturday afternoon if the mood takes them.
    There again there are those of us who do care strongly about all those things, people who want to take a pride, people who want to support the club because its their local club, a local club which means something from an area that is constantly belittled and battered by outsiders who laugh at our empty “Durham” Airport, scorn at the boarded up shop windows in our high streets, tease about “vertical” piers, unemployment and wind farms on the beach.
    Some of us do care and with a passion but some are just happy to accept whatever fate or life throws at them. When the club does something positive I am happy to support them (indeed even when they don’t I still go and pay my hard earned cash) but in this case in my opinion they have sold out for Chav appeal rather than adhered to some values or principles. It disturbs me that someone inside the club approved it and it gives me a message that I am extremely uncomfortable with.
    Go up to Glasgow and tell Celtic fans they are not playing in hoops next season or Madrid to tell their fans they are going to wear blue shorts and red socks next season or Hammers fans that they are losing their light blue sleeves and playing in all burgundy and see the reaction; but hey its only the Boro and who cares.
    Its not as if anyone is bothered, some believe Teessiders are well used to being acceptors of their fate and roll over, being victims is an easy role for some, it acts as a safety cushion. There are some of us however who do want a sense of pride and heritage and will not meekly witness cheap commercialisation and say nothing.
    It is possible to achieve a commercial product and still retain an identity. How on earth do Real Madrid as an example redesign their white shirts and badge decade after decade or indeed Newcastle/Sunderland/Spurs for that matter.
    Thinking of Spurs and Cockerels and just focussing purely on commercial matters, would Kellogs (other cereal brands are available) change their packaging for their famous cereal brand or indeed a car with a big star on the bonnet or four circles?
    Ultimately clubs and their owners can do what they want, Vincent Tan and Cardiff are perfect examples of that. We laughed on here at the Barcodes expense courtesy of Mike Ashley and their renamed Stadium. Who cared its only the name of their football ground, its not as if it meant anything to the city or its supporters.
    I wonder what would happen if this week the FA announced they were dropping the Three Llions off the England shirts and instead going for a single eagle, wings outspread in a black circle. I guess lots of people would be happy that not only the Engerlund kit but now the badge looks like West Germany from the 60’s. Maybe not.
    That’s not likely to happen for all sorts of reasons let alone todays anniversary date but if it did should we just shrug and be happy about it? After all its only a football shirt, or a football badge isn’t it? For Football fans the world over its more than just a kit or a badge.
    Regards the dreary and dull grey and blue away kit, just ask Sir Alex who knew a thing or two about grey kits (it didn’t last long under his tenure). Lets hope I’m wrong and the grey away day results don’t show up a negative pattern worse than the “alien” hoops.

  17. Bob –
    Kits don’t matter. Poorly thought out strategy does. It just happened that the club made a pigs ear of both when the new badge and kit were launched as part of the rebranding.
    The badge made a suitable weapon to beat the club with. My argument has always been why waste money when you are pleading poverty?
    I like what Leicester did by sticking to the same shirt for years but of course it lost revenue through reduced shirt sales.
    Moving swiftly on and Delia is the new manager at Celtic. Wonder what she can do with Scotch pies and fried Mars bars.

  18. Real Madrid shot-stopper Tomas Mejias has signed a two-year deal with Boro today. This must sound like Steele is leaving
    How much we can get by selling him – an England U21 international? I think the money should be spent on a striker.
    Up the Boro!
    **AV writes: Or it could mean Mejias is replacing Leutwiler, who has been released.

  19. I don’t place the kit too highly in my list of priorities but I would prefer an all red kit with the “above average white band” and a recognisable identify. We’ve never really had that though. We’ve always changed and the tradition is only as AV said: mostly red with a white flourish.
    Having had a couple of days to get used to the new kits I don’t mind either of them, with a slight preference for the away one.
    In other news I see we’ve added Meijas permanently. Hard to be anything but indifferent to that but I do wonder what it means for Steele. Hopefully no more than out on loan.

  20. Also something was mentioned in the round table discussions about giving names to each stand,
    What about one named “the Stan Hollis VC Stand” after our war hero,
    any other suggestions?

  21. Andy R –
    My views on Steele are similar to yours.
    Neither Dimi or Meijas have long term deals and Steele is still young himself for a keeper.
    My initial thought was loan though Karanka is no respecter of reputations. Whoever trains best will get the slot.
    I certainly wouldnt want him to leave, I like as many local lads in the team as possible.
    **AV writes: I think *if *Steele stays he will soon be first choice again. Everyone is assuming Mejias is arriving to replace Steele but for me he is cheap as chips squad man to replace Leutwiler and bring the complement back up up to three. A 25-year-old with TWO senior games to his name is not being brought in as first choice shot-stopper. .

  22. On the goalkeeping topic the signing of Meijas I think is as AV suggests. A lad with some potential that may flourish and blossom and at a low cost. I doubt if Karanka would see him as first choice.
    For me the best keeper at the club is Steele despite my reservations about his star jump theatrics and inability to command his box. His athleticism is his ability to be a better keeper. Watching Given up close must surely have made him aware of the differences between Shay’s and his own game.
    A change of goalkeeping coach will also have given him a different perspective. I can’t see Leo being the type to mince his words or be impressed by Hollywood saves if the rest of his game is underdeveloped.
    I suspect if and when he gets his opportunity we will see a more confident and determined goalkeeper, less showman and more grown man.

  23. Redcar Red –
    To be fair to Steele we have not seen him behind an organised defence.
    You cannot expect him to have the experience of Given 10 years early. There were a couple of goals Given conceded Steele would have been slaughtered for, the wonder save from Given would have seen Steele lambasted for the initial poor punch.
    I am not belittling Given because I wish he could have stayed, he is a top keeper. I wouldn’t use great because it is used too often but there not many better.
    Interestingly Dimi came in and looked very good indeed. The back four has looked good most of the time whoever was in defence or between the sticks.
    If Steele gets a run he may be there to stay. Joe Hart has suffered over the last couple of seasons but he is head and shoulders above the rest of the England keepers. Jason should take a leaf out his book and get some grooming, hopefully he will gel with the back four. Some of his critics should get the hair dryer treatment for splitting hairs.
    We shouldn’t be combing the world for a replacement but we cant brush his faults under the carpet. There are no short cuts and he needs to remain razor sharp.

  24. As Aitor Karanka has said he wants to have a squad of 22 to 23 players to train with, I thought we would need only two goalies. But I agree that Steele looks like the most probable long term solution.
    Perhaps one of the goalies will be looned out – and recalled if we have injuries. That would be the logical thing – but is football logical?
    I hope Steele will become a future England international – and at Boro. Up the Boro!

  25. Andy R –
    He may have to if he doesnt want to become a fringe player, maybe he has to change his style if we are square at the back.
    He may not wish a life of No2s, one day he could be as good as Bouffant.

  26. Ian –
    I would be happy to see Steele as No.1 all over again. It would certainly be a shame if he was one trimmed from the squad to make shavings.
    Perhaps AV is right and that we shouldn’t read to much into Meijas signing on a perm.
    **AV writes: I like this style of debate. I don’t want o cut it short.

  27. I think Ian makes a good point, we need to see Steele playing behind a solid well organised defence before judging how good he is. Although he has clearly got potential to be very good. I’d be happy to see him back as the No.1.
    I’m curious to know why he fell out of favour with Karanka last season, hopefully whatever the reason he himself knows, so that he can address the issue.

  28. Andy R –
    Jason may be happy to bob along, may be best for him to mullet over.
    He wouldn’t be the first Boro keeper to be a little uncertain in coming for crosses, Willie Wigham wasn’t the best but he was good at keeping them out of the net.
    Hopefully our blond stopper is here to stay and will show a never say dye attitude. The last thing we went is for him to end his career at somewhere like Barnet.

  29. I’m up for keeping Steele. He just gives you confidence, unlike some keepers that just seem to be visible flakes.

  30. These puns on Steele and hair styles are brilliant (I thought there were some odd choices if words until the penny dropped) – but I don’t actually geddit. What’s the haircut ‘theme’ about anyway?
    **AV writes: Don’t ask me, I just work here.

  31. Nigel Reeve –
    Jason got red-carded in his first match under Karanka. That seemed a bit stupid to commit by Jason and then he got injured. So two reason he lost his place and then Dimi did not make mistakes. And Karanka doen’t drop a player for a reputation (except for the final match at Yovil where Jason stared).
    If we can like to have and afford three goalies, there is no reason Jason cannot complete for the No. 1 shirt. He just needs to win it back and prove here is matured enough now.
    Up the Boro!

  32. Any reason why my post from yesterday and your reply has disappeared?
    Have you been censored for agreeing the away kit is awful?
    **AV writes: I don’t know but I haven’t been censored. I appear to have lost quite a few comments over-night. They system is wobbling a bit again I think. I don’t think the away shirt is awful, just a templated *meh*

  33. Considering it’s off-the-shelf, where can we see the rest of the shelf? Otherwise a negative judgement is a little meaningless. I like the home kit as it is, and I’m not sold on the away but I’ll give it a chance. Another vote for the white band brigade though, personally… (I’m assuming the catalogue does ‘plain’).
    In other news…
    World Cup Alert: The Boro effect is felt in the warm-up as Leighton Baines characterizes the argy-bargy and dubious refereeing against Honduras: “It is what it is.”

  34. gt’s reference to Stan Hollis reminded me that there was a public subscription to have a memorial built. Anybody know if this has progressed and is it likely to happen soon? I thought the organisers were aiming to have it unveiled for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. I will also vote for a Stan Hollis stand at the Riverside.
    **AV writes: I tend to think these things should always be football related.

  35. I think memorials and recognition for war heroes should lie with the local and national government bodies. Stan Hollis should be remembered by the community generally and not a football club. A statue outside the law courts may be appropriate in so far as it may make some of the “attendees” consider their personal contribution and worth to society and how tough they think they have had it versus real adversity.
    If we were to name stands then I think it should be considered carefully. Hardwick and Mannion immediately and easily spring to mind, our only ever cup winning captain or manager, perhaps TLF who won our hearts, Steve Gibson himself, Bruce Rioch, Willie Maddren, Harold Shepherdson or what about Big Jack?
    **AV writes: Mannion and Hardwick have statues, Maddren has an education centre in the East Stand, Shepherdson has a flyover. The others are alive.
    I’d go for a Camsell Stand and an Ayresome Stand and I’m relaxed about the others. What do people think?
    I think we should best leave well alone as if choosing Football shirts and badges are anything to go by I shudder to think of who or what they will name them after. We have Lounges at the Stadium and even the approach to the Riverside named after ex club heroes. No doubt sometime in the future there will be an event (probably a tragic one) where it may be overwhelmingly supported and appropriate but hopefully not any time soon.

  36. Nikeboro –
    When JRR Tolkein was asked if Lord of the Rings was about the rise of fascism I think he said the story grew in the telling.
    Go back through the posts and see if you can find the link.
    Maybe there is a Trabant on offer.

  37. NikeBoro –
    It just dawned on me, are you living in foreign climes?
    If so, you wouldn’t get the link. Maybe AV can provide it

  38. A Football related name for a stand AV is a tough one,considering these days of three to four year contracts and out,or the constant moves of players via agents,no Jimmy Dickinsons anymore,
    A one club man whose made a significant contribution are hard to find

  39. NikeBoro –
    As AV hasnt told you here is the link.
    I was posting about Jason and the fact Joe Hart had been criticised but was the best keeper. Head and Shoulders leapt in to my mind because he advertises the shampoo in the UK hence head and shoulders above the rest.
    Then I got carried away, maybe I should wear a hair shirt.
    Other hair products are available.
    **AV writes: And the rest is history…

  40. Other than naming one of the stands The Holgate stand, nothing else immediately springs to mind. Personally, I’m not one who needs a stand named after a player to remember said player and anyway with only four stands to name and dozens of heros over the years who do you go for?
    I think North, South, East and West work fine, keep it simple, it is what it is. naming the stands doesn’t bring anything to the party for me. I’d be interested in knowing what the rational is behind naming stands.
    The only strong argument I can think of for naming a stand at the Riverside would be at (hopefully) some dim and distant point in the future when Steve Gibson is no longer with us.

  41. Ah! Subtlety is wasted on me.
    If you count Shropshire as ‘foreign climes’ then, yes. They certainly talk funny round here – but then they say the same about me. Anyway, I have seen the ad but (the dementia clearly getting a grip) failed to make the connection.
    Thanks for the explanation. I can sleep soundly again now.

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